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Dec 20th
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  • Ashur Antonio Friday.

     

    Psalms 23:1 The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want

    It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Son, Brother, Nephew, Cousin and Friend;

     Ashur Antonio Friday

    Sunrise: 26 May 1980 ~ Sunset: 5 July 2012
    He was the son of Raphael A. Friday (deceased)

    He leaves to mourn:
    Mother:  Patricia Friday-Bell
    Sisters: Tanya Friday
                    Melissa Friday
    Aunts:   Lurdez Bell & Fam.
    Marva Bell & Fam.
    Brenda Pantophlet Bell & Fam.
    Cynthia Friday & Fam. (USA)
    Leonora Richardson & Fam.
                   
    Uncles:                 Chester Bell & Fam. (USA)
    Samuel Friday & Fam. (USA),
    Leonidas Friday & Fam. (SXM)
    Arthur Richardson & Fam. (AUX)
    Johnnie Richardson & Fam.
    David Richardson &Fam. (Dukie)

    Close Cousins:  Natassja Bell, Cyria, Nigel &Sharon Paul , Charleen Bell, Samantha Elson-Beaton, Orlando Elson, Martin & Lenore Bell, Deidre &Phedra Thomson,  Johnnie, Jason & Fabiana Richardson, Colin & Culmore Bell, David  & Danzell Richardson, Sekou Friday, Christian Richardson ,Jamila,Shadira & Michel Arrindell, James Hughes and many other cousins too numerous to mention.
    Friends :  Joel Duzong ,Gerard Richardson, Franklyn Brown, RuebenThompson, Andrew Rombley, Chester, Danny, David, Jevon, Deidrick, Naldo, Rosendo, Teza, Nettie & Chrissie and others too numerous to mention.

    He was related to the Todman, Friday, Bell, Thomson, Richardson, Paul, Elson, Hodge, Pantophlet, Jean Baptiste families
     The wake will be held at the family home on Wednesday July 11th 2012 evening at Waterfront Street 16 Colebay from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

    The service of Thanksgiving for the late Ashur Antonio Friday will be held on Thursday, July 12th at the Praise Tabernacle Church in Cole Bay. Viewing and tributes: 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Service: 3:00pm. Interment: Cape Bay cemetery.
    The family sincerely apologizes if in our time of sorrow any family names have not been mentioned.
    The family kindly requests no visitors at the home after the funeral service.
    The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

    May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace

     


  • Charles Alexander Illidge also known as Charlieco or Lexan.

    Forever with the Lord! Amen. So let it be. Life from the dead is in that word, ‘Tis immortality.

    Charles Alexander Illidge also known as Charlieco or Lexan
    (Son of the late Maria Illidge)

    Born: 26th January, 1953 - Died: 30th May, 2012

    Left to mourn:
    His father: Wilmoth Gumbs
    His children: Wilmert Mathilda,
                         Jennifer (Jetty) Mathilda,
                        Christopher Illidge

    Grand children: Joel, Jaden & Jair
    His ex wife: Carmelle Peniston

    His brothers:     Fritzroy (Roy) Illidge & family
                               Leslie (Junior) Wilson & family
                               Russell Wilson – Holland
                               Douglas Wilson & family - Holland
                               Gregory Illidge & family - Curacao
                               Hubert (Ray) Dambruck – Holland
                               Irvin (Wendy) Gumbs - Aruba
                               Robert (Robby) Gumbs- USA
                               Junior Gumbs USA
                             
    His sisters:          Joylin Illidge &  family -Curacao  
                               Sandra Molenaar & family - Holland
                               Sheryll Dambruck & family
                               Ursula Boasman & family
                               Xiomara Gumbs –Webb - USA
                               Eula Gumbs - USA
                               Jessica Gumbs- Afghanistan                                             
                               Shirley Gumbs- USA
    Sisters in Law: Midia Wilson Barry & Shahaira Illidge Sarabia
    Brother in law: Ronny Webb-USA                                
    His aunts & uncles: Wilma Richardson & family, Lydia Mills & family, Wilfred Illidge & family, John Illidge & family, Sylvia Gumbs & family.

    Nieces & Nephews: Dino, Saska, Terry, Reynaldo, Arelys, Elisabeth, Francisca, Sherwin, Curtis, Valery, Trisha, Carlito, Germiane, Kevin, Gresha, Geon, Steven, Akon, Gabriela, Reangelo, Geshwyn, Iriesmayra, Charles, Ronda, Ozzie and his favourite newphew Marvin.

    He was related to: Illidge, Gumbs, Mathilda, Wilson, Dambruck, Carty, Woods, London, Lloyd, Richardson, Webb, Peniston, Mussington & Whit.
    A wake will be held on Thursday 7th June, 2012 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at the Mills Residence; St. Peters #133 St. Peters rd.

    The Funeral service for the late Charles Alexander Illidge also known as Charlieco or Lexan will be held on Friday June 8th, 2012 at the Philipsburg Methodist Church on Front Street. Viewing: 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Service: 2:00pm. Interment: Cul de sac cemetery
    The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

    May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace

     

  • Aldith Judith Codrington.

    Aldith Judith Codrington

    6 Dec 1949 ~ 6 Aug 2012

    She leaves to mourn:

    Daughters:
    Deborah ROLLE aka Sandy  (SXM)
    Malika RICHARDSON-RAJI (England)

    Sons:
    Leroy CODRINGTON (England)
    Gregoire CODRINGTON  aka  Greg (SXM)

    Daughter in Law:
    Sofia CART- CODRINGTON (SXM)

    Sisters:
    Clara CODRINGTON & Family (Dominica)
    Evell CODRINGTON & Family (SXM)
    Isadora CODRINGTON- BRUNETTE & Family (Dominica)
    Rubina CODRINGTON & Family (Guadeloupe)
    Rubfin CODRINGTON & Family (USA)
    Eve CODRINGTON & Family (Guadeloupe)
    Sandra CODRINGTON  & Family(Antigua)

    Brothers:
    Carlton CODRINGTON & Family (England)
    Coughbert CODRINGTON & Family (Miami)
    Cleveland CODRINGTON & Family (SXM)
    Walton CODRINGTON & Family (Dominica)
    Peter CODRINGTON & Family (Miami)

    Grand children:
    Marc ,  Melissa  &  Mauricia RICHARDSON (SXM),
    Vince & Vincia AULT (SXM)
    Ayanna , Aysa¸S arah & Samantha CODRINGTON (SXM)
    Deyquan, Dannielen & David RAIJ (England)

    Great grandchildren:
    Marco & Markyla RICHARDSON (SXM)

    Nieces:
    Candy POWEL-DAVID (SXM)
    Diane, Mille, Emma BRUNETTE (Dominica)
     Caisha & Camira Codrington (SXM)

    Nephews:
    Steven CODRINGTON aka Sticky Banton (SXM)
    Winston BURNETTE (SXM)
    Ernest BREEDY (SXM)
    James CODRINGTON (SXM)
    Cleveland jr & casimir Codrington

    Favorite Nephew:
    Ivan LAKE (SXM)
    Edward Sawarin

    Favorite Niece:
    Franisca SAWARIN –REID aka Zin (SXM)

    Best friend:
    Mary-lou

    Many more nieces and nephews,  great nieces , great nephews, great great nieces and great great nephews  too numerous to mention.

    She was related to the CODRINGTON, ETIENNE, BRUNETTE, RICHARDSON BREEDY, SAWARIN, RAIJ, CART, ROLLE, AULT and Van Putten  Families.

     A gathering of  family & friends will be held at Evelle’s home in Zorg en Rust, Dutch Quarter on Wednesday August 15th, 2012 from 7:00pm.

    The funeral service for the late Aldith Judith Codrington will be held on Friday August 17th,2012 at the Christian Faith Ministries, Dutch Quarter (opposite Delta Petroleum gas station).Viewing & tributes: 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Service commences at 2:00pm. Interment: Cul de Sac cemetery

    The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

    May Her Soul Rest in Eternal Peace

     

  • WHERE'S THE POSITIVE VIBRATION, PEOPLE?

    OVER THE ATLANTIC:--- It has been more than 30 years since the late great reggae musician Robert Nesta Marley has departed, yet his legacy continues to inspire people the world over.

    This week at 35,000 feet in the air I am on the inspired list having just watched the Kevin MacDonald film "Marley", a tribute to the life of the Jamaican and Rastafarian messenger of peace and goodwill.

    As I traversed the globe from East to West in recent weeks, Marley's message of unity is particular poignant: "I don't really have no ambition you know. I only have one thing I'd really like to see happen. I'd like to see mankind live together. Black, White, Chinese, Everyone. That's all."

    People are simply people - created in the image of God - yet we, our colonizers and, yes, our ancestors have concocted doctrines and diktats of division that continue to debilitate mankind, and we admittedly buy into the mess because of our ignorance.

    We subscribe not to God's laws but to mankind's varied interpretations of "truth", not to mention conspiracy theories and misleading messages in the media that continue to prey on the educated and uneducated alike, retarding peace and progress on the planet.

    Marley said that his life was only important if he can help "plenty people". He lived for people regardless of color, class or creed, after all he was the product of a White father and Black mother. "My life is for people," said Marley, who sung in Positive Vibration: "Why not help one another on the way (and) make it much easier. You just can't live that negative way, make way for the positive day."

    As we watch world leaders behave like children in the halls of the United Nations General Assembly, hurling insults at one another year after year, we should take heed to Bob Marley's message of "One Love" which helped heal the political divide in Jamaica during a period of political violence.

    And what about success and wealth at the height of a successful musical career? "Possessions make you rich?" he asked the reporter in the film, "I don't have that type of richness. My richness is life forever."

    In every complexity resides the simplicity, and today, I am thankful for the airlines for helping to share the simple, yet profound messages of Marley to international audiences. It's exactly what he would have desired.

    "We can make it work, let's come together and make it work."

    Bevan Springer
    New York Amsterdam News

  • COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE.

    Le Premier ministre envisage de proposer au Président de la République de nommer M. Pierre-Franck CHEVET en qualité de président de l'Autorité de sûreté nucléaire.

    Le Président de l'Assemblée nationale et le Président du Sénat sont saisis de ce projet de nomination, afin que la commission intéressée de chacune des assemblées se prononce dans les conditions prévues par le cinquième alinéa de l'article 13 de la Constitution.

  • Interpellation de quatre auteurs de vols à l'arraché de chaines en or.

    Entre le 19 septembre et le 20 octobre 2012, 7 vols avec violences sont commis dans l'agglomération de Marigot au préjudice de piétons, essentiellement de touristes. Les malfaiteurs agressaient les victimes pour leur dérober leurs bijoux en or et n'hésitaient pas à user de violence pour parvenir à leur fin.
    Après recueil des plaintes et recoupement des affaires, 4 individus sont formellement identifiés. Le 22 octobre 2012, une opération d'interpellation, menée sous la direction des militaires de la COB de St Martin avec l'appui du peloton d'intervention de l'EGM 22/6 de Bouliac et des militaires du peloton de surveillance et d'intervention de la compagnie de St Martin, conduit au placement en garde à vue dans les locaux de la COB de St Martin des 4 individus recherchés.
    Au cours des perquisitions, les enquêteurs retrouvent un scooteur volé quelques temps auparavant. L'enquête permet également de déterminer qu'un des individus est impliqué dans le vol d'un véhicule commis au cours d'un cambriolage commis en août 2012.
    A l'issue de leur garde à vue, deux individus font l'objet d'une convocation en justice pour le 20 décembre 2012. Le troisième individu est incarcéré à la maison d'arrêt de Basse Terre dans le cadre de la mise à exécution d'un mandat d'arrêt pour une peine de 3 ans ferme. Le quatrième individu est quant à lui placé en détention provisoire dans l'attente de son jugement.
    L'enquête a permis de mettre en cause un cinquième individu, déjà mis en cause dans des vols à main armée et incarcéré à la maison d'arrêt de Basse-Terre.

  • How Nurses Improve the Lives of Cancer Patients.

    Chronically ill patients often choose at-home care. Nursing is instrumental in at-home care. At-home care has been proven to be effective for patients who are chronically ill and recovering or who need special attention. Many types of aggressive cancer cause patients to require hospice at-home care after being diagnosed.

    Whether it is colon, leukemia, breast or mesothelioma cancer, patients are required to seek a physician's help to improve their chances of their recovery by seeking out the right type of help and treatment. Patients typically will have a better prognosis when the disease is addressed and treated at early stages. Nurses facilitate treatment and coping.

     

    Nurses Help Patients Improve Their Quality of Life

    Nurses can help patients cope with and deal with side effects from treatment by easing their pain. When nurses provide care for cancer patients suffering from side effects, this is often referred to as palliative care. Nurses are instrumental in palliative care to help patients manage the physical effects of chemotherapy radiation and other treatments. Nurses can also help patients manage emotional aspects such as anxiety, depression and other emotional effects.


    Nurses Find Resources for Patients

    Nurses provide patients with resources and information to improve their care. For instance, pain management is important during cancer treatments. After treatments are complete or before the treatments begin, nurses may help cancer patients find resources for massages to temporarily relieve the pain. Massages are often offered for free and can help patients cope with the effects of cancer.

     

    Nurses Inform Families and Friends About Support Systems

    Families and friends are an important part of the support system. Many studies have shown that cancer patients heal faster with supportive care or comfort care from friends, family or other people suffering with the same illness. When adequate support is available, stress levels are reduced and cancer patients heal faster. Patients are recommended to establish a strong support system for this reason. Nurses are available to help families and friends learn how to be supportive in a non-judgmental fashion.

     

    Nurses Help Find Services and Financial Resources

    Nurses can help doctors find a doctor or treatment for cancer. There are treatment facilities all over the world. Nurses can help to identify the facilities and find the best facility for the patient's care type. Assistance for at-home care is often available. Nurses can give patients guidance on finding the best services and financial resources available.

     

    Nurses Administer Medications

     

    Nurses can help administer medications. In fact, this is the role that most people associate with nurses. Nurses monitor vital signs and check IVs to determine if the patient is responding to the treatments. They also can draw blood to determine white blood cell counts, red blood cell counts and hemoglobin levels. These levels are often affected during treatment. Nurses should always check these levels to ensure the patient is not at critical levels that may severely affect their health.

     

    Nurses Do More than Administer Medications

    Nurses are beneficial in numerous capacities. They not only administer medications, but they counsel. They listen and they offer resources. Nurses form long-term relationships with their patients that lead to better care. When patients feel safer and nurtured, their stress levels are lowered, and they can better handle anxiety and uncertainty.

     

    Melanie Bowen

  • COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE: Transport de marchandises et de déchets.

    Le Président de la Collectivité de Saint-Martin rappelle aux transporteurs de marchandises et de déchets de -3,5 tonnes et de + 3,5 tonnes que pour l'exercice régulier de leur activité de transport, ils doivent déclarer celle-ci à la Direction du transport de la Collectivité de Saint-Martin.

    En effet, le décret n°99-752 du 30 Août 1999 relatif au transport routier de marchandises et les délibérations annexes prises par le Conseil Territorial de Saint-Martin exigent l'inscription au registre de transport de marchandises.

    En vue de la déclaration préalable d'activité, les entrepreneurs concernés sont invités à fournir les documents suivants:

    • L'identité de leur entreprise (Fiche INSEE, copie des statuts s'il y a lieu)
    • L'identité du responsable de l'entreprise (pièce d'identité)
    • Justificatif de domicile (facture EDF, TELECOM ou EAU)
    • Permis de conduire de catégorie C, EC du gérant et / ou chauffeur (s)
    • La conformité des véhicules (attestation d'assurance, carte grise, et procès-verbal de contrôle technique)
    • Certificat de Capacité Professionnelle Transport Marchandise

    Pour le dépôt de leur déclaration préalable, les transporteurs de marchandises et de déchets doivent se présenter aux bureaux du transport, situés au 2nd étage de l'immeuble du Port commerce de Galisbay-Bienvenue, et ouverts de 8h30 à 12h30 du Lundi au Vendredi. Toute information relative à la constitution du dossier de déclaration et d'inscription au registre sera apportée aux transporteurs concernés.

    Conformément à l'art .11 du décret n°98-679 relatif au transport par route de déchets, les entreprises non déclarées surprises en infraction s'exposent à une suspension de leur activité.

    Par ailleurs, une formation de régularisation à la capacité professionnelle des entrepreneurs de transport de marchandises de + de 3,5 tonnes, se déroulera, le Lundi 08 Octobre à 17h à l'immeuble le Raisinier et sera poursuivie du 09 au 12 Octobre 2012 au Centre Culturel de Sandy-Ground.

    Toute personne intéressée pourra se faire inscrire directement auprès du formateur « CABINET COACH », jusqu'à 16h45 à l'ouverture de la formation le lundi 08 Octobre 2012 à L'immeuble le Raisinier - Galisbay, rue du Boulevard Docteur Hubert PETIT - 97150 SAINT-MARTIN,.

    Cette formation est destinée, en exclusivité aux entrepreneurs déjà en activité, ou ayant entrepris auprès du Bureau du Transport une demande d'inscription au Registre des Transporteurs Collectivité de Saint-Martin – 97150 Saint-Martin.

  • COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE: Dépassements d'honoraires.

    Le Premier ministre se félicite de l'accord obtenu aujourd'hui avec les principaux syndicats signataires de la convention médicale sur l'encadrement des dépassements d'honoraires. Cet accord pourrait être unanime dans les prochains jours et marquer ainsi le rassemblement des toutes les parties concernés (assurance maladie, médecins, organismes complémentaires) autour de l'objectif de maîtrise des dépassements d'honoraires. Le montant des dépassements d'honoraires a ainsi plus que doublé en vingt ans, passant de 900 millions d'euros en 1990 à 2,5 milliards d'euros en 2010.
    Cet accord, qui traduit un engagement du Président de la République, va permettre de renforcer l'accès aux soins de tous les Français et de limiter les renoncements aux soins pour des raisons financières. Il met en place un dispositif renforcé et sécurisé de sanction des dépassements d'honoraires excessifs. Les personnes les plus fragiles, notamment les bénéficiaires de la CMU complémentaire et de l'aide à l'acquisition d'une complémentaire santé (ACS), ne pourront plus se faire opposer de dépassements d'honoraires. Cet accord met également en place un nouveau contrat d'accès aux soins par lequel le médecin adhérant s'engage à geler ses dépassements en contrepartie d'un meilleur remboursement de ses patients par la Sécurité sociale. Enfin, il engage une revalorisation de la médecine de secteur 1, notamment du médecin traitant, qui joue un rôle essentiel dans le suivi, la prévention et la qualité des soins. L'ensemble de ces mesures vise à faciliter le « parcours de soins » des Français.
    La démarche du gouvernement, fondée sur la concertation, a fait la preuve de son efficacité. Le Premier ministre souligne le sens des responsabilités des partenaires conventionnels, qui ont ainsi répondu à une attente forte des Français.

  • Interpellation des derniers membres de la bande ayant perpétré une série de vols à main armée au cours de l'été 2012.

    Une opération judiciaire réalisée le 05 septembre dernier, à Sandy-Ground avait abouti à l'interpellation de 3 personnes soupçonnées d'avoir participé à une série de vols à main armée commis au cours de l'été dernier dans les quartiers de Sandy-Ground et de Marigot. Deux des individus interpellés avaient été déferrés en Guadeloupe où ils ont été placés en détention provisoire. Les investigations réalisées consécutivement à cette opération judiciaire ont abouti à interpeller au cours du mois d'octobre les derniers membres de cette bande.
    La première interpellation est intervenue le 09 octobre dernier à Capesterre Belle Eau, en Guadeloupe, où un mineur de 17 ans originaire du quartier de Sandy-Ground avait été placé en famille d'accueil suite à différents délits commis à St Martin. Cette interpellation, réalisée conjointement par la brigade de recherche de St Martin et la compagnie de gendarmerie de Pointeà- Pitre, a abouti à la mise en examen et au placement sous contrôle judiciaire de l'intéressé, pour quatre vols à main armée avec arme à feu commis à St Martin entre le 27 juillet et le 23 août 2012.
    Une seconde interpellation, réalisée par la brigade de recherches de la gendarmerie de Saint-Martin, le peloton d'intervention de l'escadron de gendarmerie mobile de Bouliac et le concours du Psig de St Martin,est intervenue le 20 octobre 2012 à l'encontre d'un mineur de 16 ans. Celui-ci, soupçonné d'avoir incité les autres mis en cause à participer à des vols à main armés, est lui même mis en cause pour sa participation à 8 vols à main armée commis entre le 19 juillet et le 23 août sur des commerces de Marigot, Sandy-Ground, la Baie Nettlé, à Concordia et Agrément. Il est par aiellurs soupçonné d'avoir récemment commis des vols à l'arraché de bijoux dans l'agglomération de Marigot. Déferré en Guadeloupe le 21 octobre, l'individu a été placé en détention provisoire après avoir été mis en examen par le juge d'instruction ayant délivré une commission rogatoire à la gendarmerie pour enquêter sur cette série de faits.
    Ce sont au total 10 vols à main armée commis au cours de la période estivale qui ont été résolus grâce à cette enquête. Trois des quatre mis en cause, deux majeurs et un mineur, ont été placé en détention provisoire ; le quatrième, mineur, fait l'objet d'un contrôle judiciaire en Guadeloupe, mais risque néanmoins d'être condamné à une peine de prison.
    Depuis le début de l'année 2012, trente deux vols à main armée avec arme à feu ont au total été solutionné grâce au travail d'investigation du groupe « vol à main armée » de la brigade de recherches de la gendarmerie de St Martin. Ces investigations ont conduit à l'interpellation par les escadrons de gendarmerie mobile qui se succèdent sur le territoire et le PSIG de St Martin de vingt et un individus mis en cause pour vol à main armée. La plus part de ces mis en cause ont été déferrés et incarcérés en Guadeloupe.

  • Inflation.

    In the free Intro to Budgeting public workshops I gave in the districts of Dutch Quarter, Hope Estate, Cole Bay, and St Peters in collaboration with S.I.F.M.A and the "Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs" from August 28th to September 24th, one of the questions I asked the attendees was what is inflation. Practically all of the persons answered that it is the rise in prices or the rise in the cost of living. Another question I asked the attendees to write down an answer to is what in their minds they believe money to be. Many of the answers made me smile and giggle. Despite the smiling and giggling however many of the answers would indicate that we have a lot of work to do. It is my belief that just as you need a license to be able to drive a vehicle one should have some sort of license to be able to use money. I don't need to convince you of this because if you look at what is happening globally, enough evidence surrounds us.
    First of all, inflation is not rising prices. Rising prices is a symptom of inflation. Let me explain by way of a simple example from Chris Martison. "Suppose you are on a life raft (with a number of other persons) and somebody on board has an orange that they are willing to sell for money. Only one person in the raft has any money, and that's a single dollar. So the orange sells for a dollar. But wait! Just before it sells you find a ten dollar bill in your pocket. Now how much do you suppose the orange sells for? That's right, ten bucks. It's still the same orange right? Nothing about the utility or desirability of the orange has changed from one minute to the next, only the amount of money kicking around in the boat. But what would happen to the price if suddenly ten persons suddenly realized that they also have an orange and they are also willing to sell it? It would mean now that the total supply of oranges will be eleven (11) and the total amount of money within the raft will be eleven dollars ($11) which will bring the price right back to $1 per orange. And what's true within a tiny life raft is equally true across an entire nation. So we can make this claim: Inflation is, everywhere and always, a monetary phenomenon. Chris goes on to say: inflation is caused by the presence of too much money in relation to goods and services. What we experience are things going up in price, but in fact, inflation is really the value of your money going down simply because there's too much of it around." Chris is on the right path to explaining inflation but he left out a critical component which will be addressed in the following paragraph.
    How does this too much money come about? This is why reading various literatures for different points of thoughts are so critical because each part solves a piece of the puzzle. Thomas Greco explains how this "too" much money comes about. Greco goes on to explain that too much money comes about from improper issuance of it in the economy. But how is that accomplished and who might be responsible? "These are the possible inflators of money: Private counterfeiters, Central banks, Commercial banks, and Central governments. The vast majority of money however is created by commercial banks by the process of lending it into circulation. They have the power to make loans (issue money) on either a proper basis or an improper basis. It is not the amount of money per se that causes inflation, but the basis upon which it is created. Loans made on an improper basis have the effect of inflating the money supply. What would be an improper basis? An improper basis is any loan that does not put goods or services into the market either immediately or in the very near term. Commercial banks play a dual role. They act both as "depositories" and as "banks of issue." In their role of depository, banks lend out depositors' funds (your savings and mine) to those who have need of them. That may be for either consumption or the creation of new productive capacity (capital formation). When they do this, these deposits are temporarily no longer available for the depositor to access it. As banks for issue, they (should) create new deposits (money) on the basis of short-term commercial bills that accompany the delivery of goods to market. That's the way it is supposed to work. In practice, however, banks these days make little distinction between these two roles and commonly create deposits (money) by making loans to finance both the flow of goods and services into the market as well as making loans that take them out of the market. When a bank makes a loan for the purpose of financing consumer purchases or for investment in long-term productive assets, those newly created deposits, as oppose to using (existing) depository deposits (existing money), are inflationary because 1) consumer purchases do not accompany the delivery of goods and services to the market place and 2) long-term productive assets usually deliver goods and services to the marketplace only in the distant future, or not at all." –Adapted from: The End of Money and The future of Civilation, Thomas H. Greco, pages 62-64 -
    The bottom line is that only the monetary authority can cause inflation and only the monetary authority can stop it. The piper must be paid; the only question is, who will be made to foot the bill?

    Emilio Kalmera

  • Objection to the filling-in of the Great Salt Pond including but not limited to the filling-in of the Pond for the Drag Strip and the Cricket stadium.

    Honorable Minister Marlin,

    St. Maarten Pride Foundation has taken notice of the recent (and on-going) filling-in of the Great Salt Pond. The Foundation has no objections to the construction of a Drag Strip or a Cricket stadium on Sint Maarten. Pride does however strongly object to any and all filling-in of the Great Salt Pond, including the filling-in which has taken place for the construction of the proposed Drag Strip and the filling-in for the proposed Cricket stadium.

    The Foundation would like to remind the Minister of the following:

    • That the Preamble of the Constitution of Sint Maarten states: “WE, THE PEOPLE OF SINT MAARTEN”, (are)“…DETERMINED to care for the perpetual maintenance of nature and the environment”;
    • That Article 22 of the Constitution of Sint Maarten states that: “It shall be the constant concern of the government to keep the country habitable and to protect and improve the natural environment and the welfare of animals”;
    • That Netherlands Antilles laws on the protection of nature and environment have been taken over by Sint Maarten including the Landsverordening grondslagen natuurbeheer en –bescherming (P.B. 1998, 49)”;
    • The “Eilandsverordening natuurbeheer en- bescherming Sint Maarten (A.B. 2003,25)”.
    • That emission norms or standards have been drafted and implemented for Sint Maarten. “Lucht & Geluid, Water, Afvalwater, Afval, Afval, Eindrapport Milieunormen, 2007”.
    • That Sint Maarten is party to several international and regional environmental agreements, treaties and conventions. The following conventions, to which Sint Maarten is (indirectly) bound, are of significance to the protection of the Great Salt Pond;
    1. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). (1992)
    2. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. /The Ramsar Convention/ Convention on Wetlands. (1971)
    3. The Convention on Migratory Species, (CMS or Bonn Convention). (1979)
    4. The Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol of the Cartagena Convention, (1990)


    The Foundation is objecting to the filling-in of the Great Salt Pond based on the following reasons;

    The Great Salt Pond played a prominent role in both Sint Maarten’s and the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ history due to its immense size and its central location, particularly in the wide scale salt mining industry which started with the Dutch around 1631. Salt was collected from the Great Salt Pond and subsequently exported all over the world or locally used to conserve food. The last commercially significant salt reaping occurred in the 1940’s. Many Sint Maarteners are descendants of people who worked in the Great Salt Pond during and after slavery, a fact which makes the Pond an important aspect of the island’s and the Kingdom’s heritage.

    • The Great Salt Pond was identified and designated as a monument by the Executive Council of the Island Territory of Sint Maarten (BC Decision 040308, Arch nr. 1172-08) the monument was officially registered in 2009; in doing so, government acknowledged the cultural and historical significance of the area and committed to protecting it;
    • The construction of the Cricket stadium, as it is currently proposed, will destroy a large portion of the Great Salt Pond National monument ;
    • The Foundation is of the opinion that an undesirable precedent would be set if Government destroys an area which has been identified and designated as a national monument based on its cultural/ historical significance.

    The entire Great Salt Pond serves as a natural cache for much of the run-off water from surrounding hills. Government commissioned reports have advised government to expand the island’s rain water storage capacity. Even partially filling in the Great Salt Pond will significantly reduce water storage capacity and is likely to have drastic consequences for the surrounding areas as excess run-off water will lead to additional flooding of the already overburdened districts adjacent to the pond.

    Sint Maarten’s ponds (including parts of) the Great Salt Pond have been recommended for protection in reports such as The Ponds of Sint-Maarten, (Ecovision, 1996) and many other studies which concluded that the ponds are of ecological and environmental importance.

    • The entire Great Salt Pond is of crucial importance for the survival of many species of birds, fish and other wetland life; It is an important feeding, breeding and nesting area for numerous species of migratory and resident birds.
    • BirdLife International (de Vogelbescherming) has recognized the Great Salt Pond as one of the Caribbean’s “Important Bird Areas (IBA)”. IBAs are places of the highest global priority for bird and biodiversity conservation.

    “Great Salt Pond IBA is in south-central St. Maarten, on the outskirts of the capital Philipsburg....This IBA is significant for its population of Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla). Up to 5.800 gulls congregate at the IBA prior to the breeding season. About 50 pairs of Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) breed .... within the IBA.”

    (St. Maarten, Important Bird Areas In the Caribbean, Key sites for conservation, BirdLife International, 2008)


    The area is also of importance for the:
    1. White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis) a regionally threatened species experiencing declining populations due to habitat restriction,
    2. Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) which is found on only four other Lesser Antillean islands due to habitat restriction,
    3. Caribbean Coot (Fulica caribaea) a regionally threatened species experiencing declining populations due to habitat restriction,
    4. Sint Maarten’s national bird, the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), with up to 60 pairs known to breed in the Greater Great Bay Area.

    In addition to the aforementioned it should also be noted that the proposed location of the Drag Strip is in close proximity to a number of residential areas. Emissions and Noise pollution will likely exceed the norms for Sint Maarten as compiled in the government report: “Lucht & Geluid, Water, Afvalwater, Afval, Eindrapport Milieunormen 2007”.

    The constitution of Sint Maarten states the following: “It shall be the constant concern of the government to keep the country habitable and to protect and improve the natural environment and the welfare of animals”.

    It is for this reason inexcusable and incomprehensible that Government would commission the filling-in of the Great Salt Pond in the first place, moreover, that government would do so without following the proper stakeholder consultation, research and permitting procedures.
    Activities such as the illegal dumping of sand into the Great Salt Pond should not be condoned or legalized by Government after the fact. The Foundation therefore calls on Government to take appropriate measures towards the removal of the illegally dumped sand and the restoration of the effected areas. Additional measures such as the drafting and implementation of a Zoning Plan for the Great Salt Pond should be taken immediately to prevent any more filling-in of the Pond.

    Sint Maarten Pride Foundation reserves its right to review, revise and resubmit these objections in the event that permit requests are submitted for the filling-in of the Great Salt Pond.

     

    Sincerely,

    Sint Maarten Pride Foundation
  • Sint Maarten Needs to Plan for Climate Change.

    The impact of climate change will only be evident over the long term, spanning many election cycles, while the costs of preventive actions will be huge and must be paid up front. You cannot wait to see if it will happen, because then it would have already been too late, and the costs will be much more.

    Sint Maarten has to start planning today for climate change. It must be placed on the political agenda today! Some may say what silliness is this, but climate change is real and it won't be going anywhere.

    Climate change: refers to the long-term shift in overall weather conditions over a period of time. The type of impact varies per country. The warming of the earth changes weather patterns, increasing the severity and frequency of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and hurricanes. Higher temperatures causes the ice caps in the North and South poles to melt which results in an increase in sea-levels around the globe, therefore threatening low-lying areas. Other impacts will be on the natural habitats of animals and plant species, and effects on food crop production.

    Everybody is aware of the investments that must be made when building a home or a business with respect to the threat that hurricanes pose to our islands. Your structure must be able to sustain a category three hurricane minimum. Hurricane Luis thought us a lesson to invest.

    Planning and preparing for climate change is the same thing. However, there is a difference. The investment is made for the long-term, and for the sustainability of future generations of Sint Maarteners. It is an investment into our children and their children's children, by maintaining a secure sustainable living environment for our future generations.

    To ensure that Sint Maarten is prepared and ready for climate change threats and opportunities, a dedicated organization should be established – "Sint Maarten National Climate Change Secretariat (SNCCS). This should fall under the Office of the Prime Minister.

    The objective of SNCCS is to coordinate climate change policies across government agencies and ensure that plans are prepared and progress tracked and monitored. The secretariat would also deal with climate change issues within the Kingdom and with international organizations. The SNCCS would also coordinate local mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change.

    Our country is a small island with very limited natural resources. The impact of climate change, including sea level rise, will be very serious, and therefore we need to take the issue of climate change very seriously. Climate change presents opportunities, but we have to prepare for the challenges.

    Climate change is not only a government issue. It is also an issue for the private sector and the non-governmental organization sector. A permanent committee on Climate Change needs to also be established by the Parliament of Sint Maarten. Parliamentarians also have a role to play in preparing the nation for the long-term impacts of climate change where investments in preparation have to start within this decade.

    With respect to mitigation measures, small steps are being taken. The private sector must be commended for taking initiatives in wind and solar energy as well as LED lights to lessen our countries foot print on the environment. These are steps in the right direction to run energy efficient operations and facilities. The past UP-led Government and the current NA-led Government have indicated initiatives related to alternative clean energy solutions. The public, private and NGO sectors need to come together to develop the "Sustainable Sint Maarten Blueprint (SSxB)," an initiative that represents a national effort to reduce our energy dependence.

    Besides mitigation measures, the next major effort is adaptation measures. As a low-lying, densely populated island in the tropics, we are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. These impacts according to international studies that have been carried out are temperature extremes, heavy rainfall events, sea rise levels, stronger hurricanes etc.

    If we had the SNCCS, one of the first steps would be to undertake vulnerability studies to better understand long-term physical impacts such as sea level rise, temperature increases etc would have on our country. Uncertainties remain on the extent of climate change and the timing in which it will unfold, hence the importance of having an SNCCS, and planning from now.

    Sint Maarten is not immune to climate change. It is very much a concern to us and the wider Caribbean region.

    Roddy Heyliger

  • Dutch Government wants TOT Exemptions for BES Islands --- Finance Minister Discussing.

    rolandtuitt31102012Philipsburg:--- Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt told reporters on Wednesday during the Council of Ministers' press briefing that he informed the Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Liesbeth Spies that the government of St. Maarten intends to reopen the discussions on the debt relief for St. Maarten when the new government takes office next week. Minister Tuitt said that he informed the Minister that since 10/10/10 the promises that were made by the Netherlands were not kept. These promises were to establish certain departments that were not on St. Maarten and to also provide technical assistance and guidance to establish these departments locally. He said thus far neither Curacao or the Netherlands have maintained their promise regarding the debt relief and assistance.

    Tuitt said that the Dutch government wants St. Maarten to remove the Turn Over Taxes (TOT) from all citizens residing in the BES islands. The Finance Minister said the discussion on this matter is ongoing, however, he wants the Dutch government to reopen the discussion on the debt relief for St. Maarten and make good on their promise to provide assistance and guidance to St. Maarten since 10/10/10.

    The Finance Minister said that most residents on the BES islands purchase their goods at one location on St. Maarten and St. Maarten does not keep records of how much TOT the BES islands resident's pays to St. Maarten. He said he would have to get the information and data from the BES islands now that they are in discussion about the elimination of TOT for the BES islands. He made clear that St. Maarten would only consider and grant the request of the Dutch if they agreed to the demands of St. Maarten regarding debt relief and technical assistance in building certain departments locally.

    TEMPO Turn 7 Contract Finalized --- $300,000.00 already paid out.

    The Finance Minister also confirmed on Wednesday that the contract with TEMPO for Tempo Turns 7 is complete and the government of St. Maarten has already paid out the sum of $300,000.00 to TEMPO while they will pay the final $100,000.00 when the shows are completed.

    When asked by SMN News where did the government of St. Maarten find the monies to finance TEMPO, Minister Tuitt said the monies were taken from what was budgeted for Tourism.

    When SMN News asked the Minister of Finance if St. Maarten is getting the amount of coverage it is paying for and if he knows how much monies the French side of the island paid into TEMPO Turns 7, Tuitt said that he does not know how much the French side contributed but he assured that there are people checking the shows to ensure that TEMPO delivers what it promised based on the signed contract.

    No Increase of TOT --- Overhauling of Tax System.

    Both the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt and Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams assured reporters on Wednesday that the government of St. Maarten has not taken any decisions on increasing TOT to fill the budget gaps and clear debts for 2013. Tuitt said that he is still of the opinion that if everyone pays their fair share of taxes then St. Maarten would have more than enough monies in its coffers to cover its budget expenditures. Tuitt said right now St. Maarten is faced with the debts of the past two years. However, he intends to discuss the matter with the CFT and to see if it is possible for St. Maarten to spread its debt over a five year period.
    Wescot Williams added that the news about the possible increase of TOT created quite a panic within the community. She said so far the Minister and Finance and her have been discussing the restructuring of the tax system.

     

  • Court Condemned Central Bank for CKC victims --- says Central Bank Failed to Supervise and did not insure the Banks on St. Maarten.

    Philipsburg:--- The Court of First Instance ruled in favor of the people who were victims of Christian Kingdom Cooperative (CKC) on Tuesday. The court found that the Central Bank was negligent in supervising CKC even though they knew that the operations of the bank were in jeopardy for over four years. The judge in his ruling said the Central Bank sat down and did not intervene.

    The Central Bank did not respond to the court's request to show what type of measures they took when they found out that the savings of the CKC membership was in jeopardy.

    The court dismissed the case that was filed against the government of St. Maarten since they found that the successor of the Central Bank also involves Curacao. Basically the joint Central Bank of the Netherlands Antilles is under Curacao and St. Maarten. However, the court issued a strong warning to the government of St. Maarten indicating to them that they can be held liable in the future if they fail to ensure that the Central Bank has an insurance in place for all banks and insurance companies on the island.

    The plantiff also sent a letter to the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt to advice the Central Bank not to appeal the verdict rendered against them. CKC declared bankruptcy in the year 2010. In the letter, one of the account holders pleaded with the government of St. Maarten to consider the type of message appealing the verdict would send to the inhabitants of St. Maarten should another bank file bankruptcy, while appealing the verdict would hinder the good governance policy.

    Click here to view the Court decision rendered on October 30th, 2012 against the Central Bank.

    Click here to view the letter sent to the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt.

  • Cay Hill School Road Open Wednesday Morning.

    newcayhillschoolroadopen30102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Head of New Projects Development & Planning at the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Kurt Ruan, on Tuesday evening said that the access road to the Hillside Christian School Asha Stevens Campus in Cay Hill will be accessible to vehicular traffic of teachers and parents as of Wednesday morning.

    On Tuesday the road infrastructure was inspected which allowed for the okay to be given for its usage. The road is a one way road and is only accessible from the entrance road (Jackal road) leading to the Sint Maarten Medical Center.

  • Two youngsters stabbed in Dutch Quarter.

    stabbingfillin24102012Dutch Quarter:--- On Monday October 29th, 2012 at approximately 01:10 am police patrols and detectives were directed to Madrid road in Dutch Quarter for a stabbing incident. On the scene the investigating officers encountered two young men with initials S.E.B. and J.A.G. both from Sint Maarten who were bleeding from stab wounds. S.E.B. suffered a stab wound to his chest J.A.G. a stab wound to his back. In first instance the victims refused to cooperate with the investigation however later stated to the officers that they were involved in a fight with another youngster who used a piece of broken bottle to stab both victims. The incident took place at a bar on that same street. On the arrival of the officers the suspect fled the scene. Both victims were treated on the scene by paramedics and transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for treatment. This case is under investigation.

    KPSM Police Report

  • Shots fired in Fort Willem.

    confiscatedrevolver30102012Fort Willem:--- On Monday October 29th, 2012 at approximately 10:05pm, several police patrols and detectives were sent to Fort Willem road to investigate a situation whereby at least four gunshots were fired. When the patrols arrived on the scene the saw a small white vehicle with the license plate P-7859 parked on the side of the street with the doors open. A man that was sitting in the car took-off running when he saw the police approaching. Three other men that were standing in the immediate vicinity of this car remained standing. As the investigating officers exited their vehicle they saw a silver colored revolver on the ground next to the car. All three men standing on the scene denied having any knowledge as to who this weapon belonged to or where it came from. The weapon was confiscated for further investigation by the Forensic Department. All three men with initials D.M. (29), M.J.E. (20), and J.W.E. (16) were arrested on the scene and taken to the Philipsburg Police Station. During a search of the vehicle a brown leather bag was found. This bag contained several small plastic bags containing marijuana prepared for distribution. The marijuana was also confiscated for further investigation.

    KPSM Police Report

  • Fire destroys apartment in Sucker Garden.

    Sucker Garden:--- On Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at approximately 12:30am several police patrols and detectives were directed to an apartment building located at Pin Cushion Cactus Drive #17 for a fire. On the scene the investigating officers saw that an apartment on the upper floor of the building was on fire. The fire department arrived on the scene and put the blaze out. The owner of the apartment with initials J.J.H. stated that he left his home at approximately 08:00 pm and all in was in order. He has no idea what could have caused the fired. The Forensic department is busy collecting evidence to determine the exact cause of the fire.

    KPSM Police Report

  • SER advises government to designate PJL as ‘National Library of Sint Maarten’.

    In response to the need for country Sint Maarten to have a National Library in place, the SER by way of an advice letter to government recommends the Philipsburg Jubilee Library to be designated the National Library of Sint Maarten. This follows the usual state of affairs in many Caribbean countries, where the main public library carries the additional national tasks, consisting of collection and preservation of all publications produced in the country or authored by its citizens, providing universal access to the national collections, and seeking cooperation with and offering support to similar institutions nationally and internationally. A National Library is a cornerstone in the cultural and educational development of each newly formed country.

    As the advice states: "The SER is of the opinion that the establishment of a National Library is of crucial importance for the further development of the country and its people." The initiative to submit an advice to this effect to government originated with SER member and WICSU/PSU representative William Reed, and was unanimously carried by the council.

    The SER stresses that not only should the budget and subsidy of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library reflect the newly added tasks, the building and physical infrastructure should be brought up to par with the National Library status as well. "Furthermore, the board stressed the necessity to adapt and improve the Library's infrastructure and building to be able to successfully carry the additional responsibilities and execute the additional tasks. The board expressed a clear feeling that the present accommodation of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library is insufficient for its current tasks, and certainly a new or renovated building would be necessary to successfully carry the National Library tasks."

    The SER advice was submitted to the Prime Minister in the form of an advice letter on Friday, October 26. The full text is downloadable from www.sersxm.org

  • SMUMF Cannot Support TEMPO Celebrations.

    Philipsburg:--- When the Saint Martin United Ministerial Foundation (SMUMF) was introduced to the concep of TEMPO, Board saw it as an ideal opportunity to reach the
    masses for Christ since it is the Church's mandate to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. However, the Church's message has to be a consistent one to our youth as well as to the general public. TEMPO TURN 7 is being promoted as a total package with one night devoted to a religious celebration. SMUMF has no direct influence over the content and qualrty of the entertainment or the artistes during the other trightr and as such is unable to give its blessing to TEMPO's anniversary program. SMUMF believes in using the media to present the gospel of Jesus Christ. This gospel message, in whatever form however, must not be mixed with aspects of entertainment that go against biblical principles.

    SMUMF Press Release

  • Central Committee of Parliament to meet on Friday with Minister of Justice.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- The Central Committee of Parliament will meet in public session on November 02. The Minister of Justice will make a presentation about the Justice Park.

    The meeting will take place on Friday afternoon at 2:00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

    The Minister of Justice had requested the meeting with the Central Committee of Parliament.

    The central committee session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.

  • UP Leader Theo Heyliger Speaks about Crime.

    theyliger04032012The armed robbery last week Friday of the L'Escargot Restaurant owners and two tourists is once again a wake-up call for the Sint Maarten community and law enforcement officials.

    I wish the owner Joel Morand and his wife Sonya Morand much strength as they both recover from their injured sustained in the armed robbery.

    The husband suffered a gunshot wound to the back and ear while the wife suffered a broken ankle.
    I have known the owners since I was a young boy and have always enjoyed there great cuisine. The restaurant is part and parcel of our tourism sector and has grown with the tourism industry over a period of 40-years.

    Crime seems to be escalating with additional armed broad-daylight robberies taking place on a near daily basis. Something has to be done and I call on the Minister of Justice to present a plan with respect to dealing with the spate of armed robberies.

    Theo Heyliger
    Leader of the United Peoples (UP) Party
    Former Vice Prime Minister

  • Student Support Services hosts parent session on ‘Individual Education Plans’.

    Philipsburg (DCOMM):--- Parents of elementary school children are invited to attend an information session being offered by the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs.
    The workshop for parents entitled 'Individual Education Plans – How to partner with your child's school' will be held on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at the Training and Development Center (TDC) above UTS in Philipsburg (Codville Webster Road #2) from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.
    The target group of this workshop is parents of children in primary school who are experiencing learning difficulties in the school setting. Parents will also be provided with information on how to partner with the schools and SSSD to ensure the academic success of their children who are experiencing learning difficulties and/or behavioral challenges.
    An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a documented plan including individualized goals with measurable objectives, adaptations and/or modifications where appropriate, the strategies to meet these goals, and measures for tracking student achievement in relation to the goals. It also documents the special services being provided as these relate to the student's identified needs. The IEP serves as a tool for collaborative planning among the school, the parents, the student (where appropriate) and SSSD.
    The facilitator of this workshop is Ms. Doreatha Cook, M. Ed. Ms. Cook is an educational consultant in special education advocacy, administration and disability management for ages birth to adulthood. Ms. Cook received her M. Ed in Early Childhood Special Education from Auburn University and received her degree as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst from Pennsylvania State University.
    According to SSSD officials, parents are urged to attend and take advantage of the tips and recommendations that Mrs. Cook will be highlighting. Seating is limited and parents are encouraged to be on time. The workshop is free of charge and refreshments will be provided.
    The Student Support Services Division is the referral point for the public and subsidized schools on St. Maarten. Programs and/or services that fall under the auspices of SSSD includes: Speech Therapy Services, Psychological Services, Counseling Services, Social Work Services, Educational Diagnostic Services, Career Guidance Services and Parent Education. The motto of SSSD is: "If every child must learn, then every parent, family and community must be a part of the process."

  • Education Ministry Hosts Summit for School Managers and Coordinators.

    sjacobsatschoolmanagerssummit30102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Ministry of Education Culture, Youth and Sports hosted the Education Summit for School Managers and Coordinators. This Summit is part of the 3rd installment of the 'Turning Challenges into Stepping Stones' Summit series.

    Approximately 50 school managers and coordinators from both primary and secondary schools were invited to present their challenges and solutions for the improvement of Education on St. Maarten.

    The school manager's summit was held at the University of St. Maarten. The format for this summit differed from the teacher's summit in the sense that school managers were asked to present their challenges and solutions on three topics: Communication, Finances, and Personnel.

    Each School had a maximum of eight minutes to present their challenges and solutions. Specific challenges such as shortage of qualified personnel, high turnover of teachers on a yearly basis and insufficient funds for day to day operations and teacher qualification were frequently reoccurring topics.

    A large consensus of Managers and Coordinators are in favor of drafting local teachers by way of starting recruitment drive.

    Suggestions for a teachers training college were also mentioned.

    Another focal discussion point at the summit was that of the FBE exit exams and the total FBE structure in the primary schools.

    The high school managers expressed concern over the lack of local input in the national exams.

    Closing remarks were rendered by the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, who thanked the school Managers and Coordinators for their honesty.

    In addition some of the challenges presented were immediately addressed by the Minister with updates about their status and progress.

    The Minister stressed on the importance of having the input of all stakeholders in education as this would be a key component in implementing sustainable changes to the current educational system.

  • WIEMS conducts training for Airport Staff on CPR.

    pjiaestaffduringcprtraining30102012SIMPSON BAY:--- Staff of the Princess Juliana International Airport operating company (PJIAE), began a three-day CPR AED Certification Course on Monday, October 29, 2012, which is specially designed for them and conducted by the Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS).

    Participants will learn how and when to use CPR and Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs. The newly acquired AEDs are being installed this week at the airport, therefore the staff must be educated on how to use them in the event of an emergency.

    The training, which has a theoretical as well as a practical component, is based on the American Heart Association guidelines. It also includes a video presentation titled, "Heart Saver First Aid CPR AED" by the American Heart Association. The instructor is Mr. Merlin Aventurin, Medical Field Commander of the Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS).

    "This is part of our ongoing efforts to put safety first in all our operations," said PJIAE Director of Operations, Larry Donker.

    The participants, who are drawn from the Quality Assurance, Fire, Security, Business Class Lounge (BCL), Human Resources, and Customer Service departments of the airport, will learn how to apply their training to children and adults. The next two sessions will be held on Wednesday, October 31 and Thursday, November 1, 2012, from 9 am – 12 noon.

  • PUBLIC NOTICE: ST. MAARTEN ACADEMY BINGO.

    Place: St. Maarten Academy Gym (next to Sheik)
    Date: Saturday, November 3, 2012
    Time: 7:30pm – midnight
    Tickets: $10

    Prizes: household appliances, round trip tickets, jewellery, weekend resort stays, and many more.

    Contact PTF President, Mr. Henderson Williams on 553-4634; or Vice President, Mr. Elroy Hughes on 522-6365; or the Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Carmen Lake-Reyes on 520-0015.

  • MP Gracita Arrindell speaks about crime and recent surge in gun violence.

    garrindell23122011Several business people over the years have succumbed to armed robberies due to gun violence. Last week Friday once again, gun violence took place where a restaurant owner was injured. The owner of L'Escargot Restaurant was shot by one of two assailants who waited until the restaurant closed. Besides the owner of the restaurant, also present was his wife and two tourist friends.

    This armed robbery could have had a tragic ending similar to the double murder in Cupecoy in the third week of September. My prayers go out as well to the victims of this latest assault on the victims, our business community, and our Country.

    Many homes in the past have been through the process of a home invasion experience in our neighbourhoods.

    I commend the communities of Beacon Hill, Maho and Cupecoy for coming together to form the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Council of Beacon Hill/Maho/Cupecoy. This group also organized the first 'Get to know your Neighbour' event over the past weekend. The initiative is to create safer communities and this effort should be copied by other communities on the island which can work together with our community police officers in fighting crime in our neighbourhoods.

    I am calling on the Minister of Justice to review current crime fighting measures. As one group is captured, another group becomes active, and our community is feeling unsafe. Our tourists are feeling unsafe. Our business people are targets and are feeling unsafe. We cannot allow this to continue!

    We are heading into the high tourist season and we need to see some form of action that is based on a strategy, and it must be a sustainable long-term action plan and not a short-term intervention as has been the case in the past. Where are the controls of vehicles especially during evening hours? In the past the authorities have confiscated a number of weapons including guns. One less gun on the road means one less crime is committed. Why don't we have these controls anymore? Parliament needs to be informed on this matter.

    With respect to immigration; as one criminal group is apprehended, another one creeps up and starts a wave of crime.

    The community wants to know if these criminals are entering the country illegally, and/ or they are lawfully entering the country and overstaying their welcome. If either one is the case, what is being done to deal with these criminals? Investments have been made in border control efforts and the Coast Guard also plays a role in this area. Perhaps additional tools may be needed by law enforcement. If the Honorable Minister of Justice needs additional tools to deal more effectively with this worrisome situation and if it requires amending certain laws, we would like to know and act swiftly.

    Last week the Prime Minister announced that Immigration Services has reached a level where the Plan of Approach attached to the operations of the services is no longer needed. Parliament and by extension the people now need to be informed about the status of our country's immigration services.

    I too share with many the grave concern regarding the surge of barkers. Our citizens, including taxi drivers must know what corrective and or deterred measures are taken to deal with and avoid this recurrent unruly situation. It is downright unacceptable.

    The surge of barkers came last week when four cruise ships were in port with more than 20,000 passengers. I would like to know what is being done with respect to this matter especially with the high season not far off. Do these barkers and vendors of merchandise have permits to ply their merchandise? What is the status of controls? What is the planning for the upcoming season?
    We have to protect our cruise tourism industry and the visitor experience must not be overshadowed by overzealous people who can put our tourism (cruise) industry in jeopardy. As a people we cannot tolerate this.

    Hon. Gracita Arrindell
    Member of Parliament
    United Peoples (UP) Party

  • Political Rumors Caused Ruckus on St. Maarten --- Several persons that were promised Bus and Taxi Licenses panicked about the possible fall of Government.

    Philipsburg:--- Constant rumors and an unfounded news article published by one of the news agencies on Monday morning caused a ruckus among the St. Maarten population. The article claimed that the present National Alliance, Democratic Party, and IND government is in trouble and there is a shake up that is imminent. The article went as far as saying that the persons that are expected to form the third coalition since St. Maarten became a country are planning to send home the current Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams.

    Politicians that are part of the current government said the article is unfounded and has no basis. They further explained that certain people who lost power in government some months ago have been spreading constant rumors. They said one such rumor that was placed in the public domain was that one of the Independent members of Parliament pointed a gun at Deputy Prime Minister William Marlin in a bathroom. "The people of St. Maarten seem to forget that "Golden Boy" said he will give the current coalition government seven months in office and October makes it seven months since the UP/DP Government fell. In our opinion the Golden Boy has people working for him in the media."

    A BlackBerry broadcast message was also sent out on Monday which caused confusion at the Department of Public Transportation because several persons that were promised taxi and bus licenses rushed to the department to see if their permits were signed off. Civil servants at the department said they were bombarded with calls about their licenses which are now stuck on the desk of the Department Head Martha Thewet. Sources within the public transportation department told SMN News that the Minister of Transportation had his assistant send an email to the department ordering them to prepare licenses for certain persons but when the news broke on SMN News, the department head asked the Minister to provide her with a written request to process the permits which they have already prepared. That written request they said is not forthcoming therefore the licenses will not be delivered.

    SMN News learnt that while current coalition is having serious problems regarding how to balance the budget and the illegal filling in of the Great Salt Pond there has been no major issues that would throw the government down now. "Yes, there are disagreements in government especially regarding the drag strip and the filling in of the Great Salt Pond, but there is no indication that the government would dismantle right now. An independent member of Parliament has been making demands to get the TEMPO Turn 7 off the ground and to certain things his way but apart from that the current coalition government is busy working on the affairs of the people of St. Maarten.

    In an invited comment, Deputy Prime Minister William Marlin said that the National Alliance is not involved in any discussions with any other political party to form a new government. Marlin said as far as he is concerned the current coalition is solid and not in jeopardy.

  • Naturalized Guyanese and American in Custody for Defrauding Soggy Dollar Bar --- $400,000.00 stolen.

    fraud01082012Philipsburg:--- Two Guyanese nationals that are naturalized Dutch citizens and an American who is also a naturalized Dutch citizen (two females and one male) remain in police custody for defrauding Soggy Dollar Bar located at the La Palapa Center. According to well placed sources, the suspects stole cheques from the company which they used for extensive traveling purposes to the Dominican Republic and Guyana. SMN News has been reliably informed that the women who claimed that they were being abused by the owner of the company traveled to the Dominican Republic where they did surgeries on their breasts and other areas of their bodies.

    The source said the culprits also bought an apartment and a store with the monies they stole from the company over a period of time. SMN News further learnt that the fraud was orchestrated by the male who happens to be a Guyanese national who now holds a Dutch passport and is residing on St. Maarten.

    Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos told SMN News last week that the three culprits were St. Maarteners. In a follow up interview on Monday Mos said thus far the suspects stole $400,000.00 from the company. When asked by SMN News if the suspects used the monies to travel overseas for cosmetic surgeries and if they bought an apartment and store, Mos said he will not confirm the information SMN News received.

  • Dutch navy intercepts 840 kg cocaine.

    confiscatedcocaine29102012In an ambitious effort led by the Dutch Navy HNLMS Van Amstel intercepted 42 bales of drugs during a counter drugs patrol in the Caribbean Sea. In close cooperation with the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard unit, the maritime patrol aircraft Dash 8, the ship disrupted a drugs transport of 840 kg of cocaine.

    In the evening of October 26th the Dash 8 spotted a go fast close to the operation area of HNLMS Van Amstel. The Van Amstel launched it's Rhib, a fast rubber motorboat into the water, with on board the Law Enforcement Detachment of the US Coastguard which is part of the crew of HNLMS Van Amstel during counter drugs operations. During the pursuit the boat threw several bales into the water. While HNLMS Van Amstel pursued the go fast, a second Rhib was launched into the water to pick up the packages. HNLMS Van Amstel picked up 42 bales out of the water. A drugs test proved that the bales contained cocaine.

    The successful action of HNLMS Van Amstel is in concert with the international operation Martillo aimed against the illicit drug trade. Since September this year HNLMS Van Amstel is the Guard Ship of the Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean. The Dutch Navy and Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard are an integral part of the international struggle against the illicit drug trade. Operation Martillo is a multi-national collaborative effort to counter the spread of transnational organized crime in Central America. The operation is lead by the Joint Inter-agency Task Force South in Key West, Florida and denies organized crime networks the ability to conduct illicit trafficking via air and at sea. The Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean is part of the Joint Inter-agency Task Force South, as the subordinate commander of Task Group 4.4.

    Royal Netherlands Navy Press Release

  • Airport Sporting Club wins dominoes and indoor football slam.

    sxmsportingclubteamandgebeteam29102012SIMPSON BAY:--- The SXM Sporting Club emerged among the winners of the "Airport Slam Games 2012" that ended Sunday night at the John Cooper-Jose Lake, Sr. Ballpark.

    The Sporting Club is now the champion of both the dominoes and indoor soccer divisions after competing with teams from Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport and the St. Maarten utility company GEBE.

    GEBE took home the dominoes and indoor fooyball sub-champion trophies. The four-day series of games were hosted by the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) and organized by the airport's Sporting Club.

    The participating teams came from Queen Beatrix International Airport, GEBE, WIB, Police, Fire Department, and SXM. Indoor soccer, dominoes, volleyball, and softball filled out the list of the competing sports.

    The games were held at the L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium and the John Cooper-Jose Lake, Sr. Ballpark, according to Evans J. Marsham, president of the SXM Sporting Club.

  • Minister of Finance concludes tax treaty with India, Costa Rica, and the Czech Republic.

    rtuittandradimblaha29102012Cape Town, South Africa:--- The Minister of Finance, Hon. Mr. Roland S. Tuitt MBA CPA, has concluded Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA's) with India, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic. The purpose of these bilateral agreements is to promote international co-operation in tax matters through exchange of information. The TIEA allows for Sint Maarten and respectively India, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic to work closely together on a full range of tax issues, including combating and preventing tax fraud and tax evasion. The TIEA provides for information exchange upon request and direct cooperation between the countries' tax authorities. The strengthened international co-operation on tax matters between countries ensures better enforcement of the tax laws, thus improving tax compliance.

    Sint Maarten's network of international agreements on exchange of information has been expanding rapidly since 2009. With the conclusion of these two TIEA's, which have been negotiated during the last two months, Sint Maarten has exchange of information relationships with 53 jurisdictions to date.

  • Minister of Finance welcomes the positive outcome of Sint Maarten’s OECD Assessment --- Sint Maarten to receive support on tax-related matters.

    Philipsburg:--- On 26-27 October 2012, the Minister of Finance Hon. Mr. Roland S. Tuitt MBA CPA, attended the fifth meeting of the OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) in Cape Town, South Africa. During the meeting, the Global Forum adopted the Sint Maarten's Phase 1 Peer Review Report, which summarizes the legal and regulatory framework for transparency and exchange of information of Sint Maarten. Sint Maarten's report concludes that all the assessed elements of Sint Maarten's legal and regulatory framework are in place, with only a few recommendations on further improvement to implement the international standard more effectively.

    The Minister of Finance welcomes the positive outcome of Sint Maarten's Phase I Peer Review assessment and believes that the report is one that Sint Maarten can truly be proud of. Being the last assessed country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands to be reviewed, Sint Maarten had the privilege to draw on the experiences of Aruba, Curacao and the Netherlands in their peer review processes. "This has helped us to identify the strengths and shortcomings that exist in our legal and regulatory framework. As a result, the government of Sint Maarten was able to proactively address these shortcomings and produced the best report within the Kingdom of the Netherlands!".

    The Global Forum is the multilateral framework within which work in the area transparency and exchange of information is carried out by over 110 member countries, who participate in the Global Forum on an equal footing. The Netherlands Antilles, now succeeded by Sint Maarten, has been a valued member of the Global Forum since 2001.

    Minister Tuitt stated that the Global Forum and OECD network will assist Sint Maarten as the government continues to work on improving tax compliance, preventing tax leakage, and improving the tax system by making it more simple, fair and balanced. This will ultimately be to the benefit of both the government and the tax payers of Sint Maarten in the long run by increasing overall tax revenues while reducing the individual tax burden for tax payers.

  • GEBE PUBLIC NOTICE: MIDDLE REGION AREA.

    N.V. G.E.B.E. regrets to inform the general public that the ELECTRICITY supply to:

    MIDDLE REGION area

    (Middle Region Rd. from A.T. Illigde Rd. until Ellis Rd.)

    Will be interrupted on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 from 9:00 am until 12:00pm. This outage will allow us to carry out necessary maintenance to our Distribution system. N.V. G.E.B.E apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

  • Great prizes this Saturday as St. Maarten Academy PTF hosts annual bingo.

    CUL DE SAC:--- The St. Maarten Academy Parent Teachers Foundation (PTF) will be hosting its annual bingo on Saturday, November 3, 2012 and patrons can expect to receive some great prizes.

    The bingo will start at 7:30 pm sharp and wrap up at midnight. There will be lots of food and drinks on sale.

    Among the prizes are round trip tickets to St. Kitts from Winair, a gas range from Casino Royale, two-night stays at various reports on the island, including Sonesta Maho, Oyster Pond Resort, Bel Air Beach Resort, The Summit, and The Towers, to name a few.

    There are lunch and dinner vouchers from Great Bay Resort, Plantation Grill and Bar, Canoa, Jimbo's, Boathouse, and other restaurants. Additional prizes include a range of electronic devices, jewellery, fragrances, and household items.

    The PTF wants to thank the business community for their support and is inviting the public to come out to the bingo, not only to win these great prizes, but also to have fun, and to support the St. Maarten Academy.

    Funds raised at this event will be reinvested in the students to get them great mementos at graduation and during Honour Roll ceremonies, among other things. Other projects being pursued by the PTF include buying a generator and installing a security and surveillance system at the school.

    The PTF is still soliciting cash prizes and other donations. Any individual or company willing to donate to this worthy cause can contact PTF President, Mr. Henderson Williams on 553-4634; or Vice President, Mr. Elroy Hughes on 522-6365; or the Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Carmen Lake-Reyes on 520-0015.

  • CARIBBEAN NETWORK SET TO CELEBRATE ANNIVERSARY EVENTS NEXT MONTH.

    TEMPO Networks to produce seven days of Caribbean tributes.

    NEW JERSEY, USA:--- Spiritual revitalization, youth encouragement, respect for elders, the role of women, and the vibrancy of Caribbean culture merge during the seventh anniversary celebrations of leading Caribbean media and entertainment company, TEMPO Networks, next month.

    The island of St. Maarten in the Dutch Caribbean will hum from November 25 through December 1, 2012 as TEMPO Turns 7 anniversary celebrations feature world class entertainers, all of whom will be announced later this week.

    On Sunday, November 25, a "Rise and Shine" thanksgiving celebration will be presided over during the opening ceremonies by local and regional ministers and pastors who will share insights on the highly-anticipated seven principles of TEMPO. Local choirs, gospel performers will be featured as well as performances by several inspirational and popular regional musicians.

    The following day at the same location, the network will produce "TEMPO KIDS RULE", a partnership with the St. Maarten Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs where "Badness Outta Style" principles will be shared with primary school students. TEMPO's popular JJ and Friends on-air program - which highlights the importance of education, teamwork, punctuality and discipline - will be featured. The interactive presentation will also be attended by members of the local public and private sectors. Specially invited artistes will perform and the event will be repeated the following day for secondary school students with additional guest artistes.

    On Wednesday November 28, the "NEVER TOO OLD TO TEMPO" celebration, at White-Yellow Cross Foundation, will salute senior citizens, "key pillars of Caribbean communities, but often forgotten by most event and entertainment planners," according to Frederick A. Morton, Jr., Founder, Chairman and CEO of TEMPO Networks. "TEMPO not only recognizes the importance of our seniors, but pays tribute to their amazing work that has contributed to the Caribbean as we know it." The St. Martin's Home, where many seniors reside, will come alive with food, drinks and a top class guest performer.

    Thursday, November 29 features the opening party for the weekend festivities: Frederick Morton's All-White TEMPO Party featuring local and regional celebrities, and hosted by a special surprise guest. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and greet the performers and win prizes.

    On Friday night, TEMPO celebrates the Caribbean woman under the theme "I am TEMPO -Girl Power!" Top female entertainers will headline this event. "Wives, mothers, girlfriends, aunties, daughters, sisters - all Caribbean women will be honored for being the bedrock of the Caribbean family and community," said Morton who encouraged men to show how much they love the women in their lives by "showering them with gifts and treating them to a special night they so deserve."

    On Saturday, December 1, TEMPO presents the very best in local, regional and international entertainment at the "I AM TEMPO - Caribbean Rising" finale concert. The TEMPO Turns 7 week of events, Morton notes, will culminate in a dynamic concert aimed at bringing light to the power of the region to attract the very best of everything. "The importance of being proud of our culture and creating a top notch tourism experience that extols our extraordinary virtues and promotes our unique attributes will be underscored."

    For more information, stay tuned to TEMPO or visit www.gotTEMPO.com.

    TEMPO is available on your local Caribbean cable channel and on Channel 1105 on Optimum TV. Tune in regularly for the very best in Caribbean programming.

  • Hurricane Sandy forces JetBlue to cancel flights to SXM Monday and Tuesday.

    pjiae28062012SIMPSON BAY:--- Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to make landfall later tonight in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, has forced the cancellation of several flights, some of which were bound for Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM).

    JetBlue, the only carrier currently offering daily direct service from New York's JFK, has confirmed the cancellation of its Monday and Tuesday flight 788 and recommends that its passengers contact JetBlue's reservations department at 546-7796 for assistance.

    The airport's Operations Department, however, has advised that up till the time of this release, all other carriers are operating as scheduled. It is important to note that United's service from Newark only operates on Saturdays for now, while American's service from JFK returns around November 15.

    Passengers are urged to contact the airlines directly for further information concerning their flights.

    Sandy, described by forecasters as a Category 1 "perfect storm" is bound for the densely populated East Coast of the United States, and is expected to affect about 50 million people.

    Evacuations have been ordered from Maine to Maryland. Many airports have been paralyzed, with about 9,000 flights cancelled so far, according to Flight Aware. The monster storm has grounded planes throughout Europe and elsewhere because they are unable to land at their respective U.S. destinations.

  • Vehicles damage TelEm Group phone cabinet in Simpson Bay --- Technicians restoring service.

    Pond Island:--- TelEm Group technicians are busy carrying out repairs to a damaged phone cabinet in the Simpson Bay area which has left residents and businesses without landline and internet service.

    The phone cabinet was damaged after a vehicle or vehicles ploughed into it early Sunday evening.

    Police were called to the scene and TelEm Group Technicians were also called out to assess the damage and begin repairs right away.

    The service affected areas as of Sunday evening extends from the Yacht Club to the Lapalapa Center, on the other side of the Simpson Bay Bridge.

    TelEm Group has meantime apologized to residents and businesses in the area for any inconvenience caused.

  • Diving exercise for disaster relief.

    royalnetherlandsnavydivingexercise28102012Divers of the Royal Netherlands Navy will visit Sint Maarten this Monday (October, 29) for a diving exercise. They will concentrate on disaster relief. This is the first time the divers come to Sint Maarten for such a scenario.

    The navy divers visit the Dutch Caribbean for years, mostly for the international diving exercise Western Partnership. This year they will perform it something different. "We can be very useful in the assistance after the execution of such a natural disaster like an hurricane", says the Commander of the Dive Company, lieutenant Bernd Roelink. "With our modern equipment we can assist the local authorities for underwater search for bodies or wrecks of removing obstructions."

    Precise
    For the implementation of this specific exercise the divers concentrate on the precise mapping of the bottom of the Simson Bay lagoon. The divers can scan an area of 10.000 m2 per minute with advanced search equipment, which gives a very clear picture of what is happening underwater. The geographical and climatic conditions in the Caribbean offer a fine opportunity to all facets of this military action.

    Specialists
    The divers are part of the Defense Diving Group and form the centre of professional diving in The Netherlands. The group is specialized in a variety of underwater work, both national and expeditionary. The divers are regularly deployed for military assistance such as the search for bodies of drowned people or evidence in criminal cases. To maintain the quality and expertise of military diving operations, this intensive training program is essential.

    In total eleven divers take part in the dive exercise. The exercise takes place under control of the Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean and is supported by the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard.

    Royal Netherlands Navy Press Release

  • Minister Jacobs gives presentation on Special Needs Education at weekly Rotary International Luncheon.

    sjacobsatrotaryluncheon28102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, gave a presentation on Special Needs Education at the weekly Rotary International Luncheon on October 24th.

    The Minister was invited by Rotary International to give a presentation on Special Needs Education due to their interest in getting further acquainted with the topic.

    During the presentation Minister Jacobs touched on principles and beliefs, the currents status, current developments and future plans regarding Special Needs Education.

    A work group consisting of key stakeholders within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports under the chairmanship of Head of Division Educational Innovations is currently working on the project which includes a study aimed at addressing the challenges St. Maarten faces in providing education for students with special needs, and what is needed to close the gap.

    An increasing thought in education has been that students with special needs encounter barriers that tend to hamper them in their learning and/or development.

    Children with special needs are those that have characteristics that affect their ability to learn. These characteristics can range from behavior or a learning disability such as dyslexia.

    To help these children reach their full potential, innovations in education must be made to assist them on this path. Minister Jacobs concluded her presentation with the statement "Every child can learn and as such has the right to an Education that suits his or her ability and talent!"

  • MP Ruth Douglass speaks about illegal filling of Great Salt Pond.

    ruthdouglass23092012A Journey of a Thousand steps begins with the first few good steps "(the steps need to be in the right order). If the order is incorrect then we need to stand UP and state that we are heading in the wrong direction.

    My concern is regarding the sand dunes currently visible on the banks of the Great Salt Pond directly behind the Zoo and the residents of that area.

    As a member of UP faction in Parliament, the faction is questioning the reasons why things are done the way they are being done by the sitting Executive Branch of the Sint Maarten Government. Or should we be asking who is really running things here? Are members of Parliament pulling the strings of their appointed Ministers? We have a constitution that states that it is against the law of the land (Chapter 4 article 51 and 56). We all took an oath in the Parliament of this country.

    I have great concerns as to what we the UP faction are seeing as blatant disregard for the rules, by the sitting Government. When the Prime Minister and the Vice Prime Minister clearly states in public that they do not know who ordered the transporting of the sand from the harbor to a specific spot on the ring road, one can summarize that we have no Captain at the helm of this ship.

    Somebody give the go ahead for the cricket and drag race track to start and now Minister William Marlin called for the project to come to a halt. The mountain of sand is now just sitting there. The UP faction questions: is there any minister in the Cabinet of Ministers that knows anything about what has become the illegal filling of the Great Salt Pond? Somebody has to be held accountable!

    How long will these sand dunes (hills/banks) remain in place? This is in clear violation of the "Nuisance Law" this mountain of loose sand is disturbing the wellbeing of the people who reside in the area.

    The sand is blowing into their homes during high winds, into their bedrooms, into their food and hampering their breathing. As a medical Doctor, I have to state with great clarity that this is not healthy for the residents of the area. We in this body of Government are our Brothers and Sisters "Keepers." We represent the people of St. Maarten "All the people" not just a few who want to build a cricket field and a drag racing strip. The "Nuisance Law" will again come into play here. The proximity of the drag racing strip hinders the peaceful way of life of the residents in the area. The UP faction is not against a cricket stadium or drag race track; however the locations are not good.

    Somebody has filled in a protected area of the Great Salt Pond for a cricket field. Somebody has agreed to allow sand to be dumped behind the zoo for a drag race strip, but nobody seems to know who gave the permission. This is what it is all about; how can somebody go and fill in the pond and put sand aside for race track without the necessary studies and permits being in place?

    The roar of engines and cars parking all over their neighborhoods will impact directly the peaceful nature of the surrounding residential areas. For those who don't live in this area it may seem like no big deal, however for those who do, I stand for them and state with great conviction that the UP faction stands united with them against the way these projects are being handled.

    Is there going to be dredging of the Great Salt Pond to increase its water capacity when one looks at the illegal filling for a cricket field in a protected area of the pond?

    If the dredging is going to take place, what are the studies showing about the effects this is going to have on the overall communities of Sucker Garden, Madam Estate, over the Pond and Philipsburg?

    Is the harbor paying for the trucking of the sand separately or is this included in the dredging contract?

    Who is paying these truckers; are tax payers' monies being used for special interests projects? I am sure there are other more productive issues at hand like relief for our pensioners!

    Why are we not replenishing the beaches with the dredged sand, areas such as Great Bay, Divi and Belair beaches?

    Does the Cabinet of Ministers not consider the hotel and time share sectors part of the economy?
    Did the Cabinet of Ministers meet with the over 10 churches that are in the vicinity of the soon to be constructed drag strip with respect to the noise that these cars will make?

    Has studies been done regarding the amount of noise such events as drag racing makes?

    Have the population of these areas been taken into consideration such as the elderly, babies and students of the effect this drag strip will have on them, the impact it will have on their health?
    Who will be responsible for any accidents that may take place there seeing that we do not have a trauma center? Is there any policy on vehicle racing?

    The UP faction will not stand by quietly and allow a few people to impact the discomfort of the people of St. Maarten. Progressive projects need to be the standard of this Government. Do not push or support projects that will negatively impact the peaceful residence of people who have invested in their homes and community!

    As one of two Medical Doctors in the Parliament of our country, I will state that this project in at its current location will do more harm than good. I hope my colleagues will join me and hold hands to defend the needs and the rights of the United People of St. Maarten. If we are going to stand for the right things, we can work together to move this New Country St. Maarten forward. And not just do things for a few special interests. Instead we need to work for all the people of St. Maarten.

    Dr. Ruth Douglass
    Member of Parliament (MP)

  • Tourist Bureau now has member on SCDF board.

    stbhasmemberonscdfboard28102012PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) have strengthened their cooperation with the inclusion of a representative from STB on the board of the SCDF.

    The board of the SCDF has approved an extraordinary board position for Janelle Hermance of the STB to act as liaison between STB and the SCDF as well as to assist on behalf of the STB with SCDF's marketing efforts of Carnival.

    President of the SCDF Mike Granger explained that increased marketing of Carnival and development of new strategies is a primary focus of the current board of the SCDF. As such, cooperation and ties with the STB had to be enhanced and, he continued, the inclusion of Hermance does just that.

    "In the past, the challenge has always been to fully engage the STB in our limited marketing efforts. Both parties did as much as we could for Carnival. Now with increased marketing efforts made possible by increased marketing monies from the STB, it was vital that we forge much closer ties. Janelle's role with be important on numerous levels," Granger said.

    Interim Director of the STB Gus Priest said: "Carnival is very important, this is serious business and the STB have been aboard with marketing efforts so this was a natural yet important decision for us and for Carnival. We look forward to building on our relationship with the SCDF though these direct ties, all in the general interest of St. Maarten."

    SCDF Press Release

  • PUBLIC NOTICE: Ombudsman Information Session Ebenezer.

    Do you know that the Ombudsman is called "the Public Defender"?
    The Ombudsman is coming your way, to your neighborhoods.
    Come and find out how the Ombudsman can help you, and how to file a complaint with the Ombudsman if you have issues with government or a government entity.

    The Information Session will be held for the residents of Ebenezer and South Reward areas on the following date, time and place:
    Date: October 31st, 2012
    Place: St. Maarten Academy Gym
    Address: Beryl Richardson Rd
    Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm.

    All sessions will be organized in close collaboration with the various community councils of the districts. All citizens are invited to come out and be informed.

    The other Community Councils have already been contacted, and as soon as the dates are confirmed they will be announced. Listen out for the announcement when the Ombudsman will be in your neighborhood.
    Bureau Ombudsman is situated at Camille Richardson street # 13 in Philipsburg. Call us on tel. number 5421250

  • Fire department concludes a successful fire prevention week.

    sxmfiredeptfirefighters28102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Fire Department is looking forward to another successful Fire Prevention Week in 2013.

    The department will continue to keep informing the public about how to improve fire safety at their home as well as their business place.

    Fire Officer Silvanico Pauletta on behalf of the Fire Prevention Department and the entire management of the Fire Department would like to thank the public that took interest in learning how to improve their fire safety.

    Pauletta would also like to thank all fire fighters who worked together to present this year's program and also all the sponsors that made Fire Prevention Week 2012 possible.

    The all-day Open House on Saturday October 20th was well attended. Especially in the afternoon many people came to the Clem Labega Square to view the demonstrations performed by the fire fighters and visit the booths of different vendors of fire safety products. All fire trucks and material, including the new brush truck were on display. The public were very pleased with the demonstrations given by the fire fighters due to the applause received.

    The awareness campaign together with Domino's Pizza was also very well received. On October 17th and 18th several orders of pizza were delivered together with a Fire Prevention Inspector.

    A person who ordered the pizza and had a working smoke detector at home, the pizza was for free, and if not the person would receive a free smoke detector and an explanation by the Inspector on how to use it. Out of the 12 deliveries made, only one person had a smoke detector.

    The department organized a number of fire prevention lectures, and the attendees present were very positive about the presentation and interaction. The lectures took place in Philipsburg, St. Peters, Cole Bay, Dutch Quarter and Simpson Bay.

    The Prime Minister who is responsible for the Fire Department that falls under her Ministry of General Affairs, Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams, pointed out the importance for everybody to protect their family and prevent personal disasters like fires at homes.

    The theme of Fire Prevention Week 2012 was "Protect your Family against Fire. The Time to Act is now." The organizers of the fire prevention week were the Fire Department Section Fire Prevention and the foundation Friends of the Island Government Fire Fighters.

  • Boasman to Act as Labour Mediator as of Monday --- Holiday not responding to calls, vehicle and phone not returned. (UPDATED)

    rafaelboasman29102012Philipsburg:--- Reliable information reaching SMN News indicates that as of Monday October 29th, 2012 the Policy Advisor of the Department of Labour and Social Affairs Rafael Boasman will be acting as the island's Labour Mediator. Well placed sources within the Ministry of Labour said that since the Minister of Health and Labour Cornelius de Weever informed the current Labour Mediator Derrick Holiday that his contract which expires on December 1, 2012 will not be renewed and advised him to take his vacation pending the expiration of his contract, Holiday has not return to work neither has he responded to the letter sent to him by the Minister of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs.

    SMN News learnt that Holiday had up until Friday October 26th, 2012 to enter into discussion with Boasman but he did not respond to the calls made to his telephone.

    SMN News also learnt that the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs will soon be opening the vacancy since several civil servants have expressed interest in the position especially knowing that Boasman will soon be leaving on pension.

    The former convicted Chief Commissioner of Police Derrick Holiday was removed from his job when several employees of Blend-In Security Company filed complaints against Holiday for non-payment of salaries.

    According to information provided to SMN News, Holiday collected monies from several Airlines, Bobby's Marina, and other companies that he is providing security services to but has failed to pay his workers. The source said that the Ministry is also checking to see if Blend In Security paid the workers dues to SZV and the Tax Department.

    SMN News was also reliably informed that the Council of Ministers has already requested that an investigation be conducted locate the funds of the Friends of Police and find out who is handling the account. The source said that the former Lt. Governor Franklyn Richards was the president of the Association created for the Friends of the Police while Holiday and Richards were the signatories to the account. Below is a press release issued by Minister Cornelius de Weever regarding the appointment of Rafael Boasman.


    Boasman appointed as Extraordinary Mediator.

    Great Bay:--- The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, Cornelius De Weever, makes known that the Government Mediator, Mr. Derrick Holiday is on vacation until December 1, 2012 and will therefore not be carrying out his duties as Mediator.

    In order to guarantee continuity of service, Minister De Weever has appointed Mr. Rafael A. Boasman as Extraordinary Mediator in accordance with art. 8 of the Ordinance on Labour Peace.
    Mr. Boasman will be handling all pending and current cases for which a request has been submitted. Workers Organizations (Unions) and Employers Organizations requiring the services of the Mediator can contact Mr. Boasman as indicated below.

    Mr. Rafael A. Boasman
    46 C.A. Cannegieter Street
    Philipsburg
    Sint Maarten
    Tel: 1-721 542 3704
    Fax: 1-721 542 3569
    Email: Rafael.Boasman@sintmaartengov.org

     

    Boasman's Appointment as Labour Mediator a Conflict of Interest --- Boasman did not Resign as Director of Labour Department --- SG Refused to Comment.

    Philipsburg:--- The appointment of Rafael Boasman as Mediator for the Department of Labour and Social Affairs created quite some confusion among the government apparatus on Monday, especially among persons working at the Department of Labour and Social Affairs.

    Rafael Boasman is the Director of the Department of Labour and Social Affairs and Policy Adviser and to date he has not resigned from that position but the Minister of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs Cornelius de Weever has appointed Boasman to a position that is supposed to be independent from the Department of Labour and Social Affairs. In an official press release from the Ministry of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs Boasman was appointed as an Extra-Ordinary Mediator.

    Boasman is supposed to report to the Secretary General of Health and Labour Joireen Wuite. When SMN News contacted Wuite on Monday to confirm whether or not Boasman resigned from the Department of Labour now that he has been appointed Extra-Ordinary Mediator of Labour Affairs Wuite said that while she knew about the developments surrounding the current Mediator and his position she was not aware of the official appointment of Mr. Boasman to the position, therefore she felt that the Minister who is currently off island should be contacted for a statement. "I am not aware of the appointment and the press release that was sent out regarding Mr. Boasman's appointment, therefore I don't think I should comment on this matter. I would advise you to ask the Minister of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs this question on Wednesday when he returns to St. Maarten," Wuite said.

     

  • Minister Jacobs attends Teacher’s Appreciation Family Fun Day at Emilio Wilson Park.

    silveriajacobsatteachersappreciationfamilyfunday28102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports hosted the Teachers' Appreciation Family Fun Day at the Emilio Wilson Park over the weekend.

    The day was designed to give teachers' a much needed day of relaxation, socializing and fun. In addition it was a moment to commend outstanding teachers in the education field by awarding the Lifetime Teacher's Appreciation Award.

    The day started out with a mini sports day for the adults and children. Activities such as hula-hoop, tug of war and hop- in- the -sack race generated a lot of excitement.

    Minister of Education, Culture Youth & Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs participated in the activities along with the teachers and children. Les Brown and William Barry coordinated the different sports activities. Musical entertainment was provided by Happen So Massive Dj's.

    Teachers were seen dancing and enjoying the music selections. Besides the sports activities there were Bouncing castles for the children. An extensive buffet was prepared for the teachers by Duzon's catering. The staff of Duzon's catering ensured that the teachers were taken care of in every aspect of their food and beverage needs.

    The highlight of the day was the Lifetime Teacher's Appreciation Award Ceremony. The recipient of the Lifetime Teacher's Appreciation Award is Sheila Kelly-Helmen. A committee of seasoned educators along with the Secretary General Unesco Marcellia Henry sorted through the 17 nominees provided by school boards and managers.

    Among the nominees were Nancy Hodge-Peterson, Henri Brookson, Claire Connor van Zanten, Josianne Artsen-Fleming, Alma Fleming, Stanley Hodge, Jane Buncamper, Marcella Hazel, Mathias Voges, Alvin Rombley, Marva Sam –Arrindell, Gabriel Marlin-Bril, Beryl Lake, Migalda Ilario-Luciano and Soewana Moeslikan-Karta.

    Based on an elaborate criterion, ranging from years of service, contributions to education, teaching methods and achievements, the aforementioned facilitated the committee in choosing Sheila Kelly-Helmen.

    The award was presented to her in recognition of her high educational standards and methods as an educator, commendable educational accomplishments and dedication and ability to inspire the spirit of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities inside and out of the classroom.

    Minister Jacobs congratulated and thanked Kelly-Helmen and the nominees for their dedication and service to the community.

    Minister Jacobs also took the opportunity to thank the attending teachers for their presence and hard work. In addition the Minister pressed it on their heart to continue to inspire learning and others to join the noble profession.

  • Owner of L' Escargot Robbed Friday night --- Victim shot in shoulder.

    Philipsburg:--- The owners of L' Escargot restaurant, Joel and Sonya Morand, were robbed late Friday evening as they along with two tourists were about to leave the business establishment to Divi Little Bay Hotel. According to information reaching SMN News, shortly after the cabaret show ended Friday night Joel and Sonya were about to take the two visitors back to their hotel when they were attacked by three armed masked bandits. One of the bandits shot Joel in one of his shoulders while firing about four or five shots. One of the tourists was also injured while being pushed out of the vehicle. Eyewitnesses say that the tourist's ankle was bandaged because it appears as though she received a splint in the vicinity of her ankle.

    The bandits robbed the victims of $1,500 in cash, the restaurant credit cards, and cheques while they managed to escape with the handbags of the two tourists. One eyewitness of the robbery told SMN News that the robbers pushed the two tourists out of the Lexus jeep belonging to Joel but they failed to escape with the vehicle when the vehicle did not start. The businessman was shot once in one of his shoulders. He was rushed to the St. Maarten Medical Center where he is being treated for his injuries. Below is police report on this armed robbery.

     

    Business man shot during armed robbery.

    On Friday October 26th at approximately 11:30pm, several police patrols rushed to Hotel Steeg better known as the L' Escargot Alley in the vicinity of Anand Indian Restaurant because of an armed robbery. On the scene the investigating officers learnt that the victims were attacked by three armed robbers. The victims of this robbery were the owners of the L' Escargot Restaurant and two other friends who were all together in one car when the attack took place. During the robbery the victims were robbed of their personal belongings. The female driver of the car was dragged out of the car in the attempt to also steal the car, however, the robbers did not succeed in stealing the car. At one point during the robbery a gunshot was fired by one of the robbers hitting the owner of the restaurant with the initials J.M. in one of his shoulders. He was immediately transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for treatment. The Special Robbery Unit is speaking to witnesses and Forensic Department is collecting evidence in this case.

  • Two Armed Bandits Robbed Volker Stevin of $35,000 in cash --- 80 workers left without pay on Friday.

    armedrobberyfillin13082012Cole Bay:--- Two armed gunmen robbed the manager of Volker Stevin that is coordinating the causeway project next to Port de Plaisance on Friday afternoon. According to reliable information reaching SMN News, the manager and payroll officer Jackie Lake- Brooks were robbed around 2pm Friday afternoon. Sources within the company said some 80 workers are being paid cash every Friday afternoon and the armed robbery left all the workers empty handed. It is said that the two armed robbers made their escape by crossing the French border.

    Police Spokesman Ricardo Henson confirmed on Sunday that an armed robbery did take place close to Port de Plaisance Friday afternoon and that the Armed Robbery team was dispatched to the location. The Police Spokesman said that he did not have the details of the report because the detectives have not yet submitted the report to him.

  • PUBLIC NOTICE: USM Lecture on Career Opportunities in Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- The University of St. Martin(USM) continues its fall semester lecture series with a lecture entitled,"Career opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industry, more than meets the eye", given by local entrepreneur Tamara Leonard on October 29th, 2012 at 6:30pm at USM.
    The lecture will introduce students and the community to the myriad of career opportunities in the hospitality and tourism industry as well as provide a more in-depth look at the industry and its interrelated sectors.
    "The goal of my talk with the students is to inspire them to pursue careers in the hospitality and tourism industry, the main income generator for our country. For too long the mentality of service being servitude has infected our society and has taken away the foundation of our economy and our sense of self ".
    As a driven and committed businesswoman with vast experience in several areas of hospitality and tourism management, Leonard identified the need for further development of St. Maarten's service sector and is the force behind St. Maarten SuperHost, a customer service training programme, geared to improving the quality of service and to return the friendliness to St. Maarten. For Leonard, quality and friendly service is the undergirding component that supports the tourism and hospitality industry in St. Maarten.
    "We, St. Maarten, have built a reputation on being the Friendly Island. It's time we regained that friendliness that made us famous and be stronger by taking interest and care of our economic pillar of tourism."
    Another objective of the lecture is to emphasize the link between the tourism and hospitality sector and the job market in St. Maarten. Leonard emphasizes that most career fields in St. Maarten are linked to industry and draws on her experience with the family business, Leonard Enterprises, a waste management and roadside cleaning company in charge of the western section of St. Maarten.
    "One of the major problems we encounter on St. Maarten is people are either unaware or simply don't understand that every aspect of our lives is strongly tied to tourism.
    USM welcomes this lecture as it complements its hospitality program and hopes that it will inspire students and the community at large to explore career opportunities in the field. Information about the Hospitality program at USM will also be available. The lecture is free and open to the general public. The University of St. Martin Lecture Hall has a seating capacity for 200 persons.

  • G.I.F.T.E.D. is coming out “Mismatched” for GLOW Party!

    giftedmismatchglowparty26102012Philipsburg:--- The G.I.F.T.E.D. Foundation returns with their series of praise parties with "I Got Dressed In the Dark – MiSmaTcH GLOW Party- on October 27th at the John Larmonie Centre starting at 7pm. Local gospel DJ, Joshua "DRJ" Ferrol, will be back as the DJ for the night with MC DJ LJ Lenworth Wilson Jr. There will also be other performances for the night from local gospel artistes.
    Patrons are expected to follow the dress code for the event – "Mix and miss" as the theme is "I Got Dressed in the Dark - Mismatch". There will be prizes for the best dressed, as well as other prizes and surprises. Free drinks will be served to the Early Birds from 7pm to 8pm.
    GIFTED's GLOW parties, inter-church competitions and other activities have been getting much attention on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Local youth groups, churches and individuals are also in on the buzz and quite excited about the party series by GIFTED.
    Held on the last Saturday of every month, G.I.F.T.E.D. GLOW parties provide wholesome entertainment for young Christ-minded people and create an experience with good friends, music, and games for great memories. At the end of a GIFTED party, each person is energized to Go Light Our World!
    Visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GIFTEDLIGHT and click "Like" to keep up-to-date with GIFTED activities. For tickets and/or more details you may call 581-0448.

  • POSTAL SERVICES ST. MAARTEN NV (PSS) ATTENDS the 25 UPU Postal Congress in QATAR.

    deniciorichardsonatupupostalcongressinqatar26102012PSS attended and participated actively for the very first time on behalf of Country St. Maarten, a member country of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the 25th UPU Postal Congress which was held in Doha, Qatar, from the 23 September - 15 October 2012. The UPU Congress which is held once every four (4) years brings all the member country postal administrations of the world (192 in total) together under one roof for an extended period to discuss the current issues and to map out a road map plan for the future of the Post for the coming four (4) year cycle period.

    The Congress is of significance to the Postal Administrations of the world, as it is the setting where member countries can discuss, debate and present proposals to bring about changes to improve the current postal network and its inner workings, while determine the next steps together.
    During the congress the progress made during the past four (4) year cycle was shared and presented, with some of the highlights being advances being made in the technological field and the launching of the .post (dot post platform) to facilitate help the post migration from paper to electronic mail age and to allow in the years to come the postal administrations of the world to be a more effective and aggressive player in the growing e-commerce world.
    Hundreds of proposals were presented, discussed and debated to further improve and streamline the workings between the Postal Administrations of the world. St. Maarten along with Aruba and Curacao participated jointly, as the three member country together share one seat and one vote at the UPU. Together the three (3) voted on the proposals and shared in the discussions.

    The current state of the Postal Administration throughout the world remains very financially challenging, with falling letter mail volumes, but increasing parcel volumes as a result of the increasing E-commerce trade, along with the growth in financial services. Despite many administrations being a relative bad financial shape, there are a number that have become success stories and are now making profits, after having embraced changed and made some significant investments and with the backing and support of their Governments to streamline their operations and stepping over into the digital age, amongst other changes.
    Ongoing developments at the UPU level will make it easier in the future for more administrations to jump on the technological wagon and take advantage of the opportunities that many administrations currently are not able to capitalize on.

    At the close of the UPU Congress, for the first time in the history of St. Maarten, Postal Services St. Maarten, on behalf of country St. Maarten, signed the Postal Acts ratifying and agreeing to terms set that will govern the Postal Administrations of the World during the next four (4) year cycle period.
    Echoed at the closing of Congress and very important for the future success of the Postal Administrations of the world is the backing and support received from the respective Governments, seeing the provision of the Postal Service remains a Universal Obligation of each member country and a right of its citizens to have to be able to send and receive mail.

    The session ended with the election of a new Director General, from Kenya and establishing of where the next UPU Congress will be held, which will be in the year 2016 and in Istanbul, Turkey.

  • PJIAE employees attend breast cancer awareness workshops.

    pjiaeemployeesattendbreastcancerworkshops26102012SIMPSON BAY:--- Employees of the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) have completed two days of interactive workshops to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    Hosted by Positive Foundation, the workshops first provided information on how to conduct self-examination of the breasts. After the eight-minute DVD, PJIAE employees then applied the techniques learned to silicone breast models.

    President of Positive Foundation Shelly Alphonso, said that the sessions were held in the airport's training room on October 18 and 19, from 3:30 pm to 5 pm, and consisted of the foundation showing the participants how to do breast self-examination. SXM male employees also attended the workshop.

    "Men also need to know about breast cancer. Just Sunday, there was a tug-o-war fundraising event outside Holland House and the participants were all men from the construction industry," Alphonso stated.

    She said overall, the airport seems to be advocating breast cancer awareness. There were Breast Cancer Awareness signs and decorations, especially in the room where the workshops were held.

    The workshop participants wore specially designed T-shirts. The Elektralyets Foundation provided the T-shirts – worn every Friday in October by airport employees for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    SXM took the initiative to invite Positive Foundation to conduct the workshops as part of sensitizing airport workers about breast cancer, said Alphonso.

    The purpose of the Positive Foundation is to focus primarily on awareness, and as such, there are year-round campaigns, which include conducting workshops for businesses, such as Princess Juliana International Airport, said Alphonso.

    During the final workshop at SXM, Jacqueline Olaria of the airport's Security department won a T-Shirt, which served as her ticket to the popular Elektra Movie Night on October 24. The movie night at the Caribbean Cinemas was also a Breast Cancer Awareness event organized by both the Positive and Elektralyets foundations.

  • Head of Security Guards at St. Maarten airport addresses students for Bullying Prevention Month.

    elsidrostjago26102012Revenge is not the way.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- For the observance of National Bullying Prevention Month in St. Maarten, the Voice of Our Children (VOOC) recently held a walkathon here against bullying.

    Following the walkathon, one of the speakers to address students, parents, and invited guests on bullying prevention was Elsidro St. Jago, Section Head of Security Guards at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM).

    St. Jago, a victim of bullying during his childhood, called on the children to acknowledge that there are different forms of bullying.

    "Bullying is not only physical, it can be verbal, this can cause emotional distress to the victims. ... Verbal abuse can lead to low self-esteem among victims," said St. Jago.

    He revealed to the audience that he also saw a bully fatally succumb to his consequences when a victim fought back. St. Jago told students who are victims of bullying that, "revenge was not the way" and that he saw how "a young life was lost because of bullying."

    St. Jago urged students to select "positive friends and associates because the wrong association can lead to bullying." In his closing remarks St. Jago asked the students to "treat people with respect in their everyday lives."

    The VOOC program was also addressed by Prime Minister Sarah Wescott-Williams and Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs. The walkathon and addresses also rallied participants and the audience against other forms of violence and for peace.

    VOOC is among the organizations raising awareness about bullying in the island's schools.

  • COM receives presentation on Zoning.

    comreceivespresentationonzoningplans26102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Louis Brown, Secretary General of Ministry Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure, along with support staff, informed the Council of Ministers on Thursday about the process towards the development of a zoning plan for St. Maarten. The presentation included a synopsis of the town hall meetings that had been held in 2012 as well as projections for the future which will ultimately lead to legislation as it pertains to zoning on St. Maarten.

  • Minister of Education and Prime Minister Receive Student Report on Studying in the Netherlands.

    sjacobsandswescotwilliamsreceivingreportonsxmstudentsinnetherlands26102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Perry Geerlings (Chairman of the board of Stichting Soualiga Foundation (SSF) in the Netherlands) gave a presentation about the report of the forum held in April of 2012 which had been organized by SSF.

    The report focused on students in the Netherlands, who gave their opinions on the challenges they face as well as possible solutions which they themselves could work on as well as government.

    The report was presented to the Honorable Prime Minister Sarah Wescott Williams and Hon. Minister Silveria Jacobs.

    Several reasons were given by students as to why they are taking longer with their studies, giving prevalent answers ranging from lack of proper preparation before coming to Holland to lack of assertiveness and confidence.

    Literacy in the Dutch language was also noted as an area that needed to improve. On a positive note the majority of students feel that the level of education they'd attained on St. Maarten was a good one. They also said that more information on the actual numbers of students completing their studies and moving higher should be made known, and that there was hundreds of well-educated St. Maarten professionals living in the Netherlands, Minister Jacobs stated on Thursday.

    Minister Jacobs added: "Many of the proposed solutions are already within the vision and mission of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, however I will peruse the report to ascertain if any of the other suggestions can be added to the ministry's priority list of projects."

  • Preparations underway for next week’s IND open house.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Preparations are well underway for next week's Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) Open House.

    The Open House is on Friday, 02 November.

    Persons interested in learning more about the services of the IND can visit the Open House at its offices on the A.T. Illidge Road #8 (next to NAPA) between 8:00am straight through lunch-time right on to 3:00pm.

    Immigration staff will be available to answer questions in English, French and Spanish. Brochures will be on display and available to take-away as well.

    The IND is looking forward to meeting with those who require additional information during the Open House scheduled for 02 November.

  • Ministry of Public Health Social Development & Labor continues Crisis Care training.

    ministryofhealthcrisiscaretraining26102012Great Bay:--- The Ministry of Public Health Social Development & Labor continued their Crisis Care Training, which started in May, 2012 to a group of civil servants. This three day training, which started on October 24, 2012 and will end on Friday, October 26 is catered for the Departments of Social Services, Collective Prevention Services and Community Development.
    The training on 24 hours Crisis Care and Crisis Intervention is geared towards individuals and groups crisis care response during and after emergencies. During the three day training which is facilitated by Psychologist, Aisheline Maduro the participants will be introduced to different aspects of crisis care and crisis intervention. The following topics will be covered: Characteristics of a Crisis Worker; Personality and Crisis; Establishing a Crisis Team; Nonviolent Physical Crisis Intervention; Suicide Intervention; Personality Assessment; Recovery: Trauma, Shock and PTSD amongst other topics.
    Some of the general principles of crisis intervention are: Intervene immediately; keep the focus of the intervention on the precipitating situation; Recognize the primacy of taking action; Provide emotional support for the client; Focus on self-concept. Twenty-four hours Crisis Care and Crisis Intervention, which has been implemented is being managed by the Department of Social Services.

  • Minister Voges receives report on St. Maarten Students.

    mvogesreceivesreportfromsoualigafoundation26102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Board members of the Soualiga Foundation presented the Hon. Minister Plenipotentiary Mathias Voges with the report "Factors of Influence: The Academic performance of St. Maarten students in the Netherlands & Repatriation."

    This report is the documentation of the perceptions held by the St. Maarten students that took part in the Soualiga Foundation student Forum held on the 20th of April 2012 in Bodegraven, Holland.

  • Government Mediator accused of not paying his workers --- Several Blend-In Security Workers not able to pay their bills.

    arthurgodettandlolamorgan24102012Philipsburg:--- Several workers working for the Blend-In Security Company that is owned by the former Chief Commissioner of Police Derrick Holiday told SMN News that they are not being paid by their boss. The workers said that Derrick Holiday is the mediator for the Department of Labour Affairs and complaining to the Labor Department does not yield them any justice because the person violating their labour rights is the Government mediator and a former Chief of Police who is also the brother of the Governor of St. Maarten, drs. Eugene Holiday.

    Lola Morgan told SMN News on Wednesday that she was not paid for the month of September and that GEBE almost cut her light and water on Monday because she did not pay her bills. Morgan said she is also late on her rent payments and each time she calls Neville Mars, the person in charge of Blend-In Security payroll, she is told that the company does not have any monies as yet. "I have a son whose birthday is on Friday and I don't have one cent to buy him anything for his birthday. GEBE was at my home on Monday to cut my water and light and I had to cry and beg them to give me a chance because I am not being paid by my boss. I never saw Holiday face to face to discuss this matter but this morning I spoke to Neville Mars and he told me the company has no money." Morgan said she plans to wait until Friday and if she does not get paid for the month of September she will take further actions.
    isidirablijden24102012Another employee who has since been dismissed Arthur Godett said that he began working for Blend-In Security since December 2011. Godett said ever since he began working for the company the workers have been encountering late payments. He said he was dismissed from the company when he began fighting for his rights as worker. Godett said he already visited the Minister of Labour dr. Cornelius De Weever and an attorney who will be representing him in court. Godett further explained that the former Chief of Police has been giving the companies he has contracts with a bad name by claiming that he is not being paid by them. "One of the companies that is getting a bad name by Holiday is Bobby's Marina and I can assure you that Mr. Robert Velasquez pays Blend-In on the 23rd day of each month. I don't want to drag Mr. Velasquez into this mess but I need to say this because it is what I am told. Furthermore, there was a theft at Bobby's Marina and Holiday has been deducting $125 each month from the salaries of the workers. This is an illegal practice because Mr. Holiday, a former Chief Commissioner of Police, should know his actions are illegal and that he should have liability insurance in place to cover the thefts. Holiday has no respect for the workers who are working 12 hours a day for him."

    Another worker whose light and water has been cut due to non-payment is Isidira Blijden. Blijden said she works for Blend-In Security at the Princess Juliana International Airport and she too is not being paid. Blijden said she is very frustrated because she goes to work every day but at the end of the month she cannot see her paycheck. The mother of four school aged children said even though she is working she has no money to put food on the table for her children when they return home from school. "I live around family members and they are the ones that have to buy a bread and Caprisun juice for my children to take to school while they also have to give them meals when they return home. One of the family members that has been assisting Blijden with her children is Maria Hunt-Blijden.

    Ms. Blijden said besides owing GEBE she also owes school fees and her children need after school lessons but she simply cannot afford to pay for it.
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  • 19 year old Arrested for Stabbing 17 year old.

    stabbingfillin24102012Marigot:--- A 19 year old young man from Sandy Ground is now in the custody of the Gendarmerie for stabbing a 17 year old young man from St. James on Wednesday afternoon. The suspect showed up at the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital and admitted to authorities that he was the one that stabbed the 17 year old.

    Reliable information reaching SMN News states that the two youngsters were fighting when the older one stabbed the younger one just below his heart. SMN News has learnt that the victim's life is not in danger and he is currently receiving treatment at the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital. The Gendarmes are conducting an investigation into the incident.

  • Appeals Court Convicts Louie Laveist --- Banned from Office for three years.

    louielaviestandjasonrogers03102012Philipsburg:--- The Appeals Court convicted former commissioner of labor and current National Alliance Member of Parliament Louie Laviest on Wednesday for bribery. Laveist was convicted to six months suspended sentence and banned from public office for a period of three years while he has to pay a fine of Naf. 5,000 or spend 55 days behind bars. Laveist is also under three years probation.

    The Appeals Court found it proven during its second hearing that the former labour and social affairs commissioner accepted a bribe in 2003 from Bemal Enterprises and they also found it legally proven that Laveist accepted $6,000 in exchange for work permits in 2007.

    In the conviction, the court took into consideration that Laveist was never convicted of any crimes in the past. However, they felt that he placed public office in jeopardy by accepting bribes. Laveist was fully acquitted of forging minutes of the Culture Club Foundation which the prosecution claimed he used to defraud AMFO of Naf. 22,750 to finance the Flag Day Celebration in 2004. Laveist was also acquitted of employing an illegal foreigner in his barber shop.

    Basically, the Appeals Court rendered the same verdict they rendered in 2010. The embattled former commissioner and now Member of Parliament started his legal battle after he was arrested in 2008. The Court of First Instance convicted Laviest on all counts in 2009. The Supreme Court sent back the case to the Appeals Court after they found that the Appeals Court committed a technical error by attaching their reasons for conviction rather than incorporating it in the decision.

  • Possible Increase in TOT looming to fill Budget Hole.

    sarahwescotwilliams24102012Philipsburg:--- Residents of St. Maarten and businesses might soon find themselves paying 7% in Turn over Taxes (TOT) instead of the 5% they are currently paying. SMN News received information from several persons working within the Government apparatus that indicates that Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt is considering the increase of TOT by 2% to remove the deficit in the 2013 budget.

    Last week Wednesday during the Council of Ministers press briefing, the Minister of Finance announced that St. Maarten is facing a real predicament with its budget due to old bills. SMN News reporter asked Minister Tuitt if he was considering increasing the TOT and he responded by saying that it seems as if the reporter was there looking for news.

    This Wednesday Minister Tuitt did not show up at the weekly press briefing because he is off island. SMN News asked Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams if she is aware of the situation where TOT might be increased, Wescot Williams said that the Council of Ministers approved a balanced budget for the year 2013. She said in that draft budget which was submitted to the CFT there is no increase in the TOT. Wescot Williams further explained that even if the government of St. Maarten wants to increase TOT they would need to have a decree in place for such but to date no such decree has been prepared. When SMN News asked Wescot Williams what are government's plans to deal with the 2013 budget and the issues they are now facing, the Prime Minister insisted that government presented a balanced draft budget to the CFT and there are some things that they have to deal with. She said for example the things that are not in the budget cannot be financed. Wescot Williams said that these issues brought the 2013 budget into an imbalanced position and government now has to discuss the budget again and some decisions would have to be taken.
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  • Government Labour Mediator Sent Home --- Contract will not be Renewed.

    holiday24102010Philipsburg:--- Former Chief Commissioner of Police Derrick Holiday who lost his job with the Police Force of the Netherlands Antilles after being convicted by the Court of First Instance and was appointed Government Labour Mediator in December 2010 by the former Minister of Labour and Health Maria Buncamper Molanus has been sent home. In June 2010, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the lower courts and the Appeals Courts of the Netherlands Antilles. Holiday was sentenced to one year suspended sentence, 180 hours of community service, and banned from holding any position within the police force for a period of three years. According to information provided to SMN News, Holiday never did the community service he was condemned to do. It is also not clear if Holiday was cleared by the VNA when he was appointed as the Labour Mediator of St. Maarten.

    Information provided to SMN News states that Holiday was ordered to go on vacation two weeks ago and informed by letter to return the government owned vehicle and telephone he is using as the government labour mediator. Holiday's contract is due to expire on December 1, 2012.
    SMN News has also been reliably informed that the Minister of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs Cornelius de Weever sent Holiday home from his job after receiving several complaints from persons who are working for Blend In Security and not being paid for their services.
    While it is believed that Derrick Holiday is working for the Department of Labour Affairs, it should be made clear that the Labour Mediator does not work for the Department of Labour, instead he works as an independent body for the Ministry of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs. Holiday was working independently after the tripartite committee insisted that he work separately from the Department of Labour Affairs.

    A representative of the Department of Labour told SMN News that they want to make it known that Derrick Holiday is not working for the Department of Labour and several workers of Blend In Security filed complaints with them but when they summoned Holiday to attend meetings with them he never showed up to the meetings. "I want you to know that Derrick Holiday thinks he is above the law and above everyone else. He never showed respect for the Department of Labour and we eventually met with his business partner Neville Mars who is in the same predicament as the workers. While Mars is an equal partner at Blend In Security he too is not being paid and GEBE removed his light and water meter about two months ago. Mars is the only one we could have met with because Holiday never responded to us and when we realized that Mars could not do anything we decided to assist the workers with legal aid so they could take Derrick Holiday to court for their monies."

    Based on information and research done by SMN News, it is understood that Derrick Holiday was the signatory to the Friends of the Police Funds which was put in place to assist the Police Department with their social activities. Sources within KPSM say that the monies from the Friends of the Police disappeared and to date the new management team of KPSM cannot get access to the Friends of the Police funds and account because Holiday never removed himself from the account. One source said that the Minister of Justice was asked to see if he could make the banks turn over the accounts belonging to the Friends of the Police to the new management of KPSM. Efforts made to obtain a comment from the Minister of Justice proved futile as the Minister is currently off island.

  • Road Closure on Saturday due to Maintenance of Sewage System.

    The Ministry of VROMI hereby informs the general public that due to maintenance of the Sewage pit #2 located on the A.T. Illidge road, section from Belvedere round-a-bout up to the Dutch Quarter Medical Clinic (Dr. Bryson's clinic), will be closed to traffic on Saturday September 27, 2012 from 6:00am to 1:00pm.

    Please note that due to the road closure, access to Nazareth from the direction of Belvedere will not be possible. Entrance for motorists needing to access Nazareth will only be granted coming from the direction of Madame Estate.

    Motorists are asked to pay keen attention to the works being carried out on Saturday and to drive with necessary caution.

    The Ministry of VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

  • PUBLIC NOTICE: VKS Walk-a-thon on November 3, 2012.

    Organized by the Voluntary Corps of Sint Maarten (VKS).

    Date: Saturday, November 3rd , 2012

    Start: VKS Office, Guadeloupe Rd 1, Madame Estate

    Starting time: 5:00 AM

    Route: VKS Office, Madame Estate - A.Th. Illidge Road (direction Mt. William
    Hill) - Belvedere Roundabout - Bishop Hill Road - Sucker Garden Road -
    Philipsburg - A.Th. Illidge Road - Amsterdam Shopping Center - Back of VKS
    office.

    Price: US$ 10 or ANG 18 (includes t-shirt and breakfast).

    Tickets are available from VKS members.

  • WITU Meeting with School Boards and Education Minister to discuss Vacation Allowance --- Teachers Biennial Congress to be held in Guyana --- GTU Hosting Event.

    claireelshot25102012Philipsburg:--- The President of the Windward Island Teachers Union (WITU) Claire Elshot announced on Thursday that a member of the WITU just recently returned from St. Lucia after completing training on how to be a shop steward. The WITU intends to have shop stewards in all the schools on St. Maarten who would receive the necessary training locally.

    The WITU President also announced that the union and its board is currently meeting with various school boards to discuss increasing the vacation allowances for teachers which now stands at 6% on St. Maarten. Elshot said that Aruba, Curacao, and the BES islands already have been paying their teachers 8% of their salaries in vacation allowances and it is time that St. Maarten step to the plate and increase the teachers' vacation allowances. Elsot said the union will be meeting with the GOA to discuss all other issues relating to teachers especially when it comes to their pension fund.

    Elshot also announced on Thursday during the Windward Islands Chamber of Labour Unions press briefing that the annual biennial congress for teachers will be held in Guyana in 2013 and it will be hosted by the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) in Georgetown, Guyana. Elshot said Guyana has a very strong teachers union and she is baffled as to why the Guyanese teachers on St. Maarten are afraid to become members of the WITU.

    When asked if the WITU is looking into the issues surrounding the head of the Education Department Mrs. Davis Holiday, Elshot said they are not part of the committee that was installed to investigate the functioning of the Department of Education but one thing for sure is that public schools on St. Maarten were facing a number of issues before Davis Holiday was appointed head of the department. The WITU President said they will be waiting on the outcome of the investigation and hopes that the Minister will apprise them of the outcome.
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  • General Audit Chamber New Board Members took oath on Wednesday.

    gacnewboardmembers25102012Philipsburg:--- The Governor, His Excellency E. B. Holiday administered the oath of office to the members of the new board of the General Audit Chamber, on Wednesday morning October 24th during a brief ceremony at the Cabinet of the Governor. During the ceremony Governor Holiday underscored the importance of checks and balances in our parliamentary democracy and in that regard emphasized the role of the General Audit Chamber in fostering compliance with the principles of good governance through audits on the legality and effectiveness of government in the execution of responsibilities.
    The members of the board are Mr. Ronald Halman, Mr. Mark Kortenoever and Mr. Alphons Gumbs. Also taking the oath of office were deputy members Mr. Daniel Hassell and Mr. Hyden Gittens. Mr. Ronald Halman will serve as chairman of the board.
    The term of office for the new board members is seven (7) years.
  • CPS and Baby Wellness Clinic Closed on Monday.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) and the Baby Wellness Clinic will be closed on Monday, 29 October.

    The closure is related to a retreat that CPS is organizing for its staff members with respect to an evaluation of the 2012 Year Plan and preparations for the 2013 Year Plan.

    CPS apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.

  • SMMTA Hosts Second Annual Spotlight St. Maarten.

    spotlightsxm25102012The SMMTA is proud to announce our plans for the second annual Spotlight event. Last year, Spotlight St. Maarten was held from November 11th - December 17th highlighting various local events and culminating in our VIP event at Isle de Sol and our St. Maarten Saturday Beach Party at Buccaneer Beach Bar.

    This year we have decided to change things up a bit. Our main event will be held on 17th November 2012 at Port De Plaisance South Harbour when Spotlight St. Maarten presents its first annual Cooking Hot, Caribbean Style Chef Competition. Spotlight St. Maarten 2012 will run from November 1- November 30, 2012.

    The event consists of a 2 day Concours de Chef competition for professional yacht chefs, held the week leading up to the main culinary event. On November 17th, we will have two different competitions. First, open to the public, local entrants will be judged on the best GuavaBerry Pie and the best Johnny Cake. Do you think you have the best recipie? Bring along your cakes and pies. We ask that you bake 2 cakes or 2 dozen johnny cakes to enter. The judges will taste first then pie and johnny cakes will be available to all.

    Then the top three Concours De Chef entrants will compete against three of St. Maarten's top Chefs in true Caribbean style cook off. The SMMTA will be integrating Sundial Students to work with the professional chefs during all aspects of the competition. A sample plate of the food will be available to buy after the judging.

    One of the goals of Spotlight St. Maarten 2012 is to highlight the marine industry to local residents. We have chosen South Dock at Port de Plaisance so Aqua Mania will be offering lagoon boat tours, St Maarten Yacht Club will be exhibiting youth sailing and other recreational activities on the water. We will also be showing off "Aqua Maniac", our first Build Your Future boat.

    We are also looking for local artists and craft artisans to be a part of the craft fair.

    The other goal is to extend our yachting season by encouraging more yachts to home port in November, or at the very least to make a stop for fuel, provisioning and other services before the Antigua Charter Show.

    We would like to thank our sponsors St Maarten Time Share Association and Antillean Liquors for working with us to create a fabulous family fun and food event.

    To register for entrance to the Guavaberry Pie/ Johhny cake baking contest or register for the craft fair, or just for further information, please contact Christian Smith on 522-0231 or at info@smmta.com.

  • CRISIS INTERVENTION THROUGH MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION.

    mhfcrisiscaremonitoringsystem26102012The October month is World Mental Health Month and the St. Maarten Mental Health Foundation continues to strive to improve the quality care for the population.

    In July this year Dr. Gandotra, psychiatrist of the foundation published an article about crisis intervention and in that article he emphasized:
    "No one can deny that life brings with it such situations when an individual experiences a sudden loss of his or her ability to use effective problem solving and coping skills leading to emotional, mental, physical and behavioral distress."

    It is exactly one year ago, that persons in stressful situations as mentioned in the quote from Dr. Gandotra were treated on the road, in a police cell or if possible at home. The family was confronted with their loved ones in an overcrowded very noisy police cell. While their relative was not a criminal and desperately needed a stimulus free environment.

    After serious accidents happened in the police cells because it was inadequate and unsafe, patients were moved to the Prison. The prison has one sick room, but remains a criminal environment. For further treatment patients were flown to Curaçao, if the family could not afford to fly to Curaçao patients remained there for months sometimes years without a relative.

    At the Mental Health Foundation, specialized care is available 24 hours. From January to August 2012 42 patients were admitted to the crisis cell. Patients admitted in a crisis are monitored on 3 locations in the building, the crisis room has two doors for the safety of the patient and the staff, when entering and exiting the room. A large window provides an outside view and the patients can view the clock in the hallway. The crisis room is air-conditioned and located stimulus free, away from the road and the activities inside the building. The facility is constructed in accordance with international standards.

    Treating patients locally enables involvement of the family, from the beginning of the treatment, it provides continuity of care from admissions until the patient no longer needs to be admitted. Patients remain in the crisis room as short as possible, mostly 3 days and are then admitted to the ward and gradually take part in the daily activities. For some there is the possibility of guided living and others can return home.

    Thanks to the community at large the foundation continues to do its utmost to provide for quality treatments.

  • 117 New Sint Maarteners during festive Naturalization Ceremony.

    naturalizationceremony19102012Oyster Pond:--- On Friday 19 October 2012, 117 persons took the pledge of allegiance in before His Excellency Governor Eugene B. Holiday during the festive naturalization Ceremony which took place at The Westin, Oyster Pond. The pledge of allegiance, as being expressed in either taking an oath or making a promise, is the final mandatory step in the process of obtaining the Dutch nationality.

    Naturalization is a legal process under the Dutch Kingdom Law whereby a person may be granted Dutch Citizenship. The Governor emphasized that community wise, naturalization is more than just the result of a legal process. In the context of the St. Maarten community, it is the start of a new chapter in one's life. A new chapter, which is truly a new beginning as well as confirmation of an existing relation with St. Maarten and its community. The Governor expressed his hope that each of the participants would consider this moment as a journey of growth towards a stronger St. Maarten.

    The naturalization ceremony consisted of one session, including children who became Dutch Citizens. Each of the participants received the Royal Decree which confirmed their Dutch nationality. At the end of the ceremony, Governor Holiday personally congratulated each participant who had obtained their Dutch nationality. The naturalization ceremony was completed with the posing for a group picture as a special memory to an extraordinary day.

    Press Release from the Governor's Office

  • ODM Alerts Emergency Support Functions to Monitor Tropical Wave/Low#98; Public advised to monitor progress of system.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Department of Disaster Management (ODM) has alerted its 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) to closely monitor the progress of a strong Tropical Wave (TW) associated with a Low Pressure system #98, which has the potential to become a tropical depression/storm within the next day or two.

    The population is advised to closely monitor the progress of this system. Heavy rain and high winds are a possibility over the weekend.

    The National Hurricane Center out of Miami says that a tropical storm warning could be required for portions of the Leeward Islands. A hurricane reconnaissance flight will be made into the system this afternoon – Friday.

    The disturbance is between St. Lucia and Dominica, and moving Northwest or North-Northwest at 10-15 miles per hour.

    The 10 ESFs that form the country's' disaster management organization are: GEBE Utility Company, Telem Telecommunications, Public Works Dept., Fire Dept., Police, Ministry of Public Health and Social Development, Dept of Communications, Ministry of General Affairs, and the Ministry of Tourism, Economy, Transportation and Telecommunications.

  • PUBLIC NOTICE: P.S.A. Postpones Raffle.

    The board of the Police Sports Association ( P.S.A.) is regretfully informing the general public, that due to unforeseen circumstances, the raffle which was scheduled for October 7th, 2012 has been rescheduled for October 14th, 2012.

    The board of the P.S.A. apologizes for any inconvenience this postponement may have caused.

  • Cancer Conference Speakers Ready for two-days of sharing information to stakeholders and public.

    jasminecijntje25102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Registered Nurse Jasmien Cijntje, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) board members Graciella Zimmerman, Lydia Vanterpool, and Dr. Henk Wassenaar, will be some of the speakers at the Cancer Conference that starts on Friday morning.

    The Cancer Conference is being jointly organized by Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, in collaboration with a number of NGOs.

    Registered Nurse Jasmien Cijntje, one of the speakers, is currently Supervisor Outpatient Services at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), and assisting and working with Chemotherapy patients since 1997. In March 1982 Cijntje became a Registered Nurse and in January 2000 graduated with a Masters in Science in Nursing Management.

    Nurse Cijntje will be addressing Chemotherapy in SMMC Statistics; and will also be part of a panel discussion on Saturday.

    Gracillia Zimmerman, is a Project Assistant at the Department of Youth Affairs. She is also a member and advocate of the Sint Maarten Cancer Foundation.

    graciellazimmerman25102012Zimmerman and her colleague Lydia Vanterpool, also from the Cancer Foundation, will highlight during the conference the role, expectation and services of Non-Governmental Organizations.

    Vanterpool is self-employed and Managing Director of Lydia's Flower Shop. Her previous work experience includes Store Manager at the Orchid Flower Shop and a Teacher at the Jack and Jill Play School.

    Another speaker at the conference is Dr. Henk Wassenaar originally from Delft, the Netherlands. Since the end of 2005, Dr. Wassenaar has been an Internist Oncologist at the Horacio Oduber Hospital in Aruba.

    Dr. Wassenaar will be making a presentation on the treatment process, procedures and background for prostate and colorectal cancer.

    The conference is being held under the theme: "Cancer and aging, collectively improving our local cancer care and responsibility," is being held from October 26 to the 27 at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino.

    The four areas to be highlighted at the conference are breast cancer, cervical, colon and prostate cancer.

    'Get Checked,' is the Minister of Public Health's campaign to improve public health amongst the population of the country, and the conference is one of the avenues to bring forth awareness within the community.

    The general public is invited to conference activities on Saturday, October 27 from 9:00am to 1:15pm and from 1:30pm to 4:00pm (lunch not included).

  • UP Faction Leader Silvia Meyers Speech on the occasion of Constitution Day.

    smeyersolivacce12072012As the Faction Leader of the United Peoples Party, I stand here before you today with PRIDE knowing that the United Peoples Party brought in 10.10.10 with the Democratic Party under the leadership of former Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Theodore Heyliger. Two years later today 10.10.12 another coalition group NA/DP/I3s continues to carry out the United Peoples Party's vision and work as stated in the Daily Herald on September 12th at the opening of Parliament 2012.

    Building this country from the bottom up, building Parliament from scratch, putting a foundation in place so that the now coalition could have some smooth sailing is a fact, as they move forward with UPs vision.
    The United People's Party is a party of progress and change. Change that is not easy but change that will bring hope to the people. A change that requires sacrifice. A change that is people focused and people centered which we have not seen as yet in the current government. When we allow government subsidized organization to tell Ministers that they should not meddle in their business, that people should be allowed to die because of their incompetence and lack of leadership, we worry about the fact that how this could be possible for one man to do so much damage and behave as if nothing is wrong. What is it going to take to help families deal with their losses because of incompetence, carelessness; care freeness and I can go on. Suffice it to say that Health Care is a priority for all our families and we shall not stop questioning, demanding investigations until we know that our hospital and health care system can be trusted again.
    The United people's party is concerned about good governance being executed by its Parliament and that individual needs and desires do not become priority as Good governance is being carried out. In building a nation there is a time for politics and there is a time for governance. It seems to us that politics has taken precedence over governance and so I am appealing to the Parliament to help build this nation; to review our constitution; to ensure that our Sint Maarten people are well protected in our constitution. Mistakes can be corrected but they should not be neglected.
    These last two years have been a very quick university course in legislation, policymaking, fast reading, decision-making, and I can go on but we must not lose sight why we wanted 10.10.10 in the first place. We wanted to build a new country, a new nation, where our people could feel that they belong to this country and that they are priority. A constitution that protects the fundamental rights and freedom, equality and solidarity, citizenship, justice, and governance. Having a constitution is one thing...living what is in it is another.
    We the people of the country Sint Maarten are very concerned about the direction of crime and the various forms of violence being committed by our youth and the reckless upbringing of our young people whose tongues are plastered with obscenity. Where have we gone wrong as a people and are we going to continue to accept this immorality and this degeneration of all the values we stand for as a nation. Obscenity has become insane in the very corridors of power and as leaders, we should lead by example.
    Our Elderly who have contributed their life to this nation are sent home with petty cash...We must honor our pensioners and allow them a good send off so that they can take care of themselves rather than becoming beggars in their own country... This is not about determination... Our people can't send home money that multiplies into hundreds of foreign dollars. Our people must be able to live a normal and courageous life and have some funds to travel and take care of their health. These are our elders who have built this nation and who must be honored and respected.
    As we build this nation and consider all the corners of this country let us envision better health care for all our people with a group of leaders in the medical field who care. Let us envision an education system that will cater to the needs of all our children, ensuring that our teachers are fully qualified to meet the challenges of providing quality education to our children. Let us envision a new kind of leader for our schools to be properly managed where managers are not only good teachers, but well equipped with leadership skills for the job. As we build a nation of courageous people and determined people let us not forget who we are and where we came from but enrich ourselves with the abundance of our history and culture so that when we stand, we stand tall because we know who we are and from whence we came. As we build this country, let us include our St. Martiners at every level of development so that we will never feel left out and never sell ourselves for ten pieces of silver. As we build this nation and a determined people, we cannot be constantly looking over each other shoulders because we do not trust each other even when we are on the same party. There comes a time when there is a sense of maturity that must grow among us as a people and we have to stand up for the very thing we once rejected because it is good for our people. As we build this country my honorable colleagues, courage is demanded of you to stop playing monkey games with the people of Sint Maarten...all the ribbon cutting and appearances will serve no purpose if legislation is not challenged, not developed, not proposed and voted. Our movement forward for country St. Maarten begins with a reflection on our constitution and ensuring that what we wrote more than two-years ago should be reviewed and now that we are at the execution phase, is this really what we bargained for. We need an evaluation!
    Mr.President reflecting on our heritage we have a beautiful monument at the roundabout next to the Sundial School, depicting a slave who has loose chains shouting Freedom. Do we know the name of this slave?
    Yes it is a Symbol. Are our Tourbusses, Taxis etc. Giving our tourists a history of this symbol. Does our schools instill and teach our children about liberation and emancipation?

    And therefore Mr. President we are accountable and therefore we must not leave any stones unturned to ensure that we are indeed building a nation of courageous and determined people.
    Happy Constitution Day to the people of this great nation!
    May God Bless us All
    I thank you!

  • Senior Citizens At “Nos Welita” Appreciate USFOL Support.

    usfolpaintsnoswelita01102012WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:--- On 28 September 2012, volunteers from the U.S. Forward Operating Location (USFOL) assisted the Nos Welita Senior Citizen's Home Project. Equipped with paint, rollers, and brushes, the volunteers spent the morning breathing new and more colorful life to several walls in the center. This event was integral to the completion of the overall project - a building which will serve as the home of forty senior citizens. The men and women working at the USFOL are frequent volunteers in the local community.
  • President of Parliament Samuel Meets with Dutch Defense Minister Hillen.

    rodolphesamuelmeetshanshillen09102012PHILIPSBURG:--- President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel (right) met with Kingdom Minister of Defense Hon. Hans Hillen(left) at the Sheer Restaurant when he was on a working visit to Sint Maarten. (Photo by Royal Netherlands Navy)
  • Parliament and Government Join to Commemorate Country Status 2nd Anniversary.

    rodolphesamuel27082012PHILIPSBURG:--- The Parliament of Sint Maarten and the Government under the auspices of the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, have joined to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of country status in connection with Constitution Day 2012.

    A solemn plenary session of parliament to mark the second anniversary of the attainment of country status, will take place on October 10.

    The theme is: Building a Nation of Courageous and Determined People."

    The solemn session will take place on Wednesday morning at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

    Faction leaders will speak for approximately 10 minutes. Members of the Council of Ministers as well as guest speakers, President of the Chamber of Labour Unions T. Thompson, and Chamber of Commerce and Industry President A. Bute will also have the floor.

    Government officials along with civil servants will attend an ecumenical service at the Saint Simon and Jude Anglican Church on Backstreet, Philipsburg at 8:30am.

    After the church service, dignitaries will attend the solemn session of parliament.

    A cultural celebration is planned at the Clem Labega Square at 6.00pm and the general public is invited to attend.

    The solemn session of parliament will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.

  • Canadian Travel Agent and Visiting Guests say Great Bay Sonesta Resort has the worst Service in the World.

    Philipsburg:--- A group of Canadians which includes the owner of Paradise Travel in Toronto Canada, Albert Ramcharran who is currently staying at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort said the resort is the worst hotel he has seen in his years of traveling. "If I have to rate Sonesta Great Bay I will give them a 0 because their services are so bad compared to the other Caribbean nations. Can you imagine they have no hot-water in the showers, no mats in the bathrooms, and the worst part is that there are no lights in the rooms. While trying to fix the light so that my wife could take a shower, I realized I was not getting anywhere so I removed the shade over the light and its only then I saw there was no bulb inside the socket. Great Bay Sonesta only sells all inclusive packages and the service at the hotel sucks. Some of the workers are really nice and friendly but they have no control over the management of the hotel.

    In the restaurants there are some people in my humble opinion that needs to go on pension because some of them can hardly walk. I did encounter a few really nice young people who did everything they could to make their guests happy. "According to some of the staff members, the current night manager was trying to find out which journalist the Ramcharran's and Jadunaught's spoke to. The female night manager wants to know if the workers at Sonesta Great Bay knows the reporter because she said she will fix her. One worker said the night manager said she wants to know what is wrong if the rooms had no bulbs or mats and if that is what those people are complaining about."

    The group of six staying at Sonesta Great Bay Resort this week said that they traveled extensively and that even Cuba has better services than St. Maarten, just recently they said they were in Hawaii and it was the best vacation they have had. "Here at Sonesta they gave you a wrist band to identify their all inclusive clients but the wrist band is a sell out to criminals. We have to walk with this band all over St. Maarten and immediately people identify us as visitors and we become targets for criminals. Ramcharran said that if they lose the wrist band or remove it for security purposes they have to buy a new one or lose their rights to the all inclusive they purchased."

    Furthermore, there is no entertainment for the hotel visitors. "We were told that the locals became extinct in their own country because just recently the Sonesta Group announced that locals are not allowed to patronize their bars unless they pay $65 at the entrance. As the owner of a nightclub and travel agent, I have never heard of this before. People control the age of persons they sell alcohol to not their patrons who visit and patronize them.

    The Canadians said they read a lot about the owners of Maho (Sonesta Group) and they thought that they were exemplary business people but experiencing the Sonesta Group is so much different from what you read online. The travel agent who is also the owner of a huge night club in Canada said he will have to make sure that TRIPADVISOR aware of the services that are provided by the Sonesta Maho Group of Companies. He said when people pay their monies and to go on vacations they expect to have a good time and not to be treated as third world citizens at a place that calls themself a 5 Star Resort.

  • All Three Suspects in Cupecoy Case Faced with Prolongation of their Pre-trial Detention.

    Philipsburg:--- On Thursday, the judge remanded the first suspect (28 year old M.K.J.) in the Cupe Coy murder investigation in the next phase of pre-trial detention for a term of 60 days. On Friday, the second term of 8 days of pre-trial detention were ordered on 17 year old J.C.M. Last Monday, 20 year old J.J.W. was led before the judge of instruction and faced his first 8-day term of pre-trial detention.
    Although one of the suspects has admitted to being directly involved in the death of Michael and Thelma King and the two other suspects have admitted to their presence at the crime scene, police are still investigating all possible scenarios. Next to that police is focusing on all the details and loose ends that need to be investigated.

    Press Release From Public Prosecutor's Office
  • World Teachers’ Day Address by The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Ms. Silveria E. Jacobs.

    silveriajacobs02102012On this World Teachers' Day, Minister Jacobs joins the Heads of UNESCO, UNDP, UNICEF, ILO and Education International to emphasize this year's Theme: Taking a stand for teachers. Teachers are the foundation of good schools, and good schools are the pillars of healthy and democratic communities. "On this day, as the entire world stops to recognize the contribution of teachers, I take this opportunity to express congratulations to all teachers on St. Maarten on behalf of the Government of St. Maarten, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports in particular and the community at large. I congratulate all teachers for their pursuit of excellence, determination and dedication in educating the Future of St. Maarten."
    World Teachers' Day is an opportunity to honour the women and men who inspire, challenge and nurture our children. World Teachers' Day calls attention to the need to raise the status of the profession - not only for the benefit of teachers and students, but for society as a whole, to acknowledge the crucial role teachers play in building the future.
    The simple truth is that, as a Country, we must invest in a strategy that places appropriate value on the contribution that you and your colleagues make to our collective future. Teachers devote their lives to giving our children the tools to succeed and inspire them to do it. Any efforts to brighten our Country's future must be built upon a deep appreciation for your incredibly important work.
    The world indeed expects a lot from teachers, therefore on this World Teachers' Day, let us all take a stand for our Teachers. As a growing country we recognize that good teachers will determine how much our students achieve as well as help shape their attitudes towards learning and help build their self esteem.
    As a government we 'Take a stand for Teachers' by pledging here and now to do all we can to build our teachers' professional status within the community; promote professional development; recognize dedication and determination; highlight and address the challenges facing the profession as well as education in general.
    It is a monumental task, one that we will have to break down in achievable steps. As a Ministry we have started to do just that with the first steps taken in planning and executing the Teachers' Summits where you were given the historical first opportunity to voice your opinions on these same "Challenges" as well as provide your government with suggestions towards taking the necessary steps to turn them into Stepping Stones for our collective success. Steps two and three are being planned and the results of your findings will be shared with you and the other stakeholders as we endeavor to make improvements in a system that has not been meeting the needs of our society for years.
    As teachers, I implore you to continue to honor the code of conduct of the profession with pride, to model good citizenship, values and standards by which we intend to hold our youth to. I encourage you to continue to put your all into your vocation with passion and dedication to the success of your students.
    I applaud those of you who reach out to your colleagues and help to build them up as well as being proactive in finding solutions over the years when we have failed to provide the necessities. Many of you have been doing it all and doing it well with little, but with our new autonomy and bottom-up approach of involvement, I envision a system where your needs will be met so that you can perform at the top of your game.
    Reach out to your students, their parents, your management and the community with compassion and you will surely get the necessary cooperation to be successful. Continue to empower yourselves by building on skills and talents necessary for the execution of your tasks as teachers.
    On this Teachers' Appreciation Day, I'd like thank you for your countless hours, your sweat and tears, and your unwavering commitment to our children. I would also like to express a heartfelt Thank You for inspiring the next generation of amazing teachers. We take a stand for you as teachers who are integral to the success of our country.
  • TelEm Group educating the public about use of 1-721 area code for St. Maarten.

    Pond Island:--- TelEm Group is stepping up education to the general public about the use of the new 1-721 area code for St. Maarten.

    As of 5:00am Friday October 5th, 2012, all TelEm Group landline and mobile equipment was declared ready to handle calls using the new area code 1-721.

    Friday signaled completion of final adjustments and configurations to TelCell mobile equipment. Landline and other voice configurations were completed in August.

    TelEm Group is informing customers and members of the public generally that with immediate effect, use of the old dialing code +599 has been discontinued.

    During the coming weeks TelEm Group will be reminding the public about the new area code, stating when and how to use it for both local and international calls. Messages are also being sent via SMS as well and via customer bills.

    FOR ALL LOCAL CALLS:
    1. 7 digit number or
    2. +1721 + 7 digit number / 721 + 7 digit number

    FOR INTERNATIONAL CALLS (OUT OF) ST. MAARTEN :
    1. 011 + country code + area code + number OR
    2. 1 + area code + number (for NANP Countries only)

    FOR INTERNATIONAL CALLS (INTO) ST. MAARTEN:
    1. +1721 + 7 digit local number OR
    2. 1721 + 7 digit local number ( for NANP Countries only)

    FOR EASE OF USE MOBILE CUSTOMERS ARE BEING ASKED TO STORE THEIR ST. MAARTEN MOBILE NUMBERS IN THE FOLLOWING INTERNATIONAL FORMAT : +1(721)5xxxxxx.

  • Two-day Cancer Conference Agenda Available on Government Website.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Interested persons can access the two-day Cancer Conference Agenda on the Sint Maarten Government Website www.sintmaartengov.org under the tab "What's New." You will find a heading and introduction 'Cancer Conference Agenda.'

    The Cancer Conference is being jointly organized by Collective Prevention Services (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

    The theme of the conference is: "Cancer and aging, collectively improving our local cancer care and responsibility!"

    The four areas to be highlighted at the conference are breast cancer, cervical, colon and prostate cancer. The conference is set for Friday and Saturday October 26 and 27.

    'Get checked'is the Ministers of Public Health's campaign to draw attention to health issues.

    The conference day that is open to the public is Saturday, October 27 at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino from 9:00am – 1:15pm and 1:30pm – 4:00pm (lunch is not provided).

    The conference will focus on sharing information on the specific cancers mentioned above with the objective of developing a strategic plan and approach in registering, managing and monitoring cancers; increased awareness; and new treatments/techniques.

    The stakeholders involved in this activity are: Cancer Foundation, Positive Foundation, The Lions, Kelaha Projects, St. Maarten Medical Center, Windward Islands Medical Association, St. Maarten Medical Association, St. Maarten Laboratory Services, SZV Social Insurance Bank, Pharmacies, Insurance Companies, and individuals. The Department of Communications is also providing support.

  • PJIAE Sporting Club: A successful year of games.

    nagicowinsbusinessbasketballknockout14102012SIMPSON BAY:--- The Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) Sporting Club has recorded a successful year of activities, rebounding after a two-year hiatus.

    In its latest accomplishment, the club pulled off a six-night Business Basketball Knockout with 10 teams from various businesses – further cementing its relationship with the community. NAGICO emerged champs of the September 24 - 29 tournament, while Halley Aviations and the government Fire Department secured second and third places, respectively.

    President of PJIAE Sporting Club, Evans J. Marsham said he feels "very happy because all the activities done to date have been very successful." The feedback from the community and the various companies were positive, Marsham said.

    The club's Vice President Emile Levons explained that they felt the need to do something connected with the airport that involved interaction with each other outside of work.

    "As for the events, they were successful. The turnout from the airport population and public was good so far and they are encouraging us to do more," Levons said.

    The LB Scot Sports Auditorium was full almost every night during the hoops tournament. The other activities hosted this year by the PJIAE Sporting Club were an early morning walkathon on September 1, from the St. Maarten port in Pointe Blanche to PJIA; and a Softball Knockout in July.

    The upcoming Airport Slam Games, from October 25 – 28, will close off the club's activities for the year. According to Marsham, participation for these games, which will be held at the Great Bay Sports Auditorium and Jose Lake Ballpark, is expected from all of the territories of the former Netherlands Antilles. To date, Aruba and Curacao have confirmed their participation. These games take place every year on a different island. The club is currently awaiting confirmation from "the BES islands" (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba).

    "We try to invite at least thirty people from each" participating island, "but we told the BES islands that even if they can send five or six people, that would be fine," Marsham stated.

    He explained that it was because PJIAE Sporting Club knew it would be hosting the Airport Slam Games that the club was revived. The club was dormant during 2010-2011 after a very active 2009.

    "The Airport Slam will be the last public event for the year because in November and December the airport has many activities."

    The games during the meet are volleyball, indoor soccer, softball, and dominoes. According to Marsham, all the activities this year have fostered better camaraderie among staffers of PJIAE and the business community.

    "The government Fire Department and Airport players are like brothers, and it is the same now with NAGICO and GEBE, because we meet at these games and interact."

    He said as such, the club has met its objective of "promoting and enlarging the practice of sports and recreation as well as for cultural and social unity among the business community of St. Maarten and the airport in general."

    PJIAE Sporting Club was established in 1999. The members of the board include Erica Emer-Lake (Secretary), Zahaira Richardson (Acting Secretary), Rene Guishard (Treasurer), and Carlos Illis and Sylvina Skeete (members).

  • Flights rescheduled at St. Maarten airport due to weather conditions.

    SIMPSON BAY:--- Due to the weather conditions associated with the passage of Tropical Storm Raphael, the KLM flight from Amsterdam was diverted Sunday to Curacao. Passengers bound for St. Maarten on that flight were later placed on a charter flight from Curacao operated by Insel Air. Insel Air 593 landed safely at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) Sunday afternoon, according to airport authorities.

    The Operations Department of the airport further stated that Air France 351 A has been added for Monday, October 15. It will overnight here and depart on Tuesday, October 16.

    The following flights had to be cancelled on Sunday, October 14: American Airlines 1376, Air France 3510, KLM 785, LIAT 550, and WINAIR 660, 539, 541, and 441.

    It is expected that as soon as the weather conditions improve, the situation will return to normal with all the scheduled flights.

  • PUBLIC NOTICE: Storm Pump in Operation - No Swimming in Great Bay.

    Ministry VROMI is hereby informing the general public and in particularly the users of the Great Bay beach that due to weather conditions and high water levels of the Great Salt pond with respect to the passing of Tropical Storm Rafael, the Ministry will be operating the storm water pumping facility during the following hours:

    Saturday October 13, 2012 from 10:00 AM until further notice.


    Due to the quality of the pond water it is advised not to swim in the Great Bay area for a period of 12 hours after the completion of the pumping cycle or until the water has been deemed clear of any and all possible contamination that could have been related to the discharging of said pond water.
    The Ministry apologizes for any and all inconveniences this might have on the beach users and/or other affected entities and businesses.
  • Plenary Session of Parliament planned for October 12.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- A public plenary session of parliament is scheduled for October 12.

    The meeting will take place on Friday morning at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

    The first agenda point is incoming documents.

    The second agenda point is the approval of the decision list public plenary sessions.

    Third agenda point is the compilation of names with respect to the permanent and extra ordinary committees of parliament.

    Fourth agenda point is the compilation of names for the Parlatino Committees.

    The plenary session of parliament will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.

  • Member of Parliament Louie Laveist Quizzed by Appeals Court in Re-trial --- Decision to be rendered on October 24th.

    louielaviestandjasonrogers03102012Philipsburg:--- Member of Parliament Louie Laveist had yet another rough day in court on Wednesday afternoon when the panel consisting of three judges at the Court of Appeals rigged him with a number of questions regarding his resignation from the Culture Club Foundation. Laveist told the court that he founded the foundation long before he became a commissioner and while the intention was to expand the board of the Culture Club Foundation to which he was president, the decision for him to resign from the Culture Club was only done after he had a meeting with AMFO who advised him to resign since they did not want the subsidy they provided to Culture Club for flag day to have any political influence. Laveist said AMFO said they did not really have a problem with him being president but it was advisable for him to resign. His lawyer Jason Rogers also questioned Laveist as he brought clarity to the court regarding Laveist's resignation as president of Culture Club. Laveist said that at least four persons from his staff attended that meeting with AMFO and Roberto Richardson was among them.

    The President of the Appeals Court bench confronted Laveist with statements made by Roberto Richardson, Lydia Arnel, and Virgillo Brooks who all claimed that they were not part of Culture Club Foundation. Laveist told the judges that he swore before God and man that all the members including his wife Betty Laveist Chittick were informed of the decision they will take for him to resign and the new members that would be appointed. He admitted that while a meeting was held and minutes were written up, all procedures were not followed because the Chamber of Commerce never got the information on the new members. Laveist said when he was interrogated by the investigators in 2008 he told them that while a decision was taken for him to resign and he did resign as the president of Culture Club Foundation, technically he remained the President of the Foundation based on the Chamber of Commerce records. The now Member of Parliament told the court that when he took office as a commissioner he was a "rookie" and he did not have a handbook to guide him.

    In the statement given to the investigators, the judge said Richardson denied ever being the president of Culture Club, he even stated that he did not attend the meeting. Laviest told the court that some of the members did not attend the meeting which was held in the conference room of the government administration building because the members that were appointed were all members of his staff and they agreed on the appointments beforehand. He said the notes during the meeting were taken by his wife and those notes were turned over to Roberto Richardson who typed up the minutes. When he was asked by one of the judges why did all his staff members denied being members of Culture Club Laveist told the court that he even asked himself the same question. "Your honor I myself am trying to figure out why Roberto Richardson said the things he said when he was my executive assistant."
    As for the $6000 Laveist took from Bargains Unlimited, he told the court that he cannot say how the check that was found in his office which was attached to a letter from the company for work permits was found. "I don't even know where the letter and check was found it was not at my house or on my person. I don't know who placed it there and I also don't know why they placed it there."

    Laveist said that he personally sought sponsorship from Joe's Jewelry (Bargains Unlimited) for his radio program because they were moving the show from one radio station to the next and they only had four sponsors and in order to finance the radio show he needed eight sponsors. Laveist went as far as explaining the court that when he went to seek the sponsorship the manager of the company brought their plight to him about work permits for their workers. He said that Bargains Unlimited agreed to sponsor Culture Club for a period of one year at $500 per month and they made the payment in advance. The embattled Member of Parliament who is fighting the legal system to clear his name said he met with the management of Bargains Unlimited shortly after requesting the sponsorship and he advised them to document their problems and sent it to government with valid proof. Laveist said at the time companies on St. Maarten were cherry picking workers from each other. He told the court that three days after the meeting with Bargain Unlimited he and the Lt. Governor received a letter regarding the work permit plight the company was facing.

    The judges also posed questions to Laveist regarding the plane tickets that were bought by Bemal Enterprises for him to travel to Canada and the $10,000 donation the company made to Laveist in exchange for purchasing furniture for the Government Administration Building. Laveist told the court that he did not make any arrangement with Bemal Enterprises. He said met one "Alicio" through his executive assistant Roberto Richardson and he was told that the company would provide them with tickets to Canada after the 2008 island council elections. Laveist said that all he knew of was the tickets and when he learned of the $10,000 donation after he was arrested he was hit by a thunderbolt because he did not promise anyone anything. He said while in Canada he was told that they were going to visit some furniture factories and he did it because for him it was all knowledge. He told the judges that he was not the one responsible for furnishing offices even though politically he held the responsibility of the government building. He admitted to the judge that he probably made a stupid mistake when he accepted the ticket to Canada but had he thought things over or had the knowledge he has now he would have never done so. The Member of Parliament even went as far as apologizing for what he called an honest mistake.

    The Appeals Court retrial of the Laveist fraud case is currently taking place because the Supreme Court sent back his case to the Appeals Court since they made a technical error when they rendered the first verdict. The Attorney General, Taco Stien has requested that MP Laviest serve eight months in prison of which four months will be suspended and three years probation. They also requested a fine of five thousand guilders and that he be barred from office for three years. The Appeals Court is set to give its decision on October 24th, 2012.

    Click here to view more photos of Member of Parliament Louie Laviest and his Attorney at the Appeals Court on Wednesday.

  • AIR FRANCE-KLM to sponsor St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta.

    airfranceandklm03102012The St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Club, organizer of the yearly Classic Regatta, announced today that Air France-KLM has signed in as sponsor for the upcoming Classic Regatta in March 2013.
    The cooperation will allow the regatta organizers, among other advantages, to fly in journalists and camera people from Holland, France, Belgium, Germany and other countries to cover the regatta.
    The two airlines will also have yacht crew and visitors on their flights at reduced rates.
    The French company Jean Jarreau Media who takes care of the public relations and marketing of the regatta for the classic yacht club, started a while ago already with the promotion of the event at several classic regattas in the Mediterranean and boat shows in Amsterdam, Southampton and other places in Europe, and will continue to do so there and at yachting related gatherings in the USA, the Caribbean and other countries. They will also be present at several tourism fairs, shows and related events world wide.
    The aim is to attract tourists and visitors to the Island for a discounted week hotel stay during which they can enjoy three days of classic yachting.
    The organization provides space free of costs on a spectator catamaran during the regatta to foreign visitors if they book a week hotel accommodation.

    The Sixth St.Maarten-St.Martin Classic Yacht Regatta will take place March 29, 30 and 31, 2013. Additional and updated information is available in the web site www.ClassicRegatta.com and in www.ClassicYachtClub.com

  • President Samuel visited UPQ Weekend Street Fair.

    rodolphesamuelatupqstreetfair03102012PHILIPSBURG:--- President of Parliament Hon. Rodolphe Samuel (second from right), visited the Upper Princess Quarter/Suckergarden Street Fair last weekend. Here he standing at one of several food stands at the street fair. (Photo by Leo Brown)
  • Minister Jacobs Ministry Organizes Special Service for Country’s Teachers.

    silveriajacobs02102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- On Sunday morning, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, attended a special service for teachers organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports at the Good News Baptist Church in Philipsburg.

    The service featured songs of inspiration by the Praise and Worship group of the church, led by Teacher Sharon Pantophlet-Gilson.

    Minister Jacobs addressed the congregation with congratulatory remarks, and asked all stakeholders to "Take a stand for Teachers". She commended the teachers for their hard work and dedication to the well-being if their students.

    She also urged teachers to continue to dedicate their lives to meeting the needs of their students. Teachers were also encouraged to strive to achieve professionalism, upgrade themselves, and remain humble, and to inspire the next generation of teachers.

    "Though we live and teach in challenging times, with cooperation between home and school - parents and teachers, our children will be successful.

    "All stakeholders must make a stand for teachers:

    • Government by setting policies, providing for their needs and proper facilities as well as opportunities for professional development;
    • the community, civic groups and businesses, by being supportive and volunteering time and finances;
    • the teachers themselves by standing with each other and for each other, by inspiring others to be teachers and communicating with other stakeholders;
    • the parents by supporting teachers, teaching morals and values at home, communicating regularly with the school and teacher, and volunteering in the school;
    • the students by trying their best, recognizing that their teachers are there for them, being determined to succeed and cooperating with their teachers."

    Minister Jacobs urged all to work together today to prepare our students for the future they will inherit.

    An inspiring message was also brought by SMUMF representative Aster Allen, and the riveting sermon was rendered by Minister Sharon van Arneman who gave teachers five steps to deal with discouragement using the acronym T.E.A.C.H.

    Pastor John ended the service with a special song "I just can't give up now" by Mary Mary, and prayer for all persons present who are involved in education.

  • Little Miss St. Martin: Introducing Contestant #2 Princess Nilka Richardson.

    nilkarichardson24102012With her out going personality and love for fashion, Princess Nilka Richardson is contestant # 2 in the upcoming Little Miss St. Martin Pageant scheduled for Sunday November 4th, 2012 at the Celebration Palace from 4-7pm.

    She is 10 years old and attends the Methodist Agogic Center. Her hobbies are singing, dancing, spending time with her friends, and modelling. Her favorite subjects are Mathematics and History.

    When asked why she is taking part in the pageant, Nilka said "I saw my best friend Kiara Meyers who is the reigning Queen of the Little Miss St. Martin become very outspoken and confident and she tells me all the time how much fun it was to take part in last year's show. "Now I am having fun, meeting new friends, and learning about my island."

    "To build their confidence and help them with their shyness, the girls will be appearing on a few radio and television programs. I encourage the whole St. Maarten/St. Martin community to come out and support the girls," stated Pageant Director, Ms. Nzinga Lake.

    Last week, the contestants made several guest appearances. They were invited to lunch courtesy of the Collectivity on the French side, special guests on the popular radio program Voice of Our Children Radio Program on PJD2. In support of the Ant- Bullying campaign, this past Saturday the girls marched along the 300 hundred plus supporters.

    "I would like to thank my chaperone Mrs. Ann Meyers for believing in me and taking time out of her busy schedule to help me with my pageant arrangements and my family," stated Nilka Richardson.

    The Little Miss St. Martin Pageant is designed to inspire leadership qualities, promote commitment to community, and encourages academic excellence while being graceful ambassadors of their schools, neighborhoods, and St. Martin.
    Tickets can be purchased at Pete's Photo Studio at the Grand Marche, Van Dorp Book Store at Madam Estate, and LAMA Guest House.

  • Minister Jacobs participates in Breast Cancer fundraiser at Hard Rock Cafe.

    silveriajacobsathardrockcafebreastcancerfundraiser10102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs was a celebrity waitress at the Hard Rock Café last Sunday serving patrons as part of a fundraising activity for breast cancer awareness.
  • Minister Jacobs attends Seventh Day Adventist Church Teachers’ Appreciation Day Service.

    silveriajacobsatsdateachersappreciationservice07102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- On Saturday, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, attended the Seventh day Adventist Church Teachers Appreciation Day Service.

    The theme for the service was "Victory in Jesus through Time like These". Also attending the service, incoming Secretary General UNESCO Marcellia Henry.

    Minister Jacobs addressed the congregation and commended the Seventh-day Adventist church for their organization of the service commemorating teachers.

    The Minister thanked the teachers for their unwavering service and dedication to Education on St. Maarten. The countless hours, sweat and tears of teachers signified to the Minister that their work is important and crucial in inspiring education with respect to Country St. Maarten's future.

    The Minister spoke of the importance of inspiring a next generation of teachers.

    During the service several speakers addressed the congregation, congratulating and encouraging teachers. A presentation of tokens to all teachers and administrators took place during the special service.

  • BLUE HAVEN MARINA IN TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS JOINS THE IGY MARINAS NETWORK.

    bluehavenmarinainturksandcaicos02102012FORT LAUDERDALE, FL:--- Ideally located in Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands, Blue Haven Marina has just joined the IGY network. Slated to open in the summer of 2013 to yachts up to 180 feet and initially a max draft of 5.5, plans for maintenance dredging will bring its capacity back to the original 12 feet projected by winter 2013. Located 575 miles southeast of Miami, Blue Haven Marina is the ideal gateway to the Caribbean.

    The marina, an integral part of the Blue Haven Marina and Resort, is surrounded by nearly 20 acres of waterfront land on the exquisite northeast coast of the island. Marina guests will have full access to the resort, including a hotel boasting a gym, private beach and an infinity-edge swimming pool with lounge decks for entertainment. Also on property will be several restaurants, bars as well as an array of watersport activities and day charters – both sail and sportfish.

    Nearly complete, the marina has nearly 6,000 linear feet of dockage and is constructed of 15-foot-wide concrete floating docks. Conveniences such as on-site customs and immigration services and a marina operations center will feature a lounge for captains and crews, as well as showers, a chart room and a crew work room. The offerings will be topped off by an exclusive concierge for marina customers ready to organize activities, excursions, rental vehicles, restaurant reservations and more. Top-notch provisioning with the capability to bring almost anything to the island will be readily available to megayacht crews and their guests.

    Boasting the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world, the islands are renowned for the finest of tropical beaches. Turks & Caicos Islands' fine-sand alabaster Grace Bay Beach is consistently voted one of the world's Top 10 beaches by Condé Nast Traveler. Some of the best bottom fishing is in the TCI waters, including access to many species of grouper and snapper, among others. Blue Haven Marina is located on the Northeastern tip of Providenciales, only minutes away from Provo Golf Club, shopping, and more restaurants and bars. Surrounding deserted islands are easily accessible from the marina.

    Bert Fowles, Vice President of marketing for IGY Marinas says, "The addition of Blue Haven marina expands the reach of the network to the northern Caribbean, creating the perfect route for our customers along the way down from the northeast or coming from Florida down to the central and southern islands. Our guests will soon have access to a magnificent facility, right on par with IGY standards of great service and amenities for captains and crew."

    Marina highlights include:

    • Opening summer 2013
    • Hassle-free berthing in the Turks & Caicos Islands
    • 51 berths for yachts up to 180 feet, initially with a max draft of 5.5 feet
    • Maintenance dredging complete in winter 2013 for a total depth of 12 feet
    • Blue Haven Resort amenities available to marina guests
    • Twenty minutes to international airport (75 mins from Miami; 3-hr flight from NYC)
    • Official currency is US dollar; official language is English
    • Marina concierge will cater to crews and guests with exclusive itineraries and planned activities
    • Highly secured marina docks to ensure privacy
    • Marina Operations Center featuring first-class crew and captains' facilities

    By joining the IGY Marinas network, Blue Haven Marina guests may be privy to a host of benefits, including the IGY Anchor Club, the marina loyalty program where captains and owners accumulate and redeem points for dockage. Other network-wide dockage programs include the Caribbean Anchor Pass, where vessels can roam the IGY network for one upfront discounted price as well as the HomePort Program, a semi-permanent option for yachts looking for longer term dockage.

  • Samuel meets with Dutch Kingdom Relations Committee Chairlady and Second Chamber of Parliament SG.

    rodolphesamuelmeetsgerdiverbeet03102012PHILIPSBURG:--- President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel during his working visit to the Netherlands recently, met with Tim Delange, Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament Secretary General, and Chairperson of the Kingdom Relations Committee Brigitte van der Burg.

    Samuel and Van der Burg discussed a number of pending issues such as the Kingdom Parliamentary IPOK Meeting, energy issues, education, inter-island transportation, double taxation and health care.

    President Samuel says that the Dutch are interested to participate pertaining to the development of the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), however, they need to hear first what Sint Maarten's objectives are for the future of the facility.

    Samuel's meeting with Delange concerned the administration of the parliamentary secretariat especially where it concerned the recording of parliamentary sessions and the archiving of documentation.

    The President of Parliament described both meetings as very informative.

    During the President's official working visit to the Netherlands, he attended an official farewell reception that was held in the honour of the out-going President of the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament Hon. Gerdi Verbeet. The reception was also for those members of parliament who won't be returning to the Chamber.

    On Tuesday 25 September, Anouchka van Miltenburg was elected the new President of the Second Chamber.

  • Chippie and Caribbean Eagles support Breast Cancer Awareness Bike Ride.

    bikersforboobs04102012Philipsburg:--- Chippie and the Caribbean Eagles have collaborated with the Positive Foundation and the Elektralyets Foundation in organizing a breast cancer awareness bike ride this upcoming Sunday October 7th, 2012. The annual bike-ride is themed: Bikers For Boobs and is intended to add to the momentum of the various activities and events organized by the two collaborating foundations. The intention of all the activities is to create awareness for the breast cancer cause. To make people more aware of the risks, encourage regular screening, and educate the community on the impact the disease has. "Every year it a pleasure to collaborate with Elektra and the Positive Foundation on the various events throughout the month of October," says UTS Marketing and Communication Officer, Ivy Lambert. "We will be walking with them during the Pink Parade, collaborating on the Bikers for Boobs Ride, and the Pink Phit and Phabulous Walk-n-Splash. We will also be working together on the Pink Concert to close off the entire month of activities," Lambert continued. "Every year they bring fresh, new ideas to the events and because of that the decision to support them each year is an easy one to make as a corporate sponsor. As a company you want your contribution to a cause to make a difference in the lives of those you're hoping to help and in this case it is clear that we help the foundations achieve their goals, together with our fellow sponsors." All participants will receive a free shirt from Chippie (pictured) and other goodies at the starting point of the ride at 3pm at the Caribbean Eagles Club House in Cole Bay (Opposite Prime Distributors). "Anyone can participate in the ride," says local radio personality and Elektralyets Foundation president, Mercedes "Elektra" Wyatt. "People can come on their Harleys, street bikes, quads or scooters. The group gets bigger every time and it's an afternoon filled with fun."
  • CFT: Management remains vulnerable --- Financial position Public Entities significantly improved.

    In the last couple of days the Board of financial supervision Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (College financieel toezicht - Cft) had conversations with the Executive Councils and Island Councils of the Public Entities Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. During these conversations the focus was on the (execution of) the 2012 and 2013 budgets, the financial statements and the current status of the financial management. On all the Public Entities the financial management is developing in a positive direction, but still remains vulnerable. The Cft noticed with satisfaction that thanks to amongst others the free contribution ("vrije uitkering"), the financial position of the Public Entities has improved significantly. Because of this there are now more possibilities to work at for example the improvement of the social facilities and the infrastructure.

    Sint Eustatius
    In the constructive conversation with the Board, the Public Entity Sint Eustatius indicated to have worked hard to submit the 2013 budget according with the respective laws and regulations. It is a great achievement that this was accomplished in a relatively short period. The budget shows a surplus concerning the compensation of a deficit from the past. The Island Council is about to adopt this budget and channel it via the Board to the Minster of BZK, before November 15th, 2012.

    The adoption of a balanced budget for 2013 was one of the criteria the Cft laid down for Sint Eustatius in order to be able to advice the Minister of BZK not to prolong the Preceding Supervision (Voorafgaand Toezicht - VT) as of January 1st, 2013. Besides there should be a balanced adapted 2012 budget, the financial statements for 2011 be submitted before the deadlines stated in the Act on Finance for the Public Entities BES (Wet Financiën Openbare Lichamen BES - Wet FinBES) and an execution plan for Financial Management should be in place. As far as this last aspect is concerned, the Board is still in discussion with the Public Entity, whereby the expectation is expressed that within a couple of weeks a positive advise can be given to the Minister of BZK so this Preceding Supervision (VT) will no longer be applicable as of January 1st, 2013.

    Finally it was discussed that Sint Eustatius still faces the challenge concerning cleaning up the accounts payable and accounts receivables database and making this more transparent.

    Saba
    The Island Council of the Public Entity Saba is expected to adopt a budget for 2013 this week, within the deadline. It concerns a balanced budget in which not all aspects of the results of the governmental deliberation financial relations have yet been taken into consideration, as the deliberations have only taken place earlier this month. These adaptations, mostly as a consequence of the indexation of the so-called 'vrije uitkering', will later be processed via a budget adaptation. As far as the improvements on the area of Financial Management are concerned, Saba is taking the lead, compared to the other Public Entities. The main points for 2012 as agreed with the Board, such as the subsidy policy, the dividend policy and the process descriptions, are accomplished and the Board is confident that this will also be the case with the new spear points for the year 2013. Saba still has to adopt the corporate governance code.

    Bonaire
    Based on the execution information concerning the first half of the year 2012, the Board concludes that this year – as was the case last year – the budget will not be depleted. Bonaire also agrees with this presumption. The Board is of the opinion that the Public Entity, more than was the case up till now, should use the available budgeted amount timely to be able to provide all the resources that are positive for the public. In the next budget adaptation the government will make a proposition to the Island Council to reallocate the funds which now seem to be left over.

    Also the Public Entity Bonaire seems to be able to have the Island Council adopt a balanced 2013 budget this week, despite of the limited capacity of the public employees in the area of finance. The Board has expressed its appreciation for this during the deliberation with the Executive Council. The same counts for eliminating backlogs concerning the financial statements for 1992-2011. Because some much time was invested in the budgeting and financial statement process, Bonaire unfortunately was not able to deal with all the spear points Financial Management that were agreed on with the Board this year. The Board expressed the hope that for 2013 more time and energy will be used to deal with the Financial Management, whereby the Board acknowledges though that the necessary qualitative capacity should be available at Finances. Taking the new governmental system into consideration, Bonaire is facing the challenge to form the administrative system in such a manner that the needed capacity can be unlocked.

    During the conversations, the necessity to collaborate mutually or with the Dutch municipals to ensure the improvements in the financial management for the future was also discussed. The agreements made as of 10-10-'10 concerning the increase of the pension age ascending up to 65 years and the introduction of the 'middenloonstelsel' were also discussed.

    CFT Press Release

  • Heavily Armed Gunmen Robbed CCB Bank in South Hill Anguilla --- Bandits Managed to flee with Cash --- Police on Manhunt for Robbers.

    bankrobberyfillin16102012South Hill, Anguilla:--- Two heavily armed gunmen entered the Caribbean Commercial Bank (CCB) in South Hill Anguilla Tuesday morning and robbed the bank of an unknown amount of monies. According to information provided to SMN News, two heavily armed gunmen entered the bank with masks on their faces and committed the robbery. It is also believed that a third suspect was involved in the early morning robbery of the bank as this person was probably waiting in a getaway car in an alley close to the bank.

    Up to the time of this report, police did not manage to apprehend the robbers. SMN News was told that the police is on a island wide manhunt for the robbers and they have also alerted St. Martin/St. Maarten of the robbery and suspects that are on the run.

  • PUBLIC NOTICE: G.I.F.T.E.D. Inter-church Futsal Competition.

    The GIFTED Foundation will be hosting the Inter-church Futsal Competition on October 13, 2012 at the Melford Hazel Sports Complex beginning at 5:00pm. This one day tournament with five teams from across the island's church community will be packed with excitement. After the success and energy of the Interchurch basketball tournament in August, teams signed up from the New Testament Church of God, Christian Faith Ministries, Christian Fellowship Church, Church of God 7th Day, and the Haitian Christian Community. A high energy, intense, competitive level of futsal is anticipated for this night of games. First match kicks off at 5pm sharp at the Sport Auditorium in Sucker Garden. All are welcomed to come out, support and enjoy fellowship as we partake in competitive inter church futsal and witness who will hold the GIFTED Futsal trophy. See you there!!!!!
  • PUBLIC NOTICE: Road closures in connection with Police Week.

    In connection with the celebration of Police Week the following traffic measures will take place. On Wednesday  October 10th, 2012 between 06:00am and 1:00pm, the following roads will be closed: Front street from Sea Palace to Emmaplein, Back street from Ch. Voges street to Hensy Boujon street, School steeg; the School steeg; de Cannegieter street from Cornelius M. Vlaun street till Zoutsteeg, Zoutsteeg in the vicinity of E.C. Richardson street, D.A. Peterson street in the vicinity of E.C. Richardson street, the Codville Webster street in the vicinity of D.A. Peterson street, the D.A. Peterson street in the vicinity of the Salt Pickers round-a-bout, and the Walter Nisbeth road between the Salt Pickers round-a-bout and the Freedom Fighter's round-a-bout.

    The community of Sint Maarten is asked to pay attention to this notice.

  • CPS Continues Surveillance for Cholera; Travelers to Haiti and Dominican Republic urged to practice basic hygienic habits.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) which is part of the Ministry of Public Health, continues surveillance for Cholera, and also recommends to travelers Hispanola (Haiti, Dominican Republic), to practice basic hygienic habits in order to avoid getting cholera.

    The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has sought the cooperation of Central American and Caribbean countries to step up efforts to detect the occurrence of outbreaks and implementing intervention actions to reduce cholera spread determinants.

    Ensure that you take vital precautions such as hygienic food preparation, boiling or purifying all water, and washing hands often with soap and clean water.

    The main rule is, always be aware of the quality of what you eat and drink. As part of the Minister of Public Health's "Get Checked," campaign, enjoy and keep safe as you travel and help us keep Sint Maarten Cholera Free by practicing a safe and healthy lifestyle!

    Family physicians are requested to be on alert and report any cholera symptoms to CPS to ensure proper case management and follow up according to World Health Organization International Health Regulations 2005.

    In countries where no cholera cases have been reported such as Sint Maarten, CPS as part of its surveillance system will continue to monitor for any trend of acute diarrhea diseases with an emphasis on adults.

    Symptoms can occur within 24 to 48 hours of being infected with the cholera causing bacteria. Cholera symptoms are generally mild; they include diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle cramps. About one infected person out of 20 has severe signs and symptoms, such as increased heart rate, dehydration, and shock. Immediately consult your physician if you have travelled and have any of the symptoms, while maintaining proper hygiene.

    Cholera is a bacterial infection spread through contaminated water. It causes severe diarrhea and vomiting that can lead to dehydration and death within hours.

    Cholera is transmitted through fecal contamination of water and food. In places where there is infrastructure damage, the lack of safe drinking water and poor sanitation and hygiene can increase the risk of cholera, as well as numerous other diarrhea diseases.

    To minimize the number of people infected, frequent hand washing, personal hygiene, safe water use and food preparation are a necessity. Maintain these basic hygienic habits as you travel.

  • University of St. Martin and the Philipsburg Jubilee Library presents a lecture on “The Lost Jews of St. Maarten”.

    Philipsburg:--- The University of St. Martin is collaborating with the Philipsburg Jubilee Library to host a lecture on "The Lost Jews of St. Maarten", presented by Mrs. Dana Cohen Sprott. This lecture is one of the events within the country wide Tolerance program in the schools, media and community led by The Anne Frank Stitching, The Philipsburg Jubilee Library, and the St. Maarten Heritage Foundation. A culmination of research on the presence of a Jewish community in St. Maarten that predates the American Revolution, old photographs of the island as well as a historical look at deeds that pinpoint the exact location of the St. Maarten Synagogue from 1783, the Jewish Burial Ground and the stages of facial reconstruction will be showcased. The lecture is scheduled for Thursday October 4, 2012 at The University of St. Martin lecture hall, commencing at 6:30 – 8:00pm.
    Lecturer for the evening, Mrs. Sprott has spent the last 20 years in St. Maarten, and it was during her time on the island that she learned that that there might have been a Jewish community here. Using good old fashioned research with the help of the Kadastar's office, Government Affairs, SIMARC and the St. Maarten Heritage Foundation, she located the site of the former Jewish Burial grounds where Radio Shack is located (1740- 1860) and the location Jewish Synagogue behind the West Indian Tavern. She currently lectures at Florida Atlantic University on the Jews of the Caribbean and The Caribbean and WWII.
    The general public is welcomed to attend this lecture. There is no cover charge.
  • PJL Hosts Jewish Traveling Exhibition.

    Philipsburg:--- On Saturday, October 6, 2012 the Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL) in collaboration with the St. Maarten National Heritage Foundation is inviting the general public to the official opening of the traveling exhibition "Reading and Writing with Anne Frank" (by the Anne Frank Foundation from Amsterdam). This event will take place in the lobby of the PJL at 7:00pm. The exhibition will also include the findings of researcher Dana Sprott pertaining to the Jewish history of St Maarten.

    The keynote address will be given by Mary Romney. Romney is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut and daughter of the late Lionel Romney, a native of St. Maarten. The elder Romney was imprisoned in Mauthausen concentration camp during World War II. Daniella Jeffrey will also speak at this event along with representatives of the Anne Frank Foundation.

    "Reading & Writing with Anne Frank" is specifically designed for children aged 9-15. The exhibition tells the story of Anne Frank's life with special attention paid to her diary and the stories she wrote while hiding in the Secret Annex. The aim of the exhibition is to promote reading and writing by putting Anne Frank forward as an inspiring role model. Students and teachers on St. Maarten are currently being scheduled to visit the library to be a part of this exhibition, which will be on display from October 6 through October 30, 2012.

    PJL will be also be exhibiting a museum quality bust in color based on the skull that was discovered by Dr. Haviser at the site of the Jewish Burial Ground, which was behind the Radio Shack Building on Longwall Road. The bust was done by Catyana Skory, Crime Lab of the Broward Sheriff Office.

    A number of activities targeting St. Maarten's youth aged 9 – 15 will be occurring throughout the month of October. The first of which will be held this coming Saturday, October 6 from 11:00am to 1:00 pm. There will also be a movie night every Thursday at 6pm. The culmination of the month activities will be a panel discussion among our youth, discussing tolerance on St. Maarten, on Tuesday, October 30.

    PJL is committed to encouraging reading and writing among youngsters, as well making connections between them and St. Maarten's history. The PJL is urging the St. Maarten public to support as many of the upcoming activities as possible. For additional information, please contact Morenika Arrindell, Activity Manager at the library, by calling 542-9819.

  • SHGC - FCCA Conference Curacao Update.

    romeopantophletatfccaconferencecuracao04102012POINTE BLANCHE:--- A harbour delegation led by Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunications Hon. Romeo Pantophlet, is currently attending the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Conference and Exhibition along with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Mingo, in Curacao.

    On Tuesday, 2nd October 2012 the FCCA conference opened in Curacao. Main discussion points were further development of the product offerings from Sint Maarten, future business outlook for the Caribbean which includes the BREA expenditure report.

    State of the Industry Figures for 2012 were also given; Industry growth was also headline for the Caribbean, which continues to rank as the dominant cruise destination accounting for 39.8% of all itineraries in 2011, versus 41.3% in 2010, 37.02% in 2009, 37.25% in 2008.

    Passenger numbers continue to remain consistent and high for the Caribbean, despite other rising destination.

    The current cruise ship order book extending through 2015 includes 26 new builds, 17 ocean going vessels and nine European & American Cruise Riverboats from CLIA Member Lines with a value of nearly $12 billion.

    Minister Romeo Pantophlet and Mingo recognizes that Sint Maarten must improve its product and further enhance its Cruise Faculties, when one looks at the expansion reaching its 10 anniversary, and that means that with the higher repeat of guests new offerings and enhancement is a most for us as a cruise destination to survive.

    The vessels now all offer an array of feature –rich innovative amenities and services. The FCCA conference will officially end on Friday.

  • Motorworld Donates Van to Red Cross.

    motorworlddonatestoredcross05102012Cole Bay:--- Red Cross St. Maarten, as part of the International Red Cross Red Crescent Organization, is committed to helping vulnerable people locally, within the region and around the world, prevent for, respond to and recover from disasters, complex humanitarian emergencies and life-threatening health conditions.

    Besides preparing for and or dealing with disaster situations, Red Cross St. Maarten is also very active in other areas and is present during every (sports) activity on the island. Transportation is necessary to execute these activities, as well as to carry our volunteers to various locations.

    The purchase of vehicles is a very heavy burden on our budget, but with the great assistance of Motorworld, Red Cross St. Maarten has been able to purchase this van.

    The Van will be used for the transportation of our volunteers to and from (sports) activities, meetings, and trainings.

  • President Samuel says together it is possible to fight cancer.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- Sint Maarten's two-day Cancer Conference starts on Friday morning at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino with a number of guest's speakers who will highlight various issues related to cancer.

    President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel, would like to commend the organizers, comprising of several Non-Governmental Organizations as well as the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, with respect to profiling prominent cancers that impact the wellbeing of Sint Maarten's society.

    "Everybody together has a role to play in reducing premature deaths from cancer. The conference is bringing together different stakeholders to chart a way forward and it's a step in the right direction," President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel said on Thursday.

    Scientific knowledge, gathered over the years, indicates that at least one-third of all cancer cases can be prevented. Prevention offers the most cost-effective, long-term strategy for the control of cancer.

    Healthy diets, particularly diets high in fruits and vegetables, may have a protective effect against many cancers. Regular physical activity combined with normal body weight will considerably reduce cancer risk, particularly for digestive, gynaecologic and breast cancers.

    The conference is being held under the theme: "Cancer and aging, collectively improving our local cancer care and responsibility," and is being held from October 26 to the 27 at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino.

    The four areas to be highlighted at the conference are breast cancer, cervical, colon and prostate cancer.

    The general public is invited to conference activities on Saturday, October 27 from 9:00am to 1:15pm and from 1:30pm to 4:00pm (lunch not included).

  • IND Offices of Admittance and Residence Closed Thursday afternoon.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) offices of Admittance and Residence, would like to inform the general public that its offices will be closed from 12 noon on Thursday for the entire afternoon.

    The closure is in connection with IND hosting 25 employees of IND Caribisch Nederland during the afternoon hours.

    The aforementioned employees will receive a guided tour of country Sint Maarten's IND facility, and will exchange ideas for possible improvement within the area of immigration matters and border control.

    IND Admittance and Residence Office are located at A.T. Illidge Road #8 (next to NAPA).

  • Minister Jacobs commends VOOC on Anti-Bullying march.

    silveriajacobsatvoocwalkagainstbullying22102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, on Saturday evening took part in the Anti-Bullying march organized by Voice of Our Children (VOOC).

    After the march, several VOOC members spoke on bullying after which the Minister was asked to say a few words. Minister Jacobs spoke on bullying being a behaviour that as adults has to stand up against along with our children, by setting the right example, correcting the behaviour when we see it and supporting organizations and schools which take such a great stand against bullying.

    Minister Silveria Jacobs warned parents to be vigilant especially for cyber-bullying, as it is the easiest and fastest growing form of bullying.

    "This type has lasting negative effects especially for the victim. Each person who "likes" a bullying statement is also a "bully"," Minister Jacobs said on Saturday.

    Schools were also encouraged to open discussions with students and parents on this issue.

    The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports said that her Ministry will continue to support of VOOC as they continue to deal with issues that affect the youth.

    VOOC members, board and president, Minister Jacobs said, is to be commended for this initiative.

  • SGPH says past rainfall posing a threat for mosquito breeding; Advises population to heighten efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding places.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Last week's consistent rainfall and over the weekend bouts of rain, has increased the country's risk for mosquito breeding and with that mosquito-borne disease.

    Section General Public Health (SGPH), an organization that is part of the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is appealing to residents to heighten their efforts to eradicate mosquito breeding places.

    Dengue has broken out in a number of Caribbean, Central and South American countries including Belize, Guyana and Suriname. Jamaica has reported 1215 suspected dengue cases and five suspected deaths with the death of a seven-year-old last Sunday who is suspected to have had the virus.

    The Jamaica Ministry of Public Health has declared a dengue outbreak noting that there was a rapid increase in both the clinically suspected cases of dengue and laboratory confirmed cases.

    The Cayman Islands Medical Officer of Health, has confirmed seven local cases of dengue, and of the seven, three have reported a travel history to countries with existing cases of the disease.

    At least six people have died from dengue fever in Puerto Rico, including two children under the age of 10. Puerto Rico's health department recently declared a dengue epidemic.

    Residents and business owners need to search in and around their homes and workplaces for Ades Aegypti mosquito breeding sites and destroy them. Mosquitoes have the potential to transmit dengue and chikungunya fever.

    Taking measures to fight dengue is also part of the Minister of Public Health's 'Get Checked' campaign, and residents should check their surroundings carefully for possible breeding places.

    Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that causes a severe flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults. Chikungunya (CHIK) fever is an emerging, mosquito-borne disease caused by an alphavirus, Chikungunya virus (CHIKV).

    Clear stagnant water in old tires and other types of debris in yards can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Immediate measures should be taken after rain events to make sure there is no clear/clean stagnant water in their yards; disposing of responsibly old tires, empty drums, plant containers, paint cans and other items that can collect water around their homes and businesses.

    An increase in the mosquito population puts residents at risk. In the case of where containers are used for storing water, residents should keep these covered. Inlets and outlets of cisterns must be covered with a mosquito net or cloth to prevent mosquito breeding.

  • TEMPO TURNS 7 CELEBRATIONS HEATING UP --- Caribbean network joins forces with Cablevision for Win a Trip promotion to St. Maarten.

    NEW JERSEY, USA:--- Leading Caribbean media and entertainment company TEMPO Networks kicked off its seventh anniversary by promoting the Caribbean's vacation attributes to millions of potential consumers.

    It is partnering with Cablevision, one of the top media and telecommunications companies in the United States, to offer its 1.5 million Optimum customers a chance to win a vacation of a lifetime.

    The Cable giant and TEMPO are partnering on a Caribbean Sweepstakes, enabling Cablevision's Optimum Rewards loyalty members to win a week-long trip to Dutch St. Maarten in the Caribbean.

    Since the recent launch of the promotion, more than 100,000 Optimum customers have already entered to win the vacation which includes round-trip airfare, a six-night stay for four at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino along with a number of bonus attractions and island experiences.

    "Our Tempo Turns 7 celebrations are aimed at rewarding our loyal viewers, fans and partners," said Frederick A. Morton, Jr., Founder, Chairman and CEO of TEMPO Networks, who noted the sweepstakes are being promoted via 600 weekly ads in 33 markets across major networks, including Bravo, Food Network and Travel Channel.

    "The value of the promotion is more than US $2.5 million which demonstrates the extraordinary returns on investment that Caribbean destinations can yield when we are able to work strategically together and engage the resources to create these opportunities." Morton added.

    Reflecting on the past seven years, the St. Croix-born Morton said: "By the grace of God and with the amazing support of the Caribbean we have come a long away, but we have no plans to rest on our laurels."

    He added that the network will make several announcements in the months ahead to increase its footprint as well as to promote Caribbean culture to regional and international audiences.

    "It is our mission to instill confidence and Caribbean pride as well as to play a lead role in branding the Caribbean extra-regionally."

    The anniversary celebrations revolve around destination St. Maarten, and include a number of cultural activities and concerts from November 25 to December 1, 2012.

    For more information, stay tuned to TEMPO or visit www.gotTEMPO.com.

    From now through November 14, 2012, Optimum Rewards members can enter to win the St. Maarten trip at www.gotTEMPO.com.

    TEMPO is available on Channel 1105 on Optimum TV. Tune in regularly for the very best in Caribbean programming.

  • SGPH appeals to community to observe Global Hand Washing Day and re-enforce the importance of clean hands to remove germs.

    corneliusdeweever03102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The United Nations (UN) General Assembly designated every October 15 as Global Hand washing Day, and calls on all peoples around the world to improve hygiene practices, for example, by washing your hands with soap.

    Hand washing is not only simple and inexpensive, but hand washing with soap can dramatically cut the number of young children who get sick.

    Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, Hon. Cornelius de Weever, calls on school children, teachers, families and others to learn about the benefits, and re-enforce the culture of hand washing with soap.

    "I would like to encourage the healthcare professionals and the food service industry to be vigilant about their employees and ensure internal hand washing procedures and adherence to them," Minister De Weever said on Sunday.

    'Get Checked,' is the Minister of Public Health's campaign to improve public health amongst the population of the country.

    Section General Public Health (SGPH) reports that according to international studies, about two million children under the age of five die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the globe.

    Hand washing with soap could protect about one out of every three young children who get sick with diarrhea, and almost one out of six young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia.

    Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively.

  • SGPH advises residents to be vigilant and eradicate mosquito breeding places.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The country is expected to experience shower activity over the weekend from Tropical Storm Rafael. Due to excess rainfall, the potential for mosquito breeding is high.

    Section General Public Health (SGPH) is appealing to residents to be vigilant and eradicate mosquito breeding places.

    At least six people have died from dengue fever in Puerto Rico, including two children under the age of 10. Authorities have reported under 5,000 cases including 21 cases of the potentially fatal hemorrhagic dengue. Puerto Rico's health department has declared a dengue epidemic.

    Measures need to be taken in and around homes and businesses to reduce breeding of the Ades Aegypti mosquito which has the potential to transmit dengue and chikungunya fever.

    Taking measures to fight dengue is also part of the Minister of Public Health's 'Get Checked' campaign, and residents should check their surroundings carefully for possible breeding places.

    Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that causes a severe flu-like illness that affects infants, young children and adults. Chikungunya (CHIK) fever is an emerging, mosquito-borne disease caused by an alphavirus, Chikungunya virus (CHIKV).

    Although indigenous transmission of CHIKV does not occur in the Americas now, the risk for its introduction into local vector mosquito populations is likely higher than had previously been thought, especially in tropical and subtropical areas where Ae. Aegypti, of the main vectors of CHIKV, has a broad distribution.

    Clear stagnant water in old tires and other types of debris in yards can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes bringing about an increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases.

    SGPH is therefore advising residents to take immediate measures after rain events to make sure there is no clear/clean stagnant water in their yards; disposing of responsibly old tires, empty drums, plant containers, paint cans and other items that can collect water around their homes and businesses.

    An increase in the mosquito population puts residents at risk. In the case of where containers are used for storing water, residents should keep these covered. Inlets and outlets of cisterns must be covered with a mosquito net or cloth to prevent mosquito breeding.

  • Positive Foundation gives presentation at MLK --- School recognizes need for awareness.

    positivefoundationatmlkjrschool11102012Philipsburg:--- The staff of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary School invited the Positive Foundation to give a special presentation in recognition of breast cancer awareness month. School manager Stuart Johnson stated, "Our invitation was quickly accepted and we deeply appreciate the factual information provided to the members of our school staff." President of the Positive Foundation, Shelly Alphonso also came with a breast cancer survivor to address the special gathering. Johnson said, "Every Friday for this month has been declared Pink Day at our school and everyone is encouraged to wear something pink." After a DVD presentation, Ms. Alphonso outlined special dates and events for this month of Breast Cancer Awareness. Everyone received handout booklets and other information sheets as well as got the opportunity to ask various questions. "We look forward to continuing fostering a healthy working relationship for the benefit of our students and staff," Johnson concluded.
  • Gaston Boasman Help Desk for the Elderly and Disabled in Hope Estate to Open Thursday.

    corneliusdeweever03102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- On Thursday, October 11th 2012, the Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs will be hosting the official opening of the Gaston Boasman Help Desk for the Elderly and Disabled in Hope Estate.

    Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever stated on Wednesday, "I am extremely delighted to open this helpdesk for the elderly and physically challenged.

    "This is not just another help desk. The staff here can be dispatched to help those who need it most. We have to keep trying to provide better service to our elderly and physically challenged."

    This helpdesk will be distinct from the other three Community Help Desks, located in St. Peters, Dutch Quarter and Cole Bay. What will distinguish it from the rest is its focus, primarily catering to the elderly and disabled persons within our communities.

    It gives true meaning to the concept of a "one stop shop" for all social products, provided under one roof and as such it enables clients with easier access to Governmental and a variety of Non-Governmental services.

    This central location is also providing all their clients and social partners with much needed visibility and a platform to effectively connect and efficiently engage in serving their target groups with the aim to have sustainable outcomes. Because of the collaboration amongst stakeholders, it will also transform and facilitate interaction between Government, other service providers, such as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and Community Councils and its clients.

    The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour acknowledges that promoting resilient communities transcends organizational boundaries. This is attained through close collaboration between a host of social partners and stakeholders in order to address the changing needs of our society.

    The Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs is confident that this joint relationship display at the Gaston Boasman Help Desk for the Elderly & Disabled, will deliver added value to the community of St. Maarten and in particular the people that it intends to serve.

    In addition to the services provided by a large number of agencies, the Gaston Boasman Helpdesk for the Elderly & Disabled is a central point where also social empowerment sessions and administrative support is provided for the targeted clients, NGOs and Community Councils.

    A number of 15 agencies is lending support and are collaborating from this helpdesk in its attempt to provide adequate social service to St. Maarten's aging, physically and memory challenged citizens.

    The Helpdesk can be contacted at Tel. # 542 2802/ 2803/ 2804 or visit the desk during working hours, from 8:30 – 5:00 pm from Monday – Friday at the location in Hope Estate.

  • Hundreds take part in Positive Foundation's Pink Parade.

    Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicked off with a big pink bang on Friday October 5th with the staging of the annual Pink Parade, organized by Elektralyets in collaboration with Positive Foundation. Representatives from different foundations, businesses and members Government all came out to march and celebrate lives, as well as spread awareness.
    Heeding the call of the Positive Foundation was to "Take Charge, Live Well", representatives of the Heavenly Water, Princess Juliana International Airport, NAGICO, UTS, Bella's Fitness Coaching and Zumba, Love of Kids Foundation, Prime Distributors, GEBE, Scotia Bank, Windward Islands Bank, SZV Insurance, Ennia, St. Maarten Nurses Association, Team Maso, the 2012 Miss Mature and Teen Carnival Queen, and more were participants in the parade, not to mention men, women and children of all ages.
    Participants of the parade gathered just outside the St. Maarten Festival Village where the parade kicked off and continued down Walter Nisbeth Road and turned into Front Street through Long Wall Road. Participants continued the march on Frontstreet, and then up the Board Walk. Participates were accompanied by Boy Blue Drum Band, the Boys Brigade, and Ebony Steel. The parade ended at Holland House Beach Hotel merging with the Broadwalk Fest, also in recognition of breast cancer awareness.
    Upon arrival, Elektra and Shelly of the Elektralyets and Positive Foundations took the stage accompanied by Prime Minister Sarah Wescot- Williams, Minister of Health Cornelius De Weever, and Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs to express their sincerest gratitude to all participants of the parade. Probably the most powerful moment of the night was the introduction of four brave, beautiful and strong women who are courageous enough to be the PIONEERS of a new project called "Pink Faces". Lydia, Loretta, Denise, and Marcellina have been all diagnosed with Breast Cancer and they have pledged their continued support in an effort to make a difference.
    "It's called Pink Faces because our face tells a story, we see the lines, we see the wrinkles, and we see all the different kinds of faces like these four powerful, beautiful women right here," Elektra explained. "By creating this Pink Faces project, we're hoping to highlight the women in the community and start a network where women can come, share, talk and support each other. Let me tell you something, I've learnt something in my life, if you have an idea or a concept, believe in yourself and flush it out. These ladies would not have been able to make this idea come alive if they did not participate in what I thought would be an awareness movement to help the community of St. Maarten," Elektra added
    Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams in her speech echoed, "There are many more women out there in our community that are suffering in silence." Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs took the opportunity of congratulate all teachers for International Teachers day and encourage the parade participants to go "Get Checked!" Minister of Health Cornelius De Weever stood behind Marcellina "Maso" Loblack, a Pink Faces trailblazer and a recently diagnosed breast cancer patient. Minister De Weever stated tearfully "Maso, I said I am going to stand behind you and I meant it."
    As a token of appreciation from the Elektralyets Foundation and the Positive Foundation, the four women were presented with framed photographs of themselves, the final product of a photo-shoot they took part in for the Pink Faces project, La Rich and Roma Designz also collaborated on this project.
    Should interested persons need more information with regards to the Calender of PINK events contact Elektra on 5237418 and for Free Clinical Breast Cancer screenings and info sessions contact Shelly: 5809658.
  • 19th Annual FCCA Conference Opens Its Doors to a Thousand Industry Professionals in Curaçao.

    Willemstad, Curaçao:--- The FCCA Conference officially opened today in Willemstad, Curaçao, attracting over 1,000 professionals from throughout the cruise industry and the private and public sectors of cruise destinations, along with anyone looking to extend their contact base, reach and knowledge in the industry.

    Conference attendees will engage in a four-day span of one-on-one meetings with the nearly 100 cruise executives in attendance from various departments, including operations, purchasing, marketing and shore excursions.

    Workshops are also offered with panelists of the various executives, granting insight to the cruise industry, complete with a CEO - Executive Roundtable; shore excursion operations with separate workshops teaching how to put the wow back into the product and magic of the Caribbean, train tour guides and appeal to the special needs traveler; and a release of the BREA study, profiling the most current research on cruise passenger data in participating destinations. To complete the days, evening functions bring the attendees and cruise executives together and foster communication between them.

    Additionally, due to the growing popularity and increased demand, the FCCA staged pre-Conference events for the first time. Two workshops were held for October 1, which joined the Care Teams from the various FCCA Member Lines to address their recent efforts and the evolving safety practices, and Jeff James, Vice President & General Manager of Disney Institute, hosted a workshop entitled "Business Excellence" to teach the five most powerful lessons in business. The pre-Conference proceedings concluded with an evening function that brought the early attendees to the Marriot's beachfront for a night of festivities and networking.

    In its 19th year, the FCCA Conference & Trade Show provides the best chance for entities doing business or wishing to do business with the cruise industry to increase their contact base with the cruise executives in attendance so that they can present their destination or product and learn what the cruise lines look for in terms of shore excursions, products, services and ports of call. It helps attendees establish a clear vision that will map the road to success in future dealings with the cruise industry.

    The FCCA prides itself in bringing together cruise industry representatives with those looking to do business with the lines. It is a symbiotic relationship between them; the more that the destinations and companies progress and learn about the industry, the more that the industry is able to grow and thrive. The FCCA promotes this mutually beneficial connection in most of its operations.

    To learn more about the Conference and Trade Show or the FCCA, please visit www.f-cca.com.

  • BREA Study Reveals Cruise Tourism's Economic Contribution in 21 Caribbean and Latin American Destinations.

    New Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Study Cites Increased Destination Cruise Tourism Expenditures.
    WILLEMSTAD, CURAÇAO (October 3, 2012)-Cruise tourism boosted revenues for destinations, ports and businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to an FCCA-commissioned study from Business Research and Economic Advisors.

    BREA reported that FCCA-regional cruise tourism in 2011-2012 generated more than $1.9 billion in direct expenditures, 45,000 jobs and $728 million in employee wages among 21 destinations surveyed.

    "This certainly is wonderful news, but it doesn't surprise me," told Michele M. Paige, FCCA president, during the 19th annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association's Conference and Trade Show in Curaçao. "FCCA members are known for seeing opportunities."

    The new study analyzed spending by passengers, crew members and cruise lines. Among BREA's findings:

    • Cruise passengers (15.44 million) spent $1.48 billion in 21 participating destinations, with per passenger expenditures ranging from $185.40 in St. Maarten to $27.10 in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and averaging $95.92. An average of 52 percent of passengers bought shore excursions, generating $270 million in total payments to tour operators. Other notable purchases include watches and jewelry ($583 million); clothing ($158 million); food and beverage ($106.5 million) and local crafts and souvenirs ($87 million).
    • Crew members (2.7 million) spent over $261 million in the 21 destinations, with per crew expenditures ranging from $138.30 in the U.S. Virgin Islands and $21.40 in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and averaging $96.98.
    • Cruise lines spent an estimated $246.9 million in participating destinations for port fees and taxes, utilities, navigation services and ship supplies.

    "These expenditures have a direct impact on local employment and wages," Andrew Moody, principal of Business Research & Economic Advisors, said. "Local businesses ... create additional jobs and income."

    BREA-surveyed destinations included Antigua & Barbuda; Aruba; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Curacao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Honduras; Nicaragua; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Kitts & Nevis; St. Maarten; St. Vincent & the Grenadines; Turks & Caicos; and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Paige noted that polled passengers' experience showed a strong indication that they are likely to cruise again in the region and spend money. Passengers told BREA that they were "very satisfied" with:

    • Overall destination visit.
    • Shore excursions.
    • Friendliness of residents and courtesy of employees.
    • Initial shoreside welcome.
    • Historic sites/museums.
    • Local transportation

    "Establishing relationships among member lines and the public and private sectors of partner destinations was the reason we founded the FCCA," Paige said. "Never has it been more important for cruise and travel partners to link arms and share ideas. That's the spirit behind the conference we're attending here in Curaçao."

    The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 14 Member Cruise Lines operating more than 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA's mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, tour operations, safety, security and other cruise industry issues. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA seeks to build cooperative relationships with its partner destinations and to develop productive bilateral partnerships with every sector. The FCCA works with governments, ports and all private/public sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, cruise line and cruise line employee spending, as well as enhancing the destination experience and the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors.

  • MP Arrindell Questions Minister of Justice on Policies Regarding Security Companies; Highly Commends Police Organization for Rapid Response in Apprehending Alleged Cupecoy Murder Suspects.

    garrindell23122011UP Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Gracita Arrindell has penned a letter with 10 questions to the Minister of Justice Hon. Roland Duncan seeking information with respect to Security Companies in the aftermath of the recent brutal double murders in Cupecoy. MP Arrindell is questioning the reliability of background checks and screening of persons employed by security companies.

    "I highly commend the men and woman in the police force and justice department for working tirelessly to keep our island safe for our residents and valued visitors. Specifically, kudos, and a heartfelt thank you to those officers who worked around the clock to solve this heinous crime. Please convey my appreciation," MP Arrindell informed the Minister in her letter.

    The issue of safety and security MP Arrindell pointed out to Minister Duncan, " ...has always been high on my agenda in representing our people. In order for me to make an informed opinion based on facts, I herewith submit to you as Minister of Justice several questions pertaining to the abovementioned subject matter."

    MP Arrindell has also queried the Minister on the following: "The brutal manner in which allegedly the female victim was murdered, calls for special investigation. Can the Ministry indicate if it intends to ask for the input of professional entities such as a psychiatrist or any other appropriate behavioural specialist, to get to the source of the reason for the display of this 'rage' by the young criminal (s) allegedly involved in the murders mentioned above."

    Another question from the MP to the Minister is: "What preventative measures or policies does the Ministry intend to take with regards to the security companies personnel. For example does the Ministry intend to call a meeting with the security companies and agencies in an effort to be on the same level of understanding the importance of having reliable, screened and trained personnel?"

  • Samuel Congratulates Teachers on World Teachers’ Day.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- World Teacher's Day (WTD) is celebrated globally on October 5. The theme for 2012 WTD is "Take a stand for teachers!"

    President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel, would like to congratulate Sint Maartens' teachers past and present on their special day, and wish them much success with their endeavours.

    Samuel added that teachers' play a significant role in our lives, in our society and in nation building. He said their pride with work, dedication to the job and sense of duty, befits this noble profession, and on behalf of the Parliament of Sint Maarten, a happy teachers' day 2012.

    According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), teachers, ultimately determine our collective ability to innovate, to invent, to find solutions for tomorrow. Nothing will ever replace a good teacher. Nothing is more important than supporting them, according to UNESCO.

    WTD is held annually on 5 October to celebrate the essential role of teachers in providing quality education at all levels. It also commemorates the anniversary of the 1966 signature of the UNESCO/International Labour Organization (ILO) Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers.

  • Eighteen New Coast Guards Sworn-in.

    18newcoastguardsswornin05102012Philipsburg:--- On Monday October 1st, 2012, a brief ceremony was held at the Cabinet of the Ministry of Justice, to officially swear in and recognize eighteen law enforcement officers in the Ministry of Justice's Law Enforcement Agencies, more specifically, for the department of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard.

    The Minister of Justice the Honorable Roland Duncan along with the Department Head Mr. Edison Kirindongo, officially recognized all eighteen men as law enforcement officers and congratulated them and encouraged them to serve Sint Maarten to the best of their abilities.

  • NGOs Invited to Chronic Disease Lecture by Professor Trevor Hassell.

    trevorhassell14102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Professor Trevor Hassell, Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of the West Indies, Barbados, will be giving a lecture to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) about Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) on Saturday evening.

    NCDs comprise of heart disease, stroke, cancer, respiratory illness, and diabetes. These NCDs results in 36 million deaths per year worldwide.

    The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has called for a comprehensive approach to fight NCDs which includes governments, civil society, academia, international organizations, and private sector.

    NGO executive board members, civic groups, and interested members of their organizations are invited to share and receive information with respect to NCDs on Saturday, 27 October from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in the Dr. A. C. Wathey Legislative Hall at the Government Administration Building

    Professor Trevor Hassell, Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of the West Indies, Barbados, is also one of the speakers at the two-day Cancer Conference being jointly organized by Collective Prevention Services (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), that starts on Friday.

    Professor Hassell is also Honorary Consultant Physician and Cardiologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, and Chairman of the National Commission for Chronic Non Communicable Diseases.

    Professor Hassell was recently appointed as Barbados Special Envoy for Chronic Diseases, and has received many awards including appointment to the Order of Barbados in the Grade of the Gold Crown of Merit in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the medical profession.

    During the Cancer Conference, Professor Trevor Hassell will be addressing Best Practice National Program of Monitoring and Managing Cancer Registry and Guidelines for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment.

    'Get Checked,' is the Minister of Public Health's campaign to improve public health amongst the population of the country, and the NCD lecture and Cancer Conference are avenues to bring forth awareness within the community.

  • SMMTA Delighted that Build Your Future boat kits have arrived on the island.

    smmtabuildyourboatskerrykit23102012The Build Your Future Project, a joint initiative of the St. Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA) and the St. Maarten Sailing School, focuses on the building of a vessel known as the Skerry by high school aged students. The Skerry is a small Norwegian style boat that weighs only 90lbs and arrives as a jigsaw puzzle. Between 5 and 25 students per school will participate to build the boats under the guidance of a teacher dedicated to the project and a qualified mentor with knowledge of the marine industry and marine carpentry. The project is under the Direction of Garth Steyn, SMMTA Youth Sailing Director and head of the St. Maarten Sailing School.

    We have had an overwhelming response from the high schools wanting to get involved, and at this time we would like to announce that the following schools will be participating: CIA, St Dominics Academy, Milton Peters College, St Maarten Academy (Vocational) and SBO. The goal is to have all five vessels completed in time to have a first competition as part of the events leading up to the Heineken Regatta. In conjunction with the Regatta organizers an artwork competition will also be held and the winners will get to decorate a sail.

    We would also like to announce that the SMMTA's BUILD YOUR FUTURE has gained the following sponsors: Island Water World, Budget Marine, FKG Marine Rigging and Fabrication, St. Maarten Sails and Canvas, the Harbour Group of Companies and Safe Cargo Services. We welcome all sponsors to our team! If you are interested in supporting this exciting and dynamic initiative please contact us via email at info@smmta.com

    Stay up-to-date on the progress of the Build Your Future Vessels and with the other youth sailing initiative by reading The Kids Herald.

  • Reminder of the Continuation of Central Committee of Parliament meeting with Minister Jacobs scheduled for October 22.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- The public is reminded that the Central Committee of Parliament that met with Minister of Education, Culture, Youths and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs on October 08, will continue on October 22.

    The meeting will take place on a Monday morning at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

    The two agenda points for this meeting are the present education policy, and secondly, the policy related to youth and sports.

    The Hon. Minister of Education will be answering questions that were posed by members of the House in the first round of the October 8th session.

    The initial meeting with the Minister was requested by the United Peoples (UP) Party parliamentary faction.

    The central committee session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.

  • High Councils of State preparing for second annual symposium “Thoughts on Good Governance”.

    Philipsburg:--- The High Councils of State are finalizing preparations for their second annual Symposium. The Ombudsman, Council of Advice and General Audit Chamber are the organizers of the annual event. This year's theme is "Thoughts on Good Governance".
    Professor Jaime Saleh, Minister of State and former Governor of the Netherlands Antilles, will provide the keynote address on the theme as it relates to the High Councils of State.
    The organizers have sent out invitations to guests including members of Parliament, Ministers, Secretary Generals, Heads of Department & Section Heads, directors of government owned companies, government affiliated entities and other stakeholders in the community, as well as invitees from abroad.
    The Ombudsman, Council of Advice and General Audit Chamber are supervisory and advisory entities that were established as part of the new government structure of Country Sint Maarten. The entities have chosen to work together on this annual event based on a shared objective to broaden knowledge and awareness of the role and functioning of these institutions.
    Following the positive reception received from participants of the first symposium in 2011, the institutions agreed to work on a second installment of the event.
    In 2011 the theme for the Symposium was "Checks and Balances in a Democracy and the Role of High Councils of State."
    As was the case during that first event, the organizers will invite guests to directly interact with a panel comprised of the keynote speaker, the Ombudsman, the vice-chair of the Council of Advice and the Chairperson of the General Audit Chamber.
    Approximately 250 persons have been invited and invitees are encouraged to make use of a unique opportunity to be informed by a renowned speaker regarding this year's theme, and participate in a direct discussion with above mentioned panel
  • IND Organizing Open House for November 02; Public invited.

    indopenhouse01032012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) will be having an Open House on Friday, 02 November, and the public is invited to attend.

    Persons interested in learning more about the services of the IND can visit the Open House at its offices on the A.T. Illidge Road #8 (next to NAPA) between 8:00am straight through lunch-time right on to 3:00pm.

    Immigration staff will be available to answer questions in English, French and Spanish. Brochures will be on display and available to take-away as well.

    Questions and concerns about residency, visa requirements, extensions, police records, and the BTA will be answered. "You have Questions, We have the Answers"!

    IND staff from Pointe Blanche Port of Entry, Simpson Bay and the Airport along with Border Control staff will also be available to provide information to members of the public.

    The three main areas when IND executes its work are transparency, consistency and customer friendly service.

    The IND is also inviting representatives of consulates as well as organizations, to come out to the open house so they can gather and relay all information to those who would not be able to be there.

    The IND is looking forward to meeting with those who require additional information during the Open House scheduled for 02 November.

  • Flash Flood Watch in Effect until Tonight; Tropical Storm Warning Discontinued.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Tropical Storm (TS) Rafael, passed very close to the country last night bringing gale force to tropical storm force winds during heavy rain showers.

    TS Rafael at 11:00am was located approximately 170 miles Northeast of Puerto Rico with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour. The storm continues to move away from our area.

    The country is under a Flash Flood Watch due to possible thunderstorms that can still be expected from the tail section of the system. The tropical storm warning has been discontinued.

    Strong gusts of winds to near gale force can still be expected according to the Meteorological Department of Curacao (MDC).

    Seas are moderate to rough at six to 10 feet; light to moderate periods of rainfall are still expected with a couple thunderstorms is still possible accumulating in amounts of one to three inches, therefore street flooding in low lying areas is still possible due to saturated grounds.

    Motorists are advised to exercise caution while driving in low lying areas; exercise caution when driving in along hilly areas with respect to possible rock falls.

  • Customs receives their own K-9 Unit.

    customsdeptgetsk9unit11102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Justice Hon. Roland Duncan recently administered the oath to Customs Officer Maduro (dog handler). The Customs Department of Sint Maarten now has its own K-9 Unit.
  • Minister Silveria Jacobs Constitution Day Address to Parliament.

    silveriajacobs02102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- On Wednesday, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, addressed parliament on the second anniversary of attaining country status.

    Message: Today marks the 2nd anniversary of our attainment of country status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a historical day in accordance with the fulfillment of the wishes of the people expressed in the referendum of 12 years ago.

    While our journey started many years ago, we must not forget the hard work of our courageous leaders who were determined to obtain our current status on behalf of the people.

    We are still at phase 1 of the building process, and as such much more still needs to be done to strengthen the foundation that was officially laid on October 10, 2010.

    As we embrace our new status we must be steadfast in identifying our path forward.

    In the preamble of the constitution it states and I quote:
    "We, the people of St. Maarten, confirm that we recognize the guiding principles of God as the core of our values ...."
    Yet I question why our Parliamentary sessions start with a moment of silence instead of a prayer to this same Almighty God;
    We must remember that prayer and worship are fundamentally a mainstay of our cultural heritage.

    It further states that:
    "Being Determined to work together with our partners in the Kingdom, our French brothers and sisters, as well as all peoples of the world on the basis of freedom, equality, peaceful coexistence, and international solidarity;"

    We must take charge of securing our assets within this Kingdom, and strive to utilize all means available to build the capacity of our St. Maarten people in order to move towards true autonomy, while working together with our Kingdom partners for the benefit of St. Maarten.

    In terms of working together with our Countrymen to the North, Much more must be done to cement the cooperation between the governments of the Northern and Southern parts of our island, so that we can truly unite as one people.

    We must Unite in our efforts to promote tourism, preserve our tangible and intangible cultural heritage, provide quality health care, social services, education and sports for all, meet the needs of our youth, promote the family as the core unit of our society, preserve and protect our environment - natural reserves, our waters, our flora and fauna.

    This cannot just happen at governmental levels, but at the level of the people, the people who are St. Maarten. Yet, we as the government of the people must and are putting policies in place to meet the needs of these same people, and must execute them to the benefit of our people of St. Maarten.

    Our constitution further declares that we are a people that believe in the principles of democracy, the rule of law, the principle of separation of powers, the dignity and value of the individual, and the entitlement of ALL individuals to the fundamental rights and freedoms of people throughout the world.

    In this regard, we are indeed still in the infancy stages of our development - we still struggle to provide quality education for all, we do not have all facilities in place to preserve the dignity and value of our special persons, our elderly, and the poor.
    We have much to do to meet our responsibilities in this regard.

    The Theme 'Building a Nation of Courageous and Determined people' is directly derived from the aforementioned constitutional quote. St. Maarteners have proven time and again that we have the courage and determination to continue our way of life regardless of the obstacles that we may have faced and will certainly face. Through tough economic times, natural disasters and new influences we have stayed steadfast and prevailed.

    The definition of Courage is: to not be deterred by danger or pain; to be brave.

    The definition of determination is : Firmness of purpose; resoluteness.

    It is with a mindset of COURAGE and DETERMINATION that I pledge to work to move St. Maarten forward.

    We must move forward as a people in defining who a St. Maartener is.

    We must move forward as a people in establishing what our national anthem is.

    We must move forward in building our pride in this country we call St. Maarten.

    We must move forward in declaring this day the tenth day of October a National Holiday.

    We must educate our St. Maarten people about our constitution and our country.

    We must move forward in building a courageous and determined people who will work hard together to achieve the goals set forth in our constitution and continue to build a strong and resilient St. Maarten.

    I am St. Maarten, You are St. Maarten, WE are ST. MAARTEN, our students and other countrymen and women abroad are St. Maarten, our ancestors in their graves are St. Maarten.

    As we move into our third year, with new powers and responsibilities as a country, I pray that WE, who are St. Maarten, can pledge to do all we can, individually and collectively to fulfill our dreams for St. Maarten; build a legacy our young St. Maarteners will be proud to inherit;
    where all of us, as St. Maarteners can enjoy all the rights as have been set forth in our constitution.

    May God bless this nation called St. Maarten!

  • UTS contributes to Police Week.

    utssupportspoliceweek09102012Philipsburg:--- UTS contributed to the ongoing Police Week, organized by the local Police Sports Organization by making a monetary donation in the amount of $5000 to the organization. The funds will go towards the various activities that were scheduled from the 2nd of October until the 14th of October. Activities include a song festival, beach party, basketball tournament, a holy mass, and various trips around the island. The Police Sports Organization will be hosting visiting law enforcement personnel from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Surinam in a friendly exchange. "It is our pleasure to support our local law enforcement in their endeavor to organize this event. We appreciate the hard work and dangers these men and women face every day in the interest of public safety and protecting the community we are all a part of," stated UTS Marketing and Communication Officer, Ivy Lambert.
  • TEMPO Turns 7 – MADE IN HEAVEN Cross Caribbean Countdown (“CCC”) produced in ST. MAARTEN.

    Philipsburg:--- TEMPO Networks and The Ministry of Tourism announces the production of TEMPO’s weekly hit show, the Cross Caribbean Countdown, in the friendly island of St. Maarten for the next seven (7) weeks.

    As TEMPO prepares for the celebration of its seventh anniversary to be held on St. Maarten (“TEMPO Turns 7”) from November 25 – December 1, 2012, the Cross Caribbean Countdown will showcase all the attractions of the island:  from the extraordinary St. Maarten history, mixture of culture, sumptuous cuisine, pristine beaches, world famous shopping, unique airlift and ports, cruise industry, attractive business climate, spiritual tradition to its model school system.  The show will also feature the extraordinary talent of home grown artists, including being hosted by local presenters.

    The first episode premiered on Thursday, October 4th and was hosted by TEMPO Founder, Chairman & CEO himself, Mr. Frederick A. Morton, Jr. (“Mr. TEMPO”) and local artist, Ms. Shanda Webster.  “St. Maarten is an exceptional Country and it is my pleasure to showcase it to the world for everyone to discover the extraordinary beauty of this remarkable destination and the infectious vibes of its people.”  Said Mr. Morton.

    A new episode of the Cross Caribbean Countdown from St. Maarten will premiere every Thursday at 9:00 PM with the shows repeating daily at 11:00 AM, 9:00 PM and 2:00AM

     

    ABOUT TEMPO

    TEMPO Networks, LLC, is the first and only full service media and entertainment company producing and offering culturally relevant Caribbean content on all media platforms (on-air, on-line, on-mobile and on the ground). Its flagship cable television network, TEMPO, captures and delivers the extraordinary Caribbean vibe by successfully producing and delivering Caribbean content dedicated to music, culture, travel, cuisine, and social awareness initiatives.

    TEMPO, envisioned by native son Frederick A. Morton Jr. ("Mr. TEMPO"), is a true celebration of Caribbean life that seeks to elevate the region. Its content, therefore, is developed to rise beyond entertainment to inspirational, progressive and educational. TEMPO currently broadcasts in 28 countries, including the entire Caribbean, the US tri-state area, Costa Rica, Luxemburg, and Germany with approximately 4.0 M viewers. Connect with TEMPO on Cablevision Channel 1105 or whenever you're feeling for the Caribbean vibe, at www.gotTEMPO.com. TEMPO is a registered trademark of TEMPO Networks, LLC.

  • USM hosted first UNA session for Bachelor Business Administration and Accounting program.

    usmstudentsatunasession01102012PHILIPSBURG:--- The University of St. Martin (USM) hosted its first class in the Bachelors in Applied Science in Business Administration and Accounting program on Friday, September 28, 2012. For the inaugural class UNA's business program director Drs. Guido was on island to facilitate the course. Other UNA instructors will be on island for the duration of the program.

    On August 3, 2012, USM hosted an information session, where among those present, 22 USM alumni expressed an interest in following this executive program. Last week the President and Dean of the University of St. Martin were in Curacao on a work visit to ink the final requisites of a protocol of cooperation between both institutions regarding this program. The official signing will take place mid October 2012. This Executive Bachelor program is a result of many discussions and exchanges between USM and UNA aimed at accommodating the need of students to complete their bachelors. This program gives St. Maarten students access to NVAO accredited bachelor programs in Business Administration and Accounting.
    With this UNA-USM bachelor in business program, St. Maarten students are finally able to earn their bachelor's degree in approximately two to maximum three years, including their final thesis on St. Maarten.

    Persons are invited to contact the University of St. Martin at 721-542-5171 ext 1000 should they still be interested in pursuing their bachelor degree in business administration.

  • Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever Statement on Breast Awareness Month.

    corneliusdeweever03102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- "As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Perhaps less known, until recently, is that the month of September is Cervical Cancer awareness month, two devastating diseases or potentially devastating diseases. 

    "One journey of courage and determination, I take this moment to honor those who lives have been affected by either disease- those who have succumbed to these diseases, those who continue to fight bravely, and the family and friends who stand by these graceful warriors, providing support while coping with loss and the uncertainty associated with both types of cancer. There is no overstating the painful and difficult journey that is associated with both types of cancer.

    "The message today must also include hope and promise- and early detection remains the single greatest weapon in our arsenal to defeat this crippling disease. Both breast cancer and cervical cancer know no demographic lines. I encourage all women AND men to participate in the variety of breast cancer awareness activities that will occur throughout the month in St. Maarten. REALLY take the time to understand more about each disease and what guidelines must be followed for early detection.

    "Cancer screenings are just one of the many preventive services that are a part and are the HEART of our Get Checked St. Maarten campaign. There are a multitude of health challenges that can be avoided altogether- with immunizations, annual visits to your doctor, or simple monitoring that can be done at home.

    "I encourage ALL people to take charge of their lives and their health and find out more. Early diagnosis is often the key to ensure that treatments are more effective and lives can be saved. While many women get caught up in the routine of their daily lives as wives, mothers, friends and their careers – it is imperative that men do their part and remind their mothers, sisters, daughters and partners to be proactive and get checked. Support them.

    "I am sure many of you have noticed a change in my appearance today- and yes, I am grateful to those of you who have noticed that I have shed a few strands of hair.

    "In honor of those warriors in my life- family, friends, civil servants in the ministry of public health, social development and labor and those in our community- who have fought and continue to fight these frightening diseases, I have shaved my head -as a symbolic gesture of someone who stands among them as they wage the battle while efforts are made to find the cure.

    "I stand here as all of us do or should do, humbled and in awe of their unbelievable strength and courage to fight for their lives.

    Thank you."

  • Minister Romeo Pantophlet Announces Cruise Passengers are Spending More on Sint Maarten than in USVI.

    romeopantophletandmarkmingoatfccaconferenceincuracao05102012POINTE BLANCHE:--- Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunications Hon. Romeo Pantophlet, says where he is attending the the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Conference, that St. Maarten has overcome the USVI with passenger expenditure according the BREA study that was presented on Thursday.

    Passenger expenditure totalled US$185.40 comparing to the regional average of $97,00. The survey was taken by 28000 passengers & 8000 crew members.

    St. Maarten is one the few countries that showed both an increase in passenger spending and passenger arrival.

    Hon. Minister Pantophlet stated that customer satisfaction and traffic alleviation will be the main focus in the near future.

    These key factors will be crucial in the coming time to continue to secure business growth/ passenger arrivals.
    More focus also has to be placed on the diversity of the merchandise being sold on the island.

    Harbour Group of companies CEO Mark Mingo stated that the port will continue to develop their product to meet the needs of the cruise lines with quality service and operational excellence while providing a safe and secure environment for our customers.

    Mingo mentioned on many occasions that competition is increasing and that a keen eye will be kept on St. Kitts developments.

    The BREA report also unveiled that St. Kitts passenger arrivals increased by 50%. St. Maarten has always been used as a model throughout The Caribbean in e cruise industry.

    The level of service offered on the various Caribbean islands was also discussed during a panel presentation at the FCCA conference. It was stated that the Caribbean has to increase the level of service to keep competing with other emerging cruise regions.

    Hon Minister Pantophlet ended by saying that he would like to commend the general population and all stakeholders for their continued contribution to bring us to this level.

  • Mental Health Foundation inaugrates Livingroom.

    mhfinaugurateslivingroom23102012On October 22, 2012, the Mental Health Foundation inaugurated the Music, Dance room, and Living room. It had remained empty for so long because there was a ground water problem once that problem was solved by 'Alpha construction' who managed to seal the leaks, funding to finalize it became a problem.

    The room is located right between the Faraja center (The Day Care) and Admission. Faraja needed the room during the day as a stimulus free environment for clients who function better without noise from the busy center.
    Admissions needed space for the patients to watch TV in the evening, read and relax.

    The Social Psychiatric Nurse Kirsten Bouw on admission and the Psychologist Ilona Moerland approached Nico Boersma from 'Kooyman' to sponsor the fixing of the room. 'Kooyman' donated the wood for the building of the benches and June Peters of 'Upholstery World' donated the material for the cushions and curtains.

    With the materials donated the foundation was also able to add a small counseling room to the admissions office. Furthermore the Living room will be used in accordance to the schedule activities that is made and adjusted accordingly, on a monthly basis.

    Facilitating psychiatric care in and existing building was not an easy task, certainly with the limited available budget, thanks to the support of so many the building is now equipped to serve the community and provide quality psychiatric care.

    The Staff of the Mental Health Foundation expresses its sincere gratitude to the Nico Boersma of 'Kooyman' and June Peters of 'Upholstery' world for their generous donations. Benjamin Jones of the Faraja Center thanked the sponsors with candles made by the clients.

  • SMMC continues Legal War against Inspectorate.

    Philipsburg:--- The St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has chosen to use their funds to continue waging legal warfare against the Inspectorate rather than improving Health Care on St. Maarten. According to information reaching SMN News, the SMMC filed another injunction against the Inspectorate on Friday at the Court of First Instance.

    The case is expected to be heard sometime next week. SMN News learnt that SMMC is fighting against the list of demands the inspectorate levied against the SMMC and also the fines for failure to comply with the demands given to SMMC on October 12th, 2012.

    The Inspectorate released the list of demands during a press conference last week and SMMC has to comply with the first demand by October 26th, 2012 or face a fine of $500.00 per day to a maximum of $50,000. The Inspectorate also asked for an action plan but to date that plan has not been delivered to the inspectorate. Efforts made to reach members of the Supervisory Council of the St. Maarten Medical Center on Monday evening proved futile since the members of the Supervisory Council could not be reached by phone.

  • Three suspects held for armed robberies.

    MARIGOT:--- An operation conducted by Gendarmes in Concordia on October 16, 2012 resulted in three suspects being detained for allegedly participating in two armed robberies.
    The first incident took place on October 12 at 12:45pm at Fort Louis where a tourist couple was held at gun point and robbed. The second incident occurred on the same day at 8:54pm in Concordia where a grocery store was robbed.
    Two of the suspects who are both minors, appeared before the judge in the Juvenile Court. One minor was said to have provided the weapon for the supermarket robbery while the other minor is suspected of committing the supermarket robbery. Both were subsequently transferred to a detention center in Guadeloupe. The third older suspect is suspected of being involved in both robberies and was due to appear in court on October 19, 2012.
  • PJIAE’S Air Traffic Controllers to Host Weekend of Activities for International Day of the Air Traffic Controller.

    pjiaeatc18102012SIMPSON BAY:--- The International Day of the Air Traffic Controller will be celebrated on October 20, 2012. The Air Traffic Controllers Association of St. Maarten (ATCA) will be hosting a weekend of activities, inviting several air traffic controllers (ATCs) organizations from the Caribbean region and North America to our shores.

    Air traffic controllers are qualified professionals that maintain the highest level of safety to the flying public. With aircraft movements at over 60,000 (landings and take-offs) at PJIA annually, ATCs are responsible for the safe and efficient guidance of aircrafts from all parts of the world in and out of PJIA and surrounding airports.

    President of the ATCA St. Maarten, Aurillio Baly, said that the association is "expecting ATCs from Antigua, Anguilla, St. Martin, Puerto Rico and Miami, Florida on Friday" to kick off the weekend of activities.

    Duncan van Heyningen, ATCA vice president and its event coordinator at PJIA, said, "the visitors will have a jam-packed schedule, which includes a welcoming cocktail and mixer at the famous Sunset Beach Bar."

    The ATCs Banquet Dinner will be held at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort on Saturday night. Van Heyningen said, "the visitors will also get a taste of local life with an island tour and experience the coveted duty-free shopping in Philipsburg during the weekend." The weekend of activities will end with a farewell cruise aboard "The Explorer."

    Baly, a 17-year ATC veteran, recounted years of interacting with different controllers across the region but never having the privilege to meet them in person. According to Baly, ATCs across the region are for the most part "like a group of family members that never met in person."

    "This initiative gives us a chance to meet the people we cooperate with everyday and, a chance to share ideas and exchange stories," said the ATC St. Maarten president.

    In 2006, the St. Maarten ATC and PJIAE had also held activities for the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller and invited the ATCs from Antigua.

    The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations (IFATCA), which founded the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller, is celebrating its 51st anniversary in 2012.

  • Minister Pantophlet meets with KLM and Visits St. Maarten House.

    romeopantophletmeetswithklm18102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Mathias S. Voges, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications Hon. Romeo Pantophlet and Edward Dest of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, met with representatives of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau in Holland and with KLM Director Harm Kreulen and his delegation at their Head Office in Amstelveen on October 17.

    One of the discussion points with KLM was the reduction in airfares to St. Maarten; price level comparisons with other Caribbean destinations; load factor St. Maarten KLM flight; St. Maarten as a hub for the Caribbean Region; and combination possibilities with other destinations such as Miami and New York.

    On October 17 Minister Pantophlet visited St. Maarten House in The Hague where the Tourist Bureau gave a power point presentation.

  • Meet Contestant # 1 for the Little Miss St. Martin Pageant Cheyenne Nunes.

    cheyennenunes17102012Little Princess Cheyenne Nunes with her cute dimples and charming personality is Contestant # 1 in the Little Miss St. Martin Pageant.

    She is 9 years old and attends the Sister Borgia School. She loves to sing, model, and dance. Her favorite subject is spelling. Cheyenne is inviting everyone to come out and support her and her fellow contestants on the day of the pageant. She is especially encouraging her Down Street and Cole Bay families and friends to come out and shout for her with all their hearts. Cheyenne said with confidence "I know my mom, dad, and especially my grandmothers and family members are coming out in full force." This will be her motivation to capture the Little Miss St. Martin Crown 2012.

    Statement:

    "What is so heart warming for me, Cheyenne's Chaperone is former Miss Teen Carnival Queen 2009, Bria Sorton and assisted by Rosa Letgordet. In 2009, I was the Pageant Director of this event and too see Bria Sorton now passing on her Pageant skills and knowledge to Cheyenne makes me very proud," stated Pageant Director of the Little Miss St. Martin, Ms. Nzinga Lake .

    "I am asking the business community to please support the contestants through sponsorship, I know these are hard economic times but with your support this will be a direct reflection of the generosity of the St. Maarten/St. Martin business community.

    "Just to take that step at a very young age to showcase their talent and aspirations should be admired. At that age, some of us were shy and scared and to see the girls being so brave I am so honored to be in their presence. The contestants are between the ages of 8 to 11yrs," stated Ms. Nzinga Lake.

    Should businesses want to assist in sponsoring Gift baskets, School materials or any kind of Educational items towards the Prizes for the contestants and for their participation please feel free to contact me at 5224280.

    The Little Miss St. Martin Pageant is designed to inspire leadership qualities, promote commitment to community, encourages academic excellence while being graceful ambassadors ot their schools, neighborhoods and St.Martin. The Pageant is using the original name of our island.

    I would like to this opportunity to thank all the sponsors, media, chaperones, parents, families, schools, supporters, entertainers, and judges for their continued support towards the success of the Pageant and the contestants.

    In the upcoming days and final weeks, the contestants' profiles and events attended will be featured in the media and our Facebook fanpage to introduce and encourage the community to come out. Tickets can be purchased at Pete's Photo Studio at the Grand Marche, Van Dorp Book Store at Madame Estate, and LAMA Guesthouse at E.C. Richardson street, the same street of the Police Station.

  • RGM Files Case Against Government --- Work on Pond Island Government Building to Start Soon.

    sarahwescotwilliams17102012Philipsburg:--- Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot Williams announced on Wednesday during the Council of Ministers press briefing that work on the Government Building located on Pond Island will begin sometime next week. The Prime Minister also announced that RGM Ltd., the owner and developer of the new Government Administration Building on Pond Island, filed a court case against the government of St. Maarten. That case she said will be heard at the end of October. The completion works she said will be financed by the government of St. Maarten. The Prime Minister explained that she signed off on that project about a year ago but because of government's bureaucracy the project will begin sometime next week and it will be executed by Betonbow Caribbean and Wek and Penguin.

    The Prime Minister said besides these setbacks, the government of St. Maarten has been served by RGM Ltd. to appear in court where the company is demanding that government live up to the development contract. Wescot Williams said that the contract with RGM has been signed and on that basis government pays the lease for the building but RGM is now claiming other stipulations in the contract. One such stipulation is to ensure that the building is safe, and finalizing the work that needs to be finalized for government to occupy the building. Wescot Williams said just prior to RGM filing its case, government asked RGM to comply with its part of the deal in the contract. She said there were some deficiencies which has led to leakage. She said based on the contract it is RGM's responsibility to correct the deficiencies. Wescot Williams said government informed RGM in September 2012 and they met about two weeks ago and RGM agreed to conduct a site visit with its contractors and or architect and report back to government with a plan but to date that site visit has not yet been conducted.

    Wescot Williams there are two court cases running between RGM and the Government of St. Maarten because RGM appealed the case Government won some time ago.
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  • Tender deadline for How healthy is St. Maarten Survey nearing.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The deadline to submit all relevant documentation with respect to 'How Healthy is St. Maarten' in 1999 to 2002 survey, is October 19.

    The purpose of the first survey was to collect necessary information for public health policy development and health care and services reform on St. Maarten.

    The data retrieved consisted of the adult population's health and the behaviour related hereto, which was necessary to start programming for research (to develop an integrated process of health care research), policy planning and informed decision making as well as being of importance to health care providers, health educators, and consumers of health care.

    Considering the fact that the initial study results can be considered outdated, due to the time elapsed and the many changes that have occurred on the island, i.e. population growth, high migration rate, infrastructural change, pollution, etc., it is of high importance to execute a similar study to get a general description of the population's current health status and their current use of health services. Data obtained from the study can then be used for the further development of policy and / or reform within public health.

    The targeted population of which the study focuses on is the non-institutionalized adults (18+ years of age). This approach is taken in order to get an accurate portrayal of the general health of the general adult population residing on St. Maarten.

    Considering that St. Maarten is an island with a very diverse population, it creates an interesting challenge, as many different cultural aspects have to be taken into account when preparing and executing the study, as well as analyzing and interpreting the results.

    The Government of St. Maarten, more specifically the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (i.e. Public Health Department) is now in the process of hiring external consultants for the preparation, execution and analysis of the general health of the public; a follow-up 'How Healthy is St. Maarten?' study.

    The bidding has officially been opened and consultants are invited to submit bids and request information until October 19, 2012, with an aim to award the project ultimately by November 23rd 2012.

    The consultant will be responsible for drafting the project / research plan, working out the exact methodology and acquiring the instruments necessary, as well as getting stakeholder involvement, preparing, executing as well as managing the fieldwork, entering and analyzing data as well as providing a report and presentation of the results of the executed research (including recommendations for policy development (steps to be taken to develop and amend current policies) and health care and service reform).

    The Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labour of St. Maarten, hereby invites prospective bidders to the public bidding for the project. The Project Assigner is The Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labour of St. Maarten, in coordination with the Project Management Team & Project Leader Public Health.

    The project will be financed by the Government of St. Maarten. The Terms of Reference for this project can be obtained at the Department of Public Health and is available in English: Address: W.G. Buncamper road #33, Vineyard Office Park, Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Tel: +1 721 542-3003/542-3553/542-2078, Fax: +1 721 543-7824, email fleur.hermanides@sintmaartengov.org and yolaine.bruney@sintmaartengov.org. The public tender can has been published in the Government Information Page for several weeks.

  • Passenger traffic at SXM above world average in first seven months of 2012.

    sxmdelegationwithairfrancerepsatworldroutesconferenceinabudhabi14102012SIMPSON BAY:--- With a 7% increase in passenger traffic in the first seven months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, mainly attributed to international passengers, the movement of passengers at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), topped the world average of 6%, this despite the global economic and financial challenges which the destination has not been immune to. This was revealed during the Strategy Summit held at the just-concluded World Routes conference in Abu Dhabi.

    The St. Maarten delegation that participated in the conference consisted of officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications, the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, and the management of PJIAE, including Managing Director Regina LaBega.

    It was also disclosed that airlines saw strong profits in 2011, although the sluggish world economy and the financial crisis in Europe would seem to dampen forecasts for the current year. However, there was no denying the potential of the aviation industry to be a driver of economic growth, especially if greater liberalization of the industry were effected.

    The various airlines servicing our destination reported healthy load factors. Delta, the third largest airline in the world, with a revenue of $854 million in 2011, indicated that its load factor to SXM was a very healthy average of 90%.

    Delta will be launching its new weekly service from JFK-SXM in December this year and will maintain the current service from ATL to SXM. (SXM is the international designator code for PJIA.)

    Similarly, United Airlines disclosed that its existing service to SXM is showing healthy load factors, and its extended seasonal service this year exceeded the company's expectations.

    Jet Blue reported that the performance of its SJU-SXM route during the summer or slow period was better than anticipated.

    According to the airline, the approach of "serving the local market" and not necessarily focusing on the connecting passengers worked well, however, the figures also demonstrated that there is room for an increase in the rotations from San Juan (SJU) with the aim of ultimately increasing capacity next year.

    The Boston service is also performing well, and the airline is currently working on strengthening its alliances. Jet Blue complemented the proposed investments by PJIAE and reiterated that South Florida is a good potential market for strengthening the partnership. The company announced that the Fort Lauderdale (FLL) service could commence in November 2013.

    For its part, Air France relayed to the St. Maarten delegation that it is pleased with the route's performance, which recorded a load factor of above 80%.

    Air France, however, stressed that it is more concerned with profitability than with number of passengers. The SXM route, it said, is in line with its business model.

    Edward Dest of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau requested that the reductions in seats by KLM and Air France, which occur seasonally, should be made in such a way that it allows for service to Europe by at least one carrier. This would mean that KLM and Air France should refrain from implementation on the same day of the week, which leaves the potential passenger with limited or no seats to Europe on a particular day.

    The meeting with Gol highlighted the fact that SXM is still on its radar, however marketing of the route was essential. Gol stated that the equipment is available and that it would use the Dominican Republic as a hub, similar to what Copa does with Panama.

    Gol identified Sao Paulo-SDQ (Santo Domingo)-SXM as a potential route and also a Sao Paulo-SXM-ATL service, given the fact that the Atlanta-based Delta owns 30% of Gol.

    The airline further stressed that SXM should consider a flight originating from Sao Paolo (GRU) rather than Manaus given the reach of the former.

    "We are certainly pleased with all these reports," said PJIAE Managing Director Regina LaBega. "They reassure us that we are on the right path with the new investments we propose to make at the airport, especially the rehabilitation of the runway."

    "It means we cannot rest on our wings but continue to work diligently so SXM could remain as one of the leading airports in the region," LaBega added.

  • Local and Foreign Speakers to Profile Cancer at October Cancer Conference.

    trevorhassell14102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2005, approximately 1.15 million people in the Americas died of cancer, and 480,000 of these deaths were in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

    The Cancer Conference being jointly organized by Collective Prevention Services (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), will be held under the theme: "Cancer and aging, collectively improving our local cancer care and responsibility!" The conference is on October 26 and 27 at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino

    The overall cancer mortality rate in LAC is 107/100,000 and the highest rates are observed in Uruguay, Barbados, Peru, Argentina and Chile.

    The most common cancers in the region include stomach, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers in men; and cervical, breast, stomach and colorectal cancers in women.

    Expected demographic changes, along with increased exposure to cancer risk factors, will result in increases in the burden of cancer in LAC in the near future.

    Inequalities in access to cancer care and to preventive health services further exacerbate the problem.

    Several speakers will be highlighting the different cancers during the conference. Professor Trevor Hassell, Adjunct Professor of Medicine, University of the West Indies, Barbados, will one of those speakers.

    Professor Hassell is also Honorary Consultant Physician and Cardiologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, and Chairman of the National Commission for Chronic Non Communicable Diseases.

    Professor Hassell was recently appointed as Barbados Special Envoy for Chronic Diseases, and has received many awards including appointment to the Order of Barbados in the Grade of the Gold Crown of Merit in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the medical profession.

    During the conference, Professor Trevor Hassell will be addressing Best Practice National Program of Monitoring and Managing Cancer Registry and Guidelines for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment.

    'Get Checked,' is the Minister of Public Health's campaign to improve public health amongst the population of the country, and the conference is one of the avenues to forth awareness within the community.

  • October 15 Regular School and Business Day Operations.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The 17th storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Rafael, has not caused any major damage to the school infrastructure.

    Crews and contractors from the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure (MinVROMI), were busy on Sunday clearing small debris and removed sand from different parts of the road network to ensure a regular day of school and business operations on Monday.

    MinVROMI, the Fire Department and the Office of Disaster Management did not receive any reports on Sunday with respect to challenges at the island's schools.

    Monday will be a regular school day.

    TS Rafael moved away from the country late Saturday night into Sunday morning. The Meteorological Department of Curacao (MDC) reported on Sunday that the country could still experience some weather from the system such as light rain showers on Monday.

    The Office of Disaster Management would like to thank Emergency Support Functions and the populace for being vigilant with respect to the passing of TS Rafael on Saturday evening into Sunday.

  • Public is invited to register for the Cancer Conference.

    corneliusdeweever03102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The general public still has an opportunity to register to participate in the upcoming Cancer Conference that is being jointly organized by Collective Prevention Services (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

    The theme of the conference is: "Cancer and aging, collectively improving our local cancer care and responsibility!"

    The four areas to be highlighted at the conference are breast cancer, cervical, colon and prostate cancer. The conference is set for Friday and Saturday October 26 and 27.

    "Everyone has a different priority- some people think it should be breast cancer, others think it should be prostate, but I believe we have to collect and analyze the data that will direct where our focus should be.

    "Most importantly we must synchronize our efforts, our human and financial resources in order to maximize our outreach and most importantly our prevention," Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever said on Thursday.

    'Get Checked 'is the Ministers of Public Health's campaign to draw attention to health issues.

    All interested persons can register to be part of the conference. There is no coverage charge to attend the conference. You have until October 19 to do so by filling in the registration form that you can pick up at your Family Physician or visit the offices of CPS at the Vineyard Building in Philipsburg.

    The form can be faxed to 542-9716 or drop it off at the CPS Office. For further information with respect to this, you can call 542-2078 or 542-3003.

    The conference day that is open to the public is Saturday, October 27 at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino from 9.00am – 1.15pm and 1.30pm – 4.00pm (lunch is not provided).

    Thus far the speakers at the conference will be Dr. Wassenaar from Aruba; Dr. Igor Gomes and Dr. Carmen Coronel from Curacao; Dr. Jennifer Alexander from Jamaica and Professor Hassel from Barbados the local speakers are Dr. Virginia Asin; Nurse Jasmine Cijntje; Mr. Hose Booi; Dr. Romney; Ms. Lydia Vanterpool and Graciella Zimmerman. All with a wealth of information willing to share with persons interested in learning more about cancers and how to take care of their health and recognize signs and symptoms.

    The conference will focus on sharing information on the specific cancers mentioned above with the objective of developing a strategic plan and approach in registering, managing and monitoring cancers; increased awareness; and new treatments/techniques.

    The stakeholders involved in this activity are: Cancer Foundation, Positive Foundation, The Lions, Kelaha Projects, St. Maarten Medical Center, Windward Islands Medical Association, St. Maarten Medical Association, St. Maarten Laboratory Services, SZV Social Insurance Bank, Pharmacies, Insurance Companies, and individuals. The Department of Communications is also providing support.

  • Second Suspect in Cupe Coy Case Remanded in Pre-trial Detention.

    jeremiahmills04102012Philipsburg:--- On Thursday, 17 year old J.C.M. was led before the judge of instruction. The judge saw sufficient grounds to order his pre-trial detention for a period of eight days.

    All suspects are currently being questioned and are confronted with the investigative results. The focus in these interrogations will be on the details. All suspects appear to be cooperative.

    Press Release from Public Prosecutor's Office

  • Closed door Permanent Committee TEATT of Parliament for October 11.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- The permanent committee of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications, will meet in a closed door session on October 11.

    The meeting will take place on Thursday morning at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

    The agenda is related to a presentation by Van Geel concerning his involvement in a project to establish Sint Maarten as a sub-hub to Panama and the North Eastern Caribbean.

    This meeting was requested by Members of Parliament Hon. Frans Richardson and Hon. Dr. Lloyd Richardson.

  • Wholesalers of Christmas trees require an import permit; Trees must be fumigated and certified before allowed into country.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Wholesalers and retailers who plan on importing Christmas Trees for the upcoming holiday season are hereby advised to request their permit early and to also make sure that the trees have been treated in the exporting country.

    There are ordinances that regulate the importation of goods, and a permit will be required in order to import Christmas Trees for the 2012 holiday season.

    The Inspection Department TEZVT - Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (LVV) that falls under the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications, has to ensure that imported Christmas Trees – even though they may appear to be harmless, are free from insects and pests that could harm trees and vegetation on the island.

    Wholesalers and retailers for each consignment should have a phytosanitary certificate from the exporting country showing that the trees have been treated before they leave the exporting country.

    To secure the permit, companies are required to submit an application for import along with a copy of the original pro forma invoice. When the trees arrive, the wholesaler/retailer should notify the Department; and should present the original phytosanitary certificate and proof that the trees were treated with insecticide.

    The Inspection Department of TEZVT- Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (LVV) office is located in Zoutsteeg nr. 3, Philipsburg, in the building that houses the Department of Economic Licenses. The office can be reached by calling 543-7820 for further information.

  • Countries of the Americas seek to prevent three million deaths from NCD by 2025.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Health authorities throughout the Americas recently approved a new strategy that seeks a 25 per cent reduction by 2025 in deaths from Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases.

    Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever, says he supports the Americas strategy to reduce NCDs, and that is why I have encouraged the "Get Checked" campaign.

    "We must be proactive with our health and not just reactive. We don't have to wait until one gets a heart attack to start eating healthy and exercising. We should all start today to be conscious of our health and improve it," Minister De Weever said on Monday.

    Minister De Weever encourages the entire community to get regular check-ups as part of preventative care which would identify the possible onset of such challenges in the four diseases mentioned earlier.

    According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), meeting the 25 per cent target which was approved by the World Health Assembly earlier this year, would save an estimated three million lives in the Western Hemisphere.

    NCDs such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory disease share several common risk factors, particularly tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol.

    In the Americas, three of four people suffer from one of these diseases, and some 4.45 million die each year from NCDs, representing 75 per cent of all deaths. Of these deaths, 1.5 million occur before age 70. NCDs also account for the largest share of avoidable healthcare costs.

  • Princess Juliana International Airport joins “Breast Cancer Awareness” Campaign 2012.

    pjiaedonatestobreastcancerawarenesscampaign01102012SIMPSON BAY:--- October 2012 is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) has joined the awareness campaign of activities and initiatives in support of this cause.

    On October 1, Marketing Manager Kalifa Hickinson presented a cheque from PJIAE for an undisclosed amount toward the organization of a packed calendar of activities and events organized by the Elektralyets Foundation and the Positive Foundation. The cheque was received by radio personality Mercedes "Elektra" Wyatt, a principal of the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign, and founder of the Elektralyets Foundation.

    Employees at the airport will don breast cancer awareness T-shirts each Friday throughout October to show their support for breast cancer awareness.

    There will also be PJIAE employees present at the "Pink Parade" on Friday, October 5. The popular parade is scheduled to start at the Festival Village at 4:30 pm and will conclude on The Boardwalk with live music. The month of awareness-raising has been observed since the late 1990s, according to the Positive Foundation.

    The airport has scheduled Breast Cancer Awareness Info-Sessions with the Positive Foundation for its employees throughout October, and employees will be participating in other planned activities such as the Pink Phit Phabulous Walk-n-Splash event, which, according to the Elektralyets and Positive foundations, will include "Zumba, water aerobics, swimming, blood pressure and blood sugar screenings, fun games and breakfast for sale."

    Last but not least on the PJIA awareness-raising calendar of activities about breast cancer, one lucky employee will win a T-shirt to attend the popular movie-night hosted by the Elektralyets Foundation later in October.

  • Philipsburg Jubilee Library receives Naf 18,766.00 from Cooperation Foundations for Anne Frank Exhibition.

    cooperatingfoundationsfundpjlibrary01102012Philipsburg:--- On Monday, Director of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, Monique Alberts received a cheque of Naf. 18,766.00 from funding agency Cooperating Foundations of the Dutch Caribbean.
    The library will host a special exhibition from the Anne Frank Foundation in the month of October called "Reading and Writing with Anne Frank." Angela Dekker stated that the Cooperating Foundations wanted to support the library's initiative to teach St. Maarten youngsters about anti-racism and the life of their peer Anne Frank, who had to hide from German prosecution in World War II. The Cooperating Foundations also applaud the initiative to link St. Maarten more closely to World War II through a presentation by Professor of the University of Connecticut, Mary Romney about her father's (Lionel Romney) captivity in a German concentration camp.
    Library Director Monique Alberts expressed her thanks for the support from Cooperating Foundations for this valuable and educational project. She also would like to invite the general public for the official opening of the Anne Frank exhibition that will take place on Saturday October 6th as of 7:30pm at the library. The opening program will feature speeches from Mary Romney, St. Martin researcher Daniella Jeffrey, and representatives from the Anne Frank Foundation from Amsterdam.
    Foundations can contact the project advisors Leon Lake and Saskia Kliphuis on 5860808 or samfondsxm@gmail.com to discuss if their projects can be eligible for funding from Cooperating Foundations.
  • Ramesis Files Complaint with Prosecutor's Office --- Minister of Economic Affairs not taking action against Money Game.

    Philipsburg:--- The owner of Gold Chest Money Enterprises, Ramesis Jamaloodin filed an official complaint with the Prosecutor's Office on September 24th, 2012 against his half brother Robertico Dos Santos and the department of Economic Affairs for allowing Dos Santos to operate the Money Game on St. Maarten without a valid license. A letter addressed to Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos states that Dos Santos has been operating illegally on St. Maarten as he sells lottery tickets, while he is also providing false information to the Government of St. Maarten and not complying with the lottery ordinance of 1999. Jamaloodin said in so doing Dos Santos has been committing tax evasion on St. Maarten.

    Ramesis provided SMN News with copies of the documents he handed over to Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos requesting that the prosecutor's office conduct an investigation into Dos Santos' illegal activities on St. Maarten and the Department of Economic Affairs. Jamaloodin also wrote the Governor of St. Maarten drs. Eugene Holiday who already responded to him by stating that he has forwarded his letter to the Minister of Economic Affairs. The Minister of Economic Affairs Romeo Pantophlet also issued a letter to Jamaloodin informing him that the Money Game does not have a valid license.

    The attorney representing Dos Santos admitted in a letter to the Court of First Instance that Dos Santos was operating the Money Game on St. Maarten illegally. The document which was given to the judge when Jamaloodin filed an injunction against Jamorama N.V. was also given to St. Maarten's Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos.

    It should be noted that Robertico Dos Santos is under investigation for money laundering, fraud and tax invasion. The investigation is headed by Curacao while raids took place on St. Maarten on the request of Curacao. The investigation has since become worldwide because the FBI some months ago questioned Robertico Dos Santos and froze some 130 million United States Dollars in US banks as they continue to assist Curacao with its investigation.

    Click here to view the letter from Attorney at Law Jairo Bloem to the Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs.

  • Samuel commends community organizations and personalities promoting Breast Cancer Awareness.

    rodolphesamuel27082012PHILIPSBURG:--- President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel, would like to commend all community organizations and personalities who have been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues.

    Samuel added that, although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished.

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. It is also the principle cause of death from cancer among women globally.

    Men can also get breast cancer too. Even if the percentage of men diagnosed with male breast cancer is small, it is often more fatal for a large percentage of the men diagnosed.

    Since most men don't know to look for it, the disease is usually found after it has progressed to a more dangerous level.

    Despite the high incidence rates of women's breast cancer, in Western countries, 89 per cent diagnosed with breast cancer are still alive five years after their diagnosis, which is due to detection and treatment.

    The Positive and Elektralyets Foundations will launch the Pink Month of activities at Holland House Beach Hotel on October 5, and the public is urged to wear pink and attend the event according to organizers.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that two components of early detection have been shown to improve cancer mortality: education, to help recognize early signs of cancer and seek prompt medical attention for symptoms; secondly, screening programs, to identify early cancer or pre-cancer before signs are recognizable, including mammography for breast cancer.

  • CALL TO INVEST IN CARIBBEAN TOURISM BRAND.

    WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:--- The Caribbean should step up its regional marketing efforts and unite around a single marketing brand, proclaims a leading tourism expert.

    "The time is right for us to get together and promote the diversity of the region under one brand," said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, tourism commissioner of the United States Virgin Islands, calling for a fresh approach to regional marketing.

    Speaking ahead of the Caribbean Tourism Organization's State of the Industry Conference to be held in St. Kitts next week (October 10-12), the seasoned cabinet official said "a rising tide floats all boats" and it was time for both the region's public and private sectors to invest in the Caribbean brand.

    "As nations around the world pay closer attention to travel and tourism because of its huge economic returns, we must plan strategically and collectively to ensure the health and sustainability of the Caribbean tourism product."

    She cautioned that without the full participation of CTO member governments and members of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) there could be trouble. "We have to keep our region competitive or face some dire consequences, including loss of market share and diminishing returns," said Nicholson-Doty, a board director of the Caribbean Tourism Development Company (the marketing arm of both CTO and CHTA).

    Commissioner Nicholson-Doty, in Curaçao this week for the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Cruise Conference and Trade Show, will address the St. Kitts meeting on a panel entitled "The Right Product, The Right Message, The Right Time."

    For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Twitter (@USVITourism) and become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI).

  • Guyanese National Arrested as Third Suspect in Cupe Coy Double Homicide Investigation.

    Philipsburg:--- Police on St. Maarten managed to track down a third suspect involved in the murders of American tourists Michael and Thelma King who were slaughtered in their Cupe Coy condominium sometime between September 19th and September 21st, 2012. According to Chief Prosecutor of St. Maarten Hans Mos, the suspect left St. Maarten on Wednesday October 3rd, 2012 to St. Thomas US Virgin Islands.
    SMN News was able to identify the suspect as Jamal Jefferson Woolford (20). It should be noted that on Wednesday the first suspect that was arrested in the gruesome murder of the Kings and robbery of the Happy Star Chinese Restaurant confessed to being involved in the murder of the Kings and the robbery of Happy Star Chinese restaurant. It appears as though Woolford was following the news closely and as soon as it was published that the first suspect confessed he purchased a ticket to the St. Thomas US Virgin Islands in an effort to escape the long arms of the law, but police managed to contact their counterparts in the US Virgin Islands who quickly apprehended the suspect. Woolford waived his extradition rights based on US law and he was brought back to St. Maarten on Friday. He was immediately arrested at the Princess Juliana International Airport and will appear before the judge of instruction on Monday.

    SMN News also learnt that police found the suspect's car by his girlfriend's house in South Reward. The vehicle had an old French number plate 761 --- 971. Police also detained the girlfriend known in the area of South Reward as "Winifred" whom they are currently questioning. According to information provided to SMN News, Jamal Jefferson Woolford lives in Cay Hill and works at Bobby's Marina, while his mother lives in Cape Bay where the other two murder suspects live. Jamal Jefferson Woolford is a close friend of Jeremiah Chevon Mills.

     

    Press Release from Public Prosecutor's Office regarding Third Arrest in Cupecoy Murder Case.


    On Wednesday, police found out that a third suspect in the Cupecoy investigation, 20 year old J.J.W., had left Sint Maarten by airplane that afternoon for St. Thomas. Prosecution asked for his provisional arrest in view of extradition. On Thursday, he was arrested by St. Thomas law enforcement officers.
    The information police received revealed that this third suspect was involved in both the violent deaths of Michael and Thelma King and the robbery at the Happy Star restaurant in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten on September 19th 2012 (by mistake an earlier press release mentioned the date of September 26; this is: September 19). The suspect, who waived his rights under American law, was extradited to Sint Maarten on Friday, where he was arrested upon arrival at the airport.
    W. was subsequently remanded in custody for two days, which term will be prolonged this weekend. He will be led before the judge of instruction on Monday.
    A house search was performed at the suspect's residence in Cay Hill this afternoon.
    Sint Maarten police and the Prosecutor's office have experienced excellent cooperation with American authorities.

  • Dr. Virginia Asin Oostburg and Dr. Jennifer Alexander to address Morbidity/Mortality and Breast Cancer at this week’s Cancer Conference.

    virginiaasinoostburg23102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Dr. Virginia Asin Oostburg, currently head of Collective Prevention Services (CPS), and Dr. Jennifer Alexander, will be two of several speakers at the Cancer Conference that starts on Friday morning.

    The Cancer Conference is being jointly organized by CPS, a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

    Dr. Virginia Asin Oostburg is a Medical Doctor and Physical therapist with 28 years of experience in the health sector both in practice and as a lecturer.

    In 2007 Dr. Asin received her Master's in Public Health with concentration in Health Organization and Planning and got promoted Deputy Director of Health, Ministry of Health Suriname and Head of the Planning Department.

    Dr. Asin will be speaking about Morbidity and Mortality Responsibility and Structure during the two-day conference.

    The conference is being held under the theme: "Cancer and aging, collectively improving our local cancer care and responsibility," is being held from October 26 to the 27 at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino.

    The four areas to be highlighted at the conference are breast cancer, cervical, colon and prostate cancer.

    Dr. Jennifer Alexander has been practicing her profession for more than 30-years. Alexander is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hair Loss Clinic of Jamaica and Surgipath & Cytology Lab Service.

    jenniferalexander23102012Dr. Alexander is a 26-year old breast cancer survivor and an award winning author of "If Love's so Nice...Why Does it Hurt? and "A Practical Guide to Coping with Cancer."

    Alexander, will give a motivational speech about "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," and she will also talk about breast cancer and how she survived.

    'Get Checked,' is the Minister of Public Health's campaign to improve public health amongst the population of the country, and the conference is one of the avenues to bring forth awareness within the community.

    The conference will focus on sharing information on the specific cancers mentioned above with the objective of developing a strategic plan and approach in registering, managing and monitoring cancers; increased awareness; and new treatments/techniques.

    The general public is invited to conference activities on Saturday, October 27 from 9:00am to 1:15pm and from 1:30pm to 4:00pm (lunch not included).

    Persons interested in registering to attend the conference on October 27 can contact the following persons via email: Section General Public Health maria.henry@sintmaartengov.org; Cancer Foundation sherminapowell@yahoo.com; and Positive Foundation shelly.alphonso@nagico.com; or call CPS at 542-3003, or 542-2078.

  • PUBLIC NOTICE: USM presents viewing and lecture on "Invictus".

    PHILIPSBURG:--- The University of St. Martin, presents a viewing and lecture on the film "Invictus," scheduled for Thursday October 25th, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lecture Hall.

    "Invictus " is a film about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup immediately after the dismantling of apartheid. The film, starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as the captain of South Africa's rugby team, Francois Pienaar, was directed in 2009 by Oscar winner Clint Eastwood and garnered acting nominations for both Freeman and Damon.
    Following the film, a lecture will be given by Mr. Bert van Geel, a seasoned Diplomat from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The lecture will focus on the theme of leadership as demonstrated in the movie and will explore aspects of Mandela's leadership approach with a number of examples from the film.
    "My lecture will explain the main characteristics of the leadership behavior of one of the greatest leaders - if not the greatest leader - of modern times. How his leadership concept is deeply rooted in African tradition, particularly in "ubuntu" philosophy and at the same time provides an excellent response to the challenges of modern times".
    From the year 1988 to 1992, Van Geel worked as a coordinator of an extensive bilateral development cooperation program in Zimbabwe from where he witnessed the release of Nelson Mandela form Robben Island prison. He met Nelson Mandela personally in 1990 in Namibia, shortly after the regime change there and was immediately impressed by his charisma. For Van Geel, the leadership approach of the former South African President was instrumental in transforming the apartheid regime into a non-racial and more equitable democratic system. He strongly believes that Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom will remain a source of inspiration to many.
    He explains "that though we cannot all be Mandelas, we certainly can rise to the challenge of his inspiration and be a shining light to others also".
    The lecture is free and open to the general public. The University of St. Martin Lecture Hall has a seating capacity for 200 persons.

  • Three Arrested for Stealing Cheques from Soggy Dollar Bar.

    Philipsburg:--- Police arrested three persons late last week for stealing a large sum of monies from the Soggy Dollar Bar located at the La Palapa Center. Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos confirmed on Monday that two females and a male all from St. Maarten are now in police custody for stealing a number of cheques from a business at the La Palapa Center. Mos said the male suspect was arrested on Saturday evening while the female suspects were arrested late last week.

    The Chief Prosecutor further explained that he did not have all the details on the case. When asked how much monies were stolen from the well known bar, Mos said he would not confirm or deny if the theft took place at Soggy Dollar Bar but he would say it happened at the La Palapa Center. He said that tens of thousands of dollars were stolen from the business and the investigation is currently ongoing. Mos said the suspects stole cheques and not actual cash from the business place. Mos further explained that the suspects were led before the judge of instruction and their pre-trial detention has been extended.

  • Man loses eye after chain snatching assault.

    MARIGOT:--- The Gendarmerie is appealing for the help of witnesses to catch the two perpetrators who violently assaulted a 66-year-old man in Concordia recently. The incident took place at around midday on Rue de Concordia near the Good News Baptist Church and intersection of Rue du Mont Carmel.
    The victim was targeted because of the gold chain he was wearing around his neck. He was approached from behind and in the ensuing struggle sustained a punch directly in one of his eyes. Neighbours called the Gendarmes and Fire Brigade paramedics who arrived at the scene very quickly. The man was rushed to the Louis Constant Fleming hospital and later sent to Guadeloupe to be operated on. Unfortunately, doctors were unable to save his eye. It was later discovered that his gold chain had very little value.
    The attackers made their escape on foot through Rue du Mont Carmel. The Gendarmerie has given a description of the aggressors as follows: One is a dark skinned young adult, dressed in black short pants and a black T-shirt. The other is also a dark skinned young adult, dressed in jeans and a red T-shirt.
    Anyone who has information that could help the Gendarmerie in its investigation is asked to contact the Gendarmerie in Marigot/Concordia at 0590 52 2197, call the emergency number 17, or come in person to any of the Gendarmerie stations in Marigot, La Savane, or French Quarter.
  • Minister Jacobs present for Opening Round of Seven Seas Rotary Spelling Bee.

    silveriajacobsatsevenseasrotaryspellingbee21102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, was in attendance to witness the opening of round one of the Seven Seas Rotary Spelling Bee which will be held over three Saturdays at the AUC Medical School in Cupecoy.

    30 students representing various public, parochial and private schools around the island took the challenge to take part in the first part of the second annual event organized by the Rotary Mid-Isle and Sunrise, Rotaract and Interact members.

    Minister Jacobs commended the Rotarians for their continuous support of schools and education as civic service groups as well as for their ability to secure the support of the business community in these ventures. She further pledged her support for their efforts and encouraged more cooperation with the schools in the preparation of such events.

    The Minister further recognized the students as winners just by their mere presence and encouraged them to do their very best.

    "It takes a great amount of courage for you to be here today, and regardless of the outcome, keep on trying your very best in everything you do. The more you participate in these types of events, the more confidence you will gain! Much success to you all," Minister Jacobs told the students at the event.

    She also encouraged school representatives and family members to continue to go the extra mile for their children, and to model good sportsmanship in this and all competitions.

    The Minister looks forward to the semi-finals and finals in the weeks to come.

  • Cupe Coy Murder Case to be tried in January 2013 --- Christmas Recess plays major role.

    meyshanejohnsonbeingledtocourthouse26092012Philipsburg:--- The three suspects currently in custody for the murders of American citizens Michael and Thelma King should appear in court sometime January 2013. Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos told SMN News on Sunday that the suspects are cooperating with police and the police and prosecutor's office are busy analyzing the statements that were made by the suspects. Mos said that while the investigating team is working vigorously to tie up all the loose ends, the case cannot go to trial before the Christmas holidays. The last day of court for the year 2012 will be December 12th, 2012 while the January session should start between January 10th -12th, 2013.

    St. Maarten's Chief Prosecutor said the Dutch law allows the police to detain a person for a period of 116 days before they are officially charged and taken before the court for trial. Mos declined to say if the suspects will be charged with premeditated murder or if the prosecution will go for a lesser charge like manslaughter. Mos also did not say if police had to strike a deal with the suspected killers to get their cooperation. When asked by SMN News if the investigators already determined if the motive for the killing was robbery, Mos said that the police are looking at all angles of the case and they have not ruled out any other possible motive.

    jeremiahmills04102012Police arrested the first suspect Meyshane Kemar Johnson (28) of Jamaica on September 21st, 2012. Johnson already admitted to police that he was directly involved in the brutal murders of the Kings. Johnson was a security guard at the time of the killings and his arrest. He worked at the Soualiga Service Point and the Scotia Bank for a reputable security company on St. Maarten. SMN News has been reliably informed that Johnson is the one who brutally took the lives of the Kings. A source close to the investigation said Johnson was working as security and bouncer for someone that was closely connected to the Kings but police has declined to say whether or not the illegal immigrant admitted to working for anyone that was connected to the Kings prior to his deportation. SMN News learnt that Jonhson's aunt, a naturalized Dutch national, is the one who brought him back to St. Maarten after he was deported from St. Maarten some years ago. The source said when Johnson applied for a job at the security company Veronica Young signed as one of his reference persons giving Johnson a good and clean bill. The other person that signed his application form was Pastor Mielchias Carbon. SMN News learnt that Johnson, a mechanic by trade, used to repair Pastor Carbon's car while he was a member of the church Carbon pastored.

    jamalwoolford08102012One week after Johnson was captured as a suspect in the brutal murder, police managed to arrest his 17 year old cousin who was also at the scene of the crime. He has been identified as 17 year old Jeremiah Chevon Mills a former student of the St. Maarten Academy PSVE. Information gathered by SMN News shows that Mills was a school bully and one that threatened the lives of several teachers. He was expelled from the school last year October after beating another student with a baseball bat. Mills was also convicted for robbing the Global Wealth Trade store that is located at the Yogesh Building. He was convicted to 18 months for the armed robbery, 15 of which were suspended. At the time of his arrest for the murder of the Kings and robbery of Happy Star Chinese Restaurant he was on three years probation.

    The third suspect in the murder of the Kings is 20 year old Guyanese national Jamal Jefferson Woolford. Woolford was also a student of the St. Maarten Academy PSVE and he was an employee of Eagle Tours located at Bobby's Marina. Woolford escaped from St. Maarten the same day the news broke that the first suspect Meyshane Kemar Johnson confessed to being involved in the murders of the Kings. Woolford, the holder of an American visa, left St. Maarten for St. Thomas and he was apprehended when he landed there. He waived his extradition rights and returned to St. Maarten two days later where he was arrested and remains in pre-trial detention.

    The three culprits will also be charged with the armed robbery of the Happy Star Chinese Restaurant located on Cannegieter Street, Philipsburg. Happy Star Chinese Restaurant was robbed on the night of September 19th, 2012 while the Kings bodies were found in their Cupe Coy condominium on September 21st, 2012.

  • St. Maarten’s largest playground now welcomes Fun Miles.

    kidsworldacceptsfunmiles19102012PHILIPSBURG:--- Great news for kids and parents: Fun Miles can now be redeemed at Kidsworld-SXM, the island's largest in- and outdoor playground and party center. Kidsworld is located on Mahoe Tree Drive in Cole Bay, opposite Harley Davidson. With a huge variety of attractions, kids from 1-12 are guaranteed a fun time, which makes Kidsworld such an appropriate newcomer in the roster of Fun Miles, the Caribbean's largest free customer reward program. Kidsworld will also contribute several exciting special offers to Fun Treats, Fun Miles' current end-of-year campaign. 

    ABOUT KIDSWORLD-SXM
    Kidsworld is a gorgeous playground with attractions for children from ages 1 to 12. Although the focus is on kids enjoying every minute of their visit, parents are also taken very seriously and will truly enjoy lingering at the site. Kidsworld offers such a wide range of thrilling attractions that it is not always easy for kids to decide where to begin. The climbing labyrinth with gliders? The shooters palace? Smiling in front of the funny mirrors? Taking a ride in a pedal go-kart? This is just a small selection of the many activities. By enabling cardholders to redeem their Fun Miles, Kidsworld has become even more inviting as St. Maarten's number one family attraction. Tip for parents: watch out for Kidsworld's 'Fun Treats', which are unbelievable special deals as part of Fun Miles's hot end-of-year campaign.

    ABOUT FUN MILES
    Since almost fifteen years, Fun Miles is the Caribbean's biggest customer reward program. With over 125.000 members on five islands, Fun Miles has become part of the community. The program owes its popularity to the wide range of fun things that it brings within the reach of its cardholders, together with a wide range of exciting partners. Fun Miles can be earned at more than 150 locations on Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius, and redeemed for a host of free products and services. Fun Miles is always at the center of attention thanks to innovative campaigns (including the famous end-of-year campaigns) and attractive new partners such as Kidsworld-SXM.

    MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FUN MILES AND KIDSWORLD-SXM?
    Please contact Fun Miles customer service at tel. 543-3301 or visit funmiles.net, facebook.com/funmiles, as well as www.facebook.com/kidsworld.sxm.1

  • Governor pays working visit to the Sint Maarten Academy.

    eugeneholidayvisitssxmacademy18102012Harbour View:--- On October 18, 2012, His Excellency Governor Eugene B. Holiday paid a working visit to the Sint Maarten Academy, where he met with the school's Principal Mr. Hussain, with Mr. Sprot (vice principal) and Mrs. Baly (Head of the Student Care department). During the meeting, the Governor discussed the school structure, the curriculum, student care, student performance and other issues involving the Sint Maarten Academy. During the tour of the school Governor Holiday was particularly pleased to see the increasing use of information technology in the school and encouraged management to continue to focus on excellence. After showcasing their art work Khailo Chance representing the highly talented art Class presented Governor Holiday with one of his paintings depicting the constitutional change of 10-10-10 and the hope for the future.
    Following the meeting with the school's management and a tour of the school, the Governor in keeping with the curricula gave a lesson in economics to the pre-examination class on the topic of market failure and the role of government in addressing the undesired effects of market failure. The Governor applauded the pupil's enthusiasm and commended Sint Maarten Academy on the high standard of the class and the hard work management and teachers has done to further the level of education on Sint Maarten.
  • State Safety Program course for the St. Maarten Civil Aviation Authority.

    Philipsburg (DCOMM):--- The St. Maarten Civil Aviation Authority (SMCAA) through a technical cooperation agreement with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) sponsored a State Safety Programme (SSP) course for SMCAA personnel.

    Louis Halley, Head of the Department of Civil Aviation & Shipping and Maritime said that the State Safety Programme course is derived from the ICAO Safety Management Manual (Doc 9859) which is mandatory for a state. It is the basis for the development for Safety Management System (SMS), which is also mandatory to Civil Aviation Service Providers.

    The instructors from ICAO were Technical Officer in Air Traffic Management Mr. Drazen Gardilcic and a Senior Operations Inspector seconded by the ACSA-COCESNA RSOO, Capt. Rodrigo Brenes, who held the safety program implementation course from the 15th to the 18th of October 2012.

    The topics covered included basic aviation safety concepts, fundamentals of safety management, hazard identification and risk management, ICAO safety management related provisions, and the development and implementation of the St. Maarten safety program.

    The course allowed participants to obtain theoretical knowledge and practical experience on the planning and implementation of the State Safety Programme.

    Halley said that the participants in the course—who all passed the final test—demonstrated their ability to apply their newly acquired knowledge in a practical setting.

    This course was attended by seven top aviation professionals from the St. Maarten Civil Aviation Authority.

  • TelEm Group colleagues bid fond farewell to Outside Plant Manager Anthony Carty.

    anthonycartyfarewellparty18102012Pond Island:--- Friends, colleagues and "mentors" paid heartfelt tributes to outgoing Outside Plant Manager, Anthony Carty, on his last day of work Wednesday.
    Mr. Carty was the "Man of the moment" as many of those who worked closest with him recounted stories about the "sometimes harsh-talking manager". He leaves after working at TelEm Group for the past 23 years.
    According to long time mentor and former TelEm Group Outside Plant Manager, Mr. Lorencio Gibs, it's all a question of knowing Mr. Carty well, because behind that hard exterior he is really a very kind and understanding individual.
    Similar observations, and other accounts of their working experiences with Anthony were expressed by other colleagues, including Vivian Hyman, Margriet Jacobs, Windell Hughes, Stanley Faneyete, Donville Hodge, Steve Simmons and Jed Carty.
    Many thanked Mr. Carty for teaching them about working to very high standards with whatever resources are available at the time.
    On behalf of Management, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Mr. Brian Mingo wished Mr. Carty best wishes for the future and also thanked him for his work with the company over the years.
    Mr. Mingo said the Outside Plant Manager has been working closely with the Commercial Department in recent months to reduce the number of Trouble Tickets and Service Orders handled within the company and should be pleased that on the day he is leaving those numbers have been greatly reduced.
    Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Mr. Eldert Louisa said after 23 years in the Technical Department the departure of Mr. Carty will be a great loss to the company.
    On behalf of all management and staff, Mr. Louisa presented his outgoing Outside Plant Manager with a giant photograph of some of the Technical Operations staff upon which many of Anthony's colleagues had written their own messages of good luck and wishing him much success for the future.
    Mr. Louisa said his own message sums up what he feels about Mr. Carty's commitment and love for the company, stating that Anthony is leaving with the knowledge that TelEm Group is permanently implanted into his DNA.
    An emotional Anthony Carty clearly enjoyed the moment with his colleagues and thanked everyone present and not present from the bottom of his heart for making his 23 years in TelEm Group, "special". He recognized that he may not have been the most agreeable at times, however, on most occasions, it was all well-meant. He took time to embrace the guest speakers who paid tribute to him and especially those who worked closest to him.
    "I am not leaving the island, I will be here and my door will continue to be open to you all and to TelEm," said Anthony.
    Mr. Carty received a complimentary parting gift from Management and Staff along with his signed photograph, which he says he will cherish for life. He also had the honour of cutting two cakes that he shared with staff.
    And from the rest of TelEm Group – MUCH SUCCESS.
  • Mental Health Foundation Clients prepare for “Pieces of Life” Art Exhibition at Taloula Mangoes.

    mhfpreparesforartexpo17102012The clients and staff of the Mental Health Foundation are working diligently towards their upcoming art exhibition called "Pieces of Life" which is scheduled for Friday October 26th from 5:30pm until 10:00pm at Taloula Mangoes on the boardwalk Philipsburg.

    This project has a dual objective which is to promote Mental Health Awareness and to provide funds for the Faraja Center's Christmas celebration in December. This project has brought out the artistic side of many of the clients and many are eager to finish their work.

    For the past month, Sint Maarten's artist Ruby Bute has been volunteering her time to assist MHF clients in their work once per week. Assignments are passed to clients and staff to complete before Ms. Bute returns for another session.

    "It has been great to have Ms. Bute work with the clients. She has a very calm and gentle spirit while she works which lightens the room and allows the clients to relax. She has connected with them in a powerful way and at many times would encourage them even beyond their work for this project. We appreciate her so very much". Says one of the Faraja staff members

    MHF is expected to have 30 framed paintings for the event. The Themes range from nature, historical, autumn to spring. Clients were allowed to express themselves and were guided in their initiatives.

    "Heads of banks and other businesses that can purchase and hang these paintings in their buildings or offices are especially welcomed". Sys staff Member.

    In addition to the paintings, there will also be candles on sale. "We have assortment of scented candles and have been working on some new exotic shapes as well." Continues the Faraja staff

    The Mental Health Foundation looks forward to showcasing their work and is inviting the community at large to the event.

  • 2013 Budget has Naf. 30M in Deficit --- COM to Take Drastic Decisions.

    rolandtuitt17102012Philipsburg:--- The 2013 budget has an approximate deficit of Naf. 30 million announced Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt during the Council of Ministers' press briefing on Wednesday. Minister Tuitt told reporters that the Council of Ministers would have to decide on a way forward for fixing the draft budget that was sent to the CFT. Tuitt said that the deficit is based on old debts. The Minister said that the deficit of Naf. 30M was there for the years 2009 and 2011. However, he still has to verify if 2010 was covered. Tuitt said there was windfall due to the debt relief in the year 2010. Tuitt said the debt relief that was given by the Netherlands was used to pay off the debt of the APNA to the tune of 65 million guilders. The Finance Minister further explained that the operational costs for St. Maarten is 30 million guilders higher than is budgeted. Tuitt said that if the analysis of the CFT is factual then St. Maarten is faced with a real problem. The Finance Minister said that the Council of Ministers would either have to decide to further cut the budget or create other ways of creating more revenues. Tuitt stressed that if all the businesses on St. Maarten were paying their taxes then Government would have more than enough monies for its operations. He said that there are too many delinquent businesses while the Receivers Office is not following his advice on how to collect taxes. Tuitt explained that if the Receivers Office focuses on collecting the taxes for the past five years then the Government of St. Maarten would have collected enough monies to run its annual operations but in his opinion the civil servants don't seem to understand this point of view.

    When asked by SMN News if the Council of Ministers has explored all its possibilities and if they might raise the TOT to balance and rectify the budget situation, he said there are other ways that the government can look at to take them out of the current predicament.

    The Finance Minister said the government of St. Maarten has to look for a solution for the old debts if not they would all be processed in the 2013 budget. Tuitt described the situation as a total headache for government. He said the budgets for the past three years closed off with over 30 million guilders deficit.

    Tuitt said the 2013 budget has various issues but the deficit is the main concern for the Government of St. Maarten.

    The Minister said that he is currently waiting on the green light from the Council of Ministers to sign off on an agreement with the Minister of Finance of Curacao regarding the joint Central Bank.

     

    IMF Meeting in Japan.

    The Minister of Finance also announced that during his visit to Japan he held talks with the representatives of Barbados and St. Kitts and Nevis and both counties have agreed to share information with St. Maarten.
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  • FUN MILES PRESENTS A REVOLUTIONARY END-OF-YEAR CAMPAIGN --- FUN TREATS: DREAMS COME TRUE.

    funmilesfuntreatslaunch16102012Philipsburg:--- Fun Miles is famous for its wildly popular end-of-year campaigns such as FunJack, Fungo and Funopoly. This year, Fun Miles introduces a completely reinvented approach: Fun Treats. This campaign is a festive gift to the Fun Miles cardholders. For eleven whole weeks, they will be able to enjoy 'treats' (spectacular special offers) at 20 Funpartners and at Fun Miles itself. This means that the Fun Miles-coalition is treating St. Maarten to a total of 200 hot deals! Each treat lasts only one week, which makes it essential to benefit quickly. Cardholders who swipe their card at five different Fun Miles partners during the campaign will have the opportunity to participate in an exciting contest at funmiles.net: describe your personal Dream Treat for a chance to actually win it in real life (up to a value of 100.000 Fun Miles).

     

    FUN TREATS – DEALS OF YOUR DREAMS!
    Fun Treats are the kind of special offers that shoppers dream of, offers that make it even more appealing to be a Fun Miles cardholder. Just a few examples:

    • From 15-21 October, Divico will offer cardholders the chance to win back their entire purchase in Fun Miles.
    • From 22-28 October, Keijzer Computer Systems gives out 10x Fun Miles with all ink purchases.
    • From 5-11 November, SBS offers cardholders a chance to win a trip to Miami for every $100 they spend.
    • From 3-9 December, Travel Planners offers cardholders a ticket to Curacao for just 15,000 Fun Miles.

    ...and 200 other amazing treats! This shows that this year's campaign is squarely aimed at pampering the cardholder. For those who do not yet own a Fun Miles card, now is the perfect time to join. A card is available for only ANG 10 at the partners and at the Fun Miles office at Welgelegen Road (Cay Hill).

    WHICH TREATS WHEN?
    Since the treats change weekly, it is important to stay alert. Many treats are too good to pass up, and some treats are only available in limited quantities. To make sure they don't miss out, cardholders can find an overview of current treats in big ads in the newspapers, on funmiles.net, on facebook.com/funmiles and – of course – at the Funpartners.

    WIN YOUR OWN DREAM TREAT
    Those who swipe their Fun Miles card at five different Funpartners during the campaign period will have a chance to win their own 'dream treat' at funmiles.net. Cardholders can describe and submit their personal dream experience up to a value of 100,000 Fun Miles, using products and services from the Funpartners. The most fun and creative entries will get a chance to actually win the dream treat as described. Examples: a trip to Barbados, a home makeover, or a night at the movies with 100 friends. Cardholders can participate as often as they like, as long as the dream treats are different every time. The winners will be announced in January 2013.

    ABOUT FUN MILES
    Since almost 15 years, Fun Miles has been the Caribbean's biggest customer reward program. With over 125.000 members on five islands, Fun Miles has become part of the community. The program owes its popularity to the wide range of fun things that it brings within the reach of its cardholders, together with exciting partners that range from supermarkets to airlines, and from restaurants to gas stations. Fun Miles can be saved at more than 150 locations on Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius, and redeemed for a host of free products and services. Fun Miles cardholders are continuously enjoying discounts, special offers and spectacular campaigns, including popular end-year-campaigns like this year's Fun Treats.

    MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FUN MILES & FUN TREATS?
    Please contact Fun Miles customer service at tel. 543 3301 or visit funmiles.net or facebook.com/funmiles.

  • Rotaract Sunrise Recognize 5 Young Professionals.

    rotaractsunriserecognizes5youngprofessionals14102012Philipsburg:--- In honor of Vocational Service Month, The Rotaract Club of St. Maarten Sunrise held a very special general meeting honoring 5 young professionals on Saturday 13th October at Holland House.
    President of the Rotaract Club Elisia Lake presented Distinguished Service Citation Awards to Stuart Johnson for his exceptional achievements in the education field. Renata de Weever was award for her talent in the culinary field. Keoma Hamer was awarded for her dedication in bringing health awareness to the community. Rene Leveret was awarded for his achievements in the Sports field. Lucinda Audain was awarded for her creative talent in the Arts field.
    The members of the Rotaract Club specifically chose these 5 individuals because they have exemplified outstanding professional achievement, high ethical standards and have contributed their vocational talents to meeting the needs of the community. President Lake congratulated the award recipients and mentioned that "you are role models to each member in the club, continue striving for excellence as we are looking on and following in your footsteps".
    October is the month during which Rotaractors all of over the world pay special attention to the Vocational Service Avenue. Vocational Service Month provides numerous opportunities for persons to inspire children and adults toward productive careers, to stimulate positive changes in the workforce and community, and to promote the value of the high ethical standards in all occupations the press release concluded.
  • Airlines happy new rates at SXM do not include additional fees for them.

    pjiae28062012SIMPSON BAY:--- The airlines servicing the destination all expressed satisfaction that the new rates scheduled to go into effect next month at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) will not affect SXM's competitive position, nor the airlines' load factors. (SXM is the international designator code for PJIA.)

    The airlines were once more briefed at the recently-concluded World Routes conference held in Abu Dhabi.

    According to Managing Director of the Princess Juliana International Airport operating company (PJIAE), Regina LaBega, the airlines were all "appreciative of the information, very impressed with the future plans of the airport, and happy that there weren't any increases in airline fees" included in the new rates.

    The airlines and all other stakeholders had already been informed about the amended rates during facilitation meetings held previously at the St. Maarten airport.

    Similarly, the airlines in particular, had also been informed by IATA of the changes to the rates. The World Routes conference, however, offered another unique opportunity to speak directly with the Planning Directors, who actually determine the profitability of routes.

    "It was just another opportunity to ensure that all the airlines are informed about the new rates," LaBega stressed.

    The St. Maarten delegation that participated in the conference included officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications, the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, and management of PJIAE.

  • CHOICE HOTELS SUPPORTS RENEWED CARIBBEAN BRANDING EFFORTS.

    ST. KITTS:--- Voicing support for the re-launching of the Caribbean regional brand as a single destination, Jose Salvador Icaza, Director of Membership Development, Caribbean for Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH) urged smaller hotels to also consider branding options to increase their visibility and operational efficiency in a highly competitive marketplace.

    Lauding this week's Caribbean Tourism Organization State of the Industry conference in St. Kitts in the West Indies, held under the theme "Developing a Winning Tourism Strategy," Icaza confirmed the Caribbean remains a highly desirable destination, and will continue to be a destination of choice for travelers.

    "We wholeheartedly support pronouncements made by regional leaders this week to promote the diversity of the region under one brand," stated Icaza.

    But, he urged hotels and resorts - especially some of the smaller ones who are struggling to keep their heads above water - to examine the benefits of selective branding and options which help them retain their uniqueness and charm while expanding their reach.

    Icaza pointed to one such product being offered by Choice Hotels International - the Ascend Hotel Collection membership program. The upscale affiliation, he added, offers Caribbean hotels access to a powerful reservations system and robust marketing without abandoning their unique, historic or boutique identities.

    Choice Hotels, one of the world's largest hotel franchisors, is the franchisor for eight hotels in the Caribbean islands of the Bahamas, Curaçao, Grand Cayman and Puerto Rico. The company currently has projects under development in Anguilla, Dominica and Haiti and is in the final stages of negotiation to award a franchise to a hotel development in St. Maarten in the Dutch West Indies.

  • Constitutional Change took St. Maarten Backwards based on UN Charter --- Thompson.

    theophillusthompson11102012Philipsburg:--- President of the Windward Islands Chamber of Labour Unions, Theophillus Thompson said the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles that took place on October 10th, 2010 took St. Maarten and the other islands backwards instead of moving them forward. Thompson made his statements at WICLU's weekly press briefing on Thursday.

    Thompson said his statements are based on the UN charter on decolonization. Thompson further explained that the Netherlands Antilles became into being after this charter when the Dutch Empire was dismantled after the Second World War. Thompson said after this period the Netherlands was the first country that began its dismantling process with its overseas territories within the Caribbean, this was followed by the British with their dismantling creating the West Indian Federation which did not last very long because the larger countries such as Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and other nations sought their independence. As for St. Maarten and Curacao with the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles they went right back under the Netherlands while the BES islands became part of the Netherlands.

    Thompson said the United Nations has extended its decolonization period for the third time. He said the last time being from 2011 to 2020, it is clearly stated that there should be no more colonies in the world. Thompson said because of this the workers organizations on St. Maarten wants to know what is the vision of the various political leaders for the next ten years regarding constitutional changes based on the rights of the people to self determination, and the right to equality as nation taking its rightful place in the world. Thompson further explained that globalization has changed giving all countries despite their size a say since they have a vote and a right to participate in global activities.

    Thompson said that while St. Maarten is a new nation that is trying to find its way forward there are possibilities to further develop and evolve if the right leadership is in place to take the country forward.

    Thompson expounded on the need for education at an early age and said it is important for government to invest in its younger generation because it will create more employment and sustainability of economy is evident. The union head said the only thing St. Maarten has at this moment is the human resources and it is time for the island to claim its own.

     

    Children Born on St. Maarten to Foreign Parents are St. Maarteners --- Human Rights Charter.

    Thompson said there are a number of people that were born on St. Maarten to foreign parents. He said those persons that were born on the island are St. Maarteners based on the UN charter on equal rights and the rights of persons' states that the moment a child is born they are entitled to two things which are their basic the rights which are the right to a name and the right to a nationality. Thompson said a number of young people have been returning to the island to now claim their nationalities and this goes to show that the political and social leadership has not done their homework. Thompson said the new world order clearly dictates the structure and the social development of any country does not rest solely in the hands of politicians, instead that lies in the hands of the social structure of the country.
     

    WIFOL Moving forward as they Defend Pelican Workers --- Trying to convene meeting with Minister of Labour.

    The President of the Workers Institute for Organized Labour (WIFOL) told reporters on Thursday that the union has been trying to convene a meeting with the Minister of Labour Cornelius de Weever, but to date they are not able to obtain a response from the Minister.

    Thompson said the union already met with some of the other stakeholders such as the labour department and the Minister of Economic Affairs but it is imperative that the union meets with the Minister of Labour to further discuss their concerns. Thompson said WIFOL will continue to defend the rights of the 92 workers that were not rehired by the Simpson Bay Resort Management Company (SBRMC) because those workers maintained their rights by asking the company to provide them with their working contract so that they could study it prior to signing the contract. Furthermore, Thompson explained that the union wants to know when the Government of St. Maarten will resume its discussion on the Cessentia payments that were made by thousands of workers and the monies stayed in Curacao after the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles. Thompson said every worker on St. Maarten paid Naf. 40 per month to the Cessentia funds and those workers who were either laid off or are out of work because the companies they worked for filed bankruptcy cannot get their dues from the Cessentia because the monies is in an escrow account in Curacao. This, he said is part of the division of assets and liabilities which has to be finalized.

    The WIFOL President said that the union intends to hold Government liable for the Pelican workers because the SBRMC filed for their dismissal under the Pelican Resorts Club and the labor department never dealt with their request. "Because the labour department did not do due diligence they are now responsible for these workers who are not able to collect unemployment or even their Cessentia payments."
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  • PUBLIC NOTICE: PJL Hosts Family Movie Nights in honor of Anne Frank.

    The Philipsburg Jubilee Library, in honor of the remarkable life of Anne Frank will be having a Family Movie Night every Thursday during the month of October 2012 from 5:30 pm. The movies will speak of the Anne Frank experience or take place during WWII. The dates and the movies are as follows:
    • Oct. 11 – Boy Ecury
    • Oct. 18 – Freedom Writers
    Viewing of these movies is free of charge. Bring a friend and come ready to enjoy the movies. For more information please call the library at 542-9819.
  • Parliament President Samuel Congratulates Nation on 2nd Anniversary of Country Status.

    rodolphesamuel27082012PHILIPSBURG:--- President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel would like to congratulate the nation on its 2nd Anniversary of country status.

    Samuel said that 10-10-10 represented a turning point and was a new beginning for our nation. He added that nation building was a process which would not be completed in a year or two, but it was a process that would encompass the generations of Sint Maarteners.

    The Parliament of Sint Maarten and the Government under the auspices of the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, have joined to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of country status in connection with Constitution Day 2012.

    A solemn plenary session of parliament to mark the second anniversary of the attainment of country status, will take place on October 10.

    The theme is: Building a Nation of Courageous and Determined People."

    The solemn session will take place on Wednesday morning at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

    Faction leaders will speak for approximately 10 minutes. Members of the Council of Ministers as well as guest speakers, President of the Chamber of Labour Unions T. Thompson, and Chamber of Commerce and Industry President A. Bute will also have the floor.

    Government officials along with civil servants will attend an ecumenical service at the Saint Simon and Jude Anglican Church on Backstreet, Philipsburg at 8:30am.

    After the church service, dignitaries will attend the solemn session of parliament.

    A cultural celebration is planned at the Clem Labega Square at 6:00pm and the general public is invited to attend.

    The solemn session of parliament will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.

  • Rotaract Sunrise 4th Hurricane Awareness Mission successful.

    The Rotaract Club of St. Maarten Sunrise, a community service based organization held its fourth H.A.M at Le Grande Marche Bush Road on Saturday October 6th 2012. It was a Hurricane Awareness Mission whereby the club members collected non-perishable items and clothing from customers shopping at the supermarket. The items collected are then given to the local Red Cross in the event of a hurricane or natural disaster. If there are no natural disasters, the Red Cross distributes the items to persons in the community that are in need.

    The event was very successful; the club collected a large amount of can goods, sanitary products, cereal, rice and cases of bottled water just to name a few. Over 10 bags of clothing were also donated. All items collected were handed over to the Red Cross personnel who were very thankful for the contributions.

    The members of the Rotaract Club of St. Maarten Sunrise would like to extend its appreciation and gratitude towards members of the community that made contributions to this effort. Rotaract Sunrise will be conducting their last H.A.M event at Cost-U-Less on November 10th 2012. Other than can foods, persons can also donate clothing at the club's H.A.M events. The Rotaract Club of St. Maarten Sunrise encourages the community to continue supporting the Hurricane Awareness Mission as we continue to prepare our country in case of any natural disasters.

  • Minister Jacobs attends Opening Exhibition Reading & Writing with Anne Frank.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, attended the Opening Exhibition Reading & Writing with Anne Frank on Saturday October 6th at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library.

    Also in attendance was His Excellency the Governor of Sint Maarten, drs. E.B. Holiday, The Honorable Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams and the Honorable Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labor Cornelius De Weever.

    Prior to officially opening the exhibition, the ceremony incorporated several speakers such as Danielle Jeffrey and a representative of the Anne Frank House.

    The history of Jewish settlers on St. Maarten was elaborated on by both speakers. Mary Romney, daughter of Lionel Romney, gave the keynote address to the attending guest.

    Lionel Romney, who was born and raised in St. Maarten, is a holocaust survivor who was imprisoned in Mauthausen concentration camp in World War II. Romney, who is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut, did the research on her father's personal history. Part of the research, was presented during the keynote address, and included pictures of Mauthausen and video of her father's recounts of his experience.

    The ceremony concluded with the Governor and the director of the Library Monique Alberts, untying the ribbon to the exhibition hall. The dignitaries and attending guest had the opportunity to be the first to view the exhibition while enjoying refreshments.

  • Manager of Boo Boo Jam Arrested for Arson.

    arsonfillin30092012Orient Bay:--- Boo Boo Jam, a well-established night club in Orient Bay was burnt flat last week. SMN News has been reliably informed that the manager of Boo Boo Jam identified as "Stephen" was arrested as a suspect of arson last Thursday morning and has been placed in garde à vue. Sources say kerosene oil was found in the suspect's vehicle. The operators of Boo Boo Jam are currently in France since the company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and a curator has been appointed. Workers of Boo Boo Jam have not been paid for a while and they were involved in several days of strike. It is not clear if the manager that is now in custody was part of strikes.
  • PUBLIC NOTICE: Cole Bay Road Closure.

    colebayroadclosure01102012The Ministry of VROMI, Department of New Projects Development & Planning, on behalf of The Government of St. Maarten is hereby informing the general public of the upcoming road closure for the Cole Bay Project in the areas of Cole bay, Cay bay, Pelican, and Simpson Bay. On October 2nd and 3rd, 2012 from 10:00 pm until 6:00 am; the Welfare Road will be closed from the intersection of the Waterfront Road (Tropicana Casino) to the Cay Bay entrance for thru traffic. The works will be carried out during the evening hours between the period of 10:00pm thru 6:00am on both days.
    The works that are been executed are in connection with the ongoing project for the upgrading of the infrastructure and beautification for the area of Cole Bay. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by December 13th, 2012.
    The Ministry of VROMI on behalf of the Government of St. Maarten is asking all motorist to pay extra attention to the temporary traffic signs and detour, which will be in effect for a smooth and safe transition as the upgrading works for the area of Cole bay are being executed. We do apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.
  • Minister Jacobs Address UPQ Street Fair.

    sjacobsatupperprincessquarterstreetfair02102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Over the weekend Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs attended the Upper Princess Quarter Street Fair. It was the first one for the community.

    Minister Jacobs, who was a guest, commended the Upper Princess Quarter Community Council Federation for this wonderful initiative to bind the community.

    "The street fair is the first event, but it is the people of the community who will determine how successful it will be. Just as you did today, continue to pray together, work together, play together and enjoy good fellowship together," Minister Silveria Jacobs told those gathered for the fair.

  • SHTA sponsors Sundial School.

    shtasponsorssundialschool04102012As part of its continued partnership with the community at large in Social and Cultural development and its partnership with the Sundial School, the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) donated a check to assist with costs incurred during the school's recent participation in St. Maarten's carnival. Accepting the check for Sundial School was Mrs. Anenda Zaandam. The check was handed over by Sr. project manager Robert Dubourcq of SHTA.
  • Open House at the EDF Power Plants this Saturday.

    edfpowerplant04102012Marigot:--- The general public will be given the opportunity to visit EDF power plants this Saturday, October 6, 2012, from 8am to 1pm, for the company's open house.
    The 5 hour open house will include a bilingual (English and French) guided tour of the facilities, where one will learn about the history of the plants, the production of electricity, the use of modern technologies and the protection of the environment.
    The 37 years old power plant located in Galisbay Marigot was first constructed in 1975 with a total of three SEMT PIELSTIC PA4 diesel generators of one mega watt each. Today the location houses two power plants with 12 diesel generators with a total of 45 mega watts installed to meet the growth of the St. Martin population.
    The attendees coming to the open house are advised to wear close-up shoes and bring along a valid identification.
    The organizers are extending a special invitation to all students who has an interest in an engineering/technical career.
  • Robbers Detained for Snatching Jewellery.

    Marigot:--- The Gendarmerie said on Wednesday through a press release that they formally identified and took into custody on Monday four suspects thought to be responsible for a spate of jewellery snatching crimes.

    Seven incidents of this nature took place between September 19 and October 20 in Marigot, mostly against pedestrians, the majority of whom were unsuspecting tourists. Victims were assaulted violently if they did not hand over their valuables.

    The investigation also turned up a stolen scooter and one of the suspects was implicated in the theft of a car in August 2012.

    Two suspects have been summoned to court to answer charges on December 20 while the third has been incarcerated in Guadeloupe in connection with the execution of an arrest warrant with a 3-year prison sentence. The fourth suspect was placed in provisional detention to await judgement.

    In connection with the same investigation, a fifth individual who was already indicted for armed robberies has been imprisoned.

  • Island Airport Safety Committee Conference for St. Maarten.

    anastaciobaker23102012SIMPSON BAY:--- Airport quality and safety professionals are expected to take part in the seventh Island Airport Safety Committee (IASC) Conference on November 5-9, 2012, at PJIA.

    PJIAE Manager of Quality Anastacio Baker said that IASC was formed after a course on Safety Management Systems for Aerodrome Regulators and Inspectors held in Aruba and organized by the Netherlands in 2006. Representatives in attendance for the training were from the then island territories of the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba, Suriname, and the Netherlands.

    Baker said that, "because of the shared information and unity of the group during training they decided to form a committee and meet every year. The first meeting was held in 2007 in Aruba and St. Maarten, then for the following years in Curacao, Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius respectively. Once again St. Maarten is hosting the conference.

    Baker said that, "the objective of the conference each year is to share safety information and audit the host airport; the findings are then presented to management with recommendations for improvements from the committee." Among the key aspects or areas of the airport to be audited are Airside Operations, Rescue and Fire Fighting, and Air Traffic Control.

    The audit is done in accordance with Annex 14 of the International Civil Aviation Organization's manual (ICAO) and the Airport Aerodrome Manual. "This type of audit prepares the host airport for other external audits from regulating bodies such as ICAO and FAA," said Baker. The committee members are from the airports of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius, Saba, and St. Maarten. Suriname became a member in 2011.

    According to Baker, a former IASC chairman, there will be a number of safety presentations by the safety professionals as well as safety information sharing at the conference.

  • Problem with Smitcoms SMPR1 cable causing interruptions in internet service.

    Pond Island:--- TelEm Group customers are experiencing intermittent interruptions to their broadband internet service due to an outage on the SMPR1 cable operated by sister company Smitcoms.
    The outage was reported during the early hours of Tuesday morning. With the assistance of a cable equipment vendor in the USA, TelEm Group is attempting to identify the cause of these interruptions so that repairs can be carried out without delay.
    A similar outage was experienced last week however a full report is still awaited on the nature and cause of that outage.
    Cable equipment vendors in the USA say despite many man hours of testing, the precise cause of the outage last week and again today cannot be immediately determined.
    The cable outage is affecting the SMPR1 broadband cable that Smitcoms holds with other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on St. Maarten, especially the broadband company CaribServe - affecting Caribserve customers.
    TelEm Group and Smitcoms, along with their cable equipment vendors in the USA are taking all steps to restore full service as soon as possible. The companies have in the meantime apologized to all broadband internet users and the customers of Caribserve for the current interruption in service.
  • President Samuel congratulates the people of Curacao on exercising their right to vote at October 19 polls.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- On Friday the electorate of Curacao went to the polls and voted for their parties of their choice.

    President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel, would like to congratulate the electorate for exercising their democrat right in free and fair elections. Approximately 75 per cent of those that could vote came out to do so on October 19.

    President Samuel also congratulates the leaders of all parties that took part in the second elections of country Curacao, adding that the Parliament of Sint Maarten was willing and ready to work with the Parliament on areas of mutual interests.

  • Gas and Diesel Prices Increase on October 20, 2012.

    gasanddieselpricesincrease19102012
  • SMMTA Markets St. Maarten in Brazil.

    smmtabraziltrip18102012Sao Paulo, BRAZIL:--- Members of The St. Maarten Marine Trades Association recently attend the Sao Paulo Boat Show where they sought to diversify the current clientele of the marine industry by encouraging Brazilian Yacht enthusiasts to bring their vessels to St. Maarten. The delegation was well received and all expectations are that we will begin to see an influx of Brazilian owned vessels home porting in St. Maarten this season.

    SMMTA Press Release
  • Students that were Denied Study Financing may be able to Access Dutch Funding to Study in the Region.

    silveriajacobs17102012Philipsburg:--- Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs announced during the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing on Wednesday that students who were denied study financing this year or those who are interested in studying at universities or colleges in the region such as the University of St. Martin (USM) can fill up the necessary form or application at the Ministry of Education to access Dutch funding.

    The Education Minister said there are monies available at USONA for students who would like to further their studies. Minister Jacobs further explained that unlike the requirements to obtain study financing, the applicant does not have to be a Dutch citizen, those interested in obtaining the funds just have to prove that they have been residing on the island for five or more years.

    Students that already applied for study financing and were denied only have to fill up one form while the Ministry of Education has to fill up the other. Students that have never applied for study financing would have to complete the entire procedure. The Minister said there are monies available for about 18 students, the same amount that was denied by the government of St. Maarten.

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  • Seventh Day Adventist School students learn about Anne Frank.

    sdastudentsatannefrankexhibition14102012Philipsburg:--- Angela Dekker and Saskia Kliphuis of funding agency Cooperating Foundations watched the students of the Seventh Day Adventist school while they were learning more about the tragic but also inspiring life of the jewish girl Anne Frank in WWII.
    Cooperating Foundations donated Naf 18.766,00 to the library for the travelling exhibition "Reading and Writing with Anne Frank" of the Anne Frank Foundation. All elementary and secondary schools will participate in the inspirational reading and writing exercises of the exhibition during the month of October.
  • Minister of Tourism recognizes Caribbean Statistics Day.

    romeopantophlet24092012The observance of this day is intended to raise the profile of statistics, to commend statisticians in our community and the region and, most importantly, to emphasize the key role that statistics will play in the future development of Country St. Maarten.
    An example of the importance of statistics can be realized when we consider the censuses and other surveys that are conducted. From each census we obtain statistical information such as the composition of households on our island, and the average incomes of those households. We can then evaluate how those numbers compare to previous years, and thereby determine whether and to what extent the size of our population is changing, and also determine how the economic circumstances of our people are changing.
    We as government remain committed to further strengthening our statistical capabilities by continued investment in our physical and human resources at our statistical office, and I encourage all citizens to play their role in supporting the continued development of statistics on St. Maarten in every way possible, and especially by fully cooperating and actively participating whenever a census and other sample-surveys are taken on our Island.
    In this way each and every one of will have done our part in ensuring that this year's theme is realized. That theme is:
    "Working Together to Improve Statistics in the 21st Century and Beyond"
  • Anguillian Registration Plane Crashed --- Conflicting Information Regarding Pilot and Passengers being Released. (UPDATED)

    kirbyhodge13102012Philipsburg:--- Relatives of Anguillian Pilot Kirby Hodge and the passengers that were on board flight 5553Y-AZTEX are upset with the conflicting information they are being fed regarding the survival and search and rescue mission. Saturday evening relatives of Captain Hodge and other Anguillians were rejoicing when they were told that all six persons on board the aircraft were found alive. Hours later their joy turned into sadness when they learnt that the search and rescue mission was called off due to the inclement weather conditions and that only one female passenger that was on board flight 5553Y–AZTEX that left St. Croix en route to St. Thomas early Saturday morning crashed was rescued.

    The female survivor told rescue workers that all six of the passengers including her child exited the aircraft alive but they all got separated due to the bad weather conditions and high waves. Information from San Juan Towers now states that the search and rescue was called off because of inclement weather and darkness of the night.
    Earlier on Saturday afternoon, SMN News received information from the Towers at PJIAE which stated that they were informed that all the passengers were found in a raft drifting while the pilot swam to a nearby key. SMN News also received the same information from the Towers in Martinique.

    Late Saturday evening SMN News was told that the information they received remained the same. However, information from St. Croix Airport states that only one female passenger was rescued and up to press time the other five passengers were not located including well known Pilot Kirby Hodge. The passenger that was rescued SMN News learnt was taken to St. Croix while scores of family members of the victims and the pilot gathered at a beach in St. Thomas to see if the Coast Guard was going to show up with their loved ones.

    Kirby Hodge is a well known pilot and businessman from Island Harbour Anguilla. He owns Rainbow International Airlines which is responsible for air evacuation within the region.

    This latest crash came just one week after an aircraft crashed on the V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua where three persons including the pilot lost their lives.

  • WITU President Extends Wishes for Teachers' Day --- Teachers wanted to know why there was no Celebration.

    claireelshot11102012Philipsburg:--- President of the Windward Islands Teachers Union (WITU), Claire Elshot extended belated greetings to all teachers on St. Maarten for Teachers' Day. Elshot was off island at the time but took the opportunity to greet all teachers during WICLU's weekly press conference that was held on Thursday. Elshot said that the theme this year "Stand up for teachers" speaks for itself however, several teachers on St. Maarten contacted her since she returned to the island and wanted to know why there are nurses' week and police week celebrations and no celebration to recognize teachers on the island. She said that the union is analyzing the concerns of the teachers and as such they are considering putting together activities to celebrate and recognize the teachers and students of St. Maarten.

    Elshot also announced that she will be postulating herself as a candidate to be re-elected as the President of WITU, that election she said will be scheduled shortly. In the meantime, Elshot said CTEC of Curacao just held their election and the board was able to maintain their presidency. Aruba she said held their elections on Wednesday but she was unable to get the results and outcome of their teachers' union election.

    Elshot said she also has to share information she gathered in Aruba about the COLA payments that the government of St. Maarten wants to restructure. She said teachers in Aruba receive two allowances one in November and another in January while their vacation allowances is 8% while St. Maarten is stuck at 6%. Elshot said that teachers also have 10 extra days that they can use which they can cash in if they do not use it.

    The WITU President said that the union will be addressing several issues with the Minister of Education. She said that St. Maarten is two years into a new country status and to date several institutions are not yet established. One such institution is the one to evaluate teachers' diplomas and degrees. She further explained that she met with a senior civil servant who said there are people to do such but the committee is not yet established.
    Elshot also expressed concerns on the lack of opportunities for 16 year old students that have completed high school. She said that the government of St. Maarten is not doing their best to enhance education on St. Maarten, especially for students that finishes school at an early age. Elshot also said that the teachers of PSVE expressed concerns about the fact that two of their former students are now suspects of a heinous crime that was committed on the island.

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  • ODM says peak of 2012 Hurricane Season Reached; Approaching Tropical Wave could bring some rainy weather.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Department of Disaster Management (ODM) says the peak of the hurricane season has passed, but residents should still remain vigilant until the end of the season.

    The season so far has seen 15 named tropical storms. Nadine became of the longest-lived tropical systems on record.

    A Tropical Wave (TW) associated with a Low Pressure system #98, is expected to pass close or over the Leeward Islands late this week, bringing possibly adverse weather conditions.

    With respect to the possibility of heavy rainfall, motorists are advised to exercise caution while driving in low lying areas which could flood – street flooding - due to heavy and persistent rainfall.

    Motorists driving near hillsides are also asked to exercise caution with respect to possible rock falls.

    Drivers and individuals who do not need to be on the road should remain at home until weather conditions improve.

  • WIB to host Alternative Energy Show.

    wibalternativeenergyshowposter08102012The Windward Island Bank will be hosting our very first Alternative Energy Show at the Princess Port de Plaisance parking facility for the general public. The event will take place on the November 3rd, 2012 from 10am to 5pm.

    WIB will bring together several local alternative energy suppliers to display their products and services ranging from solar panels, wind generator, solar water heaters, LED, inverters, and more.

    The WIB's Alternative Energy Show will be an informative, fun filled day with a great selection of alternative energy products, entertainment, food & drinks, and a kiddy's corner. Come see how it works. You can obtain relevant information from the experts on energy alternative products. WIB's Personal Loan & Mortgages Team will be present to assist with all financing possibilities. Now is the best time to invest and enjoy your savings for the future.

    For Business inquiries regarding this show, please contact Mr. Ferdinand Beauperthuy at 5462865 or you may email him at marketing@wib-bank.net.

    Come and see how it works.

  • CPS urges parents and guardians to continue to prepare healthy school snacks for kids.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Nutrition related health problems in children are increasingly significant causes of disability and premature death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The problem of overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions globally, and both developed and developing countries are seriously affected.

    In some countries, the epidemic of obesity sits alongside continuing problems of under nutrition, creating a double-burden of nutrition-related ill health among the population, including children.

    The St. Maarten Health Study, "How Healthy is St. Maarten,?" indicated that on a daily basis 31 per cent of the participants don't consume breakfast; 63 per cent don't consume vegetables and 66 per cent don't consume fruits. This is an indication that this lifestyle is also practice by their descendants.

    Collective Prevention Services (CPS), executing agency of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and the Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever, strongly recommends to parents and guardians to 'Get Checked,' by checking the ingredients of the products that they buy and prepare for their children through the remainder of the school year. Just because it is convenient does not mean that it is healthy - healthy choices equal healthy children and healthy smiles!

    'Get Checked 'is the Ministers of Public Health's campaign to draw attention to health issues.

    Improving the nutritional status of school-age children is an effective investment for improving educational outcomes of school children.

    Establishing healthy dietary and physical activity patterns among young people thereby promotes health and nutritional well-being and preventing obesity and various non-communicable diseases.

    In making healthy foods and beverages available at home and for school, and in providing, supporting and encouraging opportunities for physical activity, parents can influence their children's behavior.

    Simultaneously parents are advised to live and promote a healthy lifestyle because children's behavior is often shaped by observation and adaptation.

    Here are some tips for children and adolescents: provide healthy breakfast before each school day; don't leave home without breakfast; serve healthy school snacks to children (whole-grain, vegetables, fruits); promote the intake of fruits and vegetables.

    Restrict intake of energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods (e.g. packaged snacks); restrict intake of sugars-sweetened soft drinks; ensure an opportunity for family meals; provide information and skills to make healthy food choices.

    Promote regular intake of water and physical exercise and get your child involved in sport activities.

  • Central Committee of Parliament Meeting for Tuesday Postponed.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- The Central Committee of Parliament was scheduled to meet in public session on October 09, however the meeting has been postponed.

    The agenda point for this meeting was related to the present situation regarding maintenance and zoning, and the Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure Hon. William Marlin, was invited to appear before parliament.

    The meeting has been postponed as per the request of Hon. Minister William Marlin due to the funeral of his brother that will take place on Tuesday.

    This meeting was requested by the United Peoples (UP) Party parliamentary faction.

  • PUBLIC NOTICE: Career & Study Fair.

    careerandstudyfairposter08102012PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten Career & Study Fair Committee is making final preparations for the annual Career & Study Fair, scheduled for Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at the Bel-Air Community Center.
    College and university representatives from St. Maarten, Curaçao, Aruba, the United States and Holland will be on hand to share information about their academic institutions. In addition to local educational institutions such as the University of St. Martin, SBO-St. Maarten and SIFMA, representatives from S4, the Study Financing Department and Student Support Services will be present in providing information to the public regarding their services.
    Under the theme "A Better Future Through Better Education," the fair will be open to the pre-exam students from all secondary schools from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Career & Study Fair will be open to the general public from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
    "The students we are focusing on are those who have chosen or are now deciding whether to attend college or enter the workforce. Every individual needs to know what choice is best for him or her. The Career & Study Fair provides an opportunity for students to gather the information necessary to make the right choice as they prepare to graduate from high school. We also recognize that parents play a major role in the decision making and so does the financial aspects of investing in a college education. Therefore, we are encouraging more parents to visit the fair during the 3:00 – 7:00 pm time slot", committee officials pointed out.
    A variety of local businesses and organizations have already confirmed their participation this year including Nagico, PJIAE, Telem N.V., Coast Guard, Korps Politie St. Maarten, Winair, Customs, St. Maarten Medical Center, the Prison, Mental Health Foundation, the Harbor Group of Companies and the Tourist Bureau. Several other organizations are still in the process of confirming their participation, and are asked to do so with a committee member before this weekend.
    "We are very grateful for the financial institutions, companies and colleges participating in this event. The information they provide is going to help our youth decide what their next step will be. Some youngsters will also use this opportunity to obtain more information on a particular career they have been thinking of", committee officials said.
    This annual event promises to be very informative and supportive in the planning and decision making involved in furthering one's education. The general public is invited to come out and benefit from the information and advice that will be made available. The fair will be open from 9:00 am – 9:15 pm.
    As a means of encouraging students and parents to begin preparing for college early, there will be a sponsored raffle starting at 3:30 pm for various college electronic essentials. In order to win the raffle persons must be present at drawing. Radio X104.3 fm will be broadcasting live from the fair in the afternoon.
  • Front Street Jewelry store robbed.

    armedrobberyfillin13082012Philipsburg:--- On Friday October 12th, 2012 at approximately 3:50pm, just around closing time, two masked men dressed completely in black stormed into Divinity Jewelry store on Front Street. These two suspects who were armed with handguns ordered the workers to stay still. At the same time, while threatening the workers with their weapons, the suspects went behind the counter and removed a large amount of gold chains that were hanging in the showcase. After committing this act both suspects fled the scene on foot in the direction of the Boardwalk.

    KPSM Police Report
  • Police Force Anniversary Message by UP Leader Theo Heyliger.

    theyliger04032012All those who work in this dedicated and skilled law enforcement agency known as the Police Force of Sint Maarten, are truly the guardians of the safety of our citizens and our visitors.

    Their vigilance and care for over 50 years, has earned them the deep gratitude and high respect of young and old, resident or visitor.

    We have a proud policing tradition over the past 50-years up to 2012. Since October 10, 2010, when the Police Force of Sint Maarten was established, the staff and management have played an influential role in shaping the Police Force of Sint Maarten over the past 24-months.

    To the men and women in our law enforcement agencies, let me conclude by expressing my appreciation to all personnel, past and present, for their contributions to the vision of keeping Sint Maarten as safe as possible for all our people despite the many challenges.

    On behalf of the people of our great country, thank you for your years of service.

    We salute you.

  • Cousins in Custody for Cupe Coy Murders --- Second Suspect Was Recently Released from Prison. (UPDATED)

    meyshanejohnsonandjeremiahmills02102012Philipsburg:--- The two suspects police now have in custody for the gruesome murders of Michael and Thelma King are cousins. Meyshane Kemar Johnson (28), a Jamaican security guard who was residing on the island illegally was arrested on September 23rd at a friend's house in Cape Bay. On Monday afternoon, police also arrested Jeremiah Chevon Mills born on October 24th, 1994 on the island of St. Maarten.

    Mills is the son of Veronica Young, a Jamaican national who naturalized and obtained the Dutch nationality. Her son Jeremiah Chevon Mills is also a Dutch national. The public prosecutor in a press release Monday evening said that police arrested a second murder suspect, J.C.M. in the Cole Bay area on Monday afternoon. However, they did not mention the nationality of the 17 year old they arrested, neither did they mention that a house search was conducted at the home of Veronica Young.

    veronicayoung26092012On September 29th, 2012, Veronica Young gave SMN News an exclusive interview where she accused police of holding the wrong person for the murders of the Kings. Young further stated that she was believes that her nephew Meyshane Kemar Johnson committed the robbery at the Happy Star Chinese Restaurant on September 19th, 2012, but she could not understand how police managed to pin two murders on her nephew. She also mentioned that her son (Jeremiah Chevon Mills) was on probation and police had surrounded her house several times in search of her nephew. She said that she informed her son that the police was also looking for him. During the interview, Young also said that she does not harbor criminals yet she indicated that Johnson went to her the evening of the robbery and told her that police had fired shots at the car he was driving. She said he also told her that he paid the owner of the car $300 to repair the vehicle. Young further explained that her nephew is the one who removed the bullet from the vehicle that belonged to one of his friends whose father owns car rental company in Cole Bay.

     

    Information on Jeremiah Chevon Mills.

    Jeremiah Chevon Mills (17) was a student of the St. Maarten Academy (Academic) section for about two years. He was later transferred to the PSVE (Vocational Section) when his grades began dropping in the Academic section of the school. In October 2011, the management team of the St. Maarten Academy expelled Mills from the learning institution when he beat another student with a baseball bat. SMN News has been reliably informed that from the time Mills was expelled from school he turned his attention to crime. He was convicted sometime in June 2012 for an armed robbery that he committed at Global Wealth Trade located in the Yogesh Building. Mills was sentenced to 18 months in prison, 15 of which were suspended. Mills spent three months behind bars and he was recently released from prison. At the time of his arrest he was on three-years probation. SMN News also learnt that Veronica Young hired Attorney at Law Shaira Bommel, the same lawyer that represented him in the armed robbery case earlier this year, to represent her son in this murder case.

    On September 29th, Meyshane Kemar Johnson was arraigned before the judge of instruction who prolonged his pre-trial detention to Wednesday October 3rd, 2012. Jeremiah Chevron Mills will have to appear before the judge of instruction on Thursday October 4th, 2012.

     

    Killings Seems to be a Hit and not Robbery.

    SMN News learnt that the persons or persons that killed Michael and Thelma King were paid to do so since the two business entrepreneurs do not walk with monies and they had just closed a business deal with a local businessman on St. Maarten. Sources close to the investigation say that police did not properly analyze the modus operandi (MO) of the killings and while they may have the right suspects behind bars there are others that may have gotten away with murder. The sources further explained that while police have described the crime scene as brutal, the killers almost cut off the head of Thelma King. "The persons that attacked the Kings did not go there to rob, they went to kill. They tied Thelma King to a chair and slashed her neck from one end to the other. Michael on the other hand received several stab wounds about his belly." Attorney General of St. Maarten Taco Stein told SMN News early last week that the Kings died of severe blood loss. Stein said that he obtained that information from the pathologists that conducted the autopsies on the two victims. The Attorney General and Chief Prosecutor have refused to divulge the time of death of the victims claiming that it will jeopardize their investigation. However, friends of the Kings said they last heard from them the Tuesday before their bodies were found in their Cupe Coy condominium.

     

    Press Statement from Public Prosecuter's Office Concerning Second Arrest in Cupe Coy Murder Case 

    Police arrested a second suspect in the Cupecoy case around 3:45pm on Monday. After an intensive search last weekend and today (Monday), police managed to track down 17 year old J.C.M. and arrested him on the street in the Cole Bay area.
    J.C.M. was considered a suspect since last week. Further arrests cannot be excluded.
    The other suspect in this case, 28 year old M.K.J., will be led before the judge of instruction on Wednesday October 3rd 2012, where the prosecution will ask the judge to order the suspect's pre-trial detention.

    {loadposition inset} 

  • UP says: People deserve relief now; The Peoples Patrimony should not be traded for a racetrack and cricket stadium.

    garrindell23122011The Sint Maarten people are looking for economic relief and not waiting for a noisy and ridiculous expensive racetrack and untimely cricket stadium. The NA-led Government's priorities are all wrong. Wrong priorities, wrong direction, the country is on the wrong track.
    We have to look at the entire Sint Maarten community, all the people! If Government has money to build a Cricket Stadium and a Race Track at this point in time, then provide relief for the people.
    Serious infringements of proper governance where the Cricket Stadium and Race Track are concerned have come to light. The paperwork was not in place to execute these projects. The UP Faction will be demanding an investigation into this matter and demand disclosure as the people's patrimony, the protected Northern section of the Great Salt Pond is threaded upon.
    The country has a number of sports facilities that need to be upgraded. Why not invest in these facilities which are used by our people? Invest the millions that the Government has found in these facilities and also provide relief for the people and the business community.
    The present veil of secrecy surrounding these and other projects is outrageous and unacceptable. Where is the transparency with respect to these projects? What we have seen since the very beginning of a Marlin/Wescot-Williams Government is a new trend of secrecy and concealment.
    The UP Faction supports Sports tourism and was bringing overseas professionals to complement local trainers and to use existing sports facilities until the Carnival coup resulted in a change of government. Why not upgrade existing facilities for sports tourism which would benefit local small hotels and other business establishments?
    The world economy is still in recession and uncertainty remains. Government's reserves should remain untouched. Investments should be prioritized. The people want relief. A race track and cricket stadium could be built in another area and at a later time. Why rush these illegal projects as the people suffer?
    Government needs to come clean to the people of Sint Maarten. Are funds reserved in the 2013 budget for these two projects? Are the initial costs covered in the 2012 budget, and if so, present the people with a copy of the amendment to the 2012 budget reflecting these two projects?
    Wrong priorities, wrong direction, the country is on the wrong track.

    Drs. Gracita Arrindell
    Member of Parliament, First President of the Parliament of Sint Maarten

  • Week of Activities Kicks off for Police Week Celebration.

    Philipsburg:--- Police officers from countries within the Kingdom of Netherlands are currently on St. Maarten to celebrate Police Week with a host of activities. Chairperson of the organizing committee, Pico Simmons told SMN News that there are currently 250 visiting guests on the island. These persons came from The Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao, BES islands, and Suriname while St. Maarten is the host country this year. Simmons said that this year St. Maarten will be celebrating its 2nd Anniversary as country within the Kingdom with its own police force. He further explained that the Police Organization began celebrating Police Week since 1983 and the celebrations continued even though the Netherlands Antilles was dismantled two years ago.

    The event kicked off Tuesday night where a welcome ceremony was held for the guests at Port de Plaisance. Welcoming of the guests and opening of the ceremony was done by the Chief Commissioner of Police Peter de Witte. The week long celebration continues on Wednesday with some minor games at the Emilo Wilson Park and Ladies night at Festival Village.

    Click here to view the week of activities planned for the celebration of Police Week.

  • Minister Jacobs says promoting the abilities of the disabled can only serve to bring confidence and encouragement to them.

    silveriajacobs02102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, on Saturday evening, attended the fundraising gala dinner organized by the Be Able Committee under the auspices of Top Promotion Foundation.

    The dinner is a first in a series of events geared towards building awareness among the St. Maarten citizenry of the abilities of the disabled.

    Be Able Committee will be hosting several professional wheelchair athletes from abroad in a tournament here on St. Maarten and this venture is indeed a noble one, Minister Jacobs said.

    "Many of our disabled on St. Maarten are invisible, are shut in, depressed and only taken out on occasion. Promoting an awareness of the abilities of the disabled can only serve to bring confidence and encouragement to them as well as bring a sense of compassion and understanding for those of us who should support them.

    "It is a measure of a country how we treat those who are less fortunate in some way. The Government of St. Maarten commends the efforts of the White & Yellow Cross, Sr. Basilia Center, Prins Willem Alexander School and all other organizations and institutions that care for the disabled in some way on a daily basis," Minister Silveria Jacobs said.

    Top Promotions and the Be Able Committee are also commended for the lengths they have gone to in order to bring more awareness to the plight of the disabled, by focusing on the positive - what they can do. Much success is wished to them in this very noble endeavor, Minister Jacobs concluded.

  • Education Minister Refuses Divulge Detailed Information on Ongoing Investigation at Education Department.

    silveriajacobs03102012Philipsburg:--- During the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing on Wednesday Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs admitted that there is an investigation taking place at the Department of Education. Minister Jacobs said that the department head is not under investigation but she refused to say if the department head was sent on inactive duty. However, she did say that the Department Head Glenderlin Davis Holiday is not suspended. The investigation is not targeting the department instead it is geared towards the operations of the department. Minister Jacobs said that the Council of Ministers tried to handle the matter in a confidential way. Minister Jacobs further explained that the inquiry will take at least 30 days and when the report becomes available more information will be released.

    When SMN News reporter informed the Minister that the union representing the civil servant Windward Island Civil Servants Union (WICSU/PSU) already made a statement to SMN News regarding the sending home of their member, Minister Jacobs maintained that the rights of civil servants are private and she will not divulge any information. She also said that a committee was formed to conduct the investigation but the members of the committee will not be identified.

  • Central Committee of Parliament to meet on Monday and Tuesday with Minister Jacobs and Minister Marlin.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- The Central Committee of Parliament will meet in public session on October 08. The Minister of Education, Culture, Youths and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs has been invited to Parliament.

    The meeting will take place on Monday afternoon at 2:00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

    The two agenda points for this meeting is the present education policy, and secondly, the policy related to youth and sports.

    The second Central Committee meeting is scheduled for October 09. The Tuesday public session will take place at 2:00pm.

    The agenda point for this meeting is information related to the present situation regarding maintenance and zoning.

    Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure Hon. William Marlin, has been invited to attend the meeting.

    Both meetings have been requested by the United Peoples (UP) Party parliamentary faction.

    The central committee sessions will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 20, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.

  • Middle Eastern Seaman Grounded WINAIR Twin Otter in St. Eustatius on Thursday.

    Philipsburg:--- Police on St. Eustatius had their hands full while WINAIR had several flight delays due to a Middle Eastern seaman who boarded the first WINAIR flight on Thursday morning. SMN News learnt that the seaman was on board a WINAIR twin otter which he boarded on St. Maarten to join an oil tanker in St. Eustatius. According to information provided to SMN News, the passenger pulled the emergency handle in the aircraft as it was landing and that caused some severe back up for WINAIR. Sources from within the company said that the seaman took off running through the arrival hall but he was later captured by police and questioned. Up to press time there was no report from the Police on St. Eustatius to say whether or not the passenger was kept in custody or if he was released. SMN News learnt WINAIR had to send another aircraft with a mechanic to replace the emergency exit door which was disabled by the passenger.
  • Solemn Plenary Session of Parliament to mark second anniversary of country status October 10; Central Committee planned for October 11.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- A solemn plenary session of parliament to mark the second anniversary of the attainment of country status, will take place on October 10.

    This meeting of parliament is being convened at the request of Minister of Education, Culture, Youths and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs.

    The meeting will take place on Wednesday morning at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

    Faction leaders will speak for 10 minutes. Members of the Council of Ministers as well as guest speakers will also have the floor.

    A public Central Committee meeting of parliament is scheduled for Thursday, October 11 at 2:00pm in the House of Parliament General Assembly Chamber.

    The first agenda point is the compilation of names with respect to the permanent committees of parliament.

    The second agenda point is the compilation of names for the Parlatino Committees.

    Third agenda point is a change to the National Ordinance Security Service.

    Both sessions of parliament will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.

  • President Samuel says NO WAY to Bullying.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel, says NO WAY to Bullying, and calls on the nation to 'Take a Stand Together' against bullying.

    Many children have a good idea what bullying is because they see it every day. Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending themselves.

    Bullying is wrong! It is a behaviour that makes the person being bullied feels afraid or uncomfortable. There are many ways that young people bully each other, even if they don't realize it at the time. Some of these include: punching, shoving, spreading bad rumours, keeping certain people out of a group, teasing people in a mean way and ganging up on others.

    Bullying is a very serious issue, where some international research has shown that one in six students is bullied weekly, and one in four students are bullied at least once over a period of a few weeks.

    The newest form of bullying is cyber bullying (via the internet or social media platforms), and this is presenting a whole new range of challenges.

    Research shows that confident, happy, resilient children do better at school, and are more likely to develop positive relationships and pursue healthy lifestyles in the long-term.

    President Samuel commends the efforts and initiatives of the organization Voices of Our Children (VOOC) where it concerns bullying. VOOC over the weekend held an anti-bullying march that brought together the community.

    "Bullying can take place anywhere, on our playgrounds, on the bus ride to or from school or via social media networking sites.

    "Bullying can increase anxiety, depression, and school avoidance. Parents and guardians must send a message to our children that bullying is wrong and it is not okay to be a bully. Zero tolerance is needed for bullying by parents and schools," President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel said on Thursday.

  • Defense wants Full Acquittal for Vesuvius Suspects --- Says Prosecution did Sloppy work and did not provide Evidence to Support their case --- Jones and Richardson facing life sentences.

    Belair:--- The defense attorneys for the Vesuvius suspects asked Judge Rick Smid on Tuesday to fully acquit their clients Carlos Richardson and Omar Jones who are facing life sentences for the murders of Miguel Arrindell, Rudolfo Arrindell, Eric Lake, Kevin Gumbs, and the attempted murder that took place at the Tan Tan Supermarket in Dutch Quarter as well as for gun possession. Attorney at Law Vaders told the court that the prosecution based their case on circumstantial evidence while most of the file presented to the court was based on hearsay and melee. Vaders represented Omar Jones and Doniel Thomas who is facing a nine year prison term if the judge goes along with the demands made by the prosecution last week. Vaders said that the file of over 1100 pages does not prove the cases beyond reasonable doubt and to substantiate her analysis she provided the court with a number of case laws that shows that the suspects' rights and the laws on jurisprudence were violated on several occasions.
    Attorney at Law Brenda Brooks represented Carlos Richardson and Omar Jones, Brooks said the prosecution submitted a number of statements that were made by anonymous witnesses some of them the defense could not question (verify) either because they did not show up for the hearing in front of the judge of instruction or the statements were made by people who are now dead. Attorney Brooks made clear in her presentation to the courts that "dead men" cannot speak and since the statements could not be verified then the judge should deem them inadmissible.
    Attorney Brooks also told the court that the prosecution shipped her client outside of St. Maarten and they never informed her of his whereabouts. She said during the time Richardson was removed from St. Maarten she had no contact with him and once another inmate called her and informed her that her client had no canteen money and he was not allowed to have contact with anyone.
    Brooks said the prosecution led by Prosecutor Bart den Hartigh based his case on melee and on comments made on www.smn-news.com and SIT website. She said that some of the words used in the file by the prosecution are unacceptable especially when the prosecution claims they spent two million dollars on the investigation to arrest seven persons whom they believe are the perpetrators to several murders. Brooks said that the prosecution built their case while suffering from tunnel vision because they turned a blind eye to real facts that might have led them to the real killers. Attorney Brenda Brooks told the court that on November 16th, 2011 when the seven suspects were arrested, Kevin Meturah who resides on the French side was also arrested on the request of the Dutch Prosecutor, however, Meturah was released the very next day by former Prosecutor Jacques Louvier who verified that Meturah could not have been anywhere near where the Dutch prosecution said he was because he was wearing a French angle bracelet that has GPS on it. Attorney Brooks said the Dutch Prosecution claimed Meturah was involved in the murders of Kevin Gumbs and Eric Lake which took place on A.T. Illidge Road. Attorney Brooks said Meturah's ankle bracelet placed him in Simpson Bay at the time of the shooting. This she said the prosecution failed to mention in their presentation to the court last week. "The Prosecutor requested the arrest of Meturah based on a statement made to them by an anonymous witness. Besides the ankle bracelet, the cell tower information placed Meturah exactly where he said he was and the route he used to get from French Quarter to Simpson Bay. Attorney Brooks said that Meturah's destiny was saved because the French authorities did their job and due diligence when they verified Meturah's whereabouts on that day. Brooks also read several statements given by witnesses who claimed they feared for their lives yet the prosecution and the police did not seek to properly question the witnesses to ensure that their statements were credible. She said in her opinion the prosecution placed their focus on the Labega families whom they said were seeking revenge for the slaying of Amador Jones who was killed at Under the Sun night club. "The prosecution did not seek to find the truth, they took statements from one of the suspects (Charles Fleming) who told them what they wanted to hear. Brooks said Charles Fleming said "Oggie got killed and nothing came out of it. Now it is Amador. You all better find this man, if not we will take care of it ourselves". She said according to a comment made on SMN News, a hit list was posted by someone who said when they are done they will turn themselves into law enforcement. The person who wrote the comment said anticipation of death is worst that death itself. She said the police knew of this hit list and they went and warned Carlos Richardson and Omar Jones about the hit list. She said after the arrest of the seven suspects that are being tried in the Vesuvius investigation, the Prosecutor's Office turned it into a media circus. Brooks said while the suspects were described as dangerous persons five of them are staying at the Pointe Blanche prison which has minimal security and not once a complaint was filed about their behavior. Brooks said that she is of the opinion that the court should hold Charles Fleming responsible for the statements he made to police because in his statements to police he said meetings were held with the Labega family but in court he accepted that no meetings were actually held after the death of Amador Jones.
    Brooks told the court that the prosecution started a "witch hunt" on the Labega family based on the statements they got from Fleming someone whom she said has no relationship or ties to the family. She also made clear that Amador Jones was not the first relative of the Labegas that was killed violently. Brooks said someone closely related to the Labegas was killed in 2006 and killer was arrested and convicted. Attorney Brooks also told the court that she believes that the prosecution made a deal with Carlos Fleming Davis and Eckron Morgan because in their file it is clearly stated that Morgan asked the investigators what they were going to do for him if he gave them the statements they want. "It is in the file your honor they promised these persons protection for them and their families and when one of them asked for his mortgage payments the investigators said they do not do that." Another point Attorney Brooks raised during her presentation was the fact the prosecution claimed that the Vesuvius suspects were part of a criminal organization, yet they returned the $25,000.00 that was seized from all seven of the suspects. "If these suspects are part of a criminal organization why did the Prosecutor's office release the monies they seized before a decision is rendered by the court," she asked.
    When addressing the killing of Miguel Arrindell who was killed the day before the Snowflakes hearing, Brooks said there again the prosecution turned a blind eye to statements made by several witnesses, some of which were incomplete. She said one witness told police that Miguel Arrindell was seen at his bar with a Colombian during that meeting Miguel looked nervous and afraid. Another witness told police that the killer sounded like someone from Tortola. She mentioned that one of the deceased Eric Lake was held in Tortola when he was caught with an excessive amount of monies. "Police did not follow none of the leads and besides that they had a number of video surveillance tape from various businesses around Cole Bay. "Each of the witnesses gave a different story as to who they saw kill Miguel Arrindell, police also found the getaway car by Under the Sun and instead of collecting forensic information where they found the vehicle, the police took the vehicle and parked it in an open parking lot behind the police station. The forensic evidence was gathered three days after the vehicle was moved and police claimed that Carlos Richardson's DNA was found inside the vehicle. "They even went as far as saying that based on the DNA the time it was placed in the vehicle was also specified and the prosecution managed to determine that Carlos Richardson was the driver of the vehicle that they believed was used to kill Miguel Arrindell." Brooks asked the court if the technology today has gone that far to determine time and date when someone's DNA is placed somewhere.
    As for the slaying of Rodulfo Arrindell, Brooks said his girlfriend was in the car and she told police she did not see the shooter. While another witness said that the girlfriend could have been involved because of the relationship she had with one of the Rodulfo's best friends. Attorney Brooks said that Rodulfo Arrindell was killed two days after he returned from the Dominican Republic where he took his brother's ashes. She asked the court who they think would know the exact travel plans of Arrindell and why did police turn a blind eye to the statements given to them by several witnesses.
    The defense attorney also explained to the court that the prosecution made several technical errors which were overlooked by the judge of instruction. She said the prosecution wrote out the summons for the indictment way before hand therefore making it null and void. Brooks told the court that after reading the file the prosecution presented against the seven Vesuvius suspects and the statements given by the witnesses she wants to know if she should accept the boloney that was given to the defense and the court.

    Document presented by Attorney Vaders in defense of Doniel Thomas.

    Document presented by Attorney Vaders in defense of Omar Jones.

    Document presented by Attorney Brenda Brooks in defense of Omar Jones and Carlos Richardson.

  • Minister Jacobs commends Marci for promoting boxing among nation’s youth.

    sjacobssquaresoffwithmarcipeterson21102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- World Boxing Organization (WBO) has established the Kids Drug Free program and encourages it worldwide. St. Maarten has taken the first step in executing this program in conjunction with Marci of Marcy's Megagym in promoting boxing among our youth and keeping them off our streets and off drugs.

    St. Maarten's own boxing icon, Jacinth Bryan-Labega President of the St. Maarten Boxing Association and WBO 2nd Vice President, thanked Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, for supporting this initiative and awarded certificates and gifts to the youth athletes.

    The Minister commended Bryan-Labega for her contributions and pledged support for the rebuilding of the sport on the island. She further stressed that we should recognize the great contribution that someone like Bryan-Labega can bring to the sport locally seeing her international connections to WBO.

    The minister also encouraged parents and youth athletes to keep on working towards the achievement of their goals and dreams.

    Minister Jacobs and Marci of Marci's Megagym also squared off in a one minute round of punches, jabs and flurries as parents and students cheered. The Minister was happy to take part in the demo in an effort to encourage more students to choose sports over drugs.

  • Dr. Igor Gomes Bravio to highlight cervical cancer treatment and procedures.

    igorgomesbravio21102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Dr. Igor Gomes Bravio, Gynecology and Obstetrics, will be one of the speakers at the Cancer Conference this week.

    The Cancer Conference is being jointly organized by Collective Prevention Services (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

    The conference is being held under the theme: "Cancer and aging, collectively improving our local cancer care and responsibility," is being held from October 26 to the 27 at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel & Casino.

    The four areas to be highlighted at the conference are breast cancer, cervical, colon and prostate cancer.

    Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2005, approximately 1.15 million people in the Americas died of cancer, and 480,000 of these deaths were in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

    Dr. Bravio, who is from San Jose, Costa Rica, completed his specialist medical training in December 2010. He did a surgical masters course in total laparoscopic hysterectomy and advanced laparoscopic procedures, San Francisco, California USA among many other courses.

    Dr. Bravio will be giving a presentation on cervical cancer treatment, endometrial and procedures. Local specialist Dr. R. Friday will also be giving presentations on the aforementioned areas.

    'Get Checked,' is the Minister of Public Health's campaign to improve public health amongst the population of the country, and the conference is one of the avenues to bring forth awareness within the community.

    The conference will focus on sharing information on the specific cancers mentioned above with the objective of developing a strategic plan and approach in registering, managing and monitoring cancers; increased awareness; and new treatments/techniques.

    The general public can attend conference activities on Saturday, October 27 from 9.00am to 1.15pm and from 1.30pm to 4.00pm (lunch not included).

    Persons interested in registering to attend the conference on October 27 can contact the following persons via email: Section General Public Health maria.henry@sintmaartengov.org; Cancer Foundation sherminapowell@yahoo.com; and Positive Foundation shelly.alphonso@nagico.com; or call CPS at 542-2078.

  • SGPH advises persons to Haji pilgrimage to Mecca to increase hygiene measures.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Persons traveling to participate in the Haji pilgrimage to Mecca from October 24-29 in Saudi Arabia next week, Section General Public Health (SGPH), an executive agency falling under Collective Prevention Services (CPS) in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is recommending an increase in hygiene measures.

    The annual Haij is considered as one of the greatest assemblies of humankind. Each year, three million Muslims attend the Haij in Mecca. Of these, 1.8 million non-Saudi Arabians usually come from overseas countries, and 89 per cent or 1.6 million of them arrive by air. Pilgrims come from more than 180 countries worldwide.

    The WHO recommends the practice of good hand hygiene and cough etiquette and protective behaviors to further decrease the occurrence of respiratory diseases.

    The Minister of Public Health's 'Get Checked' campaign is also in line with the promotion of proper hand and cough hygiene practices.

    The following advisory is in connection with a World Health Organization (WHO) communication with respect on 22 September 2012, the United Kingdom informed the WHO of a case of acute respiratory syndrome with travel history to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    The case was a previously healthy, 49-year old male Qatari national that presented with symptoms on 3 September with travel history to Saudi Arabia several days prior to onset of illness.

    On 7 September he was admitted to an intensive care unit in Qatar. On 11 September, he was transferred to England by air ambulance from Qatar.

    The British Health Protection Agency conducted laboratory testing and subsequently confirmed the presence of the novel coronavirus. The tests were compared with a sample virus sequenced previously by the Erasmus University Medical Centre in the Netherlands.

    The Dutch Medical Centre sample was obtained from lung tissue of a fatal case earlier this year in a 60-year-old Saudi national.

    The WHO is working closely with Saudi Arabia to support the country's health measures for all visitors participating in the Haji pilgrimage to Mecca.

    As of 25 September, no additional cases of acute respiratory syndrome with renal failure due to infection with a novel coronavirus have been reported to the WHO.

    The WHO is continuing investigations into the two confirmed infections identified as a novel coronavirus.

  • Police Investigating Credit Card Fraud.

    The Detective Department wants to inform all businesses on the island and the community at large, to be aware of persons most probably of South American descent, that are presently on the island, using stolen or false credit cards and debit cards to purchase large amounts of jewelry and electronic equipments such as iPads and iPhones. Many businesses have suffered serious losses from this type of criminality. All businesses are asked to pay very keen attention to protect themselves against this ongoing situation and to notify the authorities as soon as they notice any abnormalities to this effect.

    KPSM Police Report
  • LA AMADA MARINA, CANCUN JOINS THE IGY MARINAS NETWORK OF PREMIER YACHTING DESTINATIONS.

    laamadamarinacancun13102012FORT LAUDERDALE, FL:--- IGY Marinas announces the welcoming of the newest addition to its international network of marinas, La Amada Marina in Cancun, Mexico. With 176 slips for yachts up to 180 feet, the marina is part of the La Amada Residences and Marina in Playa Mujeres and boasts 214 exquisite beachfront condominiums as well as stunning natural surroundings including the Mayan Ruins.

    The marina lies within one of the most exclusive and private communities in the region, and is located just minutes from the world's second largest coral reef and an abundance of sport fish and sea life. La Amada is just a 10-minute drive from the center of Cancun with many restaurants, bars, clubs and nearby golf courses. With a maximum depth of 12 feet, the La Amada Marina offers 24-hour surveillance and a concierge that is fully at the service of marina guests. Conveniences such as a boat repair facility with a 100-ton travel lift, fuel, provisioning, and a ship's agent make berthing in Cancun a hassle-free experience for yachtsmen.

    La Amada Marina is the newest of the 13 marinas in the IGY marina network. Vice President of Real Estate for IGY Marinas Eric Simonton says, "We believe there is tremendous opportunity in Mexico, and we are pleased to be able to grow our presence in that market. La Amada Marina allows us to fill out our Western Caribbean strategy and we are now able to provide a complete circuitous cruising itinerary through the Caribbean and Central America to our guests. We are excited that our clients now have the opportunity to visit this extraordinary resort and marina knowing that they can expect the level of service and amenities that the IGY brand is noted for."

    Marina highlights include:

    • Berthing up to 180 feet
    • Maximum draft: 12 feet
    • Cable TV and WiFi
    • 24 hour surveillance
    • Clean bathrooms and showers
    • Electrical capacity: 110, 240 and 480 volts
    • Captain's lounge
    • High-speed diesel fueling
    • Laundry services
    • Yacht provisioning
    • Tours and yacht charters
    • Fishing charters
    • Storage rooms available
  • Man Shot during Heated Argument.

    shootingfillin11102012Pond Island:--- On Wednesday October 10th, 2012 at approximately 8:30pm, a phone call came into the Central Police Dispatch informing them of a shooting incident on Pond Island in the vicinity of Rock Salt drive. Immediately several police patrols and detectives were sent to investigate what was going on. On their way to the scene, the Central Police Dispatch informed the investigating officers that the victim had already been transported by private vehicle to the Sint Maarten Medical Center. The victim with the initials S.R.D. from Jamaica stated to detectives, while at the hospital, that he was in an argument with the suspect which became quite heated. At a certain moment the suspect pulled a handgun and fired a shot at him, hitting him in his groin-area. After committing this act the suspect left the scene. The victim was treated at the hospital however, he remained for observation and further treatment.
    The suspect with initials S.B.L. from Curacao was arrested on Thursday afternoon by detectives and he remains in custody for further investigation.

    KPSM Police Report
  • Francesco Corallo reacts to recent news articles.

    Further to a recent series of news articles in local and Dutch press with regards to information pertaining to Francesco Corallo and requested by Prime Minister Schotte of Curacao from the Italian Minister of Interior Affairs Mr. Corallo wishes to comment as follows:

    It does not do justice to the many excellent diplomats in our country when a representative of the diplomatic corps issues reports to Kingdom governments that are based on chicken chatter or talk from imaginary employees of the Italian government.

    It would be more just and fair, instead of me denying the news as reported by the various media houses myself, to have the honorable Stoelinga reiterate himself that from official sources such as the Chief of Cabinet of both the Italian Ministry of Interior Affairs and Foreign Affairs, it shows that - then Italian citizen - Francesco Corallo has a clean record with both Ministries.

    And even if one can understand this story in the context of a heated political climate, it is however utmost surprising that media houses report such blatantly false information and such with scrutiny.

    I enclose the official statement of the Italian Government of 3 August 2011 only correctly forwarded by his Excellency the Ambassador in Italy later that month.

    I reserve the right to sue the authors of these publications according to the law.

    Francesco Corallo
    Dutch citizen

     

    Click here to view the Official Statement of the Italian Government of August 3, 2011.


    Translation of Statement

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chief of Cabinet, 3 August 2011, addressed to Ambassador Stoelinga
    Your Excellency,
    The Prime Minister of Curacao has written to the Minister of Home Affairs, the Honoroble Roberto Maroni,
    to ask references on the person of Italian citizenship Francesco Corallo, to whom he would like to confer a not further specified institutional position.
    To that effect I would be grateful if you could communicate to the Curacao authorities that aforementioned Mr. Corallo has a clear record at the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    with my most cordial regards,

    Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano

     

  • Minister Pantophlet: Everything being done to prevent COPA Airline from reducing its four scheduled flights to the destination.

    romeopantophlet24092012PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (TEATT) Hon. Romeo Pantophlet, has been working diligently to finalize the COPA Airlines advice in order to have the funds released in a timely manner to the airline.

    Minister Pantophlet was reacting to an article by Member of Parliament Hon. Roy Marlin with respect to COPA Airlines possibly reducing its four scheduled flights for the week from four to two due to not receiving marketing funds to promote the flight out of Panama.

    According to Minister Pantophlet, the document had been tied up in a lengthy and tedious bureaucratic process. The advice is presently at the Governor's cabinet for signing, and the Cabinet of Minister Pantophlet has been informed that the advice will be signed and returned on Thursday morning.

    Minister Pantophlet further indicated that after hearing the news about COPA possibly reducing flights, he immediately called His Excellency Hon. Governor Holiday requesting the status of the advice, and was informed that the advice requires a new "Beslisblad" from the Council of Ministers mandating Minister Pantophlet to sign a contract with COPA Airlines on behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten.

    This issue was handled in Tuesday's Council of Ministers meeting and the "beslisblad" was finalized and sent to the Governor's Cabinet Wednesday afternoon.

    Once the document is returned to General Affairs, payment of the cooperative marketing funds to COOPA can be processed.

    Minister Pantophlet has also requested a meeting with COPA Airlines in order to discuss and mitigate the possible reduction of flights to the destination. This meeting has been scheduled for Monday morning.

    Minister Pantophlet shares the concerns of all as it relates to COPA's flights and will definitely be updating stakeholders and the community at large with respect to this matter.

  • President Samuel Commends Police Force on Police Day.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- October 10, 2012 marks Police Day.

    President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel would like to congratulate the Police Force of Sint Maarten on Police Day, and commends them for the courage and dedication in protecting the community they serve.

    Samuel added that those work in policing the community 24-7 work tirelessly to serve their communities with commitment and integrity, and that the public quite rightly expects all police officers to demonstrate the very highest standards of professional conduct.

    "Policing is a complex and high profile service within the community. One of the police service's greatest strengths is its transparency and openness to challenge.

    "The Sint Maarten Police Force has come a long way since October 10, 2010. Every effort is being made to upgrade and expand the force in order to meet the needs of the community.

    "On behalf of the Parliament of Sint Maarten, I wish the men and women of the Sint Maarten Police Force Happy Police Day," President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel said on Tuesday.

    Samuel would also like to use this opportunity to welcome the other Police Forces who are visiting the island and participating in a number of activities organized by the Police Force of Sint Maarten.

  • Government to issue Close to 80 new Taxi Permits --- More bus licenses are in process.

    Philipsburg:--- The Minister of Economic Affairs, Transportation, and Tourism Romeo Pantophlet will be issuing close to 80 new taxi licenses in the near future. Sources close to the Department of Transportation say that the former Minister of Tourism Franklin Meyers issued 68 new taxi permits in one week shortly after the UP/DP government fell and right now the current Minister of Transportation has surpassed that amount. The Minister announced earlier that after issuing some taxi licenses he will place a moratorium on the issuance of taxi permits.

    SMN News also learnt that the Minister of Transportation Romeo Pantophlet will be issuing about 50 new bus permits.

    Several taxi drivers who spoke to SMN News on the condition of anonymity said that there is not sufficient work for them and already they are struggling to survive during the slow season. One taxi driver said he heard that one of the big cruise lines will be pulling out of St. Maarten because they are not able to get the Rainforest Adventure project going. "This cruise line was planning to sell tours of the Rainforest on the ship to attract more travelers but now that project is stuck in the pipeline and the cruise line is now planning to leave St. Maarten."

    Last week during the Council of Ministers press briefing, the Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot Williams told reporters that she met with the representatives of Rainforest Adventures and the foreign investors basically wanted to know if the Government of St. Maarten would continue working with them now that the Government has intentions of purchasing the Emilio Wilson Estate where the Rainforest Adventures was to be constructed. Prime Minister Wescot Williams said at the moment Government has to look at the legal options they would face and a decision was not taken since Government has not purchased the property as yet. She said Rainforest Adventures has a building permit and government would have to look at the legalities surrounding the matter. It should be noted that the building permit issued to Rainforest Adventures was granted by the former Minister of Housing, Environment, and Spatial Planning Theodore Heyliger. This permit was issued against the advice of the environmental foundations since there was no Monument Council in place. According to the Minister of Education, that council is now being worked on.

  • Philipsburg Jubilee Library’s Halloween Reading & Costume Party.

    pjl2009halloweenparty16102012The Philipsburg Jubilee Library will be hosting a spooktacular event on the 27th of October 2012. This activity will focus on activities related to reading. The library's Halloween program started in 2009 and has had a successful turn out ever since. It provides a twist to reading in a fun, educational and safe setting. Instead of scared, trembling in bed, youngsters will be at the library in a secure reading environment.
    The Halloween program will commence at 6.30 pm and end at 7.45 pm sharp!
    Children from ages 10 to 13 are welcome to sign up, as there will be limited space, for the Halloween party. There will be snacks, drinks, and most importantly treats.
    Children are required to dress in scary or funny costumes, bring along trick or treat bags and lanterns for light.
    Be sure to make your way to the library and sign up for the Halloween party. A fee of $ 5.00 will be charged. Parents are advised to pick up their children on time, at the latest 8.15 or they will be left for the witches.

    For more information please call the library at 542-9819.

  • NAGICO Insurances opens branch office in Grenada.

    nagicogrenadadonatestodonnellbest02102012NAGICO Insurances, a regional insurance provider with offices in 19 territories in the Caribbean officially opened their newest branch office, NICL General Insurance Company Ltd, during a cocktail event last Friday at the Grenada Grand Hotel.
    The insurance company made their debut in an elegant setting with a high profile delegation from their Head Office in St. Maarten, a team which consisted of CEO of the NAGICO Group of Companies; Mr. Imran McSood Amjad, Chairman of the Board of Directors; Mr. Michael Bishop; Executive Director of New Market Development; Mr. Vibert Williams and Executive Director of Marketing; Mr. Paul Dijkhoffz.
    The main focus of the team was introducing the company by providing background and history to the audience which consisted of government officials, prospective clients and agents. Speeches and a presentation by the CEO emphasized the fact that they have been around for 30 years, with locations in 19 territories to date and that the company, being located in the middle of the hurricane belt, has an excellent track record paying claims fast and fair.
    "We are extremely happy for the opportunity to enter the Grenada market and we promise to bring our same high standards, competitive rates, impeccable service, fast and fair claims resolution and good corporate citizenship we are known for in all the other territories we operate in," CEO Imran McSood Amjad said in his address.
    Representing the Prime Minister was Minister Nazim V. Burke, who used the opportunity to welcome the NAGICO Insurances to their island, and at the same time cautioning them to live up to their responsibilities. In response, Executive Director for New Market Development Vibert Williams affirmed NAGICO's commitment and comforted the high profile audience by giving them a brief history about NAGICO.
    "We have been around for 30 years after starting from one small office in St. Maarten in 1982 with limited capital," he explained. "We have now grown to become the largest privately held insurance provider in the Caribbean with premium income nearing one hundred million US Dollar and I am proud to say, we have never quit a territory. We have stood the test of times when other insurance companies
    packed up and left, we have stood by our clients through the passing of several devastating hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanoes and we have paid all our claims."
    His remarks were reinforced by a brief documentary about NAGICO followed by a presentation by the CEO showing the company's solid financial standing, highly qualified Executive Team and renowned penchant for giving back to the communities in which they operate. The official part was closed off with the introduction of the management and staff of the branch office, which will be guided by Branch Manager Mr. Fabian Walthrus, and the handing over of two donations to The Bel-Air Children's Home and Donnell Best; a young violinist who was recently accepted at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.
    Niguel Streete; Deputy Executive Director of GARFIN ; the Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions was also among the group of dignitaries at the champagne event who extended congratulations to the NAGICO NICL team on their newest acquisition.
    NAGICO Insurances is located at GCNA Complex on the Kirani James Boulevard (formerly Lagoon Road) and can be contacted via telephone 438-5000 or email: info.grenada@nagico.com
  • Studying Dutch law in St. Maarten Now a reality at USM.

    usmdutchlawstudents04102012Philipsburg:--- Studying law in Sint Maarten is now possible through a partnership of the University of St. Martin with the Open Universiteit (OU) in the Netherlands. The Open Universiteit was established in 1984 and is located in the province of Limburg. The Open Universiteit is an independent Government funded institute for distance learning at university level. The Open Universiteit offers a wide variety of programs on Bachelor and Master's level, which are all fully accredited by the Nederlands-Vlaams Accreditatie Organisatie. The Open Universiteit has partnership with several universities all over the world and the University of St. Martin is now an active participant with the Dutch Law Program.
    The Open Universiteit poses no restrictions or limitations, except for the adult age limitation, for the candidates. The Dutch Law Bachelor's Program at the Open Universiteit is for those who have an adequate command of the Dutch language. The majority of the study material, research, correspondence and digital lectures are in Dutch.
    The tutorial program at the University of St. Martin will run simultaneously with the Dutch Law program of the Open Universiteit. Different local legal experts are recruited to instruct in this tutorial system which is cohort based. For each Dutch Law module there will be tutor classes, facilitated by a legal expert. The tutoring is for 2 hours weekly for the duration of each module.

    The University of St. Martin started with the tutorials for the Dutch Law Program on Wednesday, October 3, 2012. The Honorable Judge Rene van Veen (LL.M) kicked off the tutorial program with the module "Basisrecht".
    On July 1, 2012, the University of St. Martin hosted an information session, which was very well attended. Fifteen (15) persons matriculated into the Dutch Law Program via Open Universiteit signed up and are now following the tutorials at USM.
    The Dutch Law Program is a collaborative effort with Open Universiteit with the goal to enhance tertiary education programs at the University of St. Martin responding to the demand for (Para) legal studies in St. Maarten.

    Persons are invited to contact the University of St. Martin at 721-542-5171 ext. 1000 should they still be interested in attending the Dutch Law tutorials.

  • King Yen Tae Kwon Do School returns Victorious.

    kingyentaekwondoschoolreturnsvictorious04102012Simpson Bay:--- Minister of Sports Silveria Jacobs was on hand Wednesday night to welcome back the St. Maarten Tae Kwon Do team that recently took part in the All-Star International Tae Kwon Do Open Tournament in Orlando, USA.
    Grand Master Theo Liu was proud to report the success of his athletes, who won 20 gold, 15 silver, and 9 bronze medals all together. He further expressed that St. Maarten was the smallest country represented at the tournament competing against the USA and other large countries.
    The Minister congratulated them on their great achievement and acknowledged them as ambassadors of our island nation among the great countries. Minister also congratulated Grand Mater Liu, the volunteers and their parents who helped to prepare the children to complete at such a high level. Minister Jacobs also encouraged the athletes to continue to display discipline and strength of character in their chosen sport as well as in their daily lives.
    She pledged continued support for the organization in its role of helping to mold productive citizens for St. Maarten.
  • 17 year old Murder Suspect Acted like Hardcore Criminal as he Entered Court House to be Arraigned --- Known as a Bully and Aggressor.

    jeremiahmills04102012Philipsburg:--- Jeremiah Chevon Mills (17), a former convicted robber, acted more like a hardcore criminal when he entered the Court of First Instance on Thursday to be arraigned as the second suspect in the brutal murder of Michaeal and Thelma King. Mills is also accused of being involved in an armed robbery which took place on the evening of September 19th, 2012 at the Happy Star Chinese Restaurant on Cannegieter Street. The judge of instruction extended the pre-trial detention of Mills, he will return to court next week Wednesday.

    Clad in a red t-shirt, black pants, and red and black Nike sneakers with his hair plait in thick singles, Mills managed to stick up his middle finger to reporters as he was entering the court room in handcuffs. The young man who is a Dutch national was recently released from prison for an armed robbery he committed at the Global Wealth Trade Store in the Yogesh Building. Even though Mills spent only three months behind bars, he showed no fear or remorse for the crimes he is being accused of. Mills is accused of being one of the suspects who brutally murdered Micheal and Thelma King somewhere between September 19th, 2012 and September 21st, 2012 when their bodies were found in their Cupe Coy condominium by their business partner.

    Jeremiah Chevon Mills has a reputation of being a school bully. He was a student of the St. Maarten Academy (Academic and PSVE) and was expelled from the learning institution in October 2011 when he beat a student with a baseball bat. According to information provided to SMN News, Mills was a bully and fighter at the St. Maarten Academy (PSVE), he was also pushing drugs inside the school.

    Sources close to the family say Mills had serious problems with his mother (Veronica Young) as they were not getting along and she has no authority over his behavior. "At one point this young man was living with his aunt because he wanted nothing to do with his mother." At the court house last week Wednesday, several members of Johnson and Mills' family gathered and accused police of police brutality. When Mills appeared before the judge for his arraignment on Thursday not even his mother who hired Attorney at Law Shaira Bommel showed up to support her son. 

     

    Press Release from Public Prosecutor's Office Concerning Second Suspect in Cupecoy Murders.

    On Thursday morning, 17 year old J.C. M., was led before the judge of instruction. The judge deemed his arrest and subsequent custody according to the rules of law. M. will stay in custody until October 10th 2012 when the prosecution will ask the judge to order his pre-trial detention.



    Click here to view more photos of Jeremiah Mills being taken to the Court of First Instance on Thursday.

  • EMPLOYER OF OVER-THE-BANK FIRE VICTIM ASSISTS WITH NEW HOME.

    henrydennisandfamily24102012After a devastating fire destroyed his home, Henry Dennis, along with his wife and five children, ages 6, 11, 18 and 16, escaped with all that now remains of their former lives; their government issued documents. With nowhere to go, Henry moved his family into Flamingo Beach Resort, a Diamond Resorts International® property, where he has been a houseman for the past 12 years. The resort served as a temporary sanctuary while Dennis tried to rebuild that which was lost. The surrounding community offered assistance in raising funds to aid with the rehabilitation, but with no stable home, the family struggled to put the pieces of their lives back together.

    After learning of his team member's tragic loss and discovering that the family had sought refuge in his resort, Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman and CEO of Diamond Resorts International®, extended an offer to provide Dennis and his family the funds necessary to cover the cost of two years rent. The Chairman and CEO of the international hospitality company is well known for his zealous business approach, but his passion extends well beyond the executive office to each of his team members as well. Under Mr. Cloobeck's leadership, Diamond Resorts International® is not merely a work environment, but a family, a community where all team members take care of one another. Mr. Cloobeck's The Meaning of Yes® may be customer service centric, but it begins internally for team members, with the Chairman and CEO.

    Now, more than two months after the fire laid waste to all they owned, The Dennis family, with the aid of Mr. Cloobeck, has been able to move out of Flamingo Beach Resort and move into a very spacious four bedroom apartment.

  • Minister Jacobs to host Family Fun Day for Teachers.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- As the Teachers' Appreciation Month comes to a close the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs will be hosting a Family Fun Day for Teachers.

    The Minister is inviting all teachers to come and enjoy a day with fellow teachers and their families. The day will be filled with activities for the children and adults alike. Food and drink will be available as well as entertainment.

    The recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award will be revealed during the Family Fun Day. Throughout the past weeks, school boards and school managers have been submitting their nominees. The Family Fun will be rounding off a month of activities for teachers.

    The month commenced with an Ecumenical Service for teachers on October 7th. A Panel Discussion for Educators was held on October 17th. Excerpts of this panel discussion will be broadcasted via Cable TV on October 27th.

    Throughout the month of October an exhibition honoring teachers was hosted by the Philipsburg Jubilee Library including movies on exceptional teachers shown on Tuesday afternoons 5:30pm – 7:15pm at the Library.

    Letters, poems and words of appreciation and encouragement for teachers were featured in The Daily Herald News Paper. The Kids Herald featured children and their poems honoring teachers throughout the month.

    Teachers read devotions and scriptures on 'A Moment with the Master' radio program and were also featured on talk shows such as the Beverly Hyman show.

    "The world indeed expects a lot from teachers and this is a token of our appreciation," Minister Jacobs said about the Teachers' Appreciation Month celebrations.

  • President Samuel says Happy UN Day.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- United Nations (UN) Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter.

    The UN was founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

    The UN has 193 Member States who are represented through the General Assembly, and also via the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and other bodies and committees.

    The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a Member State of the UN and represents the other three Kingdom partners, namely Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten. The Netherlands as a Member State is the only one within the Kingdom with voting rights in the UN General Assembly.

    With the ratification of the aforementioned founding document by the majority of signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the UN officially came into being.

    24 October has been celebrated as UN Day since 1948. In 1971, the UN General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.

    President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel said on Tuesday that the relevance of the international organization known as the UN, and the important role that it plays in global affairs, must be acknowledged.

    The UN has four main purposes: to keep peace throughout the world; to develop friendly relations among nations; to help nations work together to improve lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy, and to encourage respect for each other's rights and freedoms; and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.

    "As President of Parliament, I would like to use the opportunity of 24 October, to acknowledge the work of the UN which is carried out by international civil servants, and I commend them for their hard work on behalf of the people of the world," President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel said on Tuesday, the eve of UN Day.

    The UN everyday provides food to 90 million people in 73 countries; vaccinates 58 per cent of the world's children, saving 2.5 million lives a year; assists over 36 million refugees and people fleeing war, famine or persecution.

    The UN combats climate change; heads a campaign to end leaded fuel rise in over 100 countries; keeps peace with 120,000 peacekeepers in 16 operations on four continents; fights poverty, helping 370 million rural poor achieve better lives in the last 30 years.

    The UN protects and promotes human rights on site and through some 80 treaties/declarations; mobilizes US$12.4 billion in humanitarian aid to help people affected by emergencies.

    The UN advances democracy, assisting some 30 countries a year with their elections; and promotes maternal health, saving the lives of 30 million women a year.

  • Parents called upon to address children regarding behavior on or near school busses.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The School Bus Inspection Section is appealing to parents to address their children with respect to behavior on and in the vicinity of school busses.

    Parents are being called upon to address this behavior before somebody gets hurt. A school bus driver must focus on driving and is not able to address students who are misbehaving.

    There have been some incidents of egg throwing in the vicinity of the St. Maarten Academy and Sheik Supermarket.

    School bus drivers are asked to report the misbehavior to the respective school principal and the department.

    Students who behave in a disruptive manner on the school bus are creating a dangerous situation which puts the other children and motorists in danger thereby creating a safety hazard.

    The bus driver must focus his or her attention on the road and stay on schedule. Students need to act responsibly and parents need to address this matter especially those who use the school bus.

    School busses are privately owned vehicles and parents will be held responsible for their child/children's actions.

    Anybody who sees any unusual behavior on or with a school bus is encouraged to report this to the Inspection Section at telephone number 542-4511 or 542-4509 or call the Police if it is an immediate danger.

  • Showcasing Employment Section Labor Market – Labor Affairs.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- The Labor Affairs Department has developed considerably over the last few years. The Department is managing to harmonize the intricacies of the various services with the acquisition of additional qualified and knowledgeable staff, a much needed facelift, implementation of technological applications, and improved customer service.
    In 2012, the agency has embarked on a new initiative to showcase some of the successful placement achievements within Section Labor Market. The section is tasked with supporting persons in finding employment and assisting employers in finding qualified workers. In a very competitive market, the section hopes to promote employment by encouraging companies to partner with the Department, and (un)employed persons to register to tap into the services the department offers.
    There are three key components to accomplish successful placement; a very dedicated Job Placement Officer, an unemployed person and a business willing to partner and invest. Without these three components the agency would struggle to meet the demands of an ever changing labor market.
    While the agency experiences a decline in submitted vacancies during the low season, September is to be considered a rewarding month with multiple placement attainments. One such example is the referral of Diana Joseph to the University of Sint Maarten (USM). The Foundation for higher learning submitted a vacancy in the month of June seeking to fill the position of Senior Accounting Clerk.
    Having just returned from the United States a few months ago Diana Joseph was eager to find employment in the field of Pastry Baking. Various sources indicated that the Labor Affairs Department would be a good place to start searching. The Job Placement Officer assessed and determined that the candidate met the requirements of the submitted vacancy considering her background in Business Administration, specifically Public Accounting. The newly registered applicant indicated that the service received was efficient and resulted in an opportunity at USM, for which she is very happy. Diana Joseph, who is very vocal and an eclectic person, indicated that she is still very much passionate about pursuing a future in pastry baking.

    If you have any questions about employment and employment opportunities locally please feel free to contact the Labor Affairs Agency by calling 542-3561/543-7509 or emailing us at Labor-affairs@sintmaartengov.org.

  • Cft: “Substantial payment arrears and multi year deficits require immediate attention.”

    cftsxm17102012Philipsburg:--- Since its last visit in June, new information was received by the Cft on payment arrears to the APS and the SZV over the past years. Challenges also exist related to health care and pension costs. The Cft believes that by providing an open and transparent picture of the risks facing the budget in the medium term, the foundation can be laid for finding solutions to put government finances on a healthy footing.

    Budget execution
    The Cft applauds the fact that Sint Maarten voluntarily requested the Cft for an advice on the draft 2013 budget. The Cft has a number of questions concerning the budget that need to be addressed by the government before a final advice can be given. These questions relate in particular to the multi-year risks and the payment arrears accumulated prior to and since 10-10-'10. For the coming years Sint Maarten's government will have to deal with the consequences of rising expenses related to health care and old age pensions. Sint Maarten is not unique in this development; worldwide rising expenses for health care and pensions pose challenges for governments. The Cft advised the government of Sint Maarten to improve the budget and to draw up realistic multi-year forecasts. The government should include the financial impact of the old age pension fund and of the health care funds in the multi-year budget. Only by including realistic forecasts it will be possible to take and implement the steps necessary to structurally improve the financial situation of the country. A plan of action to pay for the arrears that have arisen in the last couple of years has to be part of the budget 2013.

    The Cft's concerns for future budgets are further aggrevated because compensation of expected deficits for 2011 and 2012 will have to take place.

    Public financial management.
    Sound public financial management is the backbone of a countries' public finance. Cft welcomes the good cooperation with the government of Sint Maarten and particularly the Ministry of Finance in enhancing transparency in the public financial management. Additional efforts are needed to improve financial management.

    The Board of financial supervision (College financieel toezicht - Cft) held open and frank meetings on these issues during the past two days with the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and members of Parliament. There was agreement that in the coming weeks concerted efforts on the part of all concerned are needed to draft a sustainable balanced budget.

    CFT Press Release

  • 10 Young people participating in Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership/UNESCO Workshop.

    GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Ten young television producers from Anguilla, St. Kitts, Nevis, Tortola and St. Maarten will get the opportunity to hear from the sterling leadership of Hon. Sarah Wescott-Williams, Prime Minister of St. Maarten in her Keynote Address about the fight against HIV as a Caribbean leader.

    The opening will take place on October 18 at the Official Opening Ceremony of a Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership (CBMP)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Workshop for young Caribbean TV producers at Sonesta Maho Beach Hotel in St. Maarten.

    These young TV producers will attend a two-day workshop among their peers from the Caribbean who are expected to produce programmes on priority issues in HIV prevention including multiple concurrent partnerships, low levels of condom use, gender-based violence, masculinities and homophobia.

    The CBMP/UNESCO on HIV/AIDS (CBMP) are once again collaborating to ensure that a total of 30 young Caribbean TV producers are equipped to produce top quality programming on HIV in this project targeting young TV producers of the Caribbean.

    The UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean is providing financial support for a total of three training workshops one of which was already held in Antigua in August and the third will be in Jamaica in November. The objective is to develop the capacities of 30 Young Caribbean television producers in the making of high quality TV programmes, enable their ability to be part of an international network of TV professionals engaged in HIV prevention and increase the number of credible programmes for license-free exchange worldwide.

    The St. Maarten workshop in partnership with the Government of St. Maarten and their National AIDS Programme will have the Feature Address by the Prime Minister at the Opening Ceremony for the Workshop that will be hosted by Dr. Allyson Leacock, Executive Director, CBMP with Welcome Remarks by Hon. Silveria Jacobs, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, St. Maarten; while Dame Suzette Moses-Burton, Manager of the National AIDS Programme and Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Network of People Living with HIV will deliver remarks.

    UNESCO's immediate importance is to build the capacity of these 30 young television producers from 16 countries to produce 30 high quality TV documentaries, which could be used for programme exchange with other broadcasters of the world through worldwide network which operates from UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

    CBMP Executive Director Dr. Allyson Leacock lauded UNESCO's new Secretary-General to St. Maarten's National Commission for her enthusiasm in facilitating this workshop even before she was fully installed in her new post. She thanked UNESCO for its continued efforts to effectively respond to HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean region and its programme goals that are perfectly aligned with CBMP's core activities.

    CBMP also congratulated St. Maarten on its excellent national programme and "the demonstrated leadership at the highest level by its Prime Minister whose commitment to the cause was demonstrated at the International AIDS Conference in Washington. This commitment coupled with the passion of its Programme Manager Dame Suzette Moses-Burton has made St. Maarten's work in HIV exemplary across our region. We are therefore proud to partner with them for this initiative." said Dr. Leacock.

    "These planned workshops, along with the CBMP/UNESCO Interactive Training Tool which was launched in 2009, are effective strategies to ensuring that the region's young TV producers are equipped with the necessary tools to effect behaviour change with excellent programming as is currently done by CBMP's 112 stations in 24 countries throughout the region ", Dr. Leacock stated.

    Under this current partnership for these workshops, these 30 young TV producers' newly created content will also be added to the UNESCO Interactive tool on the CBMP's www.iliveup.com website with new content and updated design. The final Jamaica workshop will be convened in November.

  • Public Health Department in the process of establishing International Health Regulations organizational structure.

    corneliusdeweever03102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Public Health Department (PHD), the department tasked with policy development within the Ministry of Public Health, organized a meeting recently with various government departments and relevant stakeholders with respect to the International Health Regulations (IHR).

    In 2007, IHR entered into force to help the international community prevent and respond to acute public health risks that have the potential to cross borders and threaten people worldwide.

    The Regulations detail core capacities that countries' should establish/strengthen, which should be implemented by June 2012. This deadline of achieving core capacities has been a challenge for countries and as a result countries have been given the opportunity to request a two-year extension with respect to the full implementation of IHR, which had to be in June 2012.

    A request for an extension has been submitted by the Netherlands who is the Member State of the World Health Organization (WHO) on behalf of Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten. Sint Maarten as a country in the Kingdom falls under what is stipulated in IHR by way of the Netherlands. The extension will be granted by the WHO once an implementation plan has been submitted.

    The PHD is currently in the process of establishing an IHR Team whose task will be to assess and develop a local IHR Implementation Plan to be implemented over the next two years.

    The IHR requires States to strengthen core surveillance and response capacities at the primary, intermediate and national level, as well as at designated international ports, airports and ground crossings. The most relevant for the country will be the two ports of entry (airport, harbor).

    States will also have to introduce a series of health documents, including ship sanitation certificates and an international certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis for travelers.

    The IHR was a response to the exponential increase in international travel and trade, and emergence and re-emergence of international disease threats and other health risks.

    194 countries across the globe have agreed to implement IHR-2005. This binding instrument of international law entered into force on 15, June 2007.

    As part of the Minister of Public Health's "Get Checked," campaign, the country is taking steps and checking to make sure it abides with international law and regulations that are applicable to country Sint Maarten with the end result being the protection of public health.

  • Several Ministers and Parliamentarians Skipped Church Service and Solemn Meeting of Parliament on Second Anniversary of Constitution Day --- Police Celebrate with Bang, Catholic Church filled to its Capacity.

    governmentofficialsatconstitutiondaychurchservice10102012Philipsburg:--- Three Ministers from the Council of Ministers namely Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams, Minister of Culture and Youth Affairs Silveria Jacobs, and Minister of Justice Roland Duncan attended the church service at the Anglican Church on Back Street Wednesday morning to commemorate the second anniversary of Constitution Day. Among them were the Governor of St. Maarten drs. Eugene Holiday, President of Parliament Rudolphe Samuel, and Members of Parliament Johan Janchi Leonard and Roy Marlin. Deputy Prime Minister William Marlin is off island attending the funeral services of his brother who passed away last week.

    The theme for this year's celebration "Building a Nation of Courageous and Determined People" focused on the preservation of the island's landmarks.

    Pastor James Young challenged the Parliamentarians and members of Government whom he said were placed in their position by God to save the landmarks that their forefathers have set for them. He said where the Governor's office is located were all bushes but today the island is different because St. Maarten has prospered. Young said in the past St. Maarteners were able to count every light pole on Cole Bay Hill and in Phillipsburg but all of that changed since "Mount St. Louis was built in the Great Salt Pond." Therefore, he challenged government not to touch the island's landmarks. He said he knew Emilio Wilson personally and some of the things that are being said about him today are totally untrue.

    Pastor Young called on government to listen to the command of God if they are to "Build a Nation of Courageous and Determined People." He referred to several scriptures from the book of Joshua and the preamble of the constitution of St. Maarten which states that the Country St. Maarten would recognize the guiding principles of God as they lead the new nation. Pastor Young said he knows everyone that is in government and most importantly he follows everything that takes place in government. He cautioned politicians to stick and work together in the interest of St. Maarten.

    He said some 42 years ago there were hardly any buildings on the island but St. Maarten has developed because she opened her doors to the poor and to the strangers. Pastor Young in his message said that the Minister of Justice Roland Duncan is doing a great job by clamping down on the abuse of the island. However, he believes that stiffer punishment should be meted out for criminals especially foreigners who have come to St. Maarten to destroy its shores and wealth.

    policemarchingthroughfrontstreet10102012While St. Maarten was celebrating its second constitution day, the police of the KPSM celebrated "Police Day" on October 10th since the Police Force of the Netherlands Antilles separated on October 10th, 2010. The church service of Police Day coincided with the solemn meeting of Parliament which was organized by the President of Parliament Rudolphe Samuel.

    The Roman Catholic Church of Tours where KPSM held its church service was packed to its capacity. The only person who did not show up on time to receive the message and to enjoy the hymns was Minister of Justice Roland Duncan. Duncan participated in the meeting of Parliament before joining the police almost to the end of the service.

    Chairman of the organizing committee of Police Week Turhan "Pico" Simmons presented two awards on Police Day. One went to family members of the late Wilfred Marsdin "the late Mr. Fix it" and the other was presented to the family of the fallen detective Anthony "Chiki" Elizabeth both of whom were members of the organizing committee of Police Week which started since in the 80's.

    Chief Commissioner of Police Peter de Witte in his message said that every country needs the police but the police cannot work alone, they need to work with the community and even though this might sound absurd it is the true reality of policing. De Witte said while the police are mandated by ordinances to solve crimes and arrest people that commit crimes they are only exercising their duties. The top cop said that the officers of the St. Maarten Police Force should be proud of themselves because they have achieved quite a lot in a short period, even though they are greater challenges ahead of them for the next two years. De Witte called on those that attended the service to observe the loss of the late Anthony "Chiki" Elizabeth and officer Rumnit who recently passed away. A moment of silence was also held for the passing of Bailiff Karl Arndell who passed away early Wednesday morning at his home.

    De Witte also gave credit to the officers of the police force who managed to solve almost all the murders committed in 2011 and 2012. He said just recently KPSM was confronted with the brutal murders of American tourists Micheal and Thelma King. The police he said managed to apprehend three suspects who already admitted to their involvement in that gruesome crime. He pledged that the police force will not stop until this particular crime is completely solved because that alone gives the family relief as well as the St. Maarten community.

    After the church service the police forces of the different islands on St. Maarten marched through Front Street and ended it at the Philipsburg Police Station. The Constitution Day and Police Day Celebrations continued with a lunch at the Emilio Wilson Park.
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    Click here to view more photos of the Celebration of Constitution and Police Day on St. Maarten.

  • Nature Foundation Outlines Incentives for the Ecological Development of the Great Salt Pond.

    fishingingreatsaltpond08102012The St. Maarten Nature Foundation in cooperation and advised by a group of concerned citizen fishermen has proposed various economic alternatives to the filling in of the Great Salt Pond. The St. Maarten Nature Foundation is a conservation nature management organization on St. Maarten with the direct mandate to manage a natural area on the island; the Man of War Shoal marine Park, the island's first and only national park and naturally protected area.

    "We are hereby approaching the various stakeholders with an economic, eco-tourism alternative which will hope to protect the Great Salt Pond while at the same time contributing to the country's economy. We understand that there is a continuous push to develop the island economically; however this development has to occur in a sustainable manner. The task of the Nature Foundation is not to protest actions but to manage Nature and to propose alternatives and solutions to the environmental problems facing the island," read a statement from the Nature Foundation.

    Part of the project which was proposed was centred on the promotion of a catch and release sport fishing operation in the Great Salt Pond. The Great Salt Pond has a large and steady fish population of especially the species Tarpon (Megalops atlanticus). This was clearly evident based on the number of fish die offs and fish relocation programs conducted and coordinated by the Nature Foundation and other organizations.

    "Tarpon is a very popular sport fish and in many places in the region visitors pay top dollar to experience catching these large animals. If the various entities on the island would consider marketing this aspect and perhaps charging a small fee to visitors who want to have the experience the infrastructure around the Great Salt Pond can be improved, including reforestation of the Mangrove population which can in turn improve the water quality of the Pond."

    Dedicated and interested sport fisherman from all walks of life within the community have approached the Nature Foundation regarding this and have in fact already gotten requests from numerous visitors as to the possibility of tarpon fishing in the Great Salt Pond. Some have even travelled to St. Maarten to fly fish for tarpon simply through hearing it by word of mouth. Fly fishing for tarpon is a multi-million dollar industry in various territories and countries through the region and is very much an untapped resource for St. Maarten. This, in addition to other activities such as bird watching, will diversify the St. Maarten tourism product and make our island more unique as a destination.

    This proposal also has with it a sound ecological basis as the Nature Foundation can measure, tag and have an accurate population count of the fish population in the Great Salt Pond through the activities of the Fishermen. There is currently no ecological data on fish populations in the Great Salt Pond other than from fish relocation activities.

  • Third Cupe Coy Murder Suspect Arraigned on Monday --- Suspect used his Right to Remain Silent.

    jamalwoolford08102012Philipsburg:--- Guyanese national Jamal Jefferson Woolford (20), appeared before the judge of instruction on Monday clad in a white t-shirt with the number 20 written in front, an off black three quarter jeans pants, and red and black Nike slippers. Woolford is the third suspect police arrested in the brutal murder of American citizens Michael and Thelma King which occurred between September 19th to September 21st, 2012. He is also accused of being involved in the armed robbery of the Happy Star Chinese Restaurant that was robbed on September 19th, 2012 around 8:40pm.

    SMN News learnt that Woolford used his right to remain silent when he appeared before the judge of instruction on Monday. Jamal Jefferson Woolford born on December 9th, 1991 in Guyana managed to escape from St. Maarten last week Wednesday when he booked a flight to St. Thomas US Virgin Islands where he was arrested upon arrival by the FBI. It should be noted that on Wednesday October 3rd, 2012 SMN News reported that the first suspect Meyshane Kemar Johnson confessed to police that he was involved in the brutal murders of the Kings. It appears as thought Woolford was monitoring the news and when he saw Johnson confessed he tried to escape from the St. Maarten judicial system. SMN News learnt that when Woolford was arrested in the US Virgin Island he was informed that he could face the death penalty if the case is tried in the US territory. The source said at that point Woolford waived his rights to extradition and he was brought back to St. Maarten on Friday where he was immediately arrested.

    Jamal Jefferson Woolford is a former student of the St. Maarten Academy (PSVE) he also received a government scholarship for the SBO marine program which he completed and was working for Eagle Tours located at Bobby's Marina. Woolford is the second former St. Maarten Academy (PSVE) student that has been arrested in the Cupe Coy murder case. Jeremiah Chevon Mills and Woolford both attended the St. Maarten Academy (PSVE) and were close friends and school mates.

    Woolford was living with his girlfriend identified as "Winifred" in an apartment in Cay Hill at the time of his arrest. He left St. Maarten on a Guyanese passport since he is the holder of a US 10 year visa.

     

    Press release from the Public Prosecutor's office on the Arraignment of the Third suspect in the Cupe Coy Murder Case.

    On Monday, 20 year old J.J.W. was led before the judge of instruction. The judge considered both the arrest and the prolongation of the custody as lawful. Custody will now last until October 15th, 2012, when a new decision on pre-trial detention will have to be taken.
    The suspect is cooperating with the police and has made a statement.
    The police is still analyzing all the information gathered in the course of investigation so far. The different statements given by the three suspects in the case are being reviewed and verified.
    All three suspects are still under restrictions regarding visiting rights and contacts.
    In the interest of the investigation no further details can be released at present.

    Click here to view more photos of Jamal Jefferson Woolford's arraignment.

     

  • SXM posts very positive passenger traffic growth for first three quarters of 2012 --- Great expectations for Winter season.

    SIMPSON BAY:--- According to the most recent passenger traffic statistics available, the total passenger traffic (excluding transit passengers) at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) for the first nine months of 2012 are up 6.2% over the same period in 2011. This growth has been propelled by departing passengers that are up 7.8% for the period January through September 2012, in comparison to the same period in 2011.

    The figures also show that passengers making same-day connections to other Caribbean destinations in 2012 at SXM are up by 23.2% compared to the same period in 2011. This highlights the importance of the hub function of SXM airport to the region. However, travel between St. Maarten and Saba, St. Eustatius, Curacao, and Bonaire in the first three quarters of 2012, as compared to the same period in 2011, is down by 5.5%.

    The first quarter of 2012 started off with a very positive 7.1% increase in comparison to 2011, while growth in the second and third quarter of 2012 was respectively 4.2% and 7.0% compared to the same period last year. The weakest month of travel for St. Maarten, September, in fact, saw a very significant increase in 2012 of 18% over 2011.

    According to Managing Director of PJIAE, Regina LaBega, the company expects to see overall 2012 passenger volume excl. transit passengers at SXM to be up by 7-8% over 2011.

    "The traditionally weakest month of the year for St. Maarten, September, has seen a very significant increase in traffic and we believe this bodes well for the remaining part of the year," LaBega said, while predicting that, "The winter 2012/2013 season is expected to be very positive for St. Maarten."

  • Public Works Gives Contract to Garden Boyz to Clean Trenches --- Project Costs Naf. 141,260.00.

    williammarlinatgardenboyzcontractsigning02102012Philipsburg:--- Minister of VROMI William Marlin handed over an agreement letter that was signed by Angelo "Luciano" Gumbs on behalf of the Sucker Garden unemployed boys who will be contracted to clean several trenches in the area and from Philipsburg to Pointe Blanche. Minister Marlin told reporters on Tuesday that the project was spearheaded by Independent Member of Parliament Romaine Laville who vowed to secure employment for the youngsters of Sucker Garden where he (Laville) grew up.

    Marlin said that the Ministry of VROMI took a different approach to make sure the unemployed youths of Sucker Garden get work, as a result there was no bidding for the project that was given to the Garden Boyz. The Minister of VROMI made clear that the work that will be carried out by at least 12 unemployed young men and women in the area will be supervised by Public Works, namely Claudius Buncamper. Present on Tuesday when the signing of the letter took place was the vice president of the Sucker Garden and Upper Princess Quarter Community Council Eugene Heyliger and Member of Parliament Romain Laville.

    Marlin said as part of the governing program the National Alliance has with the Democratic Party and three Independent Members of Parliament, government will work with the people in the different communities as they try to establish groups within each community who would dedicate themselves to keep their community clean. This, he said was derived from the district improvement teams but government stumbled on several of the community councils that are not functioning.

    Marlin said that when government awarded the contract for garbage collection it did not include the cleaning of trenches while the secondary roads are to be cleaned once every three months. Marlin said another hindrance in the various communities are the "boys on the block." Marlin explained that these boys are young St. Maarteners who simply cannot find work on the island and they are marginalized by the current system. The VROMI Minister said that even though there are contractors that are obtaining contracts from government they have refused to include the locals. "Often times the local St. Maarten boys are overlooked, they are bypassed while others are getting the opportunity to gain employment in their district."
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  • Global crackdown on illicit online pharmacies.

    interpoloperationpangeav04102012Dangers of fake and illicit medicines highlighted in INTERPOL-supported campaign.
    LYON, France:--- A global operation spanning 100 countries aimed at disrupting the organized crime networks behind the illicit online sale of medicines has resulted in some 80 arrests and the worldwide seizure of
    3.75 million units of potentially life-threatening medicines worth USD 10.5 million.
    Operation Pangea V, which involved police, customs and national regulatory authorities is the largest Internet-based action of its kind, targeting the international black market of fake and illicit medicines, and raising public awareness of the significant health risks associated with buying medicines online.
    Coordinated by INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization, the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime, the Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers, Pharmaceutical Security Institute and Europol, for the first time, Operation Pangea was also supported by the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) which brings together 12 of the world's leading Internet and e-commerce companies.
    Support by companies including Legitscript, Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal resulted in more than 18,000 websites linked to illicit online pharmacies being identified and shut down, the suspension of payment facilities of
    online rogue pharmacies, and the disruption of a massive number of spam emails and social networking messages.
    "When someone is sick, can't afford to purchase expensive medicine or is just trying to save money, they are more likely to take a chance and buy medicines online, making themselves vulnerable to purchasing fake,
    illicit or spurious medical products and thus harming themselves," said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
    "Organized, sophisticated criminals and rogue pharmacies are unfortunately using the Internet to defraud innocent consumers, to place them in harm's way, to steal their identities and to engage in credit card fraud.
    "It is thanks to the coordinated efforts of all agencies involved, police, customs, health regulatory authorities and the private sector, that we have seen the most significant results since Pangea I was first launched five years ago. This is a major boost in protecting the health and safety of the public, and tackling the organized networks behind this crime," said the INTERPOL Chief.
    A dedicated operations room was established at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, throughout Pangea V which ran from September 25 to October 2, providing participating countries and organizations with a central information exchange point for updates on interventions and seizures. In addition to raids at addresses linked to the illegal internet supply of medicines, some 133,000 packages were inspected by regulators and customs authorities around the world with around 6,700 being confiscated.
    "As the Internet becomes increasingly accessible around the world, so the number of potential victims increases, which is why international multi-sector actions such as Operation Pangea are vital," said Aline Plançon, head of INTERPOL's Medical Products Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime unit.
    "Taking direct action against those behind illegal Internet pharmacies is just part of the solution, and it is equally important for the public to open their eyes to the significant risks they take when purchasing medicines on illicit online pharmacies," added Ms. Plançon.
    Among the counterfeit and illicit medicines were anti-cancer medication, antibiotics, erectile dysfunction pills as well as slimming and food supplements.
    To date, 79 individuals have been arrested or are under investigation for a range of offenses including operating a clandestine laboratory producing counterfeit medicines, membership of a criminal group selling illicit medicine online and operating websites selling illicit medicines. Information relating to organized crime networks gathered during the operation will be reviewed and analysed to identify additional links around the world.
    Investigations are continuing, with the final results from Operation Pangea V to be released upon their conclusion. For additional information on national activities, please contact the enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies of the countries involved.
  • Sunshine Supermarket Robber will Spend Another Eight Days behind Bars.

    tyronewilliams04102012Philipsburg:--- The lone robber that robbed Sunshine Supermarket located on Genip Road, St. Peters on September 17th, 2012 has to spend another eight days in pre-trial detention. The suspect was apprehended by police who chased him shortly after the robbery to his home in Retreat Estate.
    Tyrone Williams is known in the St. Peters community for breaking into several homes and robbing supermarkets. However, this is the first time he was caught red handed. Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos said he could not fully confirm if the pre-trial detention was extended but he assured that he did not receive any order from the judge to release any of the suspects that were taken to court on Thursday.
  • G.I.F.T.E.D. FOUNDATION INTER-CHURCH FUTSAL TOURNAMENT.

    giftedinterchurchfutsaltournament22102012The series of Inter-church competitions by GIFTED Foundation continued with a futsal tournament on October 20, 2012 at the Melford Hazel Sports Complex. Originally scheduled for October 13, it was postponed due to excessive rainfall caused by Tropical Storm Rafael. Three churches participated due to last minute cancellations by other churches. However, despite the few participants, the event was deemed a success. The three teams came out with a large group of supporters to add to the atmosphere. The churches that took part are New Testament Church of God (COG), Christian Faith Ministries(CFM), and Church of God(7th day)(COG-7Day).
    The first game of the evening was a very entertaining game between COG and CFM. CFM came out victors with a 4-2 score line. There were 20 minutes break in between each game allowing players to rest. COG-7Day lost their first game by default due to late arrivals. The 2nd game of the evening was a rematch for COG and CFM. The winner was decided by aggregate score over the two games. COG advanced to the finals winning that game 5-2 (7-6 agg.). This sets up a win or go home match up between CFM and COG-7Day. This game the fans enjoyed the most, full of laughter, yet intensity as CFM won 6-2. This set another rematch in the finals between COG and CFM. With 1m26s remaining in the game, CFM had a commanding lead 4-1. COG won two penalties that were put away neatly by Overton Jack. The score was then 4-3 with 59 seconds remaining. CFM held off a valiant effort from COG to hang on for the win and to take home, or rather to church, the GIFTED Inter-church Futsal Championship trophy.
    GIFTED thanks all the supporters for coming out and making this event a success. Next on the calendar for GIFTED activities is "I Got Dressed In The Dark" Mismatch GLOW Party on October 27, 2012 at the John Larmonie Centre at 7pm.
  • Court of First Instance Maintains Role of Inspectorate Against SMMC --- More Demands Placed on SMMC --- Medical Institution Faces $500 fine per day for Non Compliance.

    jbloemebestandjhaeck16102012Philipsburg:--- The Court of First Instance sent a strong message to the Medical Director of the St. Maarten Medical Center Dr. George Scot in its decision rendered on Tuesday. Last week Dr. Scot filed an injunction where he petitioned the court to lift the higher supervision that was placed on the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) as of September 8th, 2012. Judge van Veen in his ruling on Tuesday denied Dr. Scot's requests and upheld the decision of the Inspectorate when it placed the institution under higher supervision for non compliance. Attorney at Law Jairo Bloem, Inspector General Dr. Earl Best, and the interim Inspector General Dr. Jan Haeck told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the inspectorate has since sent the hospital another list of demands on Friday October 12th, 2012 where the Inspectorate has intensified the supervision on SMMC. A list comprising of 13 demands was sent to SMMC, failure to comply with any of the demands will cost SMMC a fine of $500.00 per day to a maximum of $50,000.00.

    earlbest16102012Inspector General Dr. Earl Best told reporters that he is hoping that the Director of the St. Maarten Medical Center would comply with the intensified supervision and that the institution will not continue going to court. One of the demands placed on SMMC is for the institution to appoint a replacement (interim) medical director that would replace Dr. George Scot when he is not on St. Maarten. The St. Maarten Medical Center has to also make sure all its data, files, and other information is stored in one location at the SMMC and is accessible to the person that is appointed as the interim director. This person should also be given equal powers when it comes to decision making.

    The inspectorate investigated seven cases of death beginning April 2010 and of the seven cases they concluded that at least three of the patients could have received more adequate care from SMMC. Dr. Best described in his findings that sub-optimal care was provided and the families of these patients can now decide what type of action they would take against the St. Maarten Medical Center. As for the case of Ms. Olivacci, Dr. Best said that the investigation on that case is not yet complete and that was not part of the seven cases that were investigated.

    Below is the statement made by the Inspector General Dr. Earl Best and his team made on Tuesday afternoon after receiving the decision of the courts.


    Inspectorate wins court case: Intensified Supervision on the SMMC is maintained. Inspectorate imposes Demands against SMMC, under penalty of forfeiture of fines in case of non-compliance by SMMC.

    The Court of First Instance declared SMMC not admissible on October 16th, 2012, in its claims against the Inspectorate of Health (“the Inspectorate”) to suspend the imposed measures by the Inspectorate of (i) intensified supervision on SMMC and (ii) the demand for SMMC to provide the Inspectorate with an action plan with concrete measures to remedy various cardinal deficiencies within SMMC. The Court thereby followed the prinicpal defense of the Inspectorate: its announed measures of intensified supervision is not a decision that can be appealed by the SMMC.

    The Inspectorate is very pleased with this decision of the Court of First Instance.  This decision safeguards the authority of the Inspectorate to effectively make use of its legal rights to take requisite measures to supervise and control all Health Institutions and Health Providers.

    After the Inspectorate conducted extensive investigations in the SMMC over a period of 9 months, it rendered a draft report on its findings on August 24th, 2012 to SMMC, with the request to the SMMC to comment on its findings. These findings were highly critical in numerous areas that concern basic care that must be rendered by SMMC and can be within reason expected by the St. Maarten Community. The Inspectorate is bound to ensure that the St. Maarten Public can enjoy proper basic medical services by SMMC as per internationally accepted standards.

    Instead of providing the Inspectorate with the requested feedback on its –preliminary- findings, SMMC requested the Inspectorate for one week extension on nota bene the final day of the deadline given. This request for extension by SMMC was one of many during the investigation conducted by the Inspectorate.  The need for prompt measures to remedy various deficiencies was however so acute that it did not warrant any further delay. The Inspectorate consequently rejected the request for –further- extension and rendered its final report. The Inspectorate thereby announced on September 8th, 2012 that it would be conducting more frequent investigations within SMMC and that SMMC was obliged to provide the Inspectorate with a detailed action plan, outlining how SMMC would address the encountered deficiencies, within a specific timeframe. However, instead of providing the Inspectorate with the requested detailed action plan addressing the issues as outlined by the Inspectorate, SMMC gave the Inspectorate a copy of a report that was previously prepared for a potential collaboration agreement between the Foundation Mariadal in Bonaire and the SMMC. SMMC next immediately proceeded to initiate litigation against the Inspectorate to first suspend and later cancel the decision by the Inspectorate to conduct more frequent inspections within SMMC and to provide the Inspectorate with the requested detailed action plan.

    The Inspectorate laments very much that SMMC decided to use its scarce means that are –in principle- earmarked to provide good health care for the St. Maarten Public to litigate against the Inspectorate, instead of simply complying with the reasonable demands of the Inspectorate by law.

    The continued failure by the SMMC to not adhere to the legal demands by the Inspectorate to take actions that will remedy the current deficiencies in rendering basic care within the hospital has regretfully resulted in a decision by the Inspectorate to impose various Demands against SMMC, under the penalty of forfeiture of significant fines in case of non-compliance within set deadlines. These Demands by the Inspectorate, that can be appealed by SMMC, were made on Friday, October 12th, 2012. The Demands are to :

    1. Procure that on or before October 26th, 2012, there will be an approved Rules of Regulation for the Board of Directors of SMMC as per article 5 of the Articles of Incorporation of SMMC and article 16 of the national ordinance on Health Care Institutions;
    2. on or before October 26th, 2012 ensure that representation of Management of SMMC in absence of members of the Board of Directors is regulated by means of a formal appointment of a replacement representative with the requisite experience and expertise, in accordance with the profile demands that apply for Members of the Board of Directors within the SMMC. This to be issued mandate is aimed to guarantee as per article 5 of the Articles of Incorporation of SMMC and articles 8, 9, and 16 of the national ordinance on Health Care Institutions;
    3. that the Board of Directors is adequately represented in absence of one board member on St. Maarten. Consequently the quality of care and safety in the hospital is warranted (as per article 5 of the Articles of Incorporation of SMMC and articles 8, 9, and 16 of the national ordinance on Health Care Institutions);
    4. That on or before October 26th, 2012 ensure that the Member of the Board of Directors who is representing SMMC is at all times accessible by means of a service telephone. The medical specialists and all service providers at SMMC must receive the telephone number of the service telephone .(as per article 5 of the Articles of Incorporation of SMMC and articles 8, 9, and 16 of the national ordinance on Health Care Institutions);
    5. send an overview to the Inspectorate detailing all the dates whereon the present sole member of the Board of Directors of SMMC intends to not be physically present on St. Maarten for more than one day. This overview must warrant the physical presence of adequate representation by the Board of Directors in SMMC on St. Maarten. (as per article 5 of the Articles of Incorporation of SMMC and articles 8, 9, and 16 of the national ordinance on Health Care Institutions);
    6. procure that on or before October 26th, 2012 all medical administrative data, medical data, files and computer files required for an adequate representation and care are placed on one (1) location within SMMC; (national ordinance on Health Care Institutions art 18);
    7. realizes that on or before December 8th, 2012 the Board of Directors of SMMC is expanded with one member who will take on the portfolio  “Medical Technical matters”  and as such guaranteeing the continuity of the management; (Articles of Incorporation SMMC art.5; national ordinance on Health Care Institutions art.8, 9, 16);
    8. to fill out the vacant Personnel Formation places within SMMC on or before December  8th, 2012 2 for  the basic specialist medical care of: surgery, internal medicine, Ob-Gyn, pediatrics, anaestiology and radiology  (national ordinance on Health Care Institutions art. 9, 18);
    9. on or before December 8th, 2012 show  that the Board of Directors is actively negotiating with the medical staff pertaining to an Admittance Contract for  the Medical Specialists that will result in a mutually accepted Admittance Contract on or before January 1, 2013; (Articles of Incorporation SMMC art. 12; national ordinance on Health Care Institutions art.16, 18, 19);
    10. provide a suitable action plan on or before December 8th, 2012 in conformity with the conditions imposed by the inspectorate as mentioned in the report with regards to findings pertaining to infection prevention in the surgery theater (national ordinance on Health Care Institutions art. 8, 9, 10, 20);
    11. on or before December 8th, 2012 provide an appropriate action plan pertaining to the emergency care department (ER), the supervision, improvement of expertise of the medical staff, file management and a proper notification system for acute issues, a methodology to determine which patience needs must be addressed more urgently, introduction of protocols for to most common diseases and finally made working agreements with stakeholders (national ordinance on Health Care Institutions art. 8, 9, 10, 20, 21);
    12. on or before December 8th, 2012 deliver an updated disaster plan and a plan to promote “disaster awareness” and establish annual drills for the staff of SMMC (Vastgesteld Rampenplan Sint Maarten 4 Maart 2002 AB 2002 no. 8; national ordinance on Health Care Institutions art. 8, 9, 10, 20, 21);
    13. ensure that on or before December 8th 2012 all committees in charge of safeguarding and managing the quality of care are staffed with at least three (3) persons and that these committees report quarterly to the Board of Directors of SMMC on various matters (national ordinance on Health Care Institutions art. 17).

    The Inspectorate sincerely hopes that SMMC this time around will devote its scarce resources and energy to ensuring that these Demands are properly and timely met, instead of again resorting to litigation and continuing to resist the supervision exercised by the Inspectorate. The sooner SMMC can understands that it is (i) subject to the external supervision by the Inspectorate and (ii) must abide to the imposed demands to improve the level of care, the sooner the quality of care on St. Maarten can be brought to what the St. Maarten citizens can and should within reason expect.

    The Inspectorate in closing remains very much willing to work together with SMMC to ensure that the adequate level of medical care is given to the St. Maarten Community.  

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    Click here to view the decision rendered by the Court of First Instance in SMMC vs. the Inspectorate of Health.

  • Continuation of Central Committee of Parliament with Minister Jacobs scheduled for October 22.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- The Central Committee of Parliament that met with Minister of Education, Culture, Youths and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs on October 08, will continue its meeting on October 22.

    The meeting will take place on a Monday morning at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

    The two agenda points for this meeting are the present education policy, and secondly, the policy related to youth and sports.

    The Hon. Minister of Education will be answering questions that were posed by members of the House in the first round of the October 8th session.

    The initial meeting with the Minister was requested by the United Peoples (UP) Party parliamentary faction.

    The central committee session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.

  • Nominations for CPA 2012.

    The glitz, the glamour, the guests. It's almost that time of year again! 50 days remaining for the Crystal Pineapple Awards hosted by SHTA. After 6 years of success and recognizing outstanding individuals, Friday, November 30 will mark our 7th year anniversary. It's so important to nominate people who you feel deserve to be recognized for their outstanding efforts! "Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well". So November 30th is not only their time to shine but yours as well!
    So far, 11 nominees have been recognized in the following categories:
    Outstanding Environmental Achievement we have Nature Foundation and Dolphin Defenders, Public Media Award we have Jeff Berger, School Teacher of the Year we have Preeti Notani of Learning Unlimited Preparatory School and Betty Laveist-Chittick of Sr. Borgia Elementary School, The Video X Games Foundation and Healing Balm Mission of Love for Outstanding Community Service, Hospitality-Employee of the Year we have Perla Bruney, Hospitality-Supervisor of the Year we have Diana Gumbs and Paul Dip, lastly, not forgetting Hotelier of the Year we have Josette de Randamie.
    "We are strongly encouraging the community, our stakeholders, and partners to nominate who they believe deserves to shine," says May Ling Chun who is coordinating this year's event. So keep sending in those nominations to show those hard working individuals some appreciation for their input into our tourism industry.
    For more information and/or questions, please contact event coordinator May Ling Chun at 520-7120 or us at the SHTA office at 542-0108, also by email at shtacpa@gmail.com or npizzichini@shta.com.
  • Well Known St. Maarten Bailiff Passed Away Wednesday Morning.

    karlarndell11102012Philipsburg:--- St. Maarten lost another great son of the soil early Wednesday morning while the government and police were busy preparing to celebrate Constitution and Police Day. Bailiff Karl "Tall Boy" Arndell passed away peacefully at his home early Wednesday morning. Ambulance personnel rushed to the home of Karl and Lia to revive him but their efforts were not fruitful. Arndell has served as a Bailiff on St. Maarten for over 25 years and was the last of the older marshal heads that was still alive.

    Police Inspector Turchan "Pico" Simons told the gathering at the St. Maarten Roman Catholic of Tours Church that Tall Boy performed for the Police Culture evening Tuesday night. "Just over 12 hours ago I saw Tall Boy when he performed for us and his passing has come to us as a real shock." Karl has left to mourn his wife Lia, two children, and several siblings.

  • Inspector General of Health dragged to Court --- SMMC wants Judge to force Inspectorate to lift the Higher Supervision Measures --- Decision next Tuesday.

    smmcmdandlegalrepsleavingcourthouse09102012Philipsburg:--- The Medical Director of the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) Dr. George Scot and its legal representatives from HBN Law Maarten Le Poole pleaded with the judge in the administrative courts on Tuesday to force the Inspectorate of Health to lift the measures of higher supervision which were placed on the institution as of September 8th, 2012. Attorney at Law Maarten Le Poole told the judge that the negative publicity in the media has created a huge problem for the St. Maarten Medical Center because the people of St. Maarten have now lost confidence in their only hospital.

    Attorney at Law Jairo Bloem who represented the Inspector General Dr. Earl Best said that the St. Maarten Medical Center has failed to comply with the requests of the Inspectorate and what the director of SMMC is trying to do now is to have the courts take away the powers of the Inspectorate. Bloem said Dr. George Scot does not even comply with the inspections that have to be conducted by the inspectorate. Bloem explained that the action plan of the SMMC which the inspector general requested was not submitted on time and Dr. George Scot submitted two action plans none of which he defended because he did not attend the meeting that was scheduled with the Inspector General Dr. Earl Best. Bloem said the three main tasks of the inspectorate is enforcement, complaint, and advice.
    earlbestandlegalrepatcourthouse09102012Bloem further explained that based on the Inspection Regulation of 2002, everyone is obliged to cooperate with the supervisor. The supervisor (Inspectorate) has the right to request all information, demand access to all books, record and data carriers. The Inspectorate can go as far as copying this information or taking it from the institution (SMMC) temporarily. Bloem said the inspectorate conducted an investigation into several incidents and a report was sent to the SMMC for response in which they were given a specific period of time to respond. He said when SMMC did not comply the report was adopted and a letter was sent to the institution informing them of the actions that were taken by inspectorate which is to put SMMC under higher supervision, which means the board of directors must present a feasible action plan to the inspectorate within a two week time frame. This action plan is to address the many critical issues found at the institution, while the inspectorate will conduct announced and unannounced inspections at least three times per month as they follow up on the action plan. Judge van Veen will be giving his ruling at 2pm next Tuesday.

  • Judge to Decide if Mental Health Foundation would get License to Treat Mentally Ill Patients.

    queenbeatrixinauguratesthemhf09102012Philipsburg:--- The Court of First Instance will decide next Tuesday if the Minister of Health and Labor Cornelius de Weever must grant the Mental Health Foundation a license to provide medical services to psychiatric mental patients.

    The Mental Health Foundation dragged the Minister of Health before the administrative courts on Tuesday in order to obtain the permit. Defending the Mental Health Foundation was Attorney at Law Wim Van Sambeek from HBN Law while Attorney at Law Richard Gibson Jr. represented the Minister and his staff. Van Sambeek in his arguments said that MHF already has the building and other facilities in place but the only thing that is preventing them from operating is the lack of a license.

    Attorney at Law Richard Gibson Jr. said that the MHF has been operating illegally by providing psychiatric care to prisoners and or detainees. He told the court that the Minister of Health has no problem granting MHF a license but proper procedures has to be followed, a thorough investigation of the facility would have to be conducted before the Minister would even consider granting a permit to the MHF. So far, the MHF has not submitted a proper request to the Ministry of Health. The court was told that such facilities need to have someone with a medical background as their director and that is not the case with the MHF.

  • Defense Lawyer Poked holes in Vesuvius Investigation --- Says Prosecution work was Sloppy and based on “Melee and blogs" rather than Evidence.

    Belair:--- Attorney at law Peggy Ann Brandon poked several holes in the case presented by the prosecution against the suspects held in the Vesuvius investigation. Brandon made her pleadings in the makeshift Court of First Instance at the Belair Community Center on Monday in English so that all media personnel and those listening to the procedure could understand what the defense saw in the files submitted to the court. Erno Labega Jr. was escorted to the court room with a white t-shirt over his prison garb, heavily shacked by the Arrest Team of KPSM.

    Brandon said the prosecution said they spent close to two million dollars to conduct the investigation yet basic legal principles were not followed. She said while she agreed with the prosecution on the amount of monies and time spent on the investigation, it is not acceptable for the prosecution to present a case with words such as "probably and potentially". The prosecution has an obligation to the court which is to find the truth and prove their cases before the court.

    Attorney at Law Peggy Ann Brandon represented Erno Labega Jr. who is accused of being part of the Tan Tan gang and another organization that pushes drugs and committed other illegal activities. He is also charged with illegal gun possession. Brandon said the entire case the prosecution built against the Vesuvius suspects was based on blogs (comments) posted on SMN News (www.smn-news.com), melee, and a statement made by one of the suspects – Fleming. However, the prosecution chose to carefully cut parts of Fleming's statement in an attempt to build their case. Brandon told Judge Rick Smid that the prosecution had materials available to them just like the defense did but the materials, such as the telecommunication data, which would not help their case so they chose to leave it out. Brandon said the prosecution also used a number of anonymous witnesses which the defense did not get to question properly. In one instance, she said the questions the defense had for an anonymous witness were prepared in English but the judge of instruction forced the defense to translate their questions into Dutch and he turned off the microphone when he translated the questions to the witness. Brandon said in that particular instance they don't know if the questions they wanted to ask the witness were asked because they were obstructed by the prosecution and judge of instruction. The defense lawyer said none of the statements made by the so-called anonymous witnesses could be verified and her client used his rights to remain silent based on the instructions she gave him because he (Erno Labega Jr.) does not know what the detectives and their witnesses were talking about. "He is not part of the Tan Tan and he had no knowledge of it. Based on the road conditions, the potholes, and traffic it is impossible for Erno Labega Jr. to be at WIB Illidge Road at 2:59 and in one minute reach Dutch Quarter to commit a crime."

    She said inside the file the prosecution submitted to the court and the defense it clearly states that the police themselves did not believe the story Fleming gave and even the re-construction done by the police did not match what Fleming said in his statements. However, the prosecution did not utilize this information when they presented their case to the court, they also departed from the so called "rip deal" the late Amador Jones had.

    Brandon said the investigating team did not take the time to go out there and take photographs at the "Under the Sun" night club to ensure they get real evidence if they are going to ask the court to send people to prison for 10 years or more. She said she visited the night club and took various photos which she submitted to the court. Attorney at Law Brandon said that the cameras at Under the Sun was focused on the cash registers at the time of the murder of Amador Jones and not the entrance and around the club and that is one of the reasons police could not obtain camera footage from the night club that would have helped them to find the real killer of Amador Jones (cousin of Erno Labega Jr.).

    Another point Brandon raised was the fact that her client was shipped out of St. Maarten and she was not informed by the prosecution while the police and investigating team broke the law when they were tapping the suspects' phones. "The judge of instruction clearly stated that he did not give instructions to tap the suspects' phones while they were in Aruba and to make matters worse when police finally received the go ahead, they broke the rules on more than one occasion. Brandon said the law clearly states that the process verbal has to be made within three days of the tapping but in this case (the tapping done in Aruba), the process verbal was made four months later. The defense lawyer said she requested those tapes and what she heard is completely different to what the prosecutor Bart den Hartigh and his colleagues heard. Besides that, they used laws that were effective in Aruba and not in St. Maarten. At the time of this investigation, phone tapping was not legalized on St. Maarten.Therefore, she pleaded with the judge to exclude all of those as evidence in the case. "The judge of instruction on St. Maarten did not authorize the phone tapping and the investigating officers were only allowed to tap for a maximum of 30 minutes while there are instances where they tapped for over an hour." She said the prosecution said her client was removed from St. Maarten for his own safety and because they were considered to be very dangerous. However, on one occasion her client along with some other Vesuvius suspects were held in a bus that broke down alongside the road in Aruba for more than hour. "The prison was called to remove the so-called dangerous prisoners off the road, they had to wait in the bus until someone went to the scene and fixed the bus for them to continue their journey. This is what I call entrapment."

    Another point Brandon made with the use of a PowerPoint presentation was the location of her client on April 20th, 2011. The prosecution accused Erno Labega of being part of the Tan Tan shooting but cell tower information provided by Telcell showed that Labega was at the Windward Islands Bank on A.T Illidge Road at 2:59pm while the Tan Tan shooting took place at 3pm. Attorney at Law Peggy Ann Brandon pleaded with the judge to acquit Labega of all the charges, while she also asked that he be released immediately. Erno Labega Jr. has to return to the court on Thursday next week for the second round of the case.

    Documents presented by Attorney at Law Peggy Ann Brandon in defense of Erno Labega Jr. 1
    Documents presented by Attorney at Law Peggy Ann Brandon in defense of Erno Labega Jr. 2
    Documents presented by Attorney at Law Peggy Ann Brandon in defense of Erno Labega Jr. 3
    Documents presented by Attorney at Law Peggy Ann Brandon in defense of Erno Labega Jr. 4

  • President of Parliament says fire personnel committed to ensuring safety and security of citizens and visitors.

    PHILIPSBURG:--- The Fire Department of St. Maarten this week is observing Fire Prevention Week which is being organized by Fire Prevention Section of the Fire Department and Friends of the Island Government Fire Fighters Foundation.

    The week is celebrated worldwide and a number of activities have been organized to raise fire safety awareness within the community.

    The theme of this year's Fire Prevention Week is "Protect your family against fire. The time to act is now."

    President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel, congratulates the men and women who work with the fire department and wishes them a successful Fire Prevention Week.

    "The personnel at our fire department are committed to ensuring the safety and security of all those living here and visiting our country.

    "Fire is a serious public safety concern. I urge all citizens to practice home and work fire escape drills especially during Fire Prevention Week, and to support the public safety activities and efforts of St. Maarten's fire services," President of Parliament Hon. Rodolphe Samuel said on Wednesday.

  • PUBLIC NOTICE: Condolences Book for the late Karl Arndell.

    signingcondolencesbookforkarlarndell16102012The Courthouse Staff would like to inform the public that a condolences book is available for the late Karl Rudolf Arndell b.k.a. "Tall Boy" at the Courthouse. Persons that are interested in signing are welcome to do so.
  • Minister Jacobs attends several senior citizen celebrations on Saturday.

    silveriajacobsattendsseniorcitizenscelebrations07102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- On Saturday, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, attended several functions organized for Senior Citizens.

    Throughout the day the Minister attended the 2nd Annual Senior Citizens Luncheon in St. Louis French St. Martin. The luncheon was organized by The Rambaud St. Louis Freetown Fete Association.

    This year the association of disabled citizens was also in attendance at the luncheon.

    The Minister enjoyed a well prepared and elaborate luncheon and enjoyed the company of the senior and disabled citizens. The history of St. Maarten was the prevalent topic during the luncheon as the Minister listened with interest to the personal re-counts of those attending.

    Live musical entertainment was provided throughout the day for dancing and enjoyment.

    The day continued with the Minister visiting the Senior Citizens home in Hope estate. Control band was present to entertain the citizens and their guests.

    Minister Jacobs conversed and socialized with the citizens and spent some time with her father who is a resident of the home. "There is so much history of St. Maarten with our seniors. We must ensure that this history is documented so that our younger generation can learn about our history," Minister Jacobs said of her visits with the seniors.

  • Jacinth Bryan-Labega re-elected as 2nd Vice President of WBO.

    jacinthbryanlabegaanddonking23102012Florida, USA:--- Jacinth (Jass) Bryan-Labega, President of the St. Maarten Boxing Association has been re-elected as 2nd Vice President of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) at their 25th annual convention being held in Florida, United States.

    She received a total of 56 votes of the 56 member countries and jurisdictions eligible to vote. Jass, a founding member of WBO has been an active member of the executive board for its entire 25 years existence, and she continues to contribute to the progress of boxing through her work with the organization.

    WBO is now considered the world's most powerful sanctioning body for professional fights around the world.

  • Gendarmerie Wraps Up Armed Robbery Investigation --- Several gang members arrested.

    Marigot:--- The Gendarmerie disclosed on Monday in a press release that they have made what is believed to be the last arrests of the gang responsible for a series of armed robberies during the summer.

    The first arrests of three suspects suspected to be the culprits that committed the robberies in Sandy Ground and Marigot took place on September 5, 2012 during a judicial operation where several houses were searched. Two out of the three suspects were charged on September 7, 2012.

    As the investigation continued it brought to light more suspects, and the first of the remaining members of the gang was arrested on October 9, 2012 in Capesterre Belle Eau, Guadeloupe.

    This suspect was a minor aged 17 originating from Sandy Ground who had been placed in the care of a family following a series of crimes he committed in St. Martin. He was arrested with the cooperation of Gendarmes from Pointe-a-Pitre and placed under judiciary control. He will be charged with four armed robberies committed in St. Martin between July 27 and August 23, 2012.

    The second arrest of a minor aged 16 took place on October 20. He was suspected of having incited the others into committing the robberies and was indicted for his participation in eight armed robberies committed between July 19 and August 23 on businesses in Sandy Ground, Marigot, Concordia, Agrément, and Baie Nettle.

    He is also suspected of jewellery snatching thefts in Marigot and was transferred to Guadeloupe on October 21 where he was placed in provisional detention.

    A total of ten armed robberies have now been solved which took place during the summer period thanks to diligent investigation. Three out of four suspects indicted, two adults and a minor, were placed in detention. The fourth, a minor, is under judiciary control but still faces a jail sentence.

    Since the beginning of the year 32 armed robberies with firearms have been solved thanks to the investigation by the special armed robbery unit VAMA attached to the detectives department. Some 21 individuals have been charged for armed robberies, the majority of them transferred to and incarcerated in Guadeloupe.

  • Lady robbed of vehicle.

    Philipsburg:--- On Monday October 15th, 2012, a lady with initials J.W. filed an official report with the Special Robbery Unit and stated that while she was sitting in her car at her home in Guana Bay preparing to take her son to school, she was suddenly attacked by two unknown and armed men, who ordered her to get out of the car. Fearing for her life and that of her son, she complied with the orders of the suspects and stepped out of the car. After taking her son out of the vehicle both suspects drove off in the direction of Philipsburg. A shoulder bag containing some cash and some other personal belongings was left behind in the vehicle. The police department was immediately informed of what had taken place and started a search for the stolen vehicle and the possible suspects. The vehicle was found shortly after in the Hope Estate. The shoulder bag and its contents that were left in the vehicle was missing. The vehicle was confiscated for further investigation.

    KPSM Police Report
  • Finance Minister Authorizes the Breaking of CDs to Pay Government Suppliers --- 2013 Budget Meagre.

    rolandtuitt03102012Philipsburg:--- Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt told reporters during the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing on Wednesday that he has given orders to break the CDs government has in the banks to pay off some of its suppliers. One such supplier is Lets Travel who has been providing last minute tickets to politicians traveling abroad to represent Country St. Maarten. Tuitt said government will take between eight to fifteen million guilders to pay its suppliers. This information was released when SMN News pressed the Minister of Finance for the actual amount of monies it cost the tax payers of St. Maarten to send former chairlady of Parliament Gracita Arrindell to Uruguay last week. Tuitt said he did not have the figure neither he does not sign off on every check. Each Ministry and in this case the Parliament has its own responsibility on how it is spending. "Thank you for the question but I just don't know the figures. Let me tell you how Government works." Tuitt explained that the Minister of Finance does not sign off on the checks and he does not even see these checks when they leave his Ministry. "The responsibility is there and the Minister of Finance expects it to be carried out in accordance with good governance and prudent management and only when things go wrong then the Minister of Finance would step in to ensure that things go right."

     

    Finance Minister sets Record Straight on Tempo Turn 7 Investment --- Contract not yet signed, first payment to be $200,000.00.

    Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt in his presentation at the Council of Ministers' press briefing on Wednesday also attempted to defuse the comments and critics that are being made by the members of the community regarding Government's investment in the TEMPO Turns 7 Celebration which is to be held on St. Maarten next month. Tuitt said people are speaking about the monies Government intends to invest but they do not have all the necessary information. The Finance Minister assured that the Government of St. Maarten will make back its monies with the sale of tickets for each of the shows, if "things" go as planned the Government of St. Maarten will get back its $400,000.00 and maybe more. Tuitt said that the Government of St. Maarten will be receiving a share for the ticket sales of each show. Tuitt also confirmed when quizzed by SMN News that the contract with TEMPO and Government is not yet finalized and when that is done the Government of St. Maarten will make an initial payment of $200,000.00 to TEMPO.

     

    COM Approved First Draft of 2013 Budget --- Country's Budget is Meagre --- Tuitt.

    The Minister of Finance also announced that the Council of Ministers recently approved the 2013 budget after having one month extension from the CFT. Without giving many details, Tuitt said the 2013 budget is close to the 2012 budget which is 443 million guilders with a capital of 30 million guilders. The Finance Minister said for 2012 budget the High Councils of State got Naf. 16 million guilders, Ministry of General Affairs 71 million guilders, Ministry of Finance 71 million guilders, Ministry of Justice 74 million guilders, Ministry of Education 111 million guilders, Ministry of Health and Labour 62 million guilders, Ministry of Tourism and Economic Affairs 30 million guilders while the Ministry of VROMI got 34 million guilders. In the draft budget for 2013 which was approved by the Council of Ministers the figures are basically the same. The High Councils of State lost one million guilders, the Ministry of General Affairs got an additional million guilders bringing their budget to 72 million guilders. The Ministry of Education also got an increase of one million guilders which brings their budget to 112 million guilders. The Ministry of Health and Labour lost two million guilders giving them a budget of 60 million guilders and the Ministry of Economic Affairs lost one million guilders, their budget for the year 2013 stands at 29 million guilders. The Ministry of Justice remains with 74 million guilders and the Ministry of Housing and Spatial Planning got an increase of two million guilders bringing their budget to 36 million guilders. The Finance Minister said that the budget of 2013 is meager but government will be depending on the monies they collect annually in taxes. He called on the unregistered businesses on St. Maarten to do the right thing and to ensure that they make their contribution to the tax system and to government.

    When SMN News asked the Minister what the Government of St. Maarten intends to do regarding the Money Game that has been operating illegally on the island and evading taxes, Tuitt said that he does not know and since the case is now in the justice system they would have take the necessary measures.
    As for the Ministry of Justice which has been getting a subsidy from the plan van aanpak, Tuitt said he already advised the Minister of Justice and the Council of Ministers that the plan van aanpak would have to be renegotiated.
    The Minister of Finance said that the Taxand Investigation is almost complete and he is expecting a report shortly.
    As for the purchase of the Emilio Estate, the Prime Minister said that government still has to work out the financial details of the purchase and government would have to see how they will get the funds to purchase Emilio Wilson Estate based on the agreement they have with the owners.
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  • Meyshane Kemar Johnson Confesses to Murdering Michael and Thelma King.

    meyshanejohnson03102012Philipsburg:--- Jamaican born 28 year old Meyshane Kemar Johnson who was arrested in the early morning hours of September 23rd, 2012 admitted to police on Tuesday that he was involved in the brutal killings of American tourists Michael and Thelma King. Johnson also confessed to robbing the Happy Star Chinese Restaurant on September 19th, 2012. The bodies of the victims were found in their Cupe Coy condominium on Friday September 21st by a business partner who had sealed a business deal with the Kings two days before they were brutally murdered.

    Johnson was led before the judge of instruction for the second time since his arrest on Wednesday. The judge of instruction extended Johnson's detention as police continue their investigation. Johnson clad himself in a white t-shirt and long black pants as he appeared before the judge of instruction. He was brought to court in a regular police vehicle and led to the courtroom calmly. Johnson is represented by Attorney at Law Brenda Brooks who instructed her client not to speak to police prior to him appearing before the judge of instruction last week Wednesday.

    Police arrested a second suspect who happens to be Johnson's 17 year old cousin. He has been identified as Jeremiah Chevon Mills, a Dutch national of Jamaican descent. Mills is expected to appear before the judge of instruction on Thursday.

    While KPSM has been working tirelessly to solve one of the most gruesome murders to have ever occurred on St. Maarten, Minister of Justice Roland Duncan is yet to congratulate St. Maarten's lawmen who have been working alone to bring the Kings' killers to justice. So far almost every Minister and even some Members of Parliament have embraced the Police for their hard work except the Minister of Justice who according to sources within his Ministry said that the police may have had the wrong men in custody. A source in the justice Ministry said that Minister of Justice Roland Duncan made the statement when Johnson's attorney told a reporter that Johnson claimed he was innocent and accused the police of police brutality.

    Below is the press statement that was issued by the Public Prosecutor on Wednesday.

     

    Cupecoy case: suspect M.K.J. admits involvement in the violent deaths of Michael and Thelma King and in the Happy Star robbery. Pre-trial detention ordered by judge.

    On Tuesday, 28 year old suspect M.K.J. confessed being involved in the violent deaths of Michael and Thelma King. J. also admitted taking part in the robbery at the Happy Star restaurant on September 26, 2012. On Wednesday morning J. was led before the judge of instruction. The judge granted the prosecution's demand for his pre-trial detention for a first term of eight days.

    The second suspect, 17 year old J.C.M., will have his custody prolonged by the prosecutor today. M. will be led before the judge of instruction tomorrow who will evaluate the prolongation of the detention.

    In the interest of the investigation no further details will be divulged at this time.

    Both suspects are under full restrictions. This means that the suspects and their lawyers only are allowed to have contact with one another about this case.


    Click here to view more photos of Meyshane Johnson's second appearance before the Judge of Instruction.