Soualiga News II

Soualiga News II (2920)

Minister Johnson provides tents for Philipsburg Market Place vendors

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Stuart Johnson and Lela Simmonds of Port St. Maarten was present late Thursday evening at the Philipsburg Market Place. 

Two large tents have been erected to assist the vendors who have been subjected to difficult conditions.  “A promise made is a promise kept," Minister Johnson said.


“Future” To be theme of upcoming Crystal Pineapple Awards Edition

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The theme chosen for the 12th Crystal Pineapple Awards will be “Future” announced today the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA).

By choosing this theme, the SHTA wants to engage in positive thinking about opportunities and outlooks for the island as it still recovers from the damages caused by hurricane Irma. Prior year themes of the Crystal Pineapple Awards Ceremonies have been Branding SXM (2017) and Community Spirit (2016).

The 2019 Crystal Pineapple Awards (CPA), the SHTA’s Annual Fundraising Event started its voting period on Tuesday October 31th, 2019 and will close in Thursday November 21st, 2019. The Gala Award Dinner and Ceremony is scheduled to be held on Saturday November 23rd, 2019 at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort.  

The Crystal Pineapple Awards Fundraising Gala is the main event recognizing the achievements and outstanding service of Hospitality & Trade personnel, organizations and associations, on St. Maarten. Each nominee represents someone to emulate amongst one’s peers. This year’s nomination categories are Employee of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year in both the Hospitality and Trade categories; plus Restaurant, Entrepreneur, Environment, Community Service and Media Personality.

During its 2018 Annual General Meeting, the association made “Future” a theme too by providing its vision on what a future Sint Maarten could look like providing “better quality of life for all Sint Maarten residents”. This vision ( was based on the three pillars of a sustainable economy, a healthy and beautiful island and good governance.

Voting can be done on The polls will close on Thursday November 21st, 2019 at 3pm. Remember that your vote can make someone feel like a star that evening. Visit and for pictures and videos of all the nominees.

Voting: Please note that the final selection of winners is based on the outcome of popular votes and Crystal Pineapple Awards committee review.  

TICKETS for the Award Gala ARE NOW ON SALE and can be purchased at the SHTA office any time during office hours 8am – 5pm. Please make sure to reserve your Gala tickets right away, as there is limited seating!

For more information, please contact the SHTA office: 542-0108, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Accident on Marigot hill road. Driver suffers minor injuries

SINT MAARTEN (ST. PETERS) - The lady with the Initials B.Y suffered some minor injuries during a car accident that took place on the Marigot Hill road early on Tuesday morning November 12th, 2019, police said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the personnel from the traffic department, the victim was driving up toward the top of Marigot hill and encountered some zinc sheets that were placed on the side of the road by unknown persons.

The victim lost control of the vehicle and flipped over after running over one of the zinc sheets that were on road. She was later transported to the St. Maarten Medical Center after being treated at the scene by the personnel of the ambulance.

The police force of St. Maarten would like to remind the public to place discarded material in such a manner that it does not interfere with the free flow of traffic or endanger those who are using the road. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

car accid




Youth Sexting Workshop Planned for Nov.20. What Parents Should Know

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport is organizing an interactive and informative panel discussion entitled, “Youth Sexting: What Parents Should Know and the Role of Adults.” The general public, especially parents of primary and secondary school going children, are invited to attend.

Parents, teachers, and other interested persons in the community are encouraged to come out to this discussion which will be held on Wednesday 20th November 2019 at the University of St. Martin from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

The objective of the workshop is to educate and empower parents, teachers, and the general public via an open panel discussion regarding youth sexting, the influence of social media, the role of adults, schools and the law. Organizers hope to have a fruitful and interesting discussion to bring awareness on this issue and hope that persons leave empowered to address it.

For more information, contact the Student Support Services Division at 543-1235 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) provides services to students referred by the schools. These services consist of psychological services, counseling services, social work services, speech language pathology services    and educational diagnostic services. SSSD also provides career services to students, parent support groups and parent education/information sessions.


Minimum wages and benefits increase as of January 1st, 2020

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - Income in the Caribbean Netherlands continues to rise as of January 1st, 2020. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment raises the minimum wage on Bonaire by 6.2%, on Saba by 5.3% and on St. Eustatius by 2.7%. Inflation is included in this. The amounts of the various benefits will also increase.

Parents and guardians will also receive more child benefit in 2020. For Bonaire this amount will be $ 83 per child per month. For Saba this amount is $ 84 and for St. Eustatius $ 85.

From 2020 there will also be a supplement for fully and permanently disabled people and for those entitled to Old Age Pension (AOV). With this supplement their income per month will at least equal the Statutory Minimum Wage.

The government has indicated in their agreement that the priority for the Caribbean Netherlands is to improve the economic perspective. To achieve this, incomes must go up and the cost of living must go down.

At the beginning of 2019, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment introduced a first package of measures to increase the Statutory Minimum Wage, child benefit and social relief.

Employer's premiums were also reduced, giving them room to increase employee wages. With the measures taken as of January 1st, 2020, the Ministry is introducing a next package.

The final amounts will be published in the ‘Staatscourant’. The new amounts for benefits and minimum wages for 2020 can also be found on (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)


Tourism Bureau & First Response assists Police Force SWAT Team

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB) which falls under the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) and First Response, came together to sponsor shirts for the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) Special Weapons And Tactics’ (SWAT) team to travel to Orlando, Florida.

For more than 17 years KPSM has had a SWAT team of highly trained group of Police officers whose role is to deal with high-risk operations that fall outside of the capabilities of the regular, uniformed police.

SWAT officers are trained in particular for confronting heavily armed criminals; hostage and rescue; and counter-terrorism operations.

For the officers to maintain their level of specialized training, the KPSM SWAT team earned the right to participate in the ultimate training competition of SWAT Round-Up International that is taking place from November 9-16.

This annual event where SWAT teams from different countries compete against each other and train in the latest tactics and techniques together, will be conducted by nationally renowned instructors and includes numerous relevant courses.

The SWAT Round-Up International is organized by the Florida SWAT Association whose mission is to be the lead training, development and research resource for tactical operators within the state of Florida.

The Associations mission statement ads that it also provides current and future generations of tactical leaders with the necessary tools and information needed to succeed as they risk their lives for our communities.


Philipsburg Jubilee Library to offer CPR course

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL) in its continued quested as the country’s knowledge centre will host a “Family and Friends Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Course” on Saturday, November 16 and 23, from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at the library’s temporary location in the Adolphus Richardson Building on W.J.A. Nisbeth Road 3.

This one-day course is in collaboration with Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services

(WIEMS), costs only USD 25 and includes the CPR-manual. Everyone age 10 to 19 is welcome to register at the PJL. WIEMS is an emergency medical services (EMS) training organization geared to provide training in First Aid, CPR/AED, EMR (First Responder), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and any related pre-hospital care.

The objective of this course is to create awareness about the importance of knowing how to act in a case of sudden cardiac arrest. “In a time of crisis where it can happen to anyone at any time, how do you react? What do you do? This course will help to equip you for such an instance,’ said PJL.

The Family and Friends CPR Course will teach the lifesaving skills of adult Hands-Only CPR, adult automated external defibrillator (AED) use, and mild and severe airway block for adults. Skills are taught in a dynamic group environment using the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) research-proven practice-while-watching technique, which provides students with the most hands-on CPR practice time possible.

Registration for the course is now open at the library. Space is limited so sign up is encouraged by the library. Only one person per household can sign up for the course.


Police on course to seize record amount of cocaine in Rotterdam in 2019

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Police have intercepted a haul of 300 kilograms of cocaine at Rotterdam docks after receiving a tip-off. Three men aged between 22 and 28 were arrested after the drugs were found in a car on the Maasvlakte.

Inquiries revealed that the load had been taken from a container arriving from Brazil. The Telegraaf reported that a record 23,000 kg of cocaine had been seized at the port this year, with an estimated street value of €1.2 bn.

The total includes 15 ‘major hauls’ of 500 kg, with the largest single shipment of 3,000 kg recovered in August. The prosecution service publishes official figures at the end of each year.

The final amount for 2019 is likely to be much higher as November and December are usually the peak season for cocaine smuggling. A customs officer identified only as ‘Peter’ told the Telegraaf he was concerned that extra customs personnel being brought in to deal with the repercussions of Brexit were not being properly trained to work on counter-smuggling operations.

‘They’re going straight out to the port for surveillance work after a three-week course of weapons and self-defence training,’ he said. ‘Whereas in the past you had to work three years for the customs service and complete a four-month surveillance training. Then you were broken in for the first six months by an experienced colleague.’



Old, polluting cars should go to the scrap heap: research

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Taking old cars off the road would cut nitrogen-based pollution by 35%, research commissioned by the AD has found. The research, carried out by Delft University of Technology, showed that cars older than 15 years are responsible for 50% of fine particulate car pollution, even though they only account for 17% of the Dutch fleet.

The government is due to announce what it plans to cut nitrogen-based pollution later this week. Measures on the table include cutting the maximum speed to 100kph, car-free Sundays and financial bonus for people who trade in their old vehicles.

A previous campaign in 2009 succeeded in removing 80,000 cars before the money ran out. Motoring organisation Bovag and car manufacturers organisation RAI Vereniging have said they are in favour of repeat of that scheme, which at the time encouraged the sale of new, cleaner cars.

‘Almost a third of diesel cars are more than 10 years old,’ RAI chairman Steven van Eijck told the paper. ‘These should be replaced by newer cars which are less polluting. You can do that through making new cars cheaper by abolishing the purchase tax and bringing in a scheme to encourage owners to scrap older cars.’



CPS: Advises persons at risk to take measures to prevent the flu

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – It’s that time of the year when influenza, better known as the flu, becomes more predominant.

Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection. Unlike the common cold, influenza can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis, which often require hospitalization.

The flu poses a risk or can be especially dangerous for certain groups such as the elderly (65-years and over), pregnant women, and very young children (aged six months and over) as well as for people with underlying medical conditions known as immunocompromised (such as severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity, diabetics).

The aforementioned groups are considered high-risk groups and it is highly recommended that these persons get their flu shot (vaccine), advises the Collective Prevention Service (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA).

A representative from Section General Health Care (SGHC) from Ministry VSA, recently attended the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) ‘Sub-Regional Influenza Surveillance Meeting and Pandemic Preparedness and Response training,’ in Montego, Jamaica.

PAHO has urged Member States who attended the workshop to update their respective National Influenza Plan and to take the necessary measures to ensure timely surveillance, proper clinical management, ensure strict adherence to infection prevention control measures in health care services, provide adequate supplies of antivirals and prevention, and provide timely treatment of complications.

Based on the outcome of the workshop that brought together more than 30 countries from the Region, SGHC has drafted a plan of action on what steps need to be taken internally annually to ensure that guidelines, reporting and surveillance requirements and protocols are up-to-date and in line with international health regulations.

With respect to flu-prevention guidance, the vaccination offers effective protection against influenza. Persons are also reminded to adhere to proper handwashing and cough etiquettes. Vaccines need to be given each year as flu viruses are always changing.

Influenza spreads from an infected person to others through the air by droplets (secretion) as a result of coughing and/or sneezing, or by direct contact with the virus on hard surfaces or people’s hands that have the viruses on them then touching the mouth, nose or eyes.

The flu usually differs from a cold as symptoms develop suddenly and can lead to complications such as chest infections and pneumonia – particularly among the elderly and young children.

Flu symptoms tend to develop abruptly one to three days after infection, and can include: tiredness, high fever, chills, headache, coughing, sneezing, runny noses, poor appetite, and muscle aches.

Most people who get the flu will suffer from mild illness and will recover in less than two weeks. However, some people can develop longer-term health problems, including pneumonia, bronchitis, chest and sinus infections, heart, blood system or liver complications, which can lead to hospitalisation and even death.

As adults consult your physician to assure the correct information as it relates to your vaccination and your health diagnosis, to obtain laboratory confirmation of the condition and acquire treatment for respective condition.

According to CPS, let us prevent the spread or increase of influenza cases by: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; Avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Patients who have cold-like symptoms should cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and wash their hands frequently and correctly (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds).

Avoid sharing cups and eating utensils with others and refrain from kissing others and stay at home when your sick.

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