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Male suspect arrested for threat and illegal gun possession

PHILIPSBURG - A suspect with initials F.C.G. was arrested by Detectives in the afternoon on Sunday May 15th after a complaint was filed against him for threatening the victim with initials J.A.M. and his partner with a gun and also for illegal gun possession.

According to the victim the incident took place at approximately 12.00 p.m. in the vicinity of “El Mango” on the L.B. Scot road. The partner of the victim also confirmed what had taken place.

In connection with this investigation a search of the home of the suspect on Catapult Drive was done and during this search a black and silver colored handgun was found and confiscated. The suspect remains in custody for further investigation. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Talks on forming a new Dutch government collapse over immigration

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Talks on forming a new Dutch government collapsed on Monday after chief negotiator Edith Schippers said the negotiations had reached stalemate over the issue of migration.

The ruling VVD, fellow Liberal party D66, the Christian Democrats and left-wing greens GroenLinks have been in talks on forming a four-party coalition since the general election on March 15.

Schippers told reporters on Monday evening that the differences in some policy areas had turned out to be too wide to breach. ‘Migration proved to be a bridge too far,’ she said. ‘We have not been able to reach a joint basic decision.’

Other policy areas such as climate change and income policy are also difficult subjects to reach agreement on, she said. ‘You have seen the election manifestos. In some areas the gap [between the parties] is just too wide,’ Schippers said. Migration has been discussed several times in the 18 days of negotiations, the former health minister said, adding that ‘we’ve tried to do all we can to make this work.’

Reactions

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a reaction that the decision to end the talks had been reached jointly. ‘I am very sorry,’ he told reporters. ‘We were serious in our efforts and we wanted to reach a deal but we did not manage it.’

‘I am very disappointed,’ said CDA leader Sybrand Buma. ‘The differences between us were too wide, particularly in terms of immigration.’ GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver thanked the other party leaders for their efforts over the past few weeks.

‘I am very sorry that we have not managed to reach a deal,’ he said. ‘All of us really tried to do so.’

Next steps

Schippers will now bring out a report about the failed negotiations and will recommend what should happen next. Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV said on Twitter that is pleased the talks had collapsed.

‘The PVV, as the second biggest party in parliament, is ready and willing to talk,’ he said. Insiders, however, expect the small religious party ChristenUnie to be brought in to replace GroenLinks at the negotiating table.

However, ChristenUnie is also left-leaning on immigration and this is likely to pose a stumbling block as well, commentators said. (DutchNews)

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PERIDOT FOUNDATION EXPRESSESS GRATITUDE TO BLUE POINT

PHILIPSBURG - Gracita Arrindell founder of Peridot foundation states: “Patience is indeed a virtue as staff and students of Charlotte Brookson Academy of the Performance Arts received a much-needed projector for their school.  The gift was a reward for the excellent performance of students who performed at the Peridot foundation International Women’s Day (IWD) event, held at Maho on March 10, 2017.

“The students were passionate and graceful as they performed before a very appreciative audience. This is not the first time that ‘Charlotte Brookson Academy’ students showcased their talent at one of our foundation’s events. The school which balances excellence in academic and performing arts education has recently restarted their public performances in the community after settling down in their new location at the old government administration building in Philipsburg. We eagerly look forward to future collaboration of performances.

Arrindell continues; “Naresh Vaswani Managing Director of Blue Point computers and electronics deserves credit for making this request possible. He did not hesitate one second when Peridot foundation approached his company with a letter request to donate a projector for this school. Mr Vaswani, desired to provide the latest model which was not in stock, and delivered as promised so as soon as the new projector became available.

Gracita concludes: “There is so much young talent in Sint Maarten. Every opportunity one gets to make their learning experience unforgettable, must be responded to positively without hesitation. Therefore, we applaud Blue Point Management for stepping up to the plate with their contribution. Thank you obo Peridot foundation.”

PHOTO CUTLINE - From left to right: Okama Brook & Alexandra E Stroud staff of Charlotte Brookson Academy of the Performance Arts, and 3 students who performed at the IWD event for Peridot Foundation.FullSizeRender copy

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Moviemaker Asha Lovelace, Joebell and America, coming to St. Martin

GREAT BAY - “As a director trying to capture the essence of the story, … I’m interested in developing a Caribbean aesthetic,” said filmmaker Asha Lovelace about making movies.

In Joebell and America that is exactly what Lovelace manages to do in the award-winning movie that she directed and produced in her native Trinidad and Tobago, according to writer Chelsea Rampaul.

Joebell and America will have its St. Martin premiere at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library on Monday, May 29, at 7:30 PM. Asha Lovelace will be on hand to discuss the feature film with movie lovers, said Shujah Reiph, St. Martin Book Fair coordinator.

In Joebell and America, lead character Joebell (played by Brian Green), is a gambler, he’s in trouble with the law, and concocts a risky plan to escape Trinidad for the promise and fantasy of a better future in America. He’s prepared to leave everything behind, including his newfound romance with the village beauty, according to caribbeanfilm.com. What could possibly go wrong?

The St. Martin screening of the movie is an “exciting highlight” of the week-long pre-book fair activities, said Jacqueline Sample of HNP, co-organizer of the literary festival.

Joebell and America has its own literary beginnings. It is based on the short story by the same name, written by Asha’s father, the noted novelist Earl Lovelace from Trinidad and Tobago. The movie won “Best International Narrative Feature” from the Women’s International Film Festival.

Along with Joebell and America the book fair’s early bird activities — starting on May 25 — include an outdoor poetry reading; the launch of six books; an expert discussion on electoral reform; a closed-door critique of a St. Martin historical play in its draft form; and a curated book cover art exhibit related to St. Martin (1978 to 2017), at Sheer Restaurant Gallery, said Sample.

Asha Lovelace, who is also a University of the West Indies lecturer, will give a filmmaking workshop at the 15th anniversary of the St. Martin Book Fair, June 1 – 3, 2017, said Reiph.

The St. Martin Book Fair opens at Cité Scolaire Robert Weinum on June 1, at 8 pm, said Reiph. The auditorium of the new high school/jr. high school complex located in The Savanna (the area between Rambaud and Grand Case), will be turned into a virtual art gallery/studio to match the festival’s “Art” theme, said Reiph. The main book fair workshops, open mic readings, book sales and book signings by famous, new, and upcoming writers take place on June 3, at the University of St. Martin.

Conscious Lyrics Foundation and House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) are organizing the 15th annual St. Martin Book Fair in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin, and LC Fleming Foundation, along with SOS radio 95.9 FM, Peridot Foundation, and Irie Life, said Reiph.

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Central Committee meeting on Monday about NV GEBE

PHILIPSBURG – The Central Committee will meet in a session on May 15. The Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, who is the Shareholder Representative of GEBE, will be present.

The Central Committee meeting requested by Members of Parliament, F.A. Meyers, T.E. Heyliger, S.M. Bijlani, T.E. Leonard, and C.M.M. Connor, has been set for Monday, May 15 at 15.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. This session will be carried live via Soualiga Newsday video feed.

The agenda point is: current state of affairs at GEBE. 

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.

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SZV and Nurses Day

PHILIPSBURG - SZV Team wins big for Nurses Week 2017! Every year nurses week is highlighted in May leading up to nurse’s day May 12th. This year the St. Maarten Nurses Association organized various activities in the week to highlight the profession.

SZV participated in the May 10th scavenger hunt and won! This hunt was about knowing St. Maarten’s history, culture, whereabouts and most importantly teamwork!

“We would like to congratulate our colleagues: Elisa, Sabrina, Michelyne, Francine and Guideon. Job well done to everyone who participated in the week long activities! Happy Nurses Day!”

szv celebrates nurses

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CPS Re-emphasizes use mosquito repellent and take measures to eliminate mosquito breeding sites after rainfall

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, says due to recent rainfall the country has experienced, CPS re-enforces its message that all residents and businesses need to take proactive measures to prevent mosquitos from breeding. 

Be on the alert for mosquito breeding sites and eliminate them especially after rainfall!

CPS is calling on the populace as well as visitors to wear light colored clothing at dusk; long sleeve shirts and pants; and use mosquito repellent to prevent being bitten by a mosquito that could possibly be carrying a mosquito borne disease.

Actively destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase or in pet dishes for more than two days.  Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water.

Screen off cistern outlets, cover and screen septic tanks properly.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents and visitors at risk.

For information about dengue fever, zika and chikungunya prevention measures, you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003 to report mosquito breeding sites or send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Highest point in reconstruction of SGB sports gyms

BONAIRE - Recently the highest point was reached in the reconstruction of the sports gyms of Scholengemeenschap Bonaire (SGB) on Kaya Frater Odulfinus.

Mrs. Den Heyer (Commissioner of Education), Mr. Oleana (head of the RCN department Education, Culture and Science) and Mr. Efferink (principal of SGB) jointly placed the flag on the roof ridge of the new sports gym.

Due to the construction's poor state, reconstruction of the sports areas was necessary. The two gyms were demolished to ground level and were rebuilt. The changing rooms were completely renewed.

The new gyms will be ventilated naturally. This means that there will be no air conditioning but that the building has been designed in such a way that the wind can dissipate heat. Sound absorbing materials were used in the construction of the gyms to improve acoustics.

The renewed sports gyms are expected to be completed mid-November 2017. The upgrading of the outside sports field will be taken care of by the school itself. They are looking for sponsors for this purpose.

This SGB project is part of the educational buildings plan for Bonaire, which is co-financed by the Public Entity Bonaire and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science [Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, hereafter referred to as OCW].

The Central Government Real Estate Agency coordinates the execution of the various projects which are part of this plan, on behalf of the Public Entity Bonaire and OCW.

The contractor BonNed Haafkes VOF is a partner in the reconstruction of the SGB sports gyms and the design is by Streefkerk Architects & Consultants in collaboration with DMV Architecten. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Sint Maarten Nature Foundation Launches New Website

COLE BAY - The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation recently launched its new website. With the support of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance the new website now includes information on the various activities the Nature Foundation is engaged in both locally and in the region.

Visitors to the website can now find information on the Man of War Shoal National Marine Park; diving activities; projects and activities including the 'Save our sharks' project, coral restoration and sea turtle monitoring; nature, ecosystems and species of St. Maarten; and the various conservation areas on the island.

“The previous website included outdated information and we are very happy that we were able to, with the help of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, launch our brand new website. Now visitors have easier access to information on the activities of the Nature Foundation as well as nature on Sint Maarten,” commented Tadzio Bervoets, Nature Foundation Manager.

The public is encouraged to visit the new Nature Foundation website by going to www.naturefoundationsxm.org. It is also now possible to directly donate through the Nature Foundation website to ensure that Nature is Our Future.

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10th Annual UNESCSO Youth Forum Registration Opens

PHILIPSBURG - The 10th UNESCO Youth Forum will be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France from 25 to 26 October 2017.  Since 1999, the UNESCO Youth Forum has provided an innovative, ongoing opportunity for youth to work in dialogue with UNESCO, to shape and direct the Organization’s approach and to present their concerns and ideas to Member States.

The forum brings together expert youth from all regions of the world to discuss pertinent issues related to UNESCO fields of competence. During the youth forum, a series of recommended actions and priorities will be drafted to guide UNESCO’s youth actions for the next biennium. These will be presented at the 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference.

Over the past years, young people from St. Maarten have benefited immensely from participating in past youth forums.  Some of the young people who have participated in previous UNESCO Youth Forums over the years include: Ralph Cantave, Majorie Cortico Ramirez, Anisa Dijkhoffz, Melanie Choisy, Kenneth Serrant, and Ruthaidith Rudolfina. 

Persons interested in participating in the 10th UNESCO Youth Forum will need to follow the below application requirements. Application forms will be obtained via:

·         Unesco Facebook Page : Unesco Sint Maarten

.         Unesco website:  www.unesco.sx

·         Sint Maarten Government webpage

·         The form will be sent to all school boards for dissemination to the high schools

·         Facebook Page:  St. Maarten Youth Affairs

Application Requirements:

·         Applicant must be between 18 to 24 years of age

·         Applicant must be a national of St. Maarten

o   In possession of a Dutch passport or residence permit for at least 5 years

o   Passport need to be valid for at least a year at the time of travel commencement date 

·         Applicant must submit his/her application form by June 9, 2017 at the

Youth Department or UNESCO Office, or email the application form to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

·         Applicant must submit a copy of their valid passport and/or residence permit

·         Applicant must submit curriculum vitae

·         A letter of motivation

·         Two (2) Reference letters: one from a recognized youth-related or youth focused NGO and the other from their school or employer. 

·         Official note from the NGO stating its vision, mission, scope and activities

·         Documentation showing experience in project management

·         Applicant should possess proficient communication, writing and debating skills

·         Applicant should be available to share knowledge acquired from the youth forum, which can be used towards the policy development within the Department of Youth Affairs

Please note: You will have to participate in a mandatory interview and debate.

For further information, contact Ms. Marcellia Henry (Cel# 5203051) or Ms. Faye Arnell (Tel # 5422056).

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