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Hurricane mobility pass application process deadline is May 23

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The application process for Mobility Passes for the 2014 Hurricane Season that started at the end of April will conclude on May 23.  Potential applicants from the business sector and vital organizations have a few days before the deadline to submit their request.

The pass allows the aforementioned groups to assess possible damage to their property after the passing of a hurricane.  

The hurricane pass application procedure is only intended for businesses and vital organizations with respect to their key personnel receiving an exemption to a curfew.

The Office of the Fire Department & Disaster Management is handling the application process for the passes on behalf of the Prime Minister.

The application form has to be completed and submitted to the secretary at the offices of the Fire Department & Disaster Management, located at Jackal Road 5, Cay Hill by May 23, 2014, with all necessary documents attached.

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Investigation into ill treatment of nine-year old continues as suspect remains in custody

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten, POLICE HEADQUARTERS - The investigation into the severe ill-treatment of the nine year old female victim with initials S.B. which took place on Thursday May 15th on Cherry Nut road in South Reward, is in high gear.

This unfortunate and serious criminal act was committed by the suspect with the initials A.P. (38) who is mentally challenged and resides in that area. As a result of this severe ill-treatment the victim suffered bruises to her body and a serious injury to her face.

The victim was transported by ambulance to the Sint Maarten Medical Center where she was treated for her injuries and where she was admitted for observation and recovery.

The Public Prosecutors Office and Police Department has given this case highest priority and are working diligently to find out what may have triggered the suspect to commit this very serious act which has caused much unrest within the community of Sint Maarten. The suspect in the meantime is detained and his detention has been extended by the Public Prosecutor. 

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Prime Minister opens Voice of Our Children Spelling Bee

BELAIR, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams opened the Voice of Our Children Spelling Bee at the Belair Community Center on Saturday. Numerous participants from the Primary Schools on the island and their families attended the packed event.

The Prime Minister thanked the organizers and the sponsors and encouraged the students in continuing to excel. “I would like to thank the Voice of Our Children and the sponsors who have contributed to this event and helped to make all this possible.

“I am sure that, like me, the students are quite excited to get started in the spelling bee and I commend them for being young leaders in representing their schools at a very worthwhile project. It is important to also recognize all of those who have participated.

“The fact that you have participated in this important event shows that you can compete and that you have confidence in yourselves. You all deserve a round of applause. And I hope in years to come we can see many more students participating and of course to the teachers and parents in supporting and encouraging the students participating,” encouraged the Prime Minister.

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Minister Lake meets with St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation to discuss housing matters

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake, recently met with the Board of the

St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF) regarding a number of housing matters.

Topics discussed was Belvedere painting and maintenance of buildings; appointment of supervisory board member by the end of May; family James Cole Bay property; the financial situation of SMHDF; Foga sewage plant; Foga infrastructure; subsidy; articles or incorporations; Senior Citizen Homes; purchasing of new property; Foga lease to own; and Duplexes in Belvedere for sale.

“I was very pleased with the outcome of the meeting that I had with the supervisory board of the housing foundation.  We are on the right track of what needs to be done and I am very confident that our joint approach will allow us to achieve and accomplish much for the residents.

“By mid-June, I, and the supervisory board will be informed on the starting date with respect to maintenance of the homes.  This is top of my agenda, and is also a major issue for the tenants as was discussed in an earlier meeting with the tenants.

“I am pleased to announce that the sewage plant for Foga will be in operation soon.  A test run has to be carried out first before its put into full operation.

“Housing for our senior citizens is very important to me, and I am also pleased to announce that work should start some time in the latter half of June.  In my back to basics approach, housing is one of the key areas for our people and in further improving the quality of life for our nation,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Sunday.

Housing for low-income people is also a priority for SMHDF.  A piece of property has been purchased by the foundation in St. Peters to possibly construct up to 40 units. 

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Civil registry department reps from the islands attends training in the Netherlands

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Head of the Civil Registry Department Leona Marlin-Romeo, accompanied a delegation from Curacao, Bonaire and St. Eustatius who were invited to attend the Civil Registry Jubileum Congress in the Netherlands.

Prominent issues of identification management, address fraud, forgery, counterfeit, look-a-likes and the latest technology that exist to combat these issues were all discussed in the form of workshops, trainings and presentations from representatives from various countries such as Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Slovakia, and the Netherlands.

The Congress highlighted the growing trends of identity fraud and the need for Civil Registries to be equipped to be able to identify fraudulent documents. These trends are challenging many countries and St. Maarten is no different with 114 nationalities.  It is imperative that staff of departments are trained and equipped to handle all forms of documents being presented.

According to one presentation some documents are made on the streets, behind alleys and are generated from automated machines. With the swift minds of criminals Civil Registries must be technologically advanced to stay abreast to the latest schemes. Technology now makes it easier to detect fraudulent documents however, the first detection begins at the first contact at the window, and this was highlighted in the training.

Participants from numerous European Countries were present to commemorate the NVVB 20 year anniversary in the field of Civil Registries, and the organization is looking forward to assisting and strengthening ties with key partners in St. Maarten.

The Civil Registry of St. Maarten looks forward in continuing to work with this organization that has all of the Dutch Municipalities and some European municipalities as part of its membership.

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Minister Lake condemns senseless acts of violence on members of the community

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake on Friday visited the nine-year old victim of a brutal attack that occurred in South Reward on Thursday morning.

Minister Lake spoke with the nine-year old and her mother on Friday at the St. Maarten Medical Center.  

Lake also condemned the murder of a young St. Martin/Sint Maarten businessman, and offered his condolences to the family, friends and business community after learning about the callous act by allegedly two suspects.

“Our communities both North and South were in a state of shock to learn about the senseless acts of violence that transcended upon our communities of Dutch Quarter, Cole Bay and South Reward from Wednesday night up to Thursday morning.

“As an educator, it touched my heart to hear about the act of violence against the nine-year old.  It is alleged that the perpetrator suffers from mental illness and is currently in custody.  I appeal to our community not to counter violence with violence. I realize that certain members in the community want to take justice into their own hands, but this is not the way to go. I call for restraint!  Next Tuesday I will be bringing the matter of violence within our communities to the Council of Ministers in our weekly meeting.

“Mental illness is not something that people cannot control.  I commend the mental health foundation for all their efforts.  I do believe that the foundation needs additional assistance and resources.  As Minister of VROMI I assisted with allocating a piece of government property near the zoo in Madame Estate where the mental health foundation could construct a modern facility.

“I would like to call on the business community to assist the mental health foundation with donations so that they can achieve in bringing this new much needed facility to fruition.  They need a proper facility in order to carry out the work that they need to do.  I have had discussions with Turning Point and Social Welfare with respect to social housing.

“I am ready to facilitate in any way or form to move this new facility forward.  We have a sad situation on our hands, but I think if every business chips in we can all make a difference.  We need proper mental health facilities in order to cope with the challenges in this area,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Friday.

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Plenary Session of Parliament about Airport on May 19

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The public plenary session of the House of Parliament about the Princess Juliana International Airport is now scheduled for Monday.

The plenary session for May 19 is set for 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is about developments at the Princess Juliana International Airport. The meeting regarding this agenda point was adjourned on March 25, 2014 and is reconvened for May 19.

This meeting was requested by Members of Parliament (MP) Hon. William Marlin, MP Hon. George Pantophlet, MP Hon. Hyacinth Richardson, and MP Hon. Louie Laveist.

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 session 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.  

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NFDA Partners with Cfstyle.com to host color revolution on SXM

CUPECOY, Sint Maarten – The St. Maarten National Fashion Development Association (NFDA) together with Caribbean Fashion Style Journal (CFStyle.com) will launch “Color Revolution” – a fashion event that is first of its kind in St. Maarten.

“Color Revolution is more than just a fashion show for entertainment value; it is about bringing together the wealth of talent in the Caribbean fashion and connecting them to the billion dollar global fashion industry at large,” said Daniel Smith, Co-founder of CFStyle.

The weekend event extends from May 29 through June 1 and will bring together well-known and emerging designers from across the Caribbean and United States to premier their Fall/Resort 2015 lines.  Color Revolution includes must see runway shows, social affairs, and workshop sessions.

“We are proud to partner with CFStyle to deliver what is destined to be an unmatched fashion experience; the organization expects this event to be the most sort after fashion event in the Caribbean,” says the NFDA board.

The Hon. Vice President of Parliament, Romain Laville added; “I am thrilled to lend my support and personal blessings to the organizers of the “Color Revolution” – The Caribbean Fashion Festival event to be held on St. Maarten.

“This event will continue to place St. Maarten on the map with regard to fashion, and will also inspire and expose young models and designers on the island to achieve their utmost potential in this industry.”

The annual event will attract some of the biggest names in fashion, media, and entertainment to the island.  The NDFA sees Color Revolution as a vehicle that will connect the island to the global fashion and lifestyle industry – attracting various international media and investors to the island.

For more information, visit color revolution.cfstyle.com

Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/CRSXM and facebook.com/sxmnfda.

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WIEMS Joins Story Time at the Library this Saturday

PHILPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS) will join forces with the Philipsburg Jubilee Library at their weekly, story time at 11:00am on Saturday, May 17.

WIEMSan EMS (Emergency Medical Services) training organization geared to provide training in First Aid, CPR, EMR (First Responder), and any related pre-hospital care, recently held their 912 Awareness campaign exhibition at the library, with an art competition on May 6. The exhibit featured art work from elementary school students, who were assigned to draw or color an ambulance. St. Joseph student, Shanice James, age 8, won the drawing competition. James’ drawing will be used to make vinyl magnets prominently displaying 912.

“The objective of this art competition was to bring 912 Awareness to all primary schools on St Maarten. Knowing what number to call in a medical emergency is very important. Even very small children can dial a simple emergency number like 912, to make sure the ambulance is sent on its way as soon as possible. But they must first learn how. As an avid reader, I think merging literacy with our 912 campaign is a great way to create more awareness,” stated Joanna Rijnboutt, course coordinator for WIEMS.

Story time volunteer, Jamila Ruan, will be reading from one of the library’s children’s books called, “Ambulances”, written by Kay Manolis, which gives a basic introduction to ambulances and the services they provide.

After story time, children will learn about WIEMS and how to perform CPR.

“Children and parents are welcome to join us for our weekly story time this Saturday.  It will be very informative and interactive. We look forward to seeing you there”, stated Joseanne Peters, story time coordinator. 

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Permanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter Parliamentary Relations Meets on Friday

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The Permanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter Parliamentary Relations of the House of Parliament is scheduled to meet on May 16th.

The public permanent committee meeting is set for Friday at 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The first agenda point is an invitation received to attend the 18th Trade Mission with the theme, “Connecting Sustainable Business from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Caribbean Region.”

The second agenda point is related to preparations for the Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Meeting scheduled from June 3-6 in The Hague, the Netherlands.

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 session 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.  

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