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Soualiga Newsday Top Stories (2135)

Walichi Basketball Association and Motorworld and Jeep Presents Ladies Basketball Championship All Star Weekend a Success

SUCKER GARDEN - The weekend started off on Saturday December 13th with a 3 on 3 double Elimination Tournament amongst the various teams in the league. The 3 on 3 teams consisted of 2 females and 1 male to get a nice balance. The MGM Lightning had 2 Teams, Thunderz had 2 teams and Bush Tea Remedy had 1 team. The Thunderz Team 2 consisting of Tiana Lionel, Ashley Daniel and Chener won first place by winning all 3 games, the MGM Lightning Team 1 came out second place consisting of Jamaiah Newton-Herbert, Micaela Galva and Joshua Bowers. It was fun, interesting and different, especially playing on the outdoor court.

On the Sunday many activities continued for the All Star Weekend. It started off with the Skills Competition with 3 participants, namely Tsjaquilla Jeffrey and Shandria Lake of MGM Lightning, Tiana Lionel of Thunderz and Claudia Fleming of Cash 4 Gold Lava Girls. The skills competition consisted of different drills such as crossover, behind the back, Layup, defensive slides, elbow jumpshot and speed ladder. Tsjaquilla Jeffrey won the competition by a landslide. Shandria placed second and Claudia Fleming placed third.

The highly contested 3 Point Shootout consisted of 6 players which were Chantel Hodge and Ashley Daniel of Thunderz, Diasha Ferdinand, Selah Fleming and Claudia Fleming of Cash 4 Good Lava Girls and Shandria Lake of MGM Lightning. The final round was between Chantel Hodge, Selah Fleming and Claudia Fleming. Claudia Fleming was then named the 3 point shootout champion.

The LBC Celebrity Game was full of fun consisting of actors, singers, Dj's and various other professional functions in the community. The Celebrity Team consisting of Dutty Sham, Da Brat, Steve-O of Bush Boys, DJ Biggers, DT The Artist and LBC Commentator Latoya Lake won the game 35-28. The team was led by Steve-O of Bush Boys with 18 points and Dutty Sham with 10 points.

The other celebrity team consisted of King Vers, Junior Lion, Leona Marlin Romeo, SoloKween, Rene Violenus, Bettina Juminer and Jonelle Richardson was led by SoloKween with 11 points and King Vers with 7 points. It was a very entertaining game and the crowd was very into it.

The much anticipated game between the LBC North All Stars against LBC South All-stars was a very good one. The North All-stars lead 29-35 at the half and 57-43 after the third. The south team had a furious comeback in the fourth and cut the lead to 5 but fell short in the end and the LBC North All Stars won the game 66-60. 

The North Team was led by Tiana Lionel with 17 points and Claudia with 12 points and Salammbo Guibert - Soutade with 10.
The LBC South All Stars was led by Jamaiah Newton-Herbert with 22 points, Tsjaquilla Jeffrey with 13 and Shandria Lake with 8 points.

The Walichi Basketball Association would like to thank everyone who participated, assisted and attended the All Star Weekend activities.

The Ladies Basketball Championship is on a break and will resume on Saturday January 10th with the season.

Game Highlights, pictures, game scores and schedule can be viewed on the Facebook page ‘Ladies Basketball Championship’. Highlights and full games can be seen at www.youtube.com/walichibasketbal

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Minister Lake visits Down Street Cruise Heritage Development. Impressed with emphasis on cultural heritage and local entrepreneurship

POINT BLANCHE – Last week Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake, did a walk-through of the Down Street Cruise Heritage Development.

Port St. Maarten Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Mingo as well as other port officials was on hand to provide information to Minister Lake with respect to how the project is progressing.

Minister Lake was very pleased with the traditional local architecture that is being used to build the cabanas that depicts the ginger bread houses which are part of the national heritage.

“The project had some delays due to the shipping of materials and then the inclement weather that the country experienced.  Things are moving forward. 

“The essence of the project is to bring in the heritage value of the destination by showcasing the ginger bread homes of the past.  This is part of our cultural heritage and what makes us who we are.  It’s part of us and this is interesting to cruise and stay-over visitors.

“We already started marketing the development to our cruise partners.  The square at the development will feature one Dutch, a local and a vegan restaurant, along with assorted souvenir stores by local entrepreneurs.

“The port team went through a tedious process in interviewing and documenting local entrepreneurs who are interested in renting a place at the Down Street development.

“The Down Street Cruise Heritage Development is just one of several change community projects that will further enhance our country’s tourism product.  These types of projects in the various communities will anchor them into tourism.  It is a ground up approach where we want to bring back the rich traditional heritage of our forefathers and practice them today for our visitors to enjoy and at the same time learn about us as a people.

“This is the future where product enhancement is concerned. We are not only talking about cruise, but stay-over tourists as well.  No other destination has a duplicate of our cultural heritage.  We are all unique in each of our own way.  These change community projects will also be a showcase for our youth and generations to come,” CEO Mark Mingo pointed out.

In February 2014, CEO Mingo signed a contractual agreement with Windward Roads Infrastructure Director Jan Hendricks for the construction of Down Street Cruise Heritage Development. 

The approximately US$2 million project entails the construction of a square with six cabanas to be used for a bar/restaurant, the selling of arts and crafts and other tourist related goods; toilet/bathroom facilities; lockers; the square will be disabled accessible; parking for five taxi’s; parking on the beachside and around the area which is being discussed based on several proposals; small splash pool for kids; and one of the main features will be a water fountain illuminating 30 different lights at night.  The new square will also have 24-hour security.

The square is strategically located next to the Walter Plantz Tender Jetty which connects to the boardwalk/beach promenade, Down Street and Front Street which allows for a broader distribution flow of passengers. 

The square will be fully equipped for local musicians, artists and bands with a ‘plug and play entertainment’ feature. Entertainment is an important part of heritage square which will also feature a stage, speakers and a generator.

The plans for the Down Street Cruise Heritage Development go back to 2008 when the Walter Plantz Tender Jetty materialized.  Studies carried out pointed to this being the best concept for the Down Street area.

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21-Year Old Man Commits Suicide

UNION FARM - On Saturday December 13th at approximately 07.10 a.m. several patrols, Detectives and Forensic Department were sent to Honduras drive in Union Farm to investigate a possible suicide case.

On the scene the investigating officers spoke to the resident of that home who stated that her 21 year old son in law who recently was having some personal problems and who was last seen late Friday night had committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree at the back of the residence.

The victim was indeed found by the investigating officers hanging, in a sitting, position from a rope which was tied to a tree and was not showing any signs of life.

Dr. R. Douglas who arrived shortly after pronounced the death of the victim as a suicide.  The body of the victim was transported to a morgue. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Governor of Sint Maarten: We Need You for A Stronger Sint Maarten As A Pillar For A Stronger Kingdom

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands-SINT MAARTEN - The following remarks were delivered by His Excellency Governor Eugene B. Holiday at the UNITED SINT MAARTEN CONNECTION (USC) Foundation’s 1st Annual Christmas Gala Dinner at the HILTONDoubleTreein Amsterdam on December 13, 2014.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening,

I extend a warm Sint Maarten’s Season greetings to you, to all of you, on this cold December day from my wife Marie-Louise and yours truly.

To the USC board and in particular to your chairlady Ms. Melisa Gumbs, thank you so much for inviting us to your 1st Annual Christmas Gala Event. It is wonderful to be with you tonight. It’s good to be with my fellow Sint Maarteners and friends of Sint Maarten here in the Netherlands. Congratulations to the USC Board with this wonderful initiative and thank you for all that you do towards fostering the unity among Sint Maarteners here in the Netherlands.

It is my understanding that the theme for your Gala event is "Stronger Ties, Stronger Kingdom," and that you are paying special attention to the Kingdom Youth Parliament held in St. Maarten earlier this year. Your theme is both timely and fitting in light of the celebration of 200 years Kingdom and given that we are on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Kingdom Charter. As a result I have prepared a few words to share with you. Considering recent development I have enough material to talk about to keep you entertained or bored all evening. However, given the purpose of the evening I have limited my remarks to three main points on the theme, which I hope will inspire you.

On a first level, stronger ties and stronger Kingdom requires interaction and connection. In that context being here with you this evening reminds me of my student days in the Netherlands. When I first came to the Netherlands in 1979 there were few Sint Maarteners living and studying here.  It was therefore always wonderful to connect and meet with persons from back home. By the mid-1980s that had changed and pockets of Sint Maarteners were forming throughout the Netherlands. As a result my brother Clayton, Marie-Louise and I organized a Sint Maarten get together at my home in Tilburg and friends came from all over the country to get together, fellowship and share experiences with each other. On another occasion, I learned of another initiative in Arnhem from a younger generation of Sint Maarteners in the Netherlands at the time. I had not been invited and was quite interested to meet them, thus I kind of invited myself (for the record that is not a habit of mine). It was clear that the number of Sint Maarteners studying and living in the Netherlands were on the increase. And while we were seeking ways to keep connected, our ties and connection with this part of the Kingdom and vice-a-versa were also increasing. Today almost 3 decades later the USC is carrying on the tradition of bringing our people together and keeping us connected away from home amidst our interaction with this part of Kingdom. I applaud your individual and collective efforts and encourage you to keep on doing so. I say so because you cannot realize stronger ties and a stronger Kingdom without securing strong connected parts – in this case Sint Maarten – within the Kingdom.

On a second level, stronger ties and a stronger Kingdom requires a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other, both as Sint Maarteners and as respective citizens of the Kingdom. I therefor trust that you, in keeping with our Sint Maarten values of respect for self and for others will not only be exemplary representatives of Sint Maarten in the Netherlands but that you will also serve as examples for addressing the challenges we face today within Kingdom. And while that may not be easy, I recommend that you have faith and draw from and build on the concept, that a stronger Kingdom must be about brothers and sisters being in it together as each other’s keepers. That is in keeping with the iconic words of Queen Wilhelmina: “Steunend of eigen kracht, doch met de wil elkander bij te staan”. And what better time to promote the idea of being your brother’s and/or sister’s keeper than during the Christmas season.

On a third level, stronger ties and a stronger Kingdom requires the further building of Sint Maarten as a strong brother, country and equal partner within the Kingdom.  The building of Sint Maarten is a work in progress and in the past four years since obtaining the Status of Country within the Kingdom we have made progress. But we’ve got more, much more work to do and we need more people to continue the work. And who better to do so than you. Thus as you continue to study, work and build your connections and ties in the Netherlands, I wish to remind you that a stronger Sint Maarten and a stronger Kingdom depends on your contribution in the public, private and civic development of Sint Maarten. My brothers and sisters I say this because I believe that we won’t get where we need to go as individuals, as Sint Maarten or as a Kingdom if we as Sint Maarteners don’t take the wheel and travel down the road together. Sint Maarten needs you, you, you, yes all of us. It is because of that belief that I graduated from university on August 24th, 1987 and flew back to Sint Maarten on August 26, 1987. Now it does not have to be that extreme but I am sure you get the message.

In summary, it is imperative that you continue make connections, prepare and take steps to build a stronger Sint Maarten as a key pillar for a stronger Kingdom.

In closing, I commend USC for this wonderful initiative and remind you as Sint Maarteners and Friends of Sint Maarten present that the future rewards those who press on for good and for the progress of their own and others. For that is the spirit of the Christmas message.  It is with that prospect to press on for a stronger Sint Maarten with stronger ties and a stronger Kingdom that I hereby on behalf of my wife Marie-Louise and myself wish you Ms. Gumbs, the chairlady of the USC board, all USC board members and all present a wonderful evening and a joyous, safe and peaceful Christmas!

God bless you and God bless Sint Maarten.

The Governor of Sint Maarten

Eugene B. Holiday

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“Live Emergency Exercise” at SXM Airport Deemed a Success

SIMPSON BAY, SXM Airport - The Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, conducted a successful “Live Emergency Exercise” on Friday, December 12, 2014, in accordance with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO. This emergency exercise was preceded by a tabletop exercise, as is customary, which was conducted the preceding day.

The purpose of the exercise was to assess the level of preparedness and coordination between SXM Airport and the island’s emergency agencies in response to a simulated aircraft accident. The exercise tested the ability of SXM departments and the St. Maarten Emergency Support Function groups, as well as assisting emergency response agencies, to respond to and effectively manage an aircraft incident.

This live emergency exercise is essential in maintaining SXM’s aerodrome certification and is usually conducted every other year. Volunteers from the American University of the Caribbean medical school and high schools on the island including Academy PSVE and Milton Peters College participated in the drill as wounded passengers of a fictitious carrier that went down between airport Taxiways A and B. All government emergency groups were deployed for this exercise including the Ambulance Dept., Fire Dept., Police, etc.

According to Michel Hyman, SXM Operations Manager who functioned as the Coordinator of the Emergency Management Center, “the exercise was a great training opportunity for firefighters, emergency medical services, law enforcement, and others to train under very realistic conditions. This helps prepare us all in the event of a crash.”

“I was very much pleased with the coordination, decision-making and support SXM Management personnel displayed in the Emergency Management Center (EMC). Overall the level of cooperation and coordination between all agencies went well and proved that all agencies possess a high level of knowledge in dealing with such catastrophes,” Hyman added.   

Anastacio Baker, SXM Manager, Quality Assurance Dept., who was lead evaluator for the emergency exercise, said there was a noticeable improvement in the coordination between SXM and the St. Maarten emergency support function groups when comparing this to previous emergency exercises. 

“This drill was much more successful than the previous drills,” Baker said. “This was due to the close working relationship between the airport fire and the local fire departments.” The newly formed internal Emergency Preparedness Committee, which was established early this year also played a huge role.

“This committee,” Baker explained, “meets every month and discusses emergency scenarios. For the past three months the emergency committee, SMCAA, the local fire department, Police and government medical departments met on numerous occasions to discuss this drill and the role everyone must play. The success of the drill showed that working together really helped.”

“SXM Airport wishes to thank all those who played a role in executing this successful emergency exercise,” said Regina LaBega, SXM Managing Director.

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Unconfirmed Reports: Three Prime Ministers from Caribbean part of the Kingdom to Boycott Kingdom Day

CURACAO - The Prime Ministers of Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten are boycotting the celebration of Kingdom Day. They refuse to travel to Amsterdam to attend the traditional Kingdom Concert in the presence of King Willem Alexander.

According to a reliable source in The Hague the three prime ministers of the three islands are so angry at the Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte and they have stated that they will not be present. This is especially painful because next Monday an anniversary celebration will be held. It is exactly 60 years since Queen Juliana put her signature under the Charter for the Kingdom.

To strengthen the links between the Netherlands and its overseas territories, every year on December 15, a festive concert is organized with the participation of artists from all parts of the Kingdom. It sometimes happens that one of the governments is unable to attend, but it is considered an insult that three prime ministers cancel simultaneously.

A spokesman for the Minister of Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk says the absence of the three prime ministers is not yet confirmed.

Plasterk and the Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan will host the concert, which will be held on December 15 in the evening in the Meervaart. During the day there is a symposium. According to The Hague sources, the premiers Mike Eman (Aruba), Ivar Asjes (Curacao) and Sarah Wescot-Williams (St. Maarten) will not be present, because they are fed up with the Dutch meddling in the local affairs of the islands.

The quarrels between the Netherlands and the islands in the Caribbean have been running increasingly higher in recent years. The Hague requires financial discipline and wants new ministers in the islands to be screened for possible links with the underworld. The islands in turn consider it as colonialism. They feel that Minister Plasterk behaves as a puppet of Finance and that he is blind to the reality in the Caribbean that is so different compared to the Netherlands. (Curacao Chronicle)

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Public Invited to Open House at Miss Lalie Youth Care and Rehabilitation Center on Saturday

CAPE BAY - The general public is invited to an Open House at the Miss Lalie Youth Care and Rehabilitation Center (MLC) in Cape Bay on Saturday, December 13.

The Miss Lalie Center was opened on December 10th.  The youth care and rehabilitation center is located at Venus Drive #1, Cape Bay. 

The Miss Lalie Center is located behind the industrial laundromat on the main road leading to the NV GEBE Power Plant.  After making a right at the intersection of Afoo Daily Extra Supermarket in Cole Bay to head into Cape Bay; continue driving until you approach the industrial laundromat on your left; take a left and the center is right behind the laundromat.

Members of the public will be given a tour of the facility and will have the opportunity to meet the staff and also receive information about the center.  The open house is from 11.00AM to 1.00PM.

The Ministry of Justice and associated agencies would like to thank all who assisted in making the Miss Lalie Center a reality as well as those who organized the official opening of the center: Usona, Prosecutor´s Office, Court of Guardianship, Foundation Judicial Institutes St. Maarten, Horizon, Anja Winters and Inge ter Huurne, The project Team of MLC, Sandra Voorneman (Project Manager), The project Team of MLC, Ron Verhaar (Project Facilitator), The Staff of MLC, Liccom NV / WEC, Minister Hon. Maurice Lake; Mrs. Bernice Gumbs and Ms. Amy Halley.

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Minister Lourens-Philip receives Plan of Action Regarding Children Rights

GREAT BAY – The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip has just recently received the Plan of Action regarding Children Rights from the “Kingdom Taskforce” which was established during the Kingdom Conference held on April 2nd 2014 in Aruba.

The document termed “Plan van Aanpak Kinderrecthen “Eerste Aanzet” 20 November 2014 outlines proposed priority areas for  cooperation between the Countries of the Kingdom, and were selected from the recommendations of the UNICEF reports previously presented last year to all governments.  

The final chapter of this initial report advises that the “Way Forward” is to ensure that not only government but also the entire society is engaged in chartering said way forward.

This would be accomplished by means of round table sessions regarding the priority areas such being:

  1. The family as the Central Point
  2. Child Abuse
  3. Safety Net/after school care of children
  4. The role of the parents in the raising of the child.
  5. Stipulations/Criteria/Parameters and Infrastructure

This report will also be presented to the Council of Ministers and Parliament, Minister Lourens-Philip disclosed on Wednesday.

“It is the intention that after the process of engaging civil society and the final plan is established, that the Kingdom Taskforce will officially submit this to the various Governments at the next Kingdom Conference scheduled for April 2015,” Minister Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip said on Wednesday.

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Cruise Vessel Horizon Caribbean now Home Porting at Port St. Maarten

POINT BLANCHE – The cruise vessel Horizon Caribbean of Croisieres De France and Pullmantur Cruises, has started home porting at Port St. Maarten from December 8 to April 6, 2015.

Horizon Caribbean will be sailing out of Port St. Maarten on Mondays to Guadeloupe, Martinique, Isla Margarita, Santo Domingo, La Romana and back to St. Maarten.  The ship docks at 12.30pm and departs at 7.30pm.

Horizon Caribbean was built in 1990 and was renovated in 2012.  The vessel has 721 cabins and 80 per cent have a sea view.  The vessel can carry up to 1444 passengers (double occupancy) and has a 620 crew complement.

Pullmantur Cruises is headquartered in Spain.  It began operating in the late 1990s as an offshoot of the Madrid-based travel agency Pullmantur.

Pullmantur Cruises offers vacation packages to Riviera Maya, Playa Bavaro, Summer in the Caribbean, Northern Europe Cruises, Mediterranean Cruises, and Caribbean.

The cruise line has four ships at its disposal, namely Monarch, Sovereign, Empress and Horizon Caribbean.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Mingo of Port St. Maarten is very pleased that another cruise vessel is utilizing the destination as a home port.

“We are able to cater to small cruise vessels where home porting is concerned.  We can manage 500+ cruise passengers comfortably.  This is the first time that we are catering to this size cruise vessel which has a capacity to carry over 1000+ cruise passengers.  It will mean business for our hotels, taxi drivers, our airport, excursions, tours, restaurants, gift shops etc.

“These cruise passengers are also potential return visitors who would come back to spend a week or two on our beautiful island.  The home porting market is an area we have been pursuing and we will continue to work diligently to bring more of this business to our country,” Port St. Maarten CEO Mingo said.

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MP Schotte: “This government has to go!”

WILLEMSTAD – The government of Curacao Prime Minister Asjes has to go home! This is according to the MFK leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Gerrit Schotte.  The political leader of the opposition party says, the people of Curaçao want the current government to resign because it is unable to solve the problems of the country.

In a press release, the MFK is very critical of the Cabinet Asjes. Schotte states that his party, its members, but also the MPs representing his party are approached by citizens on a daily basis that have complaints about the way the country is being governed.

The MFK denounces the fact that the country is headed by ministers who were not elected by the people, but who also have no knowledge of what the people have to go through daily. According to the opposition party, the current government goes against the first principle of democracy, namely that they should ask the people in the first place.

However, the MFK ascertains that the people have to deal with rising crime, commerce complaints that citizens have no money to do some shopping, they fear that they cannot make more investments, teachers’ union Sitek complaining that education on the island is dead and numerous lies that are spread by the current government.

“This nation has nothing left to do some shopping or to pay for basic things. They have to deal with lots of taxes. The MPs that support the current government and who should be the ears, mouth and nose of the people, don’t hear the suffering of the people anymore. For them it is important that they continue to sit on that chair, while the people continue to suffer pain,” Schotte said in his press release.

According to the MFK, it is time for the people to come together and give a clear message of “No Mas” (no more) to the government. This government should go home and hold elections as soon as possible. (Curacao Chronicle)

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