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Soualiga Newsday Top Stories (2207)

President Arrindell receives Annual Report from Social Health Insurance Fund

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell on Monday received a copy of the 2013 Annual Report from the Social Health Insurance Fund (SZV).

The annual report will provide Members of Parliament an insight into the operations of the SZV for 2013. 

The report includes a director’s summary, general information, financial report, a control declaration, and a financial status report up until 31st December, 2013.  

Representing SZV was Reginald Willemsberg, Deputy Director SZV, Chief Financial Officer SZV, and Ruth Boyrard-Brewster, Corporate Secretary/Policy Advisor.

Also present was Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever.

“It is very important that MPs have an overview of various entities with respect to their functioning etc.  The SZV is a very important organization for the community of Sint Maarten.  The annual report has already been sent electronically to all MPs,” President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Monday.

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Police arrests four during investigation

SUCKER GARDEN, Sint Maarten - On Monday July 21st at approximately 03.30 a.m. police patrol was sent to Pendant cactus drive in Sucker garden to investigate a break in at an apartment building on the road. 

In the immediate area the police saw a man that fit the description of the suspect in this case. This man was questioned by police and he admitted to have committed the act. The suspect with the initials A.R. (29) was arrested on the spot and he was to taken to the location where the break-in was reported. There the investigating officers located the apartment where the suspect had broken into.

During the investigation the officers felt the strong scent of marihuana coming from another apartment. When one of the officers looked into that apartment, a man was seen standing in the bedroom with a gun in his hand. Immediately this man was asked to come outside, which he did.

He denied having a gun in his possession and refused the officers to search his room. However his home was searched by police after receiving a search warrant. During the search a loaded 9 mm GLOCK pistol was found under the mattress of his bed.

The weapon was confiscated by the Forensic Department for further investigation. These two brothers’ initials R.A. (25) and S.J.A. (27) were arrested in connection with the possession of a fire-arm.

While the arrest was taking place the officers saw a white Hyundai Accent driving on to the premises at very high speed. The driver drove this car into two of the officers causing them to have to jump out of the way to avoid being hit by the car.

The driver of the car and brother of the two other suspects with initials J.J.A. (40) was also arrested in this case after threatening the lives of the officers and that of their families. All suspects remain in custody for further investigation. (Contributed by the Police Force of Sint Maarten)

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NA Commences with District Walkthrough on Monday and Tuesday in Suckergarden

SUCKERGARDEN, Sint Maarten - Team National Alliance (NA) will like to announce the commencement of their district walk through. This Monday, July 21 and Tuesday, July 22 in the evening, candidates and supporters will be in the district of Sucker Garden.

Team National Alliance will be meeting at the Guana Bay gap and commence with walking through the neighborhood.

Leader of the National Alliance, William Marlin, encourages the residents of Sucker Garden to come with questions and suggestions. Team NA is here to listen.

“If we are truly putting St. Maarten first then the residents in all the districts MUST be heard. Too long the current Government has ignored the call of the people in lew of big projects that benefit only the selected few,” an NA press release said on Sunday.

Team NA will be gathering in the district of Sucker Garden from 5:30pm. (Contributed by NA Party)

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UP Leader and Board Express Condolences to the Dutch People and Government

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The leader of the United People's Party (UP) Hon. Member of Parliament Theo Heyliger and the UP board expresses their deepest sympathy to the people of the Netherlands and the Dutch Government with respect to the tragic loss of Dutch citizens on Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 that crashed in Ukraine.

The UP family also expresses its deepest sympathy to the families of all other nationalities who lost a love one on the Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur flight that crashed on Thursday.

“Our prayers and thoughts are with the families who have lost a love one.  This is a dreadful thing that has happened, and there should be a speedy inquiry into the circumstances of the crash,” the UP Board said on Friday.

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WIB donates and urges the community to support the St. Maarten Zoo

MADAME ESTATE, Sint Maarten - The Windward Islands Bank Ltd. (WIB) in recognizing the importance of maintaining a ZOO for recreational and educational purposes in our community, made a financial contribution to the St. Maarten Zoological and Botanical Garden Foundation. 

Board members of the Zoo have been trying their utmost with fundraising to repair and maintain the daily operations at the Zoo.

“The St. Maarten Zoo has been in existence for over 20 years and we would like see it continue for future generations.

“In good condition, the St. Maarten Zoo is a wonderful place where locals and tourist can enjoy animals and plants from the Caribbean and South America region”, said Managing Director, Derek Downes. He also urged the business community and citizens to continue to support the Zoo.

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General Audit Chamber issues report on General Pension Fund

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The General Audit Chamber issued their report regarding the Financial Statements of the General Pension Fund (APS) for the year 2011 on July 17th 2014 to the Minister of Finance and Parliament. The National Ordinance General Pension Fund stipulates that the Fund is subject to review by the General Audit Chamber and requires that a report is issued regarding the audited financial statements (annual accounts) to Parliament and the Minister of Finance.

The Financial Statements for the year 2011 were officially presented in May 2013 and submitted to the General Audit Chamber in June 2013. This review represents the first time that the General Audit Chamber is carrying out the legally required task of auditing the APS.

As a part of the work on the 2011 financial statements of APS, the General Audit Chamber reviewed the legal compliance as well as aspects on governance, compliance and risk management. 

For the year 2011, the General Audit Chamber noted that there were substantial uncertainties in the financial statements regarding the division of assets and liabilities of the former Netherlands Antilles. In addition, the participant administration was found to not yet be complete. The year 2011 represented the start of actual operations of the Fund.

The review of the financial statements is an annually recurring activity. Work on the review of the 2012 financial statements of the APS will commence as soon as these have been formally prepared and presented to the General Audit Chamber by APS.

After submission to Parliament, reports of the General Audit Chamber are made public.

The report is available on the website of the General Audit Chamber ( www.arsxm.org) in both English and Dutch.

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US Leader Frans Richardson: ‘We want to know why only UP supporters are being approved to purchase homes in Belvedere’

BELVEDERE, Sint Maarten - Number 1 candidate and leader of the United Sint Maarten Party (USp) is demanding an explanation from the Minister of Housing Maurice Lake and the Board and Management of the St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF), as to why low income homes built in the Belvedere area and to be sold to residents through a qualification and an elimination process, are reportedly been used as political incentives, giving preference to supporters of the United People’s Party (UP).

Reports are that tenants who have been on the waiting lists for months and even years and have qualified to purchase these homes, have been overstepped because of prejudice and favoritism to UP members in exchange for their support and vote.

 “The purpose of this foundation and project was to make owning a home more affordable to everyone, no matter their political allegiance. This is a process that should be conducted in a fair and impartial manner,” Richardson said.

“However when the process becomes corrupted, you not only discriminate against persons but you cheat hard working people out of the chance to achieve their goals and to take care of their families.”

“This is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately and mustn’t be pushed aside nor swept under the rug,” he charged.

“So as a parliamentary candidate, as a resident and as a family man, I am asking the Minister and his team to give us answers regarding this issue as it is just too much of a coincidence that the people on his party are the only one’s been approved for these homes.” (Contributed by the US Party)

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UTS Internet Service Back Online After Interruption in Service

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - At 11 pm last night (Wednesday), July 16, UTS experienced a service interruption to its CaribServe internet service, as well as to its Chippie mobile data service. Chippie mobile voice and SMS service was not affected by this outage.

This service interruption was due a break in a fibre optic cable of the company’s mainland US broadband connectivity partner. This cable is the means of connecting UTS’s data traffic to the World Wide Web.

US technicians were deployed immediately at the fault site in mainland United States to restore full connectivity. In the interim the UTS technical team also worked parallel on alternate routes to restore internet traffic as well. 

Service was fully restored at 9.30 am today and connectivity is being monitored closely and remains stable since restoration.

“UTS sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience this outage may have caused its CaribServe and Chippie customers” says UTS Marketing and Communication Officer, Ivy Lambert.

“We are thankful that the majority of the down-time was during the late night and early morning hours, when the need for data connectivity is significantly diminished. We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding while we worked on resolving the outage” Lambert continues.

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Cake House renovates, expands healthy vegetarian choices for 30th anniversary reducing meat and offering more substitutes

L.B. SCOTT ROAD, Sint Maarten - In an effort to support and promote healthy living in St. Maarten, Cake House Bakery and Supermarket has renovated its main location on the L.B. Scott Road and has expanded its vegetarian, vegan and healthy choices for shoppers just in time for its 30th anniversary this month.

The supermarket will also be progressively reducing the quantity of meat and meat products from its shelves. The changes are just in time for the establishment’s 30th anniversary operating in St. Maarten. The LB Scot Road location opened 30 years ago this month.

The healthy move is also part of Cake House’s goal to be the destination where vegans, vegetarians and healthy eaters can go to for all their healthy eating supplies.

“The transformation of the establishment has been years in the making and it’s our way to help the population of St. Maarten live up to their healthy lifestyle goals and make it easier for persons to find healthy food choices,” says co-owner Sandra Cheung, a vegetarian herself.

The expansion of healthy choices has been gradually taking shape and Cake House now stocks a wide selection of different types of tofu, vegetarian shrimp, scallop, chicken, beef, steak, ham, fish, fillets, meatballs and many more healthy meat substitutes. This is in addition to the selection of other items such as fresh vegetables, some of which come from Cheung’s own organic garden.  

There are also more healthy choices in the Bakery section. In addition to the regular daily cakes, vegan pastries and hot buns, sliced wheat/white, French, plait and other breads, Cake House has added eggless cupcakes, pumpkin breads and onion cakes to the mix.

These are made daily from scratch and are healthy options for green eaters. The eggless cakes come in an assortment of flavours such as pineapple, cherry, blueberry, walnut, almonds, mixed nuts and plain.

Customers can also indulge in the establishment’s new “million dollar pocket” - a special healthy and fulfilling treat made with prunes, nuts, green peas, mushrooms and vegetarian meat wrapped in sweet sticky rice and covered with lotus leaf.

Free tasting of a selection of the new baked items is available at the supermarket.

Cheung said Cake House is cognisant that with many residents busy juggling their work and family lives, it may not always be possible for one to prepare a healthy meal every day. The supermarket has therefore expanded its daily hot take-away food choices.

Customers can now choose from about ten different hot vegan food options. Choices include callaloo; pumpkin; stir fried vegetables; broccoli; pak choy and choy sum, vegan chicken sate; vegetable soup, provisions, sweet plantain, peas and rice and white rice. The vegetables are either made alone or with one or more vegan meats.

Some vegetables used for the daily hot meals come from Cheung’s organic garden and are chemical free.

Cake House Supermarket, which first opened in St. Maarten as a bakery in 1984 and later added a supermarket, is the first supermarket in St. Maarten to take a proactive approach to reduce its footprint on the island by eliminating the use of plastic bags in 2005. To date plastic bags are still not used.   

Cake House says it remains committed to being a healthy choice for St. Maarten shoppers and urged everyone to visit the establishment to try out its vegan, vegetarian and healthy items.

Cake House opens daily from 6:30am. To learn more about Cake House and for more information about vegan/vegetarianism visit their website at: www.cakehousegroup.com or call Sandra Cheung at tel. 586-3019, 542-0522. (Contributed by Cake House Group)

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TelEm Group technicians tackling network issues

POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten – TelEm Group technicians are busy tackling network issues that have been affecting residential and business customers during the past two days. 

The issues follow a major outage of telecommunication services last week and are affecting internet, mobile and international customers. 

Technicians were also called upon Wednesday to make emergency repairs to a damaged cable in the Pelican Key area where internet and voice service was also affected. 

 “We are busy looking into these problems and are working diligently to restore all services as soon as possible,” said TelEm Group Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Mr. Eldert Louisa. 

He said by 5:00 pm Wednesday, an issue with internet connections had been resolved and a temporary solution for customers at Pelican Key had been found until more permanent repairs can be carried out the following day. 

Mr. Louisa said a preliminary report following last week’s outage did not identify any major problem with the company’s network infrastructure but indicated that a fault on the switching equipment was a contributing factor. 

“We thank customers for their calls about how their services are being affected and they can rest assured that we are taking note of their complaints. We are doing all we can to restore their services as soon as we possibly can,” said Mr. Louisa, who has also apologized to residential and business customers for these interruptions.

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