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Grisha Heyliger-Marten Calls Detention Theo at Philipsburg Police Station, a “Stab in the back”

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) – Grisha Heyliger-Marten, wife of Member of Parliament (MP) and United Democrats (UD) leader, Theo Heyliger, says the arrest and detention of her husband in the Philipsburg Police Station is a “stab in the back.”

“They came to our house around 7:00am on Tuesday, 19 February 2019. They were there for six hours. They came in ten vehicles. They were very polite with my kids, including the youngest one who is six years old. After that, in my mind, I was thinking they were going to take Theo to Pointe Blanche,” she said.

However, the UD leader and highest vote-getter on the island, was whisked off to the Philipsburg Police Station which has already been condemned by the European Court as unfit for human detention.

“For spite they’re doing this. I know now they were just being nice to me in the morning so that they can stick the dagger in the back,” said Mrs. Heyliger-Marten.

She said she was going to remain calm and silent and allow the process to take its course at least for the next 48 hours. However, she decided to go public after she learned that they were holding her husband in a Police cell in Philipsburg which a recent ruling by the European Court condemned as inhuman.

“Why is it that all the other detainees in this and other investigations were held in Pointe Blanche, except Theo?” she asked. “They want to break him; they want to break this country.”

The UD leader is expected to appear in court on Thursday, February 21stat 2:00PM as he continues his legal battle in the so-called LARIMAR investigation in which he is suspected of alleged bribery, corruption and money-laundering.

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SMART 2019 Opens Early Bird Season

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Early Bird ticket season for the Saint Martin / Sint Maarten Annual Trade Show (SMART) 2019 edition (May 21st– May 23d) has officially started as of today. This was announced by the event’s key organizers Office du Tourisme de Saint Martin, Sint Maarten Tourism Bureau, L’Association des Hoteliers de Saint Martin (AHSM) and the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA).

Early Bird Season will run until the month of April and allows foreign tour operators, local tourism and non-tourism businesses alike to purchase access passes to what is traditionally the largest tradeshow of the Northeastern Caribbean. Amongst others, this year’s event will include more innovation, experiences, local businesses, added trainings, a new topic of “mystery dinners” and a vendor street.

SMART’s 15thedition has been in the making for quite some time. Key partners abroad and domestic have been notified that this jubilee edition is to take place. All four partners are committed to show the destination is back in business after the effects of the 2017 hurricane season. 

For its comeback edition, organizers chose a new logo, look and approach befitting the renewed mission of the event – providing insights in hospitality and business innovations available, in addition to the traditional business meetings taking place. Its ambition is to involve even more Saint Martin / Sint Maarten local businesses, both tourism and non-tourism, than it did in its previous 14 editions. 

The largest SMART thus far will consist of 3 days of inspiring innovative masterclasses, workshops, activities, festivities and business to business appointments. The event will kick off on Tuesday 21st May 2019 with a unique opening ceremonyAfter two days of conferences including a “mystery dinner tour” in the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean, a spectacular farewell event will end SMART’s 15th edition. 

The organizing partners are expecting numerous Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Travel Writers and Event Planners from the US, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to attend this important event.

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

Registration for Early Birds can be done at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Event information will be continuously updated at SHTA.com/SMART. For reservations or questions, please call +1-721-542-0108.

SMART and Partners logos

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Minister Smith congratulates G.I.F.T.E.D. ROYALTY AWARDS Nominees

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the Honourable Wycliffe Smith extends his congratulations to the GIFTED Foundation on the hosting of their 4thGIFTED Royalty Awards. The foundation is set to host this year’s ceremony on Sunday, February 24th, 2019 at the Belair Community Center.

There are 6 local high schools participating in this year’s event. In 2015, this initiative was launched with the “Young Kings Awards”, recognizing five dynamic young men from our local high schools in the areas of Athletics, Arts, Academics, Leadership and Community Service.

In 2016, this was expanded to include the recognition of our remarkable young women in the same categories, renaming of the awards to “THE G.I.F.T.E.D. ROYALTY AWARDS”. A total of 161 students have been recognized and celebrated since we started in 2015.

In this year’s celebration of youth excellence, over 40 students have been nominated by their high schools for this prestigious recognition of their hard work, dedication, and exemplary standard in their school and in the community. According to Minister Smith, “This is a good reminder for us at a time when negative news seem to bombard us concerning our young people. However, these nominees for GIFTED Royalty Awards should be shared and celebrated in our community and on social media for their achievements. Congratulations to all the Royalty Awards nominees. You are all Young Kings and Queens!”

The profiles of all nominees have been posted on the GIFTED Foundation’s Facebook page. In making their nominations, the following exemplary students were considered by their high schools.

In Academics, these nominees are noted as excelling consistently in their academics. 

They are marked by discipline and diligence towards academic excellence.In Expressive Arts, these nominees are considered exceptionally skilled and dedicated to at least one discipline of The Arts. The nominees must be currently active in the expressive arts. His/her character should be marked by discipline and integrity.

In the category of Athletics, these nominees are considered exceptionally skilled and dedicated to at least one sport. The nominees are currently active in an individual or team sport. Their character is marked by discipline and sportsmanship. 

For Community Service, these nominees are known by their peers and teachers for giving themselves to volunteerism in school and the wider community. Their character is marked by generosity, respect and a willing spirit.

In the area of Leadership, these nominees are considered as consistent in demonstrating leadership among their peers. The nominees are esteemed as dependable and they take initiative to guide and influence his/her peers towards positive behavior. They have earned the respect of their peers as well as teachers and staff. His/her character should be marked by discipline, integrity and influence.

GIFTED Foundation is a not-for-profit organization focused on youth and community development on St. Maarten/St. Martin and the wider region. The organization’s aim is to continue highlighting the positively outstanding youth of Sint Maarten and subsequently inspire the next generation. 

The initiatives seek to proactively tackle social ills such as youth delinquency, crime, violence, and child-abuse, among others issues by promoting social values such as education, justice, unity, volunteerism and youth dynamism.

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Sarah: UD Saddened by arrest. Innocent until proven guilty

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The leadership and members of the United Democrats Party (UD) are deeply saddened by the arrest of our leader MP Theodore Heyliger on February 19, 2019, Member and President of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot Williams said in a statement on Tuesday. 

“It goes without saying that the arrest is a major blow to the UD and we consider this a dark day, not only for the party, but especially for Theo’s wife and children and St. Maarten in general. Grisha, the boys and his extended family are in our constant thoughts and prayers.

“It is an ordeal we wish no one, but the impact of Theo’s arrest will be felt far and near. In Parliament, we of the UD, will have to ensure that the people’s interest will continue to be center stage, despite this serious setback we are facing.

“We will carefully follow the developments surrounding MP Heyliger’s arrest and we will uphold the mantra of innocent until proven guilty.  We must, also for the benefit of our country, have faith in the justice system and we can only hope that fair justice will prevail, regardless of prejudices, real or perceived.

“St. Maarten is at crossroads in so many respects and the arrest of MP Heyliger is surely not helpful in this regard. It is still very early in the process and we implore everyone to not be hasty in jumping to conclusions. 

“As more details and information become available, the UD will inform its membership and the St. Maarten people in general about the course the party is taking,” MP Wescot Williams said on Tuesday.

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SMMC welcomes rotational Pediatric Cardiologist

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) is pleased to announce a new rotational Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Amadu Juliana, who has started providing his services recently. Dr. Juliana is providing general Pediatric Cardiology services during regular visits to the hospital which started in January. 

Dr. Juliana began his Pediatric training at the University Hospital of Groningen in The Netherlands. He began his practice as a Pediatrician with Pediatric Cardiology expertise in non-invasive diagnostics: Electrocardiogram (ECG) and Echocardiography.  After working for 8 years as a Pediatrician in Suriname, Dr. Juliana furthered his fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at the Leiden University Hospital and registered as a Pediatric Cardiologist in The Netherlands.He currently works at the Academic Pediatric Center in Suriname.

As a Pediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Juliana diagnoses and treats congenital and acquired heart conditions in infants, children and adolescents. Dr. Juliana’s Pediatric Cardiology experience brings new areas of expertise to SMMC, including: Echocardiograms, Prenatal Echocardiography, evaluation for Arrhythmias and invasive procedures through heart characterizations. His clinical interests include Congenital heart defects, Rheumatic heart disease and Prenatal Echocardiography.

Dr. Felix Holiday, SMMC’s Medical Director, stated: “We are excited to welcome Dr. Juliana to SMMC with his expertise and focus on quality outcomes. We are eager to implement his vision for improving access to high-quality Cardiac care for the children of St. Maarten”.

With the provision of this service, the hospital will give children the best possible chance for a healthy future through the early diagnosis and repair of pediatric heart defects. 

Patients who wish to see the new Pediatric Cardiologist can make an appointment at the Outpatient Department at Tel: 543-1111 ext. 1300 or 1310. Appointments can be made from Mondays-Fridays between 8:00 am – 4:30 pm.

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Dutch Minister of Education pays visit to APS’ Mary’s Fancy Plantation project

SINT MAARTEN (MARY’S FANCY) - The General Pension Fund of Sint Maarten, APS in collaboration with Dr. Jay Haviser hosted a tour and presentation of the restoration of the Mary’s Fancy Plantation for Dutch Minister of Education, Culture & Science Ms. Ingrid van Engelshoven and her support staff on February 4th. 

Dr. Jay Haviser, Director of SIMARC gave a presentation of the restoration project, including information on the National Heritage Center. Dr. Haviser spoke adamantly about the restoration project, stating that the approach of APS towards this project is “an example of renovation/restoration done right.” 

SIMARC is responsible for the execution of the archaeological digs, tree inventory and consultation. The collaboration with SIMARC grants young locals the opportunity to be actively involved in the project as well.

“We are happy to be able to host Minister Engelshoven and her delegation. Once completed, we believe the Mary’s Fancy restoration project will be another prime monument that both locals and visitors can enjoy for many generations to come.” - Mrs. Kendra Arnell - Manager Projects. 

The delegation included Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (MEYCS) Mr. Wycliffe Smith and his support staff, representatives of the Inspectorate of MEYCF, representative of the Netherlands Mr. Chris Johnson, Mr. Erwin Arkenbout and several other government officials. APS officials included Mr Oscar Williams - Manager Pension Administration & Reporting and Mrs. Kendra Arnell - Manager Projects.

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CC1 St. Maarten introduces Capriccio Bubbly Sangria

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - CC1 St. Maarten, the exclusive distributor of Coca Cola®, the number #1 beverage in the world introduces Capriccio Sangria, the sangria that has revolutionized beverage alcohol in the United States. 

Capriccio Sangria has become the fastest growing beverage alcohol brand in the US market due to its premium ingredients and tremendous social media following.  Capriccio Sangria is made from 100 percent natural fruit juices and grape wine with no additives or preservatives.  

Dave Steiner, National Sales Director at Florida Caribbean Distillers who manufactures Capriccio, stated that “consumer demand has been so strong that the brand consistently sold out in retail stores.  We had to rapidly increase our production capabilities to supply the huge demand from every market.” 

Using the claim “How Do You Capriccio” we invited consumers to spread the word for the Brand on how they consume and enjoy their favorite Capriccio flavor in different consumption moments.  We have even launched a campaign called the Capriccio Hunt that invited consumers to go out into the market to search for and acquire their own Capriccio bottle. 

Even though Capriccio Sangria was introduced to the US market in 2015, it has most recently taken off with sales growth in the most recent quarter of 432 percent over the previous year eclipsing all other sangria brands.  Capriccio Sangria is without a doubt the fastest selling sangria in the US and the number one selling sangria in all the Caribbean. 

The product is sold in a convenient 4-pack of 375ml bottles for single serve usage, and is also available for bars/restaurants and home consumption in a 750ml bottle. It currently is available in both a red and white flavor presentation with future flavors of watermelon and rose on the horizon.  Capriccio Sangria is available from your favorite supermarket or liquor store, and please remember to always enjoy Capriccio Sangria responsibly.

CC1 St. Maarten is a leader in beverages, beers and spirit distribution on St. Maarten and the surrounding islands. For inquires, or placing an order please contact CC1 St. Maarten, +1 721 542 2283. Located on Oryx Drive #1, Cay Hill or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Inspectorate TEATT to meet Quarterly with Veterinary Clinics

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Inspectorate of TEATT (Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunications) are working with stakeholders to further enhance relations which is mutually beneficial to both parties concerned.

Management of the Inspectorate TEATT, representatives of Section LVV (Livestock, Agriculture & Fisheries) of the Inspectorate met with representatives of several Veterinary Clinics operating in the country, namely, the St. Maarten Veterinary Clinic, The Animal Hospital of St. Maarten, and the Animal Care Clinic. 

It was decided during this meeting that the Inspectorate TEATT and the Veterinary Clinics will meet on a quarterly basis with the next meeting set for May 8.

A number of topics were discussed that are related to animal welfare and the protection of the country as well as emergency preparedness interventions for animals in the event of natural and man-made disasters, the latter which is based on Article 14 of the Organization Decree, Ministry of TEATT and is also a requirement of the Ministry of TEATT’s Disaster Preparedness Plan.

Other issues that were discussed were licensing and registration of veterinarians; stray animals; microchipping of animals; guidelines for the importation of animals; disaster preparedness plan for veterinarians; and veterinarian disease surveillance reporting. 

The meeting took place in the conference room of the Inspectorate at its offices on the Juancho Yrausquin Boulevard, Point Blanche.

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PJIA welcomes JetBlue’s daily Fort Lauderdale SXM route

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - JetBlue’s newest route from Fort Lauderdale to St. Maarten landed at Princess Juliana International Airport carrying 127 elated passengers who received a warm welcome reception at the bottom of the stairwell from a large delegation led by Finance Minister the Honourable Perry Geerlings, and First Vice-President of the Collectivité of St. Martin Valérie Damaseau, Thursday morning.

During a brief reception at the SXM Airport’s Departure Gate # 1, Director of International BlueCities, JetBlue Giselle Cortes spoke with pride about St. Maarten’s newest route as a great addition to its Latin America and Caribbean routes. 

JetBlue’s new nonstop service to St. Maarten arrives daily at 11:55am at the Princess Juliana International Airport and departs at 12:55 pm to Fort Lauderdale. During his brief address, Minister Geerlings spoke of the benefit of JetBlue to the destination as it rebuilds post-Irma. 

He said, “Today, JetBlue has again shown its commitment to the rebuilding of St. Maarten’s economy with the addition of this new Route that adds more than sixty-two thousand five hundred seats for the destination. 

“This translates into thousands of heads-in-beds for our hotels and as many covers for our local bars and restaurants. It peaks the interests of even more travellers and signals that St. Maarten is definitely open for business.” 

Today, JetBlue has again shown its commitment to the rebuilding of St. Maarten’s economy with the addition of this new Route that adds more than sixty-two thousand five hundred seats for the destination. 

This translates into thousands of heads-in-beds for our hotels and as many covers for our local bars and restaurants. It peaks the interests of even more travellers and signals that St. Maarten is definitely open for business. 

Also on hand for the welcome ceremony was Chief Executive Officer for PJIA Bryan Mingo. Mingo gave brief remarks during the welcome ceremony stating that the airport was proud of the achievement given that years of hard work had gone into getting the new route. 

JetBlue has shown its commitment to the rebuilding of St. Maarten’s economy with the addition of this new Route that adds more than sixty-two thousand five hundred seats for the destination. This translates into thousands of heads-in-beds for our hotels and as many covers for our local bars and restaurants. It peaks the interests of even more travellers and signals that St. Maarten is definitely open for business.

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Network conference ‘Dutch as a foreign language’

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - On the 6thand 7thof February a network conference 'Dutch as a foreign language' took place on Curaçao. Nederlandse Taalunie organised this event, together with the ministries of education of the four countries Curaçao, Aruba, St. Maarten and the Netherlands. The Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba also fall under the Ministry of Education of the Netherlands.

At this conference, representatives from the various ministries and representatives from various levels of education were present. They talked about the challenges of the Dutch language in education and set up a network. 

The aim of this network is to exchange knowledge, experience and materials about the teaching of Dutch as a foreign language. But also, to work in collaboration with the educational institutions on the islands to further professionalise teachers.For most students Dutch is not their native language. A foreign language is learned differently from a native language. That is why more and more schools on the islands of the former Netherlands Antilles are using the NVT-didactics. 

This ‘Dutch as Foreign-Language’ didactic appears to be a successful approach to teaching students how to speak and understand Dutch well. The teacher ensures that the students are actively involved with the language during classes. This way they learn to use the language quickly. 

The teaching materials are also adjusted to the living environment of the students. For example, they’re not taught about cows and sheep in the field, but about iguanas and hermit crabs. This way the students learn faster, because they recognize what the materials are about and can link this to what they already know.

The day after the conference, the ‘Vierlandenoverleg’ of the Ministers of Education of the four countries took place. Together they signed a letter of intent with the Nederlandse Taalunie. This declaration lays the foundation for further cooperation and development in the area of ​​Dutch as a foreign language in the region. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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