Soualiga Newsday Top Stories


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Soualiga Newsday Top Stories (2899)

Study Financing, USM, Monroe discuss educational opportunities

POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten - The Division Study Financing, the University of St. Martin, and Monroe College held a meeting recently to discuss strengthening the relationship between Monroe and the University of St. Martin that would benefit St. Maarten students.

The agreement will provide quality education to the St. Maarten population.

Present at the meeting were Francio Guadeloupe Dean of Academics the University of St. Martin, Director of Admissions Gersom Lopez from Monroe College, Calvin B. Mardemborough, Senior Study Financing Policy Advisor, Study Financing Division, Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports, and Robert Budike, Financial Manager, the University of St. Martin.

Director of Admissions Lopez stated that Monroe College, a committed partner, comes to the table as a fully accredited institution via the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Through this accreditation students are guaranteed an international recognized degree.

Monroe representative Lopez also stated that St. Maarten and the USM fit into the target nations/target audience of Monroe College, who has students from regions such as Asian tigers and emerging trade giants in the region such as South Korea, China, India, Japan, the Gulf states, and the UK.

Guadeloupe said that this market that Monroe has is beneficial in many ways to St. Maarten/St. Martin students, who will be exposed to an international environment and young professionals hailing from the four corners of the globe. He said that Monroe recognizes the equally phenomenal growth of the hospitality and service sector which could be coupled with their S.T.E.M. affiliated programs and focus on technology and computer engineering/information systems. Technology has its counterpart in enhancing techniques of service and customer satisfaction tied to a human face. It is here in terms of the hospitality and business sector that Monroe is beneficial to St. Maarten/St. Martin’s needs.

Within short, the both institutions will produce a joint brochure, listing the courses the USM offers in Business and Hospitality that are transferable to Monroe College and a representative from Monroe College will come to St. Maarten to jointly promote at the high schools.

An agreement is that students on the island who do the first two (2) year associate with USM, they can continue onwards to do one (1) year and 4 months at Monroe and gain their BA degree. Those who do the pre-USM can thus obtain their BA in 4,4 years. Admission to USM program will be accompanied with a partial letter of admittance to Monroe College. Two conditions will have to be met, and that is that the student graduates from the USM and he/she has a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.50.

In the near future, Monroe College will offer individuals on St. Maarten with ample work experience on a BA to possibility of enrollment in an executive MA hospitality program or adult learners in an online BA(for those on an A.A. level).                                                                              Also discussed was the Monroe “College for a week” program that had been previously done in collaboration with the St. Maarten government, which allowed St. Maarten high school students to experience College life while spending a week at Monroe.

Since signing of the MOU with Monroe College in June 2011, St. Maarten students including those who transferred with credits from the USM have made our country proud by graduating among the best in their class.


Ministry VSA holds record with fewest complaints registered with the Ombudsman

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Ministry of Public Health Social Development & Labor (VSA) holds the record of having the fewest complaints filed/registered with the Ombudsman in 2013.

An improved screening procedure of complaints filed with the Ombudsman resulted in less complaints registered and investigated. A total of sixty two (62) new complaints were registered in the year 2013 and only three of those complaints were against the Ministry VSA. 

In 2011 15 complaints were filed against the ministry. Though the number of complaints filed with the Ombudsman was proportionally less than the complaints filed in previous year, the Bureau handled more citizens in need of information.

The Statistics complaints per ministry in % are as follows: Ministry of General Affairs (GA) 16.13%, Ministry of Finance 17.74%, Ministry of Justice 19.35%, Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports 9.68%, Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Public Transportation and Telecommunication (TEZVT) 14.62%, Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, environment and Infrastructure (VROMI) 14.62%, Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) 4.84%.

Minister de Weever stated: “I am proud of my ministry and the work that every civil servant in it has done to improve the overall service to the people we help. We have all grown so much in three and a half years and I want us to all stay on this course and continue to improve the lives of the people we assist every day.”


Government officials attend memorial service for Flight MH-17 victims

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – On Thursday Government officials, Members of Parliament, representatives of the Dutch Government in Philipsburg and many others attended the memorial church service for the crash victims of Malaysian Airways Flight MH-17 at the Anglican Church.  The service was conducted by Reverend Terrence Rawlins. 

The condolence registers at the Government Administration Building and at the Public Service Center in Simpson Bay Village will close on Friday, July 25 at 5.00pm.  The registers along with the one at the Philipsburg Office of the Representative of the Netherlands will be sent to the Dutch Government.  The online condolence register will remain open and can be accessed by going to Facebook and typing St. Maarten Condolence Page for the Victims of Flight MH17.




CUPECOY/MULLET BAY, Sint Maarten - On Tuesday July 22nd at approximately 09.30 p.m., during a routine patrol on Rhine Road a police patrol saw a gold colored Hyundai Accent with license plate M-5768 driving in the direction of Mullet Bay.

The officers noticed that there were three occupants in the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle and the passenger next to driver became quite suspicious when the saw the patrol by pulling down the sunshades in the vehicle when the patrol drove by, in order to conceal their identity.

Immediately the patrol followed the vehicle in order the control the vehicle and the occupants. After the vehicle was stopped the officers smelled the strong scent of marihuana coming from inside the car. 

The three occupants and the vehicle were searched, however no drugs were found on the suspects.  During the search of the vehicle a 9 mm pistol was found in a handbag under the drivers’ seat.

In connection with this all three suspects with initials B.A.W. (32), S.A.E (20) and V.H. (20) were arrested on the spot for illegal fire-arm possession. The suspects were all taken to the Philipsburg Police Station and handed over to the Detective Department who will continue this investigation.

At the police station the investigating officers received information that a warrant for the arrest of the suspect S.A.E. was issued in connection with the ongoing daylight armed robbery of “Dazzeling Gem” on Front Street. (Contributed by the Police Force of Sint Maarten)


NIA students & teachers receive intensive training abroad

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Several members of the National Institute for Arts (NIA), including teachers and students,are currently in the United States of America receiving rigorous instructions in the fields of dance and performance art.

The students, Ray-Angel Boasman, Jeremiah David, Zoe van Zadelhoff, Dashaun Prince, Lian Borje, Jay Mills, Jeanille Gibs and  Mervin Leblanc are in New York with the Art Saves Lives Foundation and were amongst those chosen to travel to receive lessons at prestigious dance institutions in that state. In addition to their classes, students are also able to take in the city’s sights and broaden their knowledge about dance and also the world.

“At NIA we are committed to giving our students every opportunity to see dance and the performance arts as more than just a hobby, as a true vehicle for self-development and means through which to see the world. We were extremely pleased when our students enrolled in Art Saves Lives Summer Intensive 2014 and very pleased when so many of them were chosen to have this experience with such a wonderful organization in New York,” Clara Reyes, co-director of NIA, said.

NIA teacher, Clifford Henry is also in US, though further west in Seattle, Washington, attending the Summer Dance Institute for Teachers (SDIT) at the Creative Dance Center. At the end of his stay, he will receive his teacher’s certificate from this esteemed institute. Last year, NIA teachers Rudolph Davis and Naomi Adriana were also able to travel for training to this program, courtesy of a scholarship from NIA. Co-directors Reyes and Arlene Halley are also certified by the same school.

We would like to stress here our commitment to the professional development of our teachers in order to maintain NIA’s high standard of artistic excellence. Whatever our teachers learn benefits our students and allows them to develop to their highest potentials. The benefit of this course is not only limited to the teacher in question, but the entire community will be impacted by the dissemination of their acquired knowledge through their community based teaching,” Halley said.

Reyes and Halley said that NIA was busy fostering relationships with other regional and international dance and performing arts institutions including Head Made Factory on French St. Martin, ArtEZ in Arnhem and other renowned institutes in Amsterdam, and Edna Manley College for Visual and Performing Arts, in Jamaica.

“For us what is most important is that our students and teachers understand how very much we want them to excel and also do their best in both dance and beyond. Again, the arts is a medium through which lives can be explored and transformed and we always want them to remember this as they move through each new encounter and experience,” the co-directors said. 


“25 girls Complete Successful Oualichi Girls Summer Soccer Camp”

CAY HILL, Sint Maarten - During a three day program held from the 17th until 19th of July twenty-five girls, varying in experience level, got introduced to the world of soccer. The camp was a combination of soccer training and fun activities with the children playing football in the morning, switching to fun afternoon activities which were made possible by the Butterfly Farm, Aqua Mania Adventures and Tri sports.

During the finals on Saturday of the camp two girls got rewarded the Coaches award and the Most Valuable Player award. The awards were in the form of two Fifa Coca Cola balls of the 2014 World Cup donated by B&C Beverages.

Indira Richardson received the coach award for her discipline, sportsmanship and team spirit and Emese Wurth received the Most Valuable Player award for exhibiting great talent on the field. All kids received certificates from Coach Hannah O’Brien and Coach Meredith Aird who travelled from Connecticut to conduct the trainings. 

The Oualichi Women’s Soccer Association also partnered with the fit camp of the Minsitry of Health, Labour and Social Affairs by organising a small soccer tournament at the field for the approximately 50 kids of both camps.  Minister the Honorabble Cornelius de Weever also took time out of his busy schedule to attend the final tournament.

This specific Girls camp was unique in that it focused solely on young females with the organisation and trainings given only by women.  The camp was also made free in order to make it possible for all kids of different backgrounds to participate.

The Oualichi Women’s Soccer Association would like to thank all who volunteered and assisted in making this camp possible, specifically the sponors Gebe NV, Island Gems Charity Foundation, Medicosmetics, Domino’s and Powerade for donating to the organisation of the camp. The Oualichi Women’s Soccer Association invites all to stay updated with future activities by following the facebook page: Oualichi Women’s Soccer Team or the website:


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.


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)


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)


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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