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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (1480)

Official Police Report about Fatal Accident on L.B. Scot Road

CUL DE SAC, Sint Maarten - On Wednesday May 28th at approximately 04.10 a.m. the Police Central Dispatch received a call informing them that a very serious accident had taken place on the corner of L.B. Scot road/Isis road in Cul-de-Sac, and that the driver of the car was seriously injured.

Immediately several police patrols, paramedics and Fire Department were directed to the scene. On the scene the investigating officers found a totally destroyed blue Ford Edge with license plate M-6380 in the yard of the house on that crossing with the driver trapped inside of the vehicle. Immediately that section of L.B. Scot road was closed off by police, while Fire Department went to work with the “jaws of life” cutting the vehicle open to reach the victim in order give him the necessary medical treatment.

However, Dr. Mercuur arrived shortly after and pronounced the death of the victim. After the victim was removed from the wreck he was taken to the morgue. The investigation by the Traffic Department thus far shows that the victim was traveling at very high speed coming from the St. Peters area in the direction of the Churchill Round-a-bout.

The victim lost control of the vehicle, destroying the concrete fence and a wooden structure on the premises and colliding with a pick-up parked in the yard. The impact totally destroyed the Ford Edge and trapping the victim in the vehicle.

As more information regarding this investigation becomes available the media will be informed.

The victim has been identified as Curtis Heyliger and is the son of Theodore Heyliger Leader of the UPP-party. Deepest sympathy from the Police Department goes out to the family and friends of the victim. (Official Police Report from the Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Transfer Passengers at SXM Airport up by 21 per cent in First Quarter

SIMPSON BAY, Sint Maarten - Transfer passengers at the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM increased by 21% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2013. This was disclosed by SXM at a recent meeting of the Air Service Development Committee (ASDC) made up of representatives of all the hub partners of SXM.

According to a presentation made by SXM at the meeting, St. Barths is the largest connection market out of SXM with 9,600 passengers, followed by Charles De Gualle, Paris, with 4,033 passengers, and BVI with 1,308 passengers. St. Eustatius with 1,176 passengers and Anguilla with 1,111 connecting passengers complete the top five markets.

SXM stated that the idea of a hub is to enhance air travel and give passengers the option of more flights, more frequency, and more services. It added that minimizing the travel time between the destination where the trip originated and the final destination is key to the success of a hub. SXM intends to continue to attract more passengers by working with all airlines to have Interline agreements that would encourage more passengers to use the airport as a hub, he said.

SXM further disclosed that it will be working with SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, to improve the boarding pass scanning system. This will allow for the capturing of transfer passenger demographics and information and provide a more accurate estimate of transfer passenger information.

With over one million Canadians visiting Cuba annually and another 850,000 traveling to the Dominican Republic, SXM said that targeting Canadian carriers to increase passenger connection through its facility will be a priority. For example, if WestJet were to focus transfer passenger movement to the hub islands, this will increase flight frequencies from three to five weekly.

 

The factors necessary to improve the hub function of SXM were identified as determining the air travel market sizes by origin cities and countries; seeking new long-haul air routes;  entering into Interline agreements with airlines that currently service SXM and group budgeting and joint marketing by the hub partners.

 

The meeting, hosted by SXM, was the second for the ASDC, which is seeking to foster, and support the promotion and development of new flight routes to and from the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM with the intention of increasing connectivity of the visitors to their final destination.

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Prime Minister emphasizes need to prepare for natural disasters

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams during a recent radio interview stressed the importance for St. Maarten in cooperating with regional organizations to mitigate the effects of Climate Change and natural disasters.

The Prime Minister stated that proper information going out to the public and technical cooperation in regional organizations such as the Association of Caribbean States is crucial in ensuring the effects of calamities are reduced on St. Maarten; “Information and awareness is key and in the absence thereof you could have a situation where, after an earthquake like the one that shook us some ten days ago for example, some panic and confusion is created within the community.

“We know from history that an earthquake can trigger a tsunami. People realize the connection and start to wonder about what is happening and as soon as one person says something it starts to live a life of its own without correct and official information. It is therefore very important that we inform the population regarding what is occurring on a regional and local scale with regards to disaster management.

During the recent Association of Caribbean States meeting in Mexico strong emphasis was placed on a common system for the warning of natural disasters. Sint Maarten does not have the capacity to handle all of these issues and so being a part of an organization such as the ACS strengthens the capacity for St. Maarten and other smaller islands.

“It can do no harm to constantly revisit our disaster management organization and make sure that the lines of communication and the hierarchy are clear on who is supposed to do what and when it should be done. The other issue is that we need to address the effects and mitigate the future effects of Natural Disasters, including those that will be brought on by Climate Change. Particularly due Especially due to our small size we must not ignore this issue and address these effects it will have on our way of life,” commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.  (Cabinet of the Prime Minister)

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Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams meets Outgoing Commander of Dutch Navy

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams received a courtesy visit from the outgoing commander of the Dutch Navy Brigadier General Dick Swijgman and his successor Hans Lodder at her Cabinet on Thursday.

The Prime Minister was updated on the change in command and the operational aspect of the Dutch Navy’s presence in the Caribbean. Commander Hans Lodder will receive the command of the Dutch Navy in the Caribbean when he will replace brigadier general Dick Swijgman.

Lodder will also be director of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard. The Commander of the Dutch Naval Forces in the Caribbean is the highest military representative in the region and monitors the performance of the duties imposed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch Military is tasked with the protection of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba. 

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Turnout for Parlatino Committee Meetings nearly 90 per cent

MAHO REEF, Sint Maarten – The President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell is very pleased with the turnout to the three committee meetings of Parlatino that were held on May 22 and May 23 when the country hosted Members of Parliament and support staff from the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

The meetings took place at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino saw attendance nearing 90 per cent. The committees that met were: Economic Affairs, Social Debt and Regional Development; Committee of Energy & Mines; and Committee of Political Affairs, Municipal and Integration.


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NIA showcase well received at Parlatino's opening reception

MAHO REEF, Sint Maarten—National Institute of the Arts (NIA) showcased St. Maarten’s culture and talent at the Parlatino Committee Meeting’s opening reception held at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino on Thursday, May 22.

The performance arts institution, known for both its cultural and contemporary repertoire, was charged with adding aspects of arts to the evening.

“The organizers of this event recognize that to showcase a nation's culture, you cannot really do it just through a speech, you have to involve the arts. You need an artistic element to capture the full St. Maarten story. So for them to recognize that and also that NIA is the premiere vehicle from which to display our island’s culture strengthens our awareness that we are on the right path as an arts institution,” Co-Director of NIA, Arlene Halley said.

NIA presented two dances and a medley of St. Maarten’s cultural songs, which highlighted folkloric, Latin and modern contemporary elements. The initial dance was an upbeat piece paying tribute to the polka and Latin influences on the island and was danced to the music of the island’s legendary Tanny and The Boys. The mixture of songs was sung by vibrant trio, Morenika Charles-Arrindell, Lena Browne, and Malaika Maxwell. The second dance, PAC-B-13, is a modern contemporary number, which was choreographed by NIA instructors Peggy Oulerich and EoIia “Bibi” Ada, along with Co-Directors Arlene Halley and Clara Reyes and is named for the quartet.

Each piece seemed to delight the attending guests and earned high applause.

We always bring strong performance elements to all that we do, making sure that each piece tells a story about who we are as a St. Maarten people. When it comes to cultural heritage and its preservation we often hear about all of these wonderful buildings or natural spaces, but it is really the people who create the experiences that are had in the buildings or spaces, so it is the people that really create the legacies that live on and that is what NIA is all about, creating a lasting legacy of arts,” Co-Director of NIA, Clara Reyes said.

Latin American ParliamentParlatino is comprised of regional National Latin American and Caribbean Parliaments. The organization held its annual representatives meeting on St. Maarten last week.



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Green Friday's and Drive UP becoming Popular Trends

SUCKER GARDEN-PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The United People’s (UP) party has started a “Green Friday” tradition asking all those interested to wear the colour green every Friday.  On May 23rd the party also introduced “Drive UP” in the district of Sucker Garden and on the Pondfill.  Driver’s passing along the route could pull over and have their vehicle partly adorn with UP paraphernalia.  The UP Drive will be moving into the various voting districts in the coming weeks Soualiga Newsday has understood.

According to an UP party sympathizer who was on the scene at both locations, dozens of cars and trucks pulled to the side, and people were asking when they would be coming to their district.  “There is a green momentum building and the UP Party will be victorious on the night of August 29 sweeping more than eight seats,” the party supporter said.  

The UP party is one of the political organizations that will be participating in the upcoming national elections scheduled for August 29.  The UP party was the first political organization to register with the Electoral Council which took place on March 19, more than two-months ago.

The Electoral Council announced this week that political parties have until May 28 to register for the polls.

Postulation of candidates by political parties participating in the August 29 elections will officially take place on July 18.  Political parties will also have to present their party manifesto to the Electoral Council on that day.

Political parties will then move into full gear organizing various public district meetings to introduce their candidates to the people and address the issues and present their party’s solutions for the next four-year governing period. 

This will be the nation’s second national elections since achieving the status of autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands on 10-10-10.

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PM holds special meeting with Kingdom Youth Parliament Delegation

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams met with the St. Maarten delegation of the Kingdom Youth Parliament at the A.C Wathey Legislative Hall on Friday to personally congratulate the Youth Parliamentarians and their coaches Franklyn Richards and Connie Francis.

The Prime Minister stressed how impressed she was and mentioned that St. Maarten can rest assured that its political future is secure considering the performance at the 1st ever Kingdom Youth Parliament: “I want to extend warm words of congratulations to all of you for your performance during the Kingdom Youth Parliament just a couple of days ago. You did a wonderful job and it is clear that with your commitment you were able to do an excellent job giving a dynamic and powerful presentation.

“I am extremely proud of our young people, how you were able to leave the historical baggage aside and to see how we can make cooperation happen. you have come up with some very concrete actions that they will undertake. It must have been a wonderful experience for all of you and all of us on St. Maarten can learn a thing or two from them.

“It is in Parliament that decisions are made and that laws are made; laws that governs our lives. The whole matter of debating is so important, it is important to be able to speak with authority on laws and proposals. That is a critical part of a Parliament, youth or otherwise. I know that our young people when called to step up to the plate do so with conviction and I said wow look at the future leaders of our country,” commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams. 

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams for her part was thanked for her contribution to politics and for her inspiration to the team with regards to being able to speak with authority on various issues important to Country St. Maarten and for supporting the Kingdom Youth Parliament.

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Prime Minister to Meet with Kingdom Youth Parliament Friday

POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams attended various sessions of the Kingdom Youth Parliament, held for the first time on St. Maarten this past week at the University of St. Maarten.

The Prime Minister also had a brief meeting with Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix who was on island to officially open the Kingdom Youth Parliament, whose president Ms. Trumane Trotman hails from Sint Maarten. During the opening Ceremony the PM also interacted with the Youth Parliamentarians answering various questions. The PM will be meeting with members of the Kingdom Youth Parliament on Friday. 

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Central Committee and Plenary Session of Parliament Scheduled for May 26

Central Committee and Plenary Session planned for Monday

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – A Central Committee and Plenary session of the House of Parliament is planned for May 26th regarding a number of issues.  

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

The two point agenda for the committee meeting is the composition of the delegation that will be traveling to the Netherlands for the Kingdom Parliament consultation that takes place in The Hague from June 3 to 6.  The second agenda is an amendment of article 36 of the Rules of Order.

The plenary session of the House is set for 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber.

The first agenda regards the proposed merger between TELEM and UTS. This particular agenda point was requested by three independent Members of Parliament namely, Hon. Frans Richardson, MP Hon. Patrick Illidge, and MP Hon. Dr. Lloyd Richardson.

The second agenda point is the amendment of article 36 of the Rules of Order; third agenda is a discussion on the institution of a joint legislation academy in accordance with the agreement list dated April 9, 2014 of the Tripartite Meeting.

The fourth agenda is a discussion on the UNICEF report in accordance with the aforementioned agreement list that came out of the Tripartite meeting.

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 sessions 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. and www.sxmislandtime.com  

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