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Permanent Committee of CECYSA to Meet with Lions Club on Tuesday

PHILIPSBURG – ThePermanent Committee of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs (CECYSA) of Parliament, will be meeting with the St. Maarten Lions Club on April 7

The Permanent Committee meeting is set for Tuesday at 9.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The first agenda point is a presentation by the St. Maarten Lions Club regarding under-age drinking and parental responsibility.  The second agenda point is approval of the decision lists CECYSA Parliamentary Year 2014-2015, no. 1-6.

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 www.pearlfmradio.com and via www.sxmparliament.org.

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Young man hangs himself on Thursday

CUPECOY - On Thursday April 2nd at approximately 08.00 a.m. police was sent to Porto Cupecoy to investigate a case involving a young man who was not showing any signs of life. On the scene the investigating officers encountered the lifeless body of a young man who had lost his life by hanging.

His parents stated that they had no idea why the victim would take his own life. The Forensic Department and Detective Department are investigating this case to determine what exactly happened however thus far the investigation does not show any signs of foul play. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Grand Carnival Parade meeting on Thursday

PHILIPSBURG - An important Grand Carnival Parade meeting will be held on Thursday, April 2 at 7:00pm at the Government Administration Building in Philipsburg.

The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) is inviting all troupe leaders, corporate entities and others who plan to be part of the parade to attend this meeting.

President of the SCDF Mike Granger explained that the foundation is “hearing” about groups and others that are planning on being part of the parade, but these groups has not yet contacted the foundation.

“Sometimes folks are of the impression that they can just show up and be in the parade. It doesn’t work that way. You have to be registered with us and fully aware of all rules and regulations. So we urge everyone interested in being part of the parade to attend the meeting on Thursday evening,” he said. (SCDF)

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National Household Budget Survey Gets Underway April 1

PHILIPSBURG - Following some minor adjustments to the 11-form questionnaire, as well as to some back-end processes, coming out of the PILOT last February, Department STAT and its interviewers are fully prepared to start the Household Budget Survey on April 1st 2015.

STAT recently concluded a 3-day ‘refresher’ training for the 14 interviewers who are tasked with the confidential gathering of data from households, concerning their income and expenditure patterns. The survey aims to capture a recent picture of the total budget of an average household on St. Maarten, and determine what portion of a households’ income is spent on various categories of goods & services.

The UN recommends carrying out such a national survey atleast once in the 5 to 7 years. Results from this sample-based survey, will enable STAT to make updated calculations of inflation and cost-of-living over the next 5-year period; it will also provide input to determine a poverty-line on the island.

Approximately 1,000 households have been randomly selected across Dutch St. Maarten to participate. For those selected, your participation is mandatory according to the Statistics National Ordinance (AB 2013, GT no.450).

The data-collection will be spread over a period of 9 months until December 2015. During this time, selected households will be required to participate for a specific period, either the first or final 14 days within a particular month.

Households will be asked to make note of every expenditure made during this14-day period and to save receipts of their purchases. They will also be asked about purchases made in previous months, and this data will be collected with the help of the STAT interviewer via tablets.

STAT has already made contact with many of the selected households, to give extra information about the survey, in addition to confirming a convenient period for the household, obtaining a household contact and informing on which STAT interviewer can be expected.    

Given the level of details and sometimes sensitivity involved with this survey, STAT has partnered with Cost-U-Less, Le Grand Marche, Sunny Foods, United Telecommunication Services and the TelEm Group, to offer all households who have successfully completed their participation a redeemable voucher, as a token of appreciation.

STAT looks forward to the continued support from the St. Maarten community on this initiative and reminds households to ‘Box that Receipt!’

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Facility Management Head Martina gets first-hand look in the latest surveillance and security equipment at Mobotix Conference

GREAT BAY (DCOMM) – Head of Facility Management Rick Martina at the Ministry of General Affairs recently returned from attending a conference in Miami that featured Mobotix security cameras.

The Government of Sint Maarten received a participation award as an end user of Mobotix surveillance equipment which is used to monitor its facilities and keep civil servants and members of the Council of Ministers safe and secure.

Mobotix has been producing megapixel cameras exclusively since 2003 and is regarded the global leader for high resolution video systems.

Breathe-IT is an information and communication technology company who is the authorized distributor of Mobotix technologies.  Breathe-IT was founded in 2006 on Bonaire with the goal to offer up to date, quality network management and installation services, computer hardware and software, computer accessories and security devices.

Breathe-IT has been the authorized distributor of Mobotix since 2007, and created the first Mobotix training facility in the Caribbean in 2012.  

The security of government facilities falls under the Department of Facility Management.  In 2014, Martina attended a course with respect to the technology being used.

Martina at the conference was able to gather information and get to see first-hand the latest in camera technology.  The trip is related to having cameras installed in the new Government Building.  There will be a Security Room where security staff will be able to monitor the entire complex and its outside perimeter.

The Government already has various Mobotix cameras installed in different offices and at several facilities such as the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, Public Service Center Simpson Bay, Department of Civil Registry, and the Government Administration Building.

The company that installs the government security cameras is Security Concepts & Solutions NV.

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Possible shooting at Zagersgut road/Tassel road

CUL DE SAC - On Saturday March 28th 2015 at about 9.30 p.m. a report came into the Police Central Dispatch of a possible shooting which took place on the corner of Zagersgut road and Tassel road in Cul-de-Sac.

The forensic department came to the scene and collected evidence for the investigation. In the meanwhile Detectives spoke to potential witnesses, because, it is still unclear what took place and why.

According to the information that came in, the shooting took place after a heated argument between two unknown men. Thus far into the investigation no one seems to have been injured.

The police would like to ask witnesses to come forward and inform them via the (anonymous) tip line #9300 or talk to one of the detectives in person about what happened on that Saturday, March 28th around 9.30 p.m. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Calling All KIDS: Library and Rotaract host Easter egg hunt on April 4th

PHILIPSBURG - On Saturday, the 4th of April, the Philipsburg Jubilee Library will be hosting its grand annual Easter egg hunt, in collaboration with the Rotaract Club of St. Maarten Sunrise. The event, which is for children aged 4-10 years old, will take place at the library from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm.

During the Easter egg hunt, there will be lots of fun activities, such as: face painting, games, and storytelling and, of course, the Easter egg hunt. All children taking part in this event will receive a special “goody bag” to take home. Registration fee will be $5 per child. Pizza, drinks and snacks will be on sale.

The Easter bunnies will be paying the library a visit again this year to make their special face painting creations. During storytelling, children will listen to some of the dedicated Story Time volunteers, while they read from their favorite children’s stories about Easter.

To participate in the Easter egg hunt, please register at the library before Thursday, April 2nd. Space is limited, so parents are urged to register their child as early as possible to secure their spot. For more information, call the library at 542-2970. (Philipsburg Jubilee Library)

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Central Committee Meeting scheduled for Monday about Draft National Ordinance to Establish Integrity Chamber

PHILIPSBURG – TheCentral Committee of Parliament will meet in public session on March 30. The Minister of General Affairs Hon. Marcel Gumbs will be present for the House session.

The public Central Committee meeting is set for Monday at 2.00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The three point agenda is: the draft National Ordinance for the establishment of a Integrity Chamber; second agenda point is approval of the travel schedule for the year 2015 in connection with Committee and Board of Directors meetings of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino); and the third agenda point is approval of the composition of the delegation and provisions for General Assembly of Parlatino from May 15-16.

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 www.pearlfmradio.com and via www.sxmparliament.org. 

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Wrigley Street Closed to Accommodate Funeral Attendance of the Late Mrs. Josiane Bell-Carty on Monday

COLE BAY – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) in collaboration with the Police Department, has authorized the road closure of the Wrigley Street in Colebay (conjunction between Welfare road and Tropicana Casino) to accommodate the large funeral attendance expected for the late wife of Pastor Franklin Bell, Mrs. Josiane Bell-Carty Monday March 30 between the hours of 12:00PM and 4:00PM.

Motorists and residents commuting to the airport, Simpson Bay area or points beyond are advised to utilize the alternative route through Wyoming Street.

Larger vehicles heading to said areas must avoid these routes between the hours of 12:00PM and 4:00PM and use the Causeway Bridge as an alternative to arrive at their desired destination.

Motorists and residents are requested to be mindful of the accommodations made to assist the funeral arrangements.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.

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Winners of TelCell Bachata Dance Off La Bamba

SIMPSON BAY - The first TelCell bachata competition was hosted at La Bamba. Six couples participated and in the end the couple both from the Dominican Republic "Leidy Lopez and Edward Lorenzo" was the crowd pleaser.

Leidy and Edward will be number one (1) when texting to "7511"on the TelCell SMS campaign which begins on Monday March 30th and will end on April 28. Only $0.50 per text.

For those still wishing to participate in the bachata dance off, the next opportunity will be Saturday March 28 at Rancho and again on Sunday March 29 at Son Latino.

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