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Coalition with ChristenUnie is the only option, chief negotiator says. Meetings continue on Tuesday

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – MPs from the Liberal democratic party D66 and the minor Christian party ChristenUnie will meet on Tuesday to discuss forming a coalition with the ruling VVD and the Christian Democrats.

Edith Schippers, who is in charge of the cabinet negotiations, told reporters on Monday afternoon that a combination of the four parties is the only option for a majority cabinet.

With both the Socialists and the Labour party ruling themselves out of the talks, there is no other option open, Schippers said. The Netherlands has been without a government since the March 15 general election.

Talks with the VVD, CDA, D66 and left-wing greens GroenLinks collapsed a week ago. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold has said he sees no point in an alliance with ChristenUnie because the two parties have widely differing views on ethical questions.

In particular, D66 backs assisted suicide for elderly people who consider their lives to be complete and an opt-out register of organ donors. The four party combine would also only have a one-seat majority in both houses of parliament. (DutchNews)

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Three suspects arrested. Two fire-arms confiscated

PELICAN - On Sunday May 21st at approximately 1.45 a.m. a police patrol was directed to Hollywood Casino in connection with three suspicious men who were walking through the casino in question.

On the scene, the patrol encountered an off-duty colleague who informed them that he had also observed the suspicious behavior of these men. He also stated that these men had left the scene in a white car with heavily tinted windows. 

During a search of the area the suspect vehicle was seen driving in Cole Bay. The vehicle in which two men were driving at the time was stopped on the Welfare road by the patrol to be controlled.

During a search of the vehicle a back-pack which contained two fire arms and some clothing was found. These weapons were immediately confiscated for further investigation.

The third suspect in this case was also arrested shortly after on Welfare road. All three suspects with initials M.H.J. A. (24), M.J.D. (26) and R.J.A. (28) were arrested for illegal fire-arm possession and taken to the Philipsburg Police Station where they remain in custody for further investigation. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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APPOINTMENT SCHEDULING SMART OPENS

PHILIPSBURG/MARIGOT - The L’Association des Hoteliers de St. Martin (AHSM), Saint Martin Tourism Office in conjunction with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) have proudly opened the appointment scheduling of the Sint Maarten / Saint-Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow SMART.

The appointments between international tour operators and agents as well as local hoteliers and activity providers are one of the key elements of the annual event.

Over 15 years, SMART has been of service in reinforcing both sides of the island’s economy. Tourism buyers, suppliers, vendors and media take part in appointments. Next to a key moment for Sint Maarten businesses, SMART has always been an important moment for sharing the state of the world of tourism.

Amongst others, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), MasterCard, Expedia and AltaVista AG (official Google technology providers for hotels) have confirmed to share their newest insights within workshops. These workshops will be repeated during the day so that visitors have the opportunity to meet with their preferred appointments, as well as learning from the desired lectures.

In previous years, SMART featured suppliers from Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Maarten-St. Martin.

This year, a former regional challenge of overlapping Caribbean tradeshows was avoided by the four partners involved in SMART organizing a Caribbean wide event agenda as soon as October. As various Caribbean tradeshows collided last year, SMART 2016 was canceled as Puerto Rico and Turks & Caicos tradeshows coincided. 

Visitors arriving early can already visit a sneak preview of Sint Maarten / Saint-Martin’s newest attraction of the Rainforest Adventure Park. SMART 2017 kicks off on Wednesday June 14th, 2017 with a magnificent opening party at Westin.

When delegates have the opportunity to meet and mingle with their peers at the Welcome Reception, then on Thursday June 15th we welcome all delegate to a full day of business where participants have set up appointments with travel partners and wholesalers as well as hotel and excursion operations, afterward all delegate are invite to a magnificent Farewell Party. 

  

Sint Maarten / Saint Martin local creatives made an introduction movie for visitors (https://youtu.be/RAFGr3axPFc). More information on the event can be found at shta.com/SMART. Organizers are happy to answer questions at 542-0108 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Police participates in MPC Career Day

SOUTH REWARD - On Thursday May 19th representatives from the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) participated in the 2017 Career day held at the Milton Peters College (MPC).

The Police Department was represented by Community Police Officer Felix Richards, Officer Marcia Bremer and Head Public Relation and Communication Chief Inspector Ricardo Henson.

A complete Power Point presentation of what the police do on a daily basis, the type of equipment in use by the police, the structure of the organization and of course the encouragement of the students to join the police force as a future career.

The students that attended the presentation were full of enthusiasm and participated fully in the discussions. They asked many questions which were all answered.

The Police Department is taking this opportunity to congratulate the Career Guidance Counselor and her staff for a job well done in organizing this event. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Independence foundation in solidarity with Statia

GREAT BAY - The Independence for St. Martin Foundation (ISMF) has expressed solidarity with the people and government of St. Eustatius in the ongoing conflict with the government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Speaking on behalf of ISMF during the latter’s presentation to the Central Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, May 18, 2017, secretary of the foundation Dr. Rhoda Arrindell said, “we of the ISMF have taken note of the increasing tension between the government of St. Eustatius and the kingdom government.”

“We consider this rather unfortunate as it points once more to a relationship which is not based on equality and mutual respect,” said Dr. Arrindell.

“That is why we of the ISMF express our solidarity with the government and people of St. Eustatius,” she said.

“We urge all parties to the conflict to seek a speedy resolution through dialogue and respect for international covenants, especially the relevant provisions of the United Nations Charter which supersede other national or kingdom laws,” Dr. Arrindell said.

“It is not inconceivable to see that what happens to St. Eustatius could also happen to us here in St. Martin as the recent wrangling over the Integrity Chamber demonstrates,” Dr. Arrindell concluded.

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SMMC celebrates nurses with Day of the Legends and Orris Jack Bell Award

CAY HILL - Closing off Nurses Week, the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) held their Day of the Legends and second annual Orris Jack Bell award ceremony last Saturday.

Legends (retirees), Orris Jack Bell award nominees and their friends and families came out to the luncheon which was held at the lovely Little Well Oasis in Cole Bay and was hosted by Marisol Wilson, Registered Nurse at the St. Maarten Prison. The dual event is themed “Nurses Who Paved the Way” and honors the nurses of past and present that have been role models within nursing on the island.

A shocked Rafael Antoine, an Emergency Room nurse at SMMC, was announced the recipient of the second Orris Jack Bell award out of a group of seven nominees. The Orris Jack Bell award recognizes a nurse who serves as the perfect example of what it means to be a nurse.

One who is dedicated, self-less and who willingly goes above and beyond to be the caregiver that the community needs, as Nurse Orris Jack Bell has done for nursing in the years she served in the field.

The award was initially established in 2015 by the Education Department of SMMC through the effort of Antonio Pantophlet, Manager Patient Care at SMMC, and his committed team. That same year Nurse Orris Jack Bell was presented her namesake award in honor of her work. The following year the first winner of the award was Nurse Daphne St. Rose of the St. Martin’s Home in 2016.

This year the seven nominees were Grendaline Levenstone (Prison), Shardina Blomont Frederick (Public Health), Antonius Dulder (Ambulance), Nancy Flanders (St. Martin’s Home), Rosie Poleon (Sister Basilia Center), Corwin James (SMMC) and Rafael Antoine (SMMC). They all embody the spirit of the award within the various institutions on the island.

The legends of nursing also received a token of appreciation for the commitment and care that they have shown in their life. The nurses that received the 2017 recognition were Brendalita Adams (St. Martin’s Home), Cheryl York (SMMC), Jasmien Cijntje (SMMC), Fidelia Bell (St. Martin’s Home), Zenia Javois (St. Martin’s Home), and Nancy Flanders (St. Martin’s Home).

These nurses have dedicated years to nursing and serving the community. They have all played a role in advancing the field on the island and represent the heart of nursing. SMMC is honored to recognize these honorable, hard-working individuals yearly.

The afternoon included a rendition of the O Sweet Saint Martin’s Land song to which everyone stood up and joined in. An opening speech was given by Antonio Pantophlet, who organized the Day of the Legends and the Orris Jack Bell award ceremony. He emphasized the value of nurses in our community and commended them for being caregivers to the people. The observance was festive, as the guests enjoyed good food and the musical talents of an excellent local band.  

nurses OJBA inside

PHOTO CUTLINE: (Clockwise): Rafael Antoine (this year’s winner), Nurse Orris Jack Bell receiving the first award in her name from SMMC Director Kees Klarenbeek, Nurse Daphne St. Rose (2016 winner). 

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CPS says last week’s Vaccination Open House a huge success. 115 attend

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) says its Vaccination Open House last week Saturday was a huge success.    

The Open House was held at the Vineyard Office Park in Philipsburg from 9.00am to 4.00pm for children between 0-17 years old.

115 young individuals visited the Open House with their parents/guardians; 15 were between the age 0-3; and 100 were between 4-17 years old.

Besides a temporary playground for while they awaited their turn, a presentation was held from 10.00am to 1.30pm on Puberty.

The attention is now preparing for the second Open House which is scheduled for Saturday, June 10. The presentation at this Open House will be Oral Health, Puberty, and Reproductive Health.

Vaccines help your immune system fight more than 20 dangerous diseases.  From the time we’re born, vaccines offer protection to help individuals stay healthy throughout their entire lives.

CPS, a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, held its Open House under the banner of the Vaccination Week of the Americas 2017. 

Those who need additional information about the Open House can call CPS at 542-2078 or 542-3003.

MinVSA Vaccination Open House Intake 13 May 2017

MinVSA Vaccination Open House Presentation 13 May 2017

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Four teams from Milton Peters College to present at Jr. Minister of Tourism Inter-Scholastic Panel Discussion

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) for the annual Junior Minister of Tourism Inter-Scholastic Panel Discussion will kick-off on Friday.

The Milton Peters College (MPC) has four teams.  A synopsis of each team can be found below.

“Right before your eyes is a synopsis of a highly-intrigued group of Milton Peters College students. We are all in the TKL 3D with the mentor, Latoya Omzigtig.

“The speaker of this group is Gabriel Serrant (15, Technique) along with team mates; Gabriella Andre (15, Economy), Maricia Roumou (15, Care), Jason Claire (16, Technique) and Raphael Richie (16, Technique).

“It is not a coincidence that everyone in our group has a handful of priceless words that could be the start of a change. This is not just a “Debate” to us but what we would call a “Chance” to voice our opinions.

“All of us might not be the same person nor live in the same house but we are one. We have been discussing about the various topics but there is one that stands out “Sustaining Tourism”.

“This topic is found to be the most important because we can come up with millions of ideas but it still needs to be sustained. On that note we are coming to make sure that whatever we say must be put into action.

“Being nervous or timid is something that holds people back but we will make that be our stepping stone to go higher. We do not have the mind set of only winning, but to bring across a very important message to the representatives and people of Sint Maarten.

“We all went to different Primary schools but what is important, is that we are together now. We were all born in the “Gem of The Caribbean” Sint Maarten. As you can see we said; “Gem of Sint Maarten”, let’s live up to that name. Once again, thank you for such a wonderful opportunity for us to be the change everyone wants to see. Motto: “This isn’t an easy task but, rockiest roads lead to the highest peaks.”

Joanni Henao (VT3A) is a very social and talkative person. “She likes to participate in different challenging activities including the debate team of the Milton Peters College.

“Researchers of the team are: Jose Quintero Cortes is a very intelligent and open person who puts his studies in Economy first. He loves to participate in different speaking engagements where he likes to state his opinion and ideas.

“Ruben Van den Heuvel is a very good team worker who always looks out for others. He likes to follow the instructions given and finish the race with success.

“Isaiah Snijders is a very intelligent young man who is always engaged in different sport activities. He is a very verbal person who likes to speak up on behalf of his teammates.

“Lorena Seraus is a quiet person, but when you get to know her better you see the intelligence underneath the service. She is very cooperative in the teamwork.

“The group has been researching about Sint Maarten and how it is doing in Tourism. To date they are still getting information on the topic. We expect to enlarge our knowledge on this topic.”

The debate team of 3B presents Gwen van der Geer the speaker, and the researchers, Kadijah Gumbes, Artxela Bell and Denasha Charles.

“We have been studying both our culture and history along with tourism. We have also been researching crime rates and problems on St. Maarten that can be easily solved by people making an effort.

“We also went to the Parliament Building, Government Building and other places, asking the opinions of others. We have been practicing on our speech of other topics as well. We expect to do our best to “Woo” the crowd.

“We expect a lot of people to be there hopefully cheering us on. The more the merrier, also we hope that we will be judged fairly. We hope that our fellow opponents do their best and strive for excellence as much as we hope to do.

“Our mentor has played a big part in our preparation as well as our parents, they have helped us to prepare for this exciting event.”

The group of researchers in class 3C are Lorene C. Paulino, Myron Gumbs, Andrew Ford and Georgina Rivera.

“We have been researching about Sint Maarten in general, history and its attractions, the dump and its fumes, tourism, crime etc.

“We honestly expect to do our best but also leave our mark on that day, but we also expect that not too much people will appear on that day and that not so much cameras are pointing on us etc. because we might tend to get nervous and we do not want to mess up on this day of the debate.

“We also expect that this is judged fair and that the questions are as loud and as clear to us. Well our speaker will be Ms. Lorene C. Paulino and she came from the Oranje School and then attended the Sundial School and from there was transferred to the Milton Peters College High School in Tkl form 2, and now she’s in Tkl 3 Sector Economy and striving to go to Tkl 4.

“She was born on the French Side of St. Maarten on July 12th 2001. She’s from the Dominican Republic just as Georgina Rivera, Myron and Andrew are both from here our beautiful island of St Maarten. Well we are hereby trying to say and also make our mark on May 19th and thanks for having us participate in this marvelous event.”

The panel discussion will take place on Friday, May 19 at the Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel from 9.00am to 12.00pm.

The winner of the panel discussion will represent Sint Maarten at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Youth Tourism Congress in Grenada in October.

The participating schools on Friday are: Milton Peters College four sections (MPC), Sundial School, Methodist Agogic Centre, St. Dominic High School, St. Maarten Academy and Charlotte Brookson Academy.

VT3C Milton Peters College Synopsis

VT3B Milton Peters College Synopsis

VT3A Milton PetersCollege Synopsis

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SMART Organizers Expand Vendor Opportunities for Sint Maarten/Saint Martin Businesses

MARIGOT/PHILIPSBURG – The L’Association des Hoteliers de St. Martin (AHSM), Saint Martin Tourism Office in conjunction with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) call on vendors and activity providers to join their annual regional tradeshow SMART.

For island businesses, the event provides a large opportunity to get in contact and provide services to regional hotels and tour operators. In their ambition to continuously expand the event every year, the four partners SMART 2017 will provide extra room for vendors.

The Sint Maarten / Saint Martin Regional Trade Show (SMART) has been an internationally renowned business event for over 15 years. 

In previous years, SMART featured suppliers from Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barthelemy, St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Maarten-St. Martin. By its large scope, SMART is the best visited tradeshow of the Northeastern Caribbean.

Next to its function connecting hoteliers and activity providers to make long-term business agreements with foreign operators, various spaces have traditionally been allotted for vendors seeking to connect to visiting hoteliers. Vendors display products that can be of use for the hospitality sector.

Over the past, vendor stands had contributions from telecom products, furniture to food and beverage products. The vendor displays are amidst the busy hallways where the already over 120 registrants will pass.

As the four organizing parties have undertaken various efforts to make the 2017 edition the most memorable edition in history, it seeks to expand its opportunities for island businesses too. By empowering local businesses, the partners hope not only to reinforce tourism but to assist in diversifying the economy by helping product supplying companies expand their business abroad.

The annual SMART event is organized by the tourism boards and hospitality representatives of both sides of the island. The tradeshow provides a unique opportunity for local and regional hoteliers to present products and negotiate prospective business opportunities. During the tradeshow, travel partners and wholesalers as well as hotel and excursion operations come together for one-on-one discussions on potential business ventures. 

Registering for SMART can be done at www.Shta.com/SMART. A launch movie created by local Sint Maarten / Saint-Martin creatives can be found at https://youtu.be/RAFGr3axPFc  .

Vendor Registration forms, more information and answers can be requested by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 542-0108.

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TelEm Group CEO Dupersoy reflects on World Telecommunication & Information Society Day 2017

POND ISLAND - TelEm Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Kendall Dupersoy joined thousands of telecom executives and organizations all over the world in honouring telecommunication industry workers everywhere.

The occasion is World Telecommunication & Information Society Day 2017, which is officially recognized on May 17th each year.

The theme of this year’s observance is “Big Data for Big Impact” especially how the telecommunications industry helps with the use of massive amounts of data for economic planning and predicting, to foster better health care in growing communities and improving the environment generally.

 According to the TelEm Group chief, Telecom operators such as TelEm Group can contribute greatly to their county economies by putting infrastructures in place that can assist with the manipulation of Big Data. For instance, the collection and collation of tourist information that can be utilized to improve and expand various aspects of the tourism industry.

Mr. Dupersoy said TelEm Group has been developing a telecom infrastructure for the past two years that will be second to none on St. Maarten with the bulk of that infrastructure taking shape in an island-wide fiber optic network that is due to begin shortly.

“The use of mobile and fixed data has been growing exponentially every year. It is truly mind-boggling just how much data we will see being used on the island before long, and once a number of developing systems are put into play by TelEm Group,” said Mr. Dupersoy

“The opportunities are limitless, but the foundations have to be in place and knowledgeable people will be needed to exploit these opportunities – and that is where our telecom people come in,” said Mr. Dupersoy.

He said his first observance of World Telecommunication & Information Society Day since taking over the top post at TelEm Group is to congratulate personnel within the company and all stakeholders in the telecommunications industry on St. Maarten for the celebration of their own special day.

“This is a day not only for those directly associated with our industry, but also for the friends and family of our telecom workers,” said the TelEm Group CEO.

Mr. Dupersoy said he was much encouraged in the days leading up to World Telecommunication & Information Society Day when he received a letter from Chief police Inspector, Mr. Henson, thanking TelEm Group for providing complimentary internet service to the police sub-station at the Festival Village for the Carnival season. According to Mr. Henson the system worked well and officers were able to keep the community safe by remaining in contact with their surroundings.

“Thanks to the commitment shown by the technical team we were able to make good on our promise to improve the user experience in the Festival Village this year, and I am personally very happy to count the police amongst our satisfied customers this year,” said Mr. Dupersoy.

The CEO urged all TelEm Group personnel to reflect on the Carnival experience and the comment of the police chief as encouragement for them to continue to provide nothing short of excellent service to the public and communities they serve.

He also thanked the general public for their continued support of TelEm Group and its telecommunication workers and invited customers to accept a token drink and snack as a show of appreciation at all TelEm Group locations today in keeping with the celebrations of the day.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Carpenter, Jermaine McLean, received a cup cake and a word of thanks from promo-girl Katherine, for being a TelEm Group customer in observance of World Telecommunication & Information  Society Day Wednesday, May 17th.

telem carpenter Picture1

PHOTO CUTLINE: Entertainer, Franklin Arrindell, marked World Telecommunication & Information Society Day Wednesday, May 17th, with a courtesy cup cake from promo-girl Katherine, when he stepped into the TelEm Group main building Wednesday morning.

telem entertainer Picture1

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