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Monday morning Armed robbery at Front Street Jeweler. Two 20-year old suspects arrested for grocery store armed robbery

PHILIPSBURG - The Special Robbery Unit is presently investigating an armed robbery which took place on Monday September 5th at approximately 10.45 a.m. at DIVINITII Jewelers on Front Street.

This is when an unknown mask man entered the establishment and jumped over the counter. While behind the counter he stole a considerable amount of gold jewelry. He threatened to use a firearm he had in his possession. After committing this act the suspect fled on foot. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

PHILIPSBURG - The Special Robbery Unit is presently investigating an armed robbery which took place on Thursday September 1st around 10.30 a.m. at Fu Yuan Supermarket. The two robbers stormed the supermarket threatening the female cashier with a machete.

Both suspects were wearing dark clothing and their faces covered. The suspects stole an undisclosed amount from the cash register along with some other items and fled the scene on foot.

The investigation done by the Special Robbery Unit led them to identify and arrest two suspects the following day. The suspects are identified as O.C.V. (20) and J.O.M. (20) and are presently in custody for further investigation. (Police Force Sint Maarten) 

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Let the Nominations Begin!! The 11th Crystal Pineapple Awards Fundraising Gala

PHILIPSBURG - The 11th Annual Crystal Pineapple Awards Fundraising Gala, organized by the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association, officially opened their nomination period on  Monday September 5th, 2016 and closes on Friday September 30th, 2016 . The Award Ceremony is scheduled to be held on Saturday November 19th, 2016. The 11th edition of the Award ceremony will be focused on ‘branding’ St. Maarten. The event will incorporate national elements which showcase the beauty and uniqueness of our island. focus on the Branding of St. Maarten.

The Crystal Pineapple Awards Fundraising Gala is the only event on the island that recognizes Hospitality & Trade personnel, organizations and associations, for their contribution towards the tourism industry, the island’s main economic pillar. The industry, directly and indirectly employs 87% of the workforce on the island. The SHTA will be pulling out all the stops to highlight those persons within the industry who deserve to be honored. The media marketing campaign will be expanded this year to provide the community with ample opportunity to nominate and vote for their candidates.

Each year employers and the general public are requested to nominate persons in various categories. The categories are evaluated and adjusted each year to reflect the various business sectors.  For the 11th edition the Association is excited to add the category Best Taxi/Tour person to the list.

As with all the categories, employers and the public are asked to nominate in full force. “There are so many great persons within our Hospitality & Trade industry. These persons should be recognized and highlighted. It’s about appreciating people and hopefully inspiring others to do their best no matter the position. We all play a part in maintaining our Tourism industry” said SHTA and the Crystal Pineapple Awards Organizing committee.  

In addition to aforementioned award, the following categories are open for nominations:
ACCOMMODATIONS DIVISION: Employee and Manager of the year

RESTAURANT DIVISION Employee, Chef, Bartender of the year

TRADE: Employee, and Manager of the year.

SPECIAL AWARDS: Outstanding Community Service Achievement, Best Customer Service Rep, Taxi/Tour person of the year, Entertainer of the Year and Sales person Of the year.
 

In the previous years, the Annual Crystal Pineapple Awards Gala has been a huge successes. The organizing committee will be utilizing technology in their marketing, nomination and voting system and the event itself, to provide an even greater Crystal Pineapple Awards experience. SHTA is proud and pleased to serve the tourism industry in this aspect.

The nomination period closes on September 30th, 2016. The voting period commences shortly after. Send in your nominations as soon as possible before the closing date!!

The nomination form and category qualifications can be found ONLINE on the SHTA website
http://shta.com/events/crystal-pineapple-awards/crystalpineappleawards/ . In addition, the general public is encouraged to visit us on Facebook: “Crystal Pineapple Awards”. For more information, please contact the SHTA office: 542-0108, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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WEATHER WATCH: Current tropical wave global models forecast no type of development

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - The overall shower and thunderstorm activity associated with Invest 92-L, which is located in the eastern Caribbean, has decreased in overall coverage as compared to yesterday (Ed Sunday), according to Crown Weather.

“With that said, there seems to be some increase in thunderstorm activity just to the south of St. Croix. The environmental conditions are not very favorable for development due to 15 to 30 knots of south-westerly wind shear and up to 40 knots of wind shear waiting for Invest 92-L over the central Caribbean. This means that any development of Invest 92-L will be extremely slow, if at all for at least the next 3 to 4 days.

“At this point, none of the global models forecast any type of development from Invest 92-L and this includes the Canadian model, which previously forecasted Invest 92-L to develop in the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected that Invest 92-L will push west-north-westward across the Caribbean the rest of this week and is expected to reach the southern and western Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

“The environmental conditions across much of the Caribbean are very unfavorable for development and I do not expect to see any sort of development for much of this week. If Invest 92-L survives the unfavorable conditions, it could try to develop in the westernmost Caribbean or the southern and western Gulf of Mexico where environmental conditions are forecast to be favorable for development late this week into this weekend. This is something that will need to be monitored as we get into late this week,” Crown Weather reported on Monday morning.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

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UPDATE: Weather Service issues Flash Flood Advisory

SIMPSON BAY – The Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS) has issued a flash flood advisory as of 12.30pm on Monday, September 5, and is valid until 12.30pm on Tuesday, September 6.

The MDS bulletin says: “Moisture associated with the passage of a tropical wave continues to produce showers over the local region, some of these showers may be moderate to heavy.

“As a result, these showers may produce flash floods. Therefore residents and motorists in areas prone to flooding and rock falls should continue to be vigilant and use caution.
Seas are also peaking near 8 feet. Thus, sea users and persons with interests along the coast should exercise caution.”

ARCHIVE - The Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS) has just issued a special weather bulletin for possible street flooding today, Monday, September 5.

“The tropical wave passing through the local region has been producing showers last night into this morning. These conditions are expected to continue through the morning hours.

“Therefore, street-flooding is likely. Residents and motorists in areas prone to flooding and rock falls should be vigilant and use caution.

“Seas also deteriorated near 9 feet. Thus, sea users and persons with interests along the coast should exercise caution.

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Citing geographic spread, UN emergency committee says Zika remains ‘international public health emergency’

SINT MAARTEN/INTERNATIONAL, 2 September 2016 – Following a meeting of its Emergency Committee on Zika yesterday, the United Nations health agency said today that the infectious disease, and its associated congenital and other neurological disorders, continues to be an international public health emergency due to continuing geographic expansion and considerable gaps in understanding of the virus and its consequences.

“These deliberations decided that the situation continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern. And this is because new outbreaks of Zika continue to be identified in new geographic regions,” the Committee chair, David L. Heymann, said at a press conference in Geneva today.

“This extraordinary event is rapidly becoming, unfortunately, an ordinary event,” added Mr. Heymann, who is also responsible for communicable diseases at the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO first declared Zika an international public health emergency in February. Since it was detected in Brazil late last year, the virus has spread through the Americas and the Caribbean to other regions, including Africa, Oceania, and Asia. Zika can cause microcephaly, a rare birth defect that could lead to serious developmental problems, and has also been linked to other severe fetal brain abnormalities. WHO has also linked Zika to Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare neurological syndrome that causes temporary paralysis in adults.

At its fourth meeting on Thursday, convened via teleconference, the Emergency Committee on Zika and microcephaly was briefed on the implementation of the temporary recommendations issued by WHO’s Director-General Margaret Chan, based on the three previous meetings, according to a summary of the meeting issued by the agency.

The Committee was updated on the situation during and after the Olympic Games held in Brazil, Zika’s geographic spread, natural history, epidemiology, microcephaly and other neonatal complications associated with Zika, GBS and current knowledge on sexual transmission of the virus.

This extraordinary event is rapidly becoming, unfortunately, an ordinary event

“There are knowledge gaps that remain in the full scope of the disease, in other words its natural history, what does infection do, what are all the side effects, and all the effects that occur from infection in the foetus and also infections in adults,” Mr. Heymann said. “The Committee wanted to make sure that there is increased research on sexual transmission and also how long the risk is for sexual transmission of the Zika virus.”

Speaking at the same media briefing, WHO’s Director of Emergencies, Peter Salama, added that “working with the scientific community, we have learned that Zika has consequences in infants beyond microcephaly to a range of complications, from hearing and eyesight complications to seizures. And we now have called this the Zika congenital syndrome.”

At yesterday’s meeting, the Emergency Committee also congratulated Brazil on their successful application of appropriate public health measures during the Olympic Games. To date, there have been no reports of confirmed cases of Zika virus among people who attended the Games, both during the games and since their return. Mr. Salama expressed an optimistic view that the same risk assessment will hold for the Paralympic Games starting on 7 September.

Furthermore, the Committee acknowledged that the impact of Zika virus is a long-term concern, recommending that WHO’s Director-General considers developing an appropriate infrastructure and response plan within the health agency to provide longer-term coordination and accountability for ensuring an effective response.

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CPS National Mosquito Elimination Community Program heads to Mary’s Fancy on Saturday

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The National Mosquito Elimination Community Program Zika Virus disease (ZikV) “Beat ZikV,” will be heading to Mary’s Fancy on Saturday, September 3rd.

On August 20 the program had kicked-off in Saunders where residents in the area were very cooperative with personnel from the Ministry and volunteers who were out in the field.

Approximately 100 premises were visited, of which 51 houses. Nine houses had positive mosquito breeding sources.

The success of the community program calls for close cooperation of residents within the identified district (s) to ensure a smooth operation of house to house visits and their availability to create an opportunity to provide one on one education on the elimination of mosquito breeding sites in and around the house.

In addition to the opportunity to increase awareness on one on one, there is simultaneously a yard inspection by the vector assistant controllers to detect if there are breeding sources in the particular yard and its respective surroundings. Based on the detected mosquito breeding sites in the yard and its respective surroundings mosquito traps will be placed, monitored and collected within a short period; set-up and monitoring of traps to study mosquito behavior and larvae development, and if needed targeted fogging of identified locations.

Colleagues from Inspectorate, Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs (CDFHA) departments from within the Ministry of Public Health Social Development and Labour with members from the Sint Maarten Red Cross Foundation and Youth Chapter, have assisted with the execution of this program to date. It is the intention to expand with additional assistance from the St. Maarten Voluntary Corps and other community groups.

The ultimate purpose is to minimize the occurrence of mosquito borne diseases by eliminating mosquito breeding sites within the districts with a special focus on the elimination of the Aedes Aegypty mosquito. 

CPS reiterates to the population of Sint Maarten 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.

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, especially after heavy rainfall.

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.

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 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Central Committee meeting on National Ordinance amending the Civil Code for Friday at 2PM

PHILIPSBURG – The Central Committee will meet in a session onSeptember 2, 2016. The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor will be present for this meeting.

The Central Committee meeting has been set forFriday at2.00 pm 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:

National Ordinance amending the Civil Code and some other country regulations relating to the replacement of the seventh title A of Book 7A with a new Title 10 of Book 7 regulating requirements for employment

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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Breastfeeding Cafés scheduled for Friday and Saturday

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Two Breastfeeding Cafés are scheduled for Friday, September 2 at the Cole Bay Community Center from 6.00pm to 8.00pm. 

The second Café is scheduled for Saturday, September 3 at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library from 10.00am to 12.00pm.

Mother’s to be, fathers or others, who are interested to learn about breastfeeding, parenting among other related topics, are invited to the cafés.

This is being organized by the Collective Prevention Service (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.  CPS has organized various activities for the month of August along with stakeholders.

Breastfeeding is the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is six months old.

Nutritious complementary foods should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years or beyond.

World Breastfeeding Week also commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

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Former MP Laville again advocates breakfast program, free scholarships

PHILIPSBURG - Former Member of Parliament and current #7 candidate on the USP list Romain Laville will once again be championing two particular issues pertaining to youth that may not be “flashy” but are nonetheless more essential than many realise.

Laville describes himself as a “family man of faith” who believes that children should be protected, nurtured and taught our core values at home, in the community and in the house of the Lord. These values should then be reinforced in schools.

“Our youth is our future, as they are the ones to grow up, leave our island to further their studies and return back to occupy key positions in our community and lead our country forward. However, this can only be done, if and when we start to recognize their role in our society,” he said.

While focusing on the future of our youth Laville said he truly believe that focus should be placed on a number of specific matters, which is the reason he introduced/ championed the following:

Breakfast Program

I believe we need to ensure that every morning our youth attend school on a full stomach. It is for this reason I initiated the breakfast program together with the management of the Princess Juliana International Airport & Goddard Catering as Member of Parliament in 2014. It is my vision that our Public schools continue to benefit from this great initiative and also broaden this project to ensure students from the subsidized schools have the same opportunity to attend school on a full stomach.

Free Scholarship Opportunities

Every student with a tertiary education degree is a student with increased chances of getting a steady job, allowing them to be in a better position to help themselves and their family members. It is for this reason that I, in 2013 and 2014 initiated and personally took up the lead role in getting MOU’s signed with the state of Newark New Jersey & the Commonwealth of Dominica ensuring free scholarship opportunities in the fields of Art, Medicine & Agriculture.

I worked tirelessly for two years to get this accomplished for the youth of Sint Maarten. While these MOU’s have been signed by our Counterparts, the Council of Ministers has yet to ratify these MOU’s. I am asking you for the opportunity to ensure that this time around they will be ratified and the proper procedures and policies will be put in place as soon as possible. Enough is Enough, it is also time for us to create job opportunities for them, coach them and then step aside for them to take control of their future.

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NV GEBE Load Shedding to continue on Wednesday

CAY BAY – NV GEBE announced on Wednesday morning that due to mechanical issues on one of our smaller engines, “…and with one of our larger engines down for maintenance, NV GEBE hereby informs the general public that load shedding will take place on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

“The load shedding schedule will commence during the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 am. No areas have been announced as yet, as this will depend on the amount of load needed, however, areas will be announced on the NV GEBE Facebook page prior to the shedding of load.

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience the interruption in electricity is causing.”

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