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Controls on illegal parking leads to 46 fines and 26 vehicles towed

PHILIPSBURG - Between Friday August 18th and Sunday August 20th traffic controls were conducted in the Philipsburg area on illegal parking mainly on Front Street and Back Street.

These controls were done by the Police Bike patrol reinforced by the police cadets who are presently doing the practical part of their training. These controls were held apart from the regular controls that are done during the day.

The controls were held during the night time when persons who are in the Philipsburg area would illegally park their vehicle. The area that was mainly covered during these controls was between School Steeg/ Voges Street/ Emma Plein and Back Street.

All drivers are advised not to park illegally at anytime while in Philipsburg because controls will continue. During these controls, a total of 46 fines were given and 26 vehicles towed. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

police fines

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Excitement for Mayweather and McGregor Fight

MAHO - The excitement surrounding the Mayweather / McGregor fight around this phenomenal sports spectacle is at its height, according to a press release. At 40 years old Floyd Mayweather, known as the best fighter of his time is coming out of retirement to once again flex his muscles.  

None-the-less Conner McGregor’s confidence remains unwavered. This mega fight is not to be missed.  

Current predictions estimate this fight alone can earn up to $175 million! Don’t miss out on the Sports action, enjoy the fight at Casino Royale in the Royale Theater on the largest screen on the island in Maho Village.

Place your bets right in their in-house Sports Book!  Does McGregor stand a fighting chance? 


Minister of Social and Labour Affairs Arrested

SINT MAARTEN/ARUBA – Reports coming out of Aruba say that the Minister of Social, Youth and Labour Affairs, Drs. P.F.T. Croes was arrested at his home on Monday morning by local authorities in connection with an on-going investigation.

The Minister is suspected to be involved in a fraud case related to work permits for non-residents.

An employee of the Minister was also arrested in connection with the same investigation earlier this month.  The employee remains in custody and is suspected of money laundering and bribery.

Additional arrests have not been ruled out by the Aruban Public Prosecution Service in connection with the investigation.  The Minister remains in custody for questioning.


Workshop on “Choosing a Career or Study” to be held on August 24

PHILIPSBURG – With the new academic school year well on it is way, students in their last two years of school or those who recently completed secondary school will no doubt be thinking ‘What is next?’ They may also be wondering what approach to take.

Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs is here to help. On August 24, 2017, SSSD is organizing an interactive workshop entitled, “Choosing a Career or Study.” This workshop is geared primarily for the abovementioned students. This free of charge workshop will be held at the University of St. Martin from 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.

This workshop will address choosing a career path, overcoming being undecided about a major or study at college/university, exploring various career options, and not overlooking other career options.

According to SSSD officials, by attending this workshop, students will explore what their interest may be, what skills they may enjoy using, and how these interests and skills (amongst other factors) can tie into choosing a career or study. They also stress that exploration is very essential.

Students are encouraged to be on time. Students are also encouraged to contact the career guidance counselors, Ms. Lambert or Mr. Chance, at 543-1235 for more information on the “Choosing a Career or Study” workshop. Persons interested in attending are also encouraged to register early for this workshop.

The SSSD office is located in the Amigo Building across from the Police Station and next to the WIB. SSSD provides many services to students. Some services include: psychological services, counseling services, social work services, educational diagnostic services, career services, and parent education.


Rotary continues with beautification efforts

SIMPSON BAY - On Saturday, August 19, members of the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten assembled at the Rotary Roundabout adjacent to the Causeway Bridge, to continue their beautification efforts. 

Last week the team worked to unveil a refurbished Bus Stop Shelter in Point Blanche, and this week the team worked to remove over 500 pounds of weeds and rubbish from the Rotary Roundabout. 

Just another small example of Rotary in action on Sint Maarten.


MP Wescot inquires about GEBE’s electricity supply and load shedding

PHILIPSBURG - With the recent spikes (again) in electricity outages/load shedding and GEBE's statements regarding same, such as regular maintenance, unexpected stoppages, safety concerns, overheating and such, MP Wescot urgently requested Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure, the Honorable Mr. Christophe Emmanuel to answer the following questions:

1.What do you think is the structural problem with respect to electricity supply on St. Maarten? Under normal circumstances, even unexpected and unforeseen outages would have been incorporated in capacity and or demand projections to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply as much as possible.

2.Is the problem an overall shortage of production capacity?

3.If so, what is the short-term remedy?

4.Does GEBE possess the financial capacity to invest if this is indeed the underlying problem?

5.If so, hope quickly will GEBE invest in the expansion of production capacity?

6.How soon can the water supply contract be amended to stop the overpayment for water, currently in excess of $ 800.000,--?

If none of the above is relevant to the outages and load shedding which is taking on unacceptable proportions, what is the problem with reliable electricity supply on St. Maarten?

In her letter to Minister Emmanuel, MP Wescot made reference to the Governing Program 2016-2020: "Stability for Prosperity", where it states;

〉  Introduce alternative fuel for GEBE in order to reduce the cost of  electricity and stabilize the fuel clause.

〉  Promote grid level storage of solar and wind energy

〉  Promote through a public private partnerships the realization of a fuel farm .

Stimulate and support clean, renewable and affordable.

〉 Review the management and distribution of drinking water

energy and water management infrastructure.


〉 Install solar powered street lighting to reduce the energy consumed initiatives.

In a subsequent letter, Wescot also addressed GEBE’s electricity supply versus the demand for such, which has been under constant discussion lately again and many consumers are awaiting clarity regarding GEBE’s "buy back" from individual consumers any overage these consumers might generate through alternative forms of energy; 

Considering an initiative undertaken by the DP faction in Parliament in 2012, Minister Emmanuel was asked to inform if and what initiatives have been undertaken by government and or GEBE NV to address this matter of "buy back/sale to GEBE.

The MP further queried:

Are there any existing stumbling blocks in the way of this development?

What are these?

Are they technical or legislative in nature? Is this a priority for government? If so, pls. provide a timeline of actions in connection herewith.

In order to assess Government’s actions against its Governing Program, the MP in her letter to the Minister referred to the 2016-2020 Governing Program "Stability for Prosperity, namely the stated initiatives:

Implement the Energy Policy Plan

〉  Review and intensify the Energy Policy Plan

〉  Approve legislation for the Energy-Buy-Back policy

〉  Review and where necessary amend the electricity concession


Relocation of Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Offices to the New Government Building

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Division for Educational Innovation, would like to inform the general public that the following offices that fall under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, will be relocated to the new Government Building at Soualiga Road on Pond Island.

The relocation takes place during the week of Monday, August 21 to Friday, August 25.

The four offices that will be relocated from the current location at Vlaun Office Park to the new Government Building are: Department of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport; Department of Culture; Department of Sport; and Department of Youth.

The fifth office which is currently located next to Compass Insurances, the Division Educational Innovation, will also be relocated during the course of next week to the Government Building on Pond Island.

During this period, communication to the abovementioned offices will be at a minimum in order to facilitate staff to prepare for the move and to set-up at their new location.

The five offices will re-open as of Monday, August 28.  Once set-up has been complete, the Division for Educational Innovation, will inform the public about the new telephone contact numbers.

The division apologizes for any inconvenience caused and looks forward to their continued and improved services at their new and professional offices at the new Government Building on Pond Island.


Reminder Toddler Time at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library this Saturday

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – ‘Toddler Time,’ which is part of the commemoration of World Breastfeeding Week 2017 and observed every beginning of August, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 19. 

‘Toddler Time’ is being organized by the section Youth Health Care (YHC) from the Department of Collective Prevention Service (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour.

‘Toddler Time’ will take place at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library toddler room from 10.00AM to 12.00PM, and therefore, you are urged to mark your calendar with respect to the aforementioned date.

Storytelling will be done by Shanella Romney-James.   

The goal through storytelling is to get the parents involved with the kids learning abilities. Studies have shown that kids that breastfeed tend to be smarter. The focus is not only on the breastfeeding kids, but about different facets of child development. 


Anna Rabess-Richardson inducted as Director for Miss Teen International

SIMPSON BAY - Mrs. Anna Rabess - Richardson, CEO and Founder of Posh Productions has been inducted as a Director for Miss Teen International and looks forward, via Posh Productions to host the Miss Teen St. Maarten International Pageant in Spring 2018.

On Wednesday August 16, 2017, International Pageants CEO Mr. Mel Richardson, Executive Director Mrs. Mary Richardson, in the presence of Mrs. Anna Rabess-Richardson, were welcomed and thanked by the Honorable Prime Minister William Marlin for this great milestone and opportunity to promote St. Maarten at the Princess Juliana International Airport.

This pageant system has three different levels, Teen, Miss and Mrs. and Posh Productions has been awarded the teen level and once successfully held, will proceed with the Miss and Mrs. Pageants.

Being inducted as a director means that St. Maarten is the first Caribbean island, with the pageant being based in the Caribbean that will be taking part in this pageant.
The pageant have about 90 contestants coming from the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and Africa that are sent annually to compete for the crown.

This pageant can be compared to the Miss USA, Miss America, Miss Universe and Miss World.

“This is very big for St. Maarten, St. Maarten has been only competing in regional pageants in Anguilla, St. Kitts, Nevis and Antigua but now have the opportunity to compete on an international platform” stated Mrs. Rabess-Richardson.

This connection was made possible by Hilary Grant, a former queen herself who was a guest judge at this year’s Posh Production’s pageants. Through her experience, she felt that Mrs. Rabess-Richardson and Posh Productions were capable of handling the international pageant system. 

After the introduction and recommendation, Mrs. Mary Richardson and Mrs. Anna Rabess-Richardson held discussions and handled the paper work necessary to be a part of the pageant. Mr. Richardson also added that he took the time to "Google" Mrs. Rabess-Richardson.

The connection and excitement from both the International Pageants and Posh Productions is mutual.

Mrs. Mary Richardson, Executive Director of International Pageants stated “We are super excited, we feel that it’s a good fit. Anna’s passion for the scholarship and the importance of these young women growing is exactly what we are looking for when we are looking for a director plus we love the island, we have been coming to St. Maarten for over 10 years, it’s our second home. Anna has the vision that we have, she understands the importance of the platform, the importance of the microphone we are giving these women.”

“One of the beautiful things about this is that when we host our Miss Teen St. Maarten International pageant, the winner stands a chance, with a 3.2 GPA (equivalent to 80+ avg) to win a $17,500 annual tuition to the prestigious Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia in the United States for 4 years” elaborated Mrs. Rabess–Richardson on the scholarship opportunity.

International Pageant’s mission is to make a difference. At the end of the day, we all leave this place and the question is, did you leave it a better place?” Mr. Mel Richardson, CEO of International Pageants asked.

“Making a Difference” is in line with the mission and vision of Posh Productions which is to promote philanthropy through strong community-based services and to foster good-will ambassadors by encouraging individual growth, personal platforms and community involvement.

Following the induction, Posh Productions will be hosting the inaugural Miss Teen St. Maarten International Pageant in St. Maarten in Spring 2018 and the winner will go on to the USA to compete in the national competition.

Once launched, Posh Productions is seeking to have the pageant as a district pageant in comparison to the United States where various states compete for the crown.

“I would like to truly thank the Honorable Prime Minister William Marlin and Mrs. Marlin for their continued support of Posh Productions and our efforts to elevate St. Maarten on the pageant platform. I'm truly grateful that the Prime Minister sees the vision and supports the mission.

Thanks to Keoma Hamer, The Marketing Department at SXM Airport, DCOMM, The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, Hilary Grant and Chiaira Bowers. Thank you to each of you for your role and support in making today possible and a success” said Mrs. Rabess – Richardson.

Mrs. Rabess–Richardson, reflecting on this milestone, concluded by saying, “This is a dream come true for me and I intend to take St. Maarten even further”.


TelEm Group maintenance works in Betty’s Estate, Saunders and Almond Grove Thurs. and Sat.

POND ISLAND - TelEm Group technicians will be carrying out important repair and maintenance works in several areas around the island Thursday and Saturday, as a result, voice and data services for residential and business customers will be affected.

The maintenance works will begin Thursday, August 17, in the Almond Grove area from 8:00 am in the morning until approximately 1:00 pm in the afternoon when work is scheduled to be completed. Amongst the roads affected by the maintenance works are: Almond Grove Road, Calabash Road and Mountain Ebony Road.

A different team of technicians will be carrying out repairs to a telecommunication cable that feeds residential and business clients in the Betty’s Estate and Saunders areas from 6:00 a.m. until approximately 4:00 p.m. Saturday, August 19.

In both cases the repair and maintenance works are being carried out to improve and enhance telecommunication services.

TelEm Group takes this opportunity to apologize to customers for any inconvenience caused in the areas mentioned above, where repair and maintenance works will be carried out.

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