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Curacao Supreme Electoral Council refuses to suspend preparations for April 28 Elections

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO – The Curacao Supreme Electoral Council (SEC) apparently is not recognizing the authority of Minister of Government Services, Norberto Ribeiro to suspend preparations for national elections that were scheduled for April 28, according to the Minister.

According to reports, it is alleged that the Council of Ministers may dismissed the members of SEC in order to halt the process to prepare for elections.

President of SEC R. Romer has reportedly said that the SEC will continue to prepare for the elections until they receive a national decree that says the elections have been cancelled. 

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Former MP Marlin-Romeo says over 100 screened for sickle cell at weekend health fair

PHILIPSBURG – The Sint Maarten Sickle Cell Foundation deemed the annual Lion Rudy Hoeve Health & Wellness Fair a huge success.

With the full cooperation of the Black Medical Students Association (BMSA) of AUC (American University of the Caribbean) and the SLS Lab, over 100 persons got screened for sickle cells. 

The objective to educate those in attendance and those who participated in the screening were met, Leona Marlin-Romeo pointed out on Tuesday. 

“The foundation is most grateful towards the Lions Club for allowing the participation of the foundation and looks forward in being present in the 2018 health fair. A special Thank you to BMSA and SLS Lab was also extended,” Leona Marlin-Romeo said.

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UP Board and Leader Congratulates Team Gibbs on Election Win

PHILIPSBURG – The United People’s (UP) Party Board and Leader the Honorable Member of Parliament (MP) Theodore Heyliger, extends their congratulations to Mr. Daniel Gibbs and the entire Team Gibbs on their election victory on Sunday.

Territorial Council elections were held this month to elect a new Government for the Collectivite of St. Martin (French side) for the next five years.  Eight political parties took part in the first round of voting and three took part in the second round this past Sunday.

"The people have clearly spoken and we extend our congratulations to everyone that expressed their opinion by voting during this second round last Sunday," the UP Board and Leadership expressed.

"Cooperation between both sides is vital especially in the areas of tourism and economy.  Much can be accomplished by working closer together. We are one island, and we should not leave anything separate us," the Board and party Leadership pointed out.

The UP Board and Leadership hopes that all parties will unite for the sake of the island,” UP Party Board said on Monday.

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Prison guard attacked and seriously beaten by inmates

POINT BLANCHE - Detectives are presently investigating a very serious case of ill treatment of a prison guard at the Point Blanche prison by inmates.

The incident took place on Friday March 23rd between 2.45 p.m. and 03.00 p.m. The guard was attacked when inmates were let out of their cell for recreation.

The guard suffered serious injuries to his face as a result of the beating. No suspects in this case been arrested as yet. The investigation continues. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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New board for St. Maarten Small Properties Association; seeks stronger tourism partnerships locally, regionally

PHILIPSBURG —The St. Maarten Small Properties Association (SMSPA) held its board elections here on March 22, 2017 at Carl & Sons Lounge, said Ms. Nzinga Lake, re-elected to a second term as president of the group of small hotel owners and operators.

The newly elected treasurer of SMSPA is Ms. Jeanina Dupersoy and the new secretary is Ms. Lorraine Scot. “The new board is committed and focused on the objectives, goals, and mission of SMSPA,” said Lake, who represents LAMA Guest House.

 The association’s membership includes hoteliers that have been active in tourism for over 30 years and represents over 200 rooms, said Lake.

“Ms. Dupersoy is the manager of Alicia Inn, and she has considerable knowledge in tourism and hospitality trends,” said Lake. Alicia’s Inn is the family-owned guesthouse started by Mrs. Marvis Leonard and operated by Ms. Dupersoy, her daughter. Ms. Dupersoy holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and an MBA.

“Ms. Scot represents Kary’s Guest House, also a family-owned property, and it is managed by Ms. Scott and her siblings. Ms. Scott says that she is ‘eager to take on this new challenge, to shed light on the forgotten visitors to St. Maarten’ that make regular use of small properties,” said Lake. Scot has a degree in mass communication.

“The small hotel sector has long complained about its inability to compete with large hotels. Individually and as a group small hoteliers have sought promotional and marketing partnerships with government as our members don’t have the same marketing budget that large hotels do. Sometimes there is no marketing budget at all,” said Lake.

“The SMPA mission and goal, which we will elaborate on starting in 2017, include working on open and concrete discussions with a broad base of stakeholders in our community. That includes government agencies such as the ministry of tourism and the tourist board; bankers association, sports associations, airlines and travel representatives; along with other small hotels,” said Lake.

“The idea is also to take advantage of key opportunities available by partnering to empower and motivate our members through training, product development, and promoting their properties and our island destination,” said Lake, who has a degree in marketing.

Small hotel properties that are interested in becoming members of SMPA can contact the association at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., said Lake.

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Samples of whale carcass sent for testing

SABA – Recently the floating carcass of a Humpback Whale was spotted off the north coast of Saba, about three to five miles out at sea.

The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard helicopter was alerted about something floating in the sea.  In first instance, those who spotted the objective thought a boat may have had an accident.  The helicopter surveyed the object and identified it as a whale carcass.

The Dawn II Ferry as well as dive boats from Sea Saba and Saba Divers visited the location.

At the location of Humpback carcass, a school of Tiger, Bull, Thresher and Blue sharks were feasting on the dead whale.  Some sharks measured about four meters in length.

The Saba Marine Park visited the site and took images and tissue samples that would be forwarded to the NOAA and Wageningen Marine Research in the Netherlands for analysis.

whale pix inside

whale three pix

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MSC Armonia makes Inaugural Call. Oldest ship in MSC Cruises Fleet

PORT ST. MAARTEN – MSC Armonia made its inaugural call last week and was welcomed by Port St. Maarten representatives where the official plaque and welcome pleasantries were exchanged.

The Captain, crew and passengers were welcomed to the destination by Port St. Maarten Management representative Hector Peters on behalf of the Government and the Port.

MSC Armonia is the oldest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet, built in 2001 for the former Festival Cruises.  The vessel started to sail under MSC in 2004.  The ship underwent refurbishment in 2014-2015.

MSC Cruises, a Swiss-based world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, grew by 800 per cent since 2004, and carried 1.67 million guests in 2014, reported strong financial results with a turnover of 1.5 billion Euro. 

MSC Armonia during the summer time caters to mostly European passengers, mainly from Italian, French, Spanish, and German speaking countries.  During the winter months, MSC attracts cruise passengers from the United Kingdom, United States and Australia as well as a number of Europeans.

The ship carries 2,065 passengers; 760 crew; has 12 decks; and a gross tonnage of 65,542.

MSC Cruises is one of the cruise lines that have been growing its fleet. The cruise line employs 15,000 staff members around the world and is present in 45 countries.

MSC Cruises has a fleet of 12 ships.  In 2014 MSC launched an investment plan to support the second phase of growth and in April 2016, the cruise line ordered additional vessels for a total investment of nine billion Euros for up to 11-new next-generation ships which will come into service starting in 2017 to 2026 making the cruise line the third largest.

MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this length and magnitude, spanning a horizon of over 10 years, from 2014 through 2026.

MSC Cruises is the brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, sailing year-round in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.  Seasonal itineraries cover northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, Cuba and the French Antilles, South America, southern Africa, China and Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman.

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Power of Knowledge Series presents Business Planning with Edsel Gumbs on Thursday

PHILIPSBURG - The Philipsburg Jubilee Library in collaboration with Repairers of Broken Walls International Community; Mrs. Napolina Richardson, will be presenting under the Power of Knowledge Series 2017, “Business Planning.”

This information event will be held on Thursday 30th March, 2017, from 7.15 -8.45 pm. Our Guest speaker will be Mr. Edsel Gumbs.

Edsel Gumbs holds a Bachelor’s Degree (UOC) and Associate (USM) in Business Management & Marketing, winner of St. Maarten’s Chambers of Commerce business plan writing competition 2016, and has been recognized as “ Man of the year 2016” for his services by ROTERACT.

Repairers of Broken Walls International Community (ROBWIC) is a humanitarian organization that was founded in St. Maarten in 2010 with the purpose to serve communities and uplift people wherever there is a need and provides other training initiatives.

Through its Power of Knowledge Series, the library hopes to bring awareness and trainings through various subject matters and to empower the community of St. Maarten.  Our joint objective being to share information that would stimulate entrepreneurship within our community and educate the public on writing business plans.

Topics that will be discussed on Thursday 30th of March will be Business plan writing, structuring, what goes into a business plan, what banks and funding agencies look for within a business plan.

Participation will be encouraged from the audience as persons will have the opportunity to ask related questions on their intent to start their own business, applying for loans and funding, structure of their business and putting a business plan together.

“Business planning” information session will take place this Thursday March 30th , 2017, time 7.15pm sharp to 8.45pm

Please call Brenda Abbott 580-6910, Edsel Gumbs, 524-0323 at (ROBWIC) or Maryland Powell of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library 542-2970 for more information.

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In Tribute to Officer Annick Arrindell, Police Management Team to Direct Traffic Flow on Monday

PHILIPSBURG - As a tribute and in recognition of their beloved and late colleague Annick Arrindell, who  became well known to many because of her traffic regulating skills, as she stood many early weekday mornings at the intersection of Zagersgut road and Coralita road to help regulate the very heavy flow of traffic coming from the Sint Peters and Reward areas into Philipsburg, four members of the Police Management Team has decided that they will go out on Monday morning March 27th and take part in regulating the traffic coming from those areas.

The Management Team members are; Chief Commissioner Carl John who will stand at the intersection L.B. Scot road-Gladiola road, Commissioner Denise Jacobs at the intersection Zagersgut road-Coralita Road, Chief Inspector Benjamin Gout at the Churchill Round About and Chief Inspector Ricardo Henson at Intersection L.B. Scot road-Sint Peters road. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Armed robbery at St. Peters Golden Sail Supermarket

ST. PETERS - The Special Robbery Unit is presently investigating an armed robbery committed by an unknown man armed with a handgun at Golden Sail Supermarket in St. Peters on Thursday March 23rd at approximately 8.50 p.m.

According to the two victims the suspect stormed into the establishment and while threatening them with his firearm, he robbed the establishment of an undisclosed amount of cash and an I-phone. 

The suspect was dressed in dark clothing and was also wearing a helmet. After committing this act the suspect fled the scene on foot. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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