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St. Maarten Hosts Stakeholder Forum for the 10th European Development Fund Small and Medium Enterprise (SME)

PHILIPSBURG - The Government of St. Maarten in collaboration with the COSME Project Management Unit, PMU, will be hosting the 2nd Stakeholder Forum for the 10th European Development Fund Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Regional Programme from October 2nd – 3rd, 2014 at the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. The event kicks off with a welcome cocktail party for the attending delegates of the twelve (12) Caribbean territories and invited guests at the Holland House Beach Hotel on October 1st, 2014.

The COSME Programme funded by the European Union, EU, with 15 million EURO’s, has three specific objectives namely, (1) strengthening the capacity of the Governments of the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories, (OCTs) to service the business sector, (2) improving the capacity of Business Service Organizations (BSOs) to engage in public-/private policy and administrative reform dialogue with Governments and provide services to their constituency of SMEs and (3) promoting stronger collaboration, trade and investment relations among the EU, CARIFORUM and the Caribbean OCTs.

Upon completion of the program, it is expected that there will be improvement of policies and the legislative and administrative framework for SMEs to establish and conduct business in the Caribbean OCTs, improved capacity of business support organizations to deliver the necessary services to their members and engage in dialogue with Government and improved competitiveness of SMEs participating in the programme and improved collaboration, trade and investment relations amongthe EU, CARIFORUM and the Caribbean OCTs.

The Stakeholder’s Forum will offer a platform for the participating stakeholders to discuss the proposals presented by the OCTs to the Project Management Unit over the course of the past months and the translation of these in a framework of activities. In attendance to welcome all delegates from the various OCTs will be the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams as well as the BVI Financial Secretary and Deputy Regional Authorizing Officer of the 10th EDF, Mr. Neil Smith with words of introduction to set the stage for the two-days of activities.

The main focus of the two-day Forum will  be geared toward the short term planning and defining the activities of phase one of the programme The expected participation includes 22-24 regional delegates from all of the Caribbean OCTs with delegates coming from five English speaking OCTs, six Dutch and one French. The participants will comprise members of the  Sint Maarten SME Focal Point consisting of  persons from the department EVT and BAK as well as SMDF and the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 


Two arrested for illegal gun possession

BOARD WALK - On Sunday September 28th at approximately 12.40 a.m. a Philipsburg Police Patrol was sent to Lizzy’s Bar on the Board Walk where the music was playing to loud.

On the scene the investigating officers noticed that two men who at the time were standing in a group with other men who were behaving quite suspicious and passing an unknown item to each other.

The officers approach these two men when suddenly a gun fell to the floor. Both suspects with the initials Z.M.J. (32) and A.O.M. (25) were arrested on the spot for illegal gun possession.

The 2.25 caliber pistol was confiscated for further investigation. The suspects were taken to the Philipsburg Police Station, where they remain in custody for questioning. (Contributed by Police Force Sint Maarten)


SMMC to hold Open House October 4

CAYHILL- The St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) will hold its Open House on Saturday, October 4, 2014. The purpose of the Open House is to share essential health information and other useful information about medical services and support services that are available at our hospital.

October is a month dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness. As a public serving hospital, we see this as part of our social responsibility to do likewise and that is why we have chosen Breast Cancer as a topic of discussion in our Open House.

There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer and in addition to giving tips on self-examination and early detection, we will use this opportunity to talk about the bigger issues; ‘What if I have Breast Cancer?’

The Open House will begin at 3:00pm with presentations by two of our medical doctors who will give information on surgical care for breast cancer patients, what to expect of breast cancer and treatment options. A Moment of Truth will feature a breast cancer survivor, who will share her story.

The general public is invited to come out and take advantage of free health services that will be available for persons desiring to have glucose, hypertension and cholesterol screenings. Women are also invited to have a free breast examination. Job opportunities and hospital tours can also be explored at the Open House on Saturday, October 4, 2014. These services will be available from 4:30pm to 7:00pm.

The event will close off with a Zumba fitness session at 7:00pm anyone can participate in this fun way to keep fit. 


St. Martin poetry selected by Dutch composers for choral music performance in Netherlands

GREAT BAY—Newly created music to Drisana Deborah Jack’s poetry will be performed at the 55th anniversary concert of the Delft Ars Vocalis Chamber Choir in the Netherlands, said Jack’s publisher HNP

Dutch composers Rita Hijmans and Anke Brouwer selected Jack’s poem “I dare you” and its Dutch translation from a long list of verse proposed by Ars Vocalis to four composers that it commissioned to create “new musical composition” for its anniversary concert.

“I am very intrigued by the notion of interpreting the poetry into music for a choir,” said Jack, a leading St. Martin poet and artist.

“I’ve recited my poetry with music before but this is different. This is another artist using my work as the foundation and creating something new. I am honored,” said Jack, who will also recite her poetry at the concert. The “jubileumconcert” will open with the works of Bach and Mozart onNovember 8, 2014, in the city of Delft.

Interestingly, the title of the choral celebration is “Ik daag je uit te dromen” (I dare you to dream"), which happens to be the Dutch title of Jack’s poem. The theme of the concert is “Freedom and Liberty” (

Jack’s “I dare you” is from her first poetry book The Rainy Season (HNP, 1997). According to the poet, the Delft Ars Vocalis searched books and online sources for a variety of poems for the composers to create music for. “They found both an English and a Dutch version of ‘I dare you’ and put them both on the list for the composers to select. They did not expect for both to be selected but when it happened they decided to go with it,” said Jack, who is also the author of Skin, her second volume of verse (HNP, 2006).

Having her work selected for not one but two musical scores in one concert is probably part of what literary and culture critic Fabian Badejo means when he advises St. Martin and other Caribbean writers in his book Salted Tongues to, “Publish and be blessed.” “How else would a lone and unknown writer starting out anywhere eventually manage to get his or her work known somewhere and used in a variety of ways?” said HNP president Jacqueline Sample.

“This has been a busy year for Drisana, with art exhibitions and poetry readings. We’re very proud of her and inspired by her pursuit of excellence in her work,” said Sample.


Police tipped off of gun fired during funeral, suspect arrested for illegal fire-arm possession

CAPE BAY - Acting on information coming into the Police Department that at the Funeral of the late Emilien Kruythoff which took place in on Friday September 26th at the Cape Bay Cemetery several persons at that ceremony would be carrying fire-arms, several police officers conducted an operation to locate these fire-arms.

There were reports of several shots being fired in the air at the cemetery. During the investigation a gun was found in the vehicle the man with the initials L.R. (30) was driving.

He was arrested for illegal fire-arm possession and taken to the Philipsburg Police Station where he remains for questioning. The fire-arm was also confiscated for further investigation. No one was injured. (Contributed Police Force Sint Maarten)


Four Arrested as Suspects in Family Dream Supermarket Armed Robbery

COLE BAY - On Wednesday September 24th at approximately 12.45 p.m. several police patrols were directed to Family Dream Supermarket located on the Well road in Cole bay to investigate an armed robbery which took place at that establishment shortly before.

The report stated that a young man dressed completely in dark clothing with his face covered and brandishing a handgun stormed into the supermarket and while threatening the cashier forced her to handover the money. After committing this act the suspect fled on foot through the nearby streets. 

The investigating officers started a search in the area which led to a house on the Union road. This house is well known to police, as a place where young men would sit under the trees to sell and use drugs. At that address four young men were sitting under the trees next to an old car.

During a search of this vehicle several pieces of clothing and footwear matching the description of the clothing and footwear the suspect was wearing were found during the robbery. As the search continued a black revolver was found in the dashboard of the car.

The clothing and weapon were confiscated for further investigation. All four suspects with initials J.L. (19), J.G (29), G.L.C (20) and J.R.S (23) were arrested in connection with this investigation and taken to the Philipsburg Police Station for questioning. The investigation into this case in ongoing. (Contributed by Police Force Sint Maarten)


Minister Lake Commends SHTA on Level of Discussion and Approach to Issues

PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake, says he would like to commend the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) for its high level of discussion at its recent Annual General Meeting.

“We have to lift the bar, and the SHTA is one organization in our community that is doing that.  They also approach issues on a professional constructive level, and this is the type of approach that needs to be continued.

“Public-private partnership is the way to move our country forward.  I would like to use this opportunity to commend the SHTA and other organizations that are keeping the level of national development and moving our country forward on a high level.

“At this time I would like to congratulate all those working in the tourism and hospitality sector on the occasion of World Tourism Day which will be celebrated here and abroad and around the globe on Saturday, September 27.

“We must be thankful for all who works in this sector that runs the economic engine of our country.  I take my hat off to you for a job well done and to keep up the good work,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Thursday.


Robbery suspect arrested

SUCKER GARDEN - On Tuesday, September 23rd the young man with initials G.O.R.B. (19) for whom a warrant for his arrest was issued, suspected of committing several robberies have been arrested by police on the Sucker Garden road. The suspect did not resist during his arrest. He was taken to the Philipsburg Police Station where he remains in custody pending further investigation. (Contributed by Police Force Sint Maarten)


Public Plenary Session of the House Rescheduled for Friday

PHILIPSBURG – A public Plenary Session of the House of Parliament that was scheduled for September 24th has been rescheduled for September 26th.  There was no quorum on Wednesday for the meeting.

The Plenary Session is set for Friday at 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The first agenda point is incoming business; second agenda point is related to the discussion on two resolutions adopted by the Tripartite meeting requesting the Kingdom of Government to request the Kingdom Council of State to advise on the actions of the Kingdom Government with regards to the instruction given to the Governor of Sint Maarten and the Governor of Aruba, as well as the introduction of an independent institution that will issue binding rulings in strictly legal disputes within the Kingdom.

The third agenda point is a draft National Ordinance regarding changes to the 2014 Budget.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet, and also via

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