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Civil Registry Department Closed on Monday and Tuesday

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Civil Registry Department offices at the Public Service Center Government Administration Building in Philipsburg and Simpson Bay, are closed for Monday, June 21 and Tuesday, June 22.

The closure is in connection with COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the public will be updated with respect to when the offices will reopen; the contact number in case of an emergency; as well as available services.

The Civil Registry Department apologizes for any inconvenience caused.

All other services at the Government Administration Building and at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center are operational.

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STATIA HAS NEW GOVERNMENT COMMISSIONERS

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - Statia has a newly appointed Government Commissioner: Alida Francis. At the same time Claudia Toet is appointed as the new Deputy Government Commissioner. The Dutch Council of Ministers has approved the appointment of both candidates this morning, Friday, June 18th, 2021, based on the recommendation of State Secretary Raymond Knops (Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations),

The new Government Commissioner and her deputy will take office with effect from June 22nd, 2021, following the departure of Marnix van Rij earlier this year.

During a special ceremony this morning where both Alida Francis and Claudia Toet were sworn in, State Secretary Raymond Knops said that he is very pleased to swear in the new Government Commissioner and the Deputy.

I am extremely happy that Ms. Francis will take up this honorable position as Government Commissioner. She has a lot of knowledge and was born and raised in Statia. I have no doubt that she is the ideal person to fulfil this position.” About Claudia Toet, Raymond Knops said that Claudia worked on Statia for 1.5 years already and knows how to build bridges. Knops: “Alida and Claudia are a perfect match.”

Alida Francis

Alida Francis was born and raised on Statia and has been working in the Caribbean Netherlands for more than thirty years, of which 2 years for the Government of St. Maarten, 18 years in Statia as Director of Tourism and more than 10 years as senior communications advisor for Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland (RCN). She has served as Deputy Government Commissioner of St. Eustatius since February 15th, 2020.

Alida Francis: “I eagerly look forward to continuing efforts to strengthen the civil service organization, increasing the pace of the implementation of projects that will boost the local economy and working with the members of the Island Council on the Route Time Table.

“St. Eustatius is undergoing a major transformation. As a native Statian I am extremely proud to be a part of this transformation and will work with everyone who is willing to invest effort and time to lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth for our island; a foundation that is solid enough for future generations to build upon.”

Claudia Toet

Claudia Toet was born and raised in The Hague, the Netherlands. For the past 1.5 years, she has worked for the Government Commissioners of St Eustatius as an advisor and Change Manager, and also for the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations as a dedicated St Eustatius project leader. Previously she was employed by the Municipality of Rotterdam for ten years as a Department Head responsible for (among others) the portfolios vulnerable (high-risk) youth, municipal taxes, supervision and enforcement.

Claudia Toet: “I am excited that I can use my experience of the past 1.5 years in Statia and as a project leader in the role of Deputy Government Commissioner. The civil service organization has developed, in knowledge and skills, to be able to tackle the number of projects and the criteria associated with the restoration of the democracy.

“There is a lot to do and the pressure is high, and yet I have every confidence that we will work towards better socio-economic conditions in consultation with the Island Council and the stakeholders involved. I look forward to taking the next steps together with the Government Commissioner, the Island Council and the civil servants. Together with Ms. Francis, I will do everything in my power to continue taking steps for Statia. This will be done in dialogue and with an open mind.” (Statia GIS)

SEU New Gov Comm Knops

Alida Francis (L) and Claudia Toet (R) sworn in by State Secretary Raymond Knops via a Webex conference.

 

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Royal Caribbean Group Donates $25K Worth of PPE to Collective Prevention Services via SMDF

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Through a facilitated effort between Royal Caribbean Cruises, Port St. Maarten, and the St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF), the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) was the recipient of USD $25,000 worth of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to combat the local spread of SARS-CoV-2 and support its vaccination efforts.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and upon seeing the alarming uptick in cases, Royal Caribbean Cruises reached out to Port St. Maarten to donate USD $25,000 worth of PPE to St. Maarten. SMDF was later entrusted to facilitate this effort, which involved launching a public tender in search of local suppliers of quality PPE. SMDF worked directly with CPS representatives to identify their specific needs, preferences, and quantities of items required. Following communications, it was determined that the items in short supply at CPS included face masks and shields, gloves in various sizes, hand sanitizer, alcohol, disinfecting wipes and solutions, and cleaning supplies.

Upon completion of the tender process, local businesses Divico Distributors, Martijn Trading, and Watkan Trading were selected as recipients of the bid and quickly proceeded with sourcing and delivering the relevant PPE items to CPS. Due to the pandemic, suppliers faced global shortages of certain items alongside delayed shipping times. Nevertheless, the project was recently completed in June 2021. Now, the acquired PPE will go towards minimizing the exposure of COVID-19 to the island’s healthcare workers and consequently the persons they tend to.

“As an organization, we seek to facilitate development efforts however we can. It was a pleasure to assist with this initiative between Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the Government of St. Maarten,” said Makhicia Brooks, Managing Director of SMDF.

In an invited comment, the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley would like to thank the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for their generous donation of PPE supplies during these trying times. “PPE supplies are a necessity to protect the safety of our front liners, who have been diligently working to serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Minister of VSA.

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VMT announces only three weeks left to receive first dose of the Pfizer vaccine

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Vaccination Management Team announced on Monday, May 24th, that the mass vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine will stop after July 31st. As of Friday, July 9th (three weeks from now), will be the last opportunity to come for your first dose followed by your second dose the end of July.

The VMT encourages everyone who hasn't received their vaccine against the COVID-19 vaccine to use the opportunity while it's still easily accessible, free, and simple.

The evidence that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective is very evident. 20.000 persons on Sint Maarten have already been vaccinated without any unexpected issues or complications. The efficacy is also clear as daylight, as the 70 active cases on Sint Maarten consist for almost a 100% out of unvaccinated persons. In the last months, we recorded four deaths, and 23 hospitalizations, all consisting of persons who were not fully vaccinated. Additionally, it is now also thought that 10-20% of persons recovering from a COVID-19 infection can develop "long-term COVID." Months after their infection, persons still don't have taste or smell; they can feel constantly fatigued and develop mental issues.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) Collective Prevention Service (CPS) is also noticing more and more work floor clusters of COVID-19 infections, as work is a place where a lot of interaction occurs amongst employees.

The danger, of course, is that an organization can lose half of its workers at once and cannot continue to carry out its operations. As it is not always possible for employees to come for their vaccine during work hours, the VMT encourages managers and business owners to promote vaccination among its employees without intimidation and to allow getting the vaccine during working hours. Having a fully vaccinated staff is in the best interest of the company, the economy and Sint Maarten.

Vaccination will always be a personal choice, but every choice has consequences. The world around us is changing, so, when you choose not to get vaccinated, you endanger the health of others and put the future of our island at risk. However, with your choice to take the vaccine, you reduce the chance of infection and infecting others by 95%.

1.4 billion people worldwide have taken the vaccine, which is scientifically proven to be safe. Your choice is also a social one, as the future of our island depends on it.

The VMT encourages everyone to not only get vaccinated but also encourage others to do so. Ask if persons in your social circle are vaccinated and try to spread correct information instead of fake news. Offer to drive and accompany someone to a vaccination location. We are stronger together, and we can only reach our goal collectively.

Come for your vaccine and encourage others to do so as well.

Only if Sint Maarten works together and uses the tools given to us can we prevent the scenario of Curacao from happening.

Sint Maarten Protected Together.

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Governor receives 2020 winners of the Governor Youth Award for Excellence Program

SINT MAARTEN (HARBOUR VIEW) - His Excellency, Governor drs. E.B. Holiday, hosted the first annual Governor’s Youth Award For Excellence on December 8, 2020. The Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence Program has been designed to recognize youths, ages 13 through 19, who have performed above and beyond and excelled in Education, Sports, Arts, Environmental protection, or Community service.

The 2020 winners of Governor’ Youth Award for excellence (in alphabetic orders) were:

  • Nigel Alexander Adriana, co-recipient in the category Academics;
  • Riya Baharani Khemchandani co-recipient in the category Academics;
  • Sarah Bharwani, recipient in the category Environmental Protection; and
  • Ray-Angel Clarence Antrobus Boasman, recipient in the category Arts.

As winners of the Governor’ Youth Award for Excellence the recipients have participated in national events, such as the Memorial Day ceremony on May 4, 2021 and the Flag Day celebration ceremony on June 13, 2021.

Today, June 17, 2021, Governor Holiday received the winners of the 2020 Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence for an audience at his office at Falcon drive 3. Mr. Adriana, Ms. Baharani, Ms. Bharwani and Mr. Boasman took the opportunity to asked Governor Holiday about his education, career, hobbies, the role of the Governor and how the Governorship impacted his life.

The winners exchange thoughts on college life during COVID and on the importance of technology on their life, studies, and future work. They also shared their views with the Governor Holiday about their aspirations, hobbies, interests, and study plans. Governor Holiday congratulated them on their winning of the first Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence, encouraged them to continue to be the best they can be going forward and reminded them that they can be anything they want to be once they worked for it. The awardees thank Governor Holiday for the opportunity.

At the time of the awards ceremony in December 2020, Nigel Adriana was off island for his studies. The meeting was closed off with the presentation by Governor Holiday of the Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence in academics to Mr. Nigel Adriana. Riya, Sara, and Ray-Angel received their award on the evening of the ceremony.

The second annual Governor’s Youth Award for Excellence ceremony is scheduled for June 24, 2021. The evaluation committee has selected finalist from the 20 nominees and the winners will be presented with their awards on Thursday June 24, 2021.

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Doing Business in Sint Maarten Summit set for June 23. Sign-Up Today

SINT MAARTEN/THE HAGUE - The Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten (KGMSXM) and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) will host a Doing Business in Sint Maarten summit on June 23, 2021.

Entrepreneurs from Sint Maarten or the Netherlands and who are interested in exploring business opportunities on Sint Maarten should attend this summit in order to learn about the business opportunities on Sint Maarten.

During the summit, insights will be provided into the key facts and figures of Sint Maarten’s possibilities and opportunities. Get informed about the local business environment and meet potential collaboration partners.

The summit is the result of a conducted research into the possibilities for business matchmaking in Sint Maarten. As a result, the conducted research highlighted several promising opportunities and provided insight into what is required for a successful matchmaking program.

The Program is as follows:

10:00 Opening

10:15 Presentation part 1 – RVO & Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication (TEATT).

10:35 Presentation part 2 – KGMSXM & Sint Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI)

11:10 Breakout rooms with matchmaking

11:30 Closing

The registration is open until June 23, 2021. Register at http://www.kgmsxm.com. The webinar is in English.

If you have any questions about this Summit, please contact: Prakaash Rostam, Senior Advisor International Economic Affairs Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten M: (+31) 61 789 8704 | E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or Bernise Stoffer, Project manager Business matchmaking SXM The Netherlands Enterprise Agency M: (+31) 65 548 9526 | E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Caribbean Cinemas in Cole Bay new COVID-19 Vaccination Pop-Up Location. Belair Community Center temporarily closed

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Vaccination Management Team (VMT) announced on Tuesday, June 15th, that Caribbean Cinemas in Cole Bay will be used as a new vaccination Pop-Up location starting Thursday, June 17th.

This location will be open for vaccination walk-ins from Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The VMT would like to publicly express its gratitude to Caribbean Cinemas for their generous offer to make their facility available to the national vaccination campaign.

This new location has been opened because the Belair Community Center will not be available for COVID-19 vaccinations between Thursday, June 17th and Wednesday, June 30th. The only day that the Belair Community Center will be open for COVID-19 vaccinations in that period will be on Monday, June 21st.

The VMT would like to also publicly thank the Belair Community Center owners and management for their ongoing support and for making the facility available to support the national vaccination campaign. To date, roughly 19.000 vaccinations have been given at the location, and without it, the campaign would not have gotten so far.

Persons who had their first dose at the Belair Community Center are either scheduled on June 21st or asked to come to either the new vaccination Pop-Up location in Cole Bay (Caribbean Cinemas) or at the offices of the Collective Prevention Service (CPS) at the Vineyard Office Complex in Philipsburg, which will remain open as usual from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM from Monday to Friday.

The VMT encourages everyone who has not received their vaccine against the COVID-19 vaccine to make use of the opportunity while it’s still easily accessible and free of charge. You have until July 9th to come for your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine so that you can receive your second dose before the end of the month.

The Pfizer vaccine is the very best on the market, and unlike many other countries worldwide, it is available to the community for free. It is scientifically proven safe and effective against the Alpha variant, which we know is now dominant on Sint Maarten.

The efficacy is also clear as daylight, as countries with higher vaccination levels see their active COVID-19 cases drop steeply. We see the same happening closer to home, where the 70-80 active cases on Sint Maarten are for almost 100% unvaccinated persons. We’ve also counted our 32nd COVID-19 related death this week, of which, regrettably, none were fully vaccinated either.

Vaccination will always be a personal decision as it can never be made mandatory, but every decision has consequences, and by choosing not to vaccinate, you not only endanger your own life but also the lives of others, but with your choice to take the vaccine, you reduce that chance of being infected with COVID-19 by 95%, which means that the chances of infecting others are reduced by 95%.

In the slight case (5%) that you are infected, the vaccine protects you against the virus’s severe and possibly deadly symptoms. Therefore, fully vaccinated persons do not have to quarantine after coming in contact with a person who tested positive.

In contrast, unvaccinated persons must quarantine for at least ten days. The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) Omar Ottley also announced that you’d either have to get tested or be fully vaccinated to participate in all future events. We are likely to see more measures like these in the near future because this is the only way of continuing our way of living safely and responsibly.

The VMT strongly encourages everyone who hasn’t received their vaccination to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The country has the tools at hand to prevent a huge outbreak, as we saw in Curacao. If we continue to wait, we purposely endanger our loved ones, our island, and our economy.

The VMT urges everyone to understand the severity of the situation and not wait any longer. Come for your vaccine and encourage others to do so as well.

Sint Maarten Protected Together.

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ODM: Second-named storm Bill forms. Is Your Disaster Kit Ready?

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The second-named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season formed on Monday evening off the U.S. coast of the state of North Carolina. Tropical Storm Bill on Tuesday with winds of 60 miles per hour, is forecast to dissipate on Wednesday.

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will be an active one according to the recent forecast.

Once again, this is a reminder to be prepared for the hurricane season and to make sure your Disaster Kit for the season is ready, the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) said on Tuesday.

The Disaster Kit should contain non-perishable food for at least seven days to support members of the household and should include, water and medicine (fill prescriptions before the storm); non-electric can opener; first-aid kit; extra cash (ATM machines and credit cards won’t work if there is no electricity); a battery powered radio and flashlights as well as extra batteries; make sure cell phones are all charged prior to the arrival of the hurricane; fill up your car/truck with gas; check if your home and automobile insurance are up to date; put ID cards, passports and driver’s license, insurance papers in a waterproof bag along with other important documents.

If you are a parent with an infant or young child (ren), you also need to have essential items as part of your disaster supply kit: baby formula; diapers; bottles; powdered milk; medications; moist towels; and diaper rash ointment.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Government mandated public health and safety measures are in place. The aforementioned must also be taken into consideration for hurricane season preparations.

Your Disaster Kit must also include hand sanitizer, a soap bar or liquid soap; two cloth face coverings for each person; disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces.

Now is the time to trim back tree branches from your home; cut all dead or weak branches on any trees on your property; clean-up your yard and put away items that could blow away during the passing of a hurricane; check your roof and storm shutters to make sure they are secure, and the latter are working.

For those whose homes are not yet storm/hurricane ready, you should make alternative housing arrangements to stay at family or friends.

The community is urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

The storm names for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season are: Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com or visit their social media page Facebook.com/sxmweather/

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Be prepared this hurricane season!

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KPSM Traffic Department investigating several traffic accidents

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Police Force Sint Maarten KPSM Traffic Department is investigating several serious accidents that occurred in the past few days.

Four vehicle accident

  • A four-vehicle accident occurred on Saturday, June 12, 2021, around 11:35 pm. Police Central Dispatch received several calls about a traffic accident with possible injuries on L.B. Scott Road in front of City Furniture. Several patrols and ambulance personnel were directed to the scene.

The preliminary investigation revealed that two vehicle accidents had occurred within a few minutes of each other. A burgundy color SUV, heading towards St. Peters, attempted to turn into a side road next to City Furniture without giving way. Simultaneously, the other vehicle, a gold color SUV, was coming from St. Peters. The two vehicles collided into each other.

While the drivers of the two damaged vehicles were busy communicating with Police and roadside service, a silver jeep coming from St. Peters travelling at high rate of speed lost control and slammed into the rear of the gold-colored SUV in the initial accident. The gold-colored SUV skidded forward and struck a white pickup coming from the opposite direction.

The driver of the gray jeep suffered several cuts to his head. He was treated at the scene by ambulance personnel and then transported to St. Maarten Medical Center for further treatment. This four-vehicle accident is under investigation by Police Traffic Department.

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Driver loses control and collides with GEBE Electrical Box

  • On Monday, June 14, 2021 around 4:15 pm, several patrols were dispatched to the intersection of Manjack Drive and Union Road in Cole Bay due to an accident where the driver of a black pickup lost control of his vehicle and collided with the GEBE electrical box on the roadside.

The driver suffered from minor injuries. The pickup was badly damaged. The investigation into the accident is still ongoing by police. (KPSM)

police cole bay truck accident

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Shots fired on the Soualiga road at a passing car

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Monday evening, June 14, 2021 at approximately 8:30 p.m., the central dispatch center received several calls that shots had been fired near Le Petit Chateau on Soualiga road.

Patrol officers who arrived on the scene, were informed that an unknown group of men had fired multiple shots at a passing vehicle. Following the shooting, the culprits fled the scene in an unknown direction.

St. Maarten Medical Center was subsequently contacted to verify if anyone had arrived at the hospital with gunshot wounds. The investigation into this incident is ongoing.

The detectives investigating this case are asking anyone with information to contact the Sint Maarten Police Force at +1 721- 542 22 22 ext. 204 or 205 or the anonymous tip line on 9300 (free of charge).

You can also visit the website at www.policesxm.sx to report crimes anonymous via the tip contact form. Or you can leave a Private Message via our Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten - Korps Politie Sint Maarten. (KPSM)

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