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Tropical Storm Watch discontinued at 2.00AM. Jerry now a tropical storm

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) reported that the Tropical Storm Watch would be discontinued at 2.00am Saturday morning. Jerry was also downgraded by the National Hurricane Center to a tropical storm early Saturday morning.

The order to lift businesses was taken on Saturday evening after a review of the intermediary forecast of Jerry by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) which was still a hurricane at the time. Businesses could reopen at their own discretion based on and in accordance with existing regulations.

Based on the intermediary advisory of 8.00pm, the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) expected reduced rainfall of up to one inch which is a significant reduction than what was reported based on weather forecast information assessments for the remainder of Friday night.

MDS still expected through the night some rain showers and advised for residents still to be vigilant and exercise caution especially in areas prone to flooding and or rockslides.

Prime Minister and Chairlady of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) advises the community of Sint Maarten to continue to remain vigilant as we are still in the peak of the hurricane season.

Persons are urged to visit the Government website to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to adequately prepare for a storm/hurricane strike.

Visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to view the Hurricane Readiness Guide and download your “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane. And for official weather-related updates visit the website of Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten, www.meteosxm.com

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Man arrested for theft and fraud

SINT MAARTEN (OYSTER POND) - On Thursday September 19th, 2019, the police patrol from the Philipsburg Police Station was directed to Oyster Pond where they arrested a man with the initials D.M.

There was an arrest warrant previously issued by the Prosecutor’s Office for the suspect’s arrest in an ongoing investigation for theft and fraud, police said in a report on Friday evening.

When the patrol arrived at his home in the Oyster Pond area, they spotted the suspect and immediately detained him. The Detective Department is busy with the investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)  

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CARIBBEAN AIRLINES SUPPORTS HER EXCELLENCY’S ‘KIND SOLES PROJECT’

SINT MAARTEN/TRINIDAD - Caribbean Airlines continued its partnership with Guyana’s First Lady, Her Excellency, Mrs. Sandra Granger, to transport ‘Shoe that Grows’, in support of the First Lady’s Kind Soles project.

Through the ‘Kind Soles Project’ Mrs. Granger has donated over 2000 pairs of the expandable shoes to the children of indigenous tribes in Guyana, making it possible for them to walk long distances to school, so they can continue their education.

The “Shoe that Grows” is a sturdy footwear designed to expand several sizes and can last a child up to three years or more. On Tuesday September 17, representatives from the airline handed over several hundred pairs of the special footwear to Her Excellency, donated by the Crown Heights Lions Club of New York USA and other donors from the Diaspora.

Ms. Dionne Ligoure, Caribbean Airlines’ Head of Corporate Communications in commenting on the initiative said: “Caribbean Airlines is grateful for the opportunity to support this worthy initiative by Her Excellency, Mrs Granger and Rethink, which makes a positive difference to the lives of children in Guyana’s hinterland.

Many indigenous children in Guyana walk long distances to school, and these shoes are ideal for their journeys. Caribbean Airlines is a long-standing partner of the people of Guyana and we are committed to supporting initiatives like these which bring a measure of relief and hope to communities.”

Guyana is an important destination for Caribbean Airlines and the airline operates an average of six daily flights, including non-stop service between New York and Guyana with seamless connections to other Caribbean and North American destinations.

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Patrons and Cashier robbed of cell phones and cash during Armed Robbery at a L.B. Scott road Restaurant

PHILIPSBURG - On Wednesday, September 18th, 2019, the patrol from Philipsburg Police Station was directed to a popular restaurant on the L.B. Scott road where an armed robbery had taken place, police said in a statement on Thursday evening.

According to information gathered at the scene, three masked men dressed in black entered the establishment about 22.30 in the evening. Two of the three suspects were brandishing firearms and under threat robbed the cashiers of the cash.

The robbers also took cellular phones and money from all the patrons in the restaurant before escaping on foot in the direction of St. Johns. The Special Robbery Unit and the Forensics Department are investigating this serious matter.

The Police Force of Sint Maarten is requesting the community to assist with information that can lead to the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

  

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Ministry VROMI Traffic Alert: Cleaning of Drains along Walter Nisbeth Road on Sunday

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), announces that the water drainage system along the Walter Nisbeth Road on the Pondfill will be cleaned on Sunday, September 22.

The aforementioned will take place from 8.00AM to 5.00PM on Sunday. The contractor is Gardenboyz Cleaning Services.

The works will start from the drain area opposite Beach Plaza Casino and end at the old NV GEBE building.

The drain cleaning works entail the removal of the concrete slabs that cover the drain; removal of the dirt, sludge built up, and debris. An excavator will be used to remove the aforementioned.

The materials collected will be placed into a dump truck and transported to the Pond Island Landfill. A septic truck will also be onsite. Pressurized water will be used to clean out the drains.

Ministry VROMI is seeking the cooperation from business owners and residents along the aforementioned stretch of road where the works will be carried out to park their vehicles on the other side of the road. This will facilitate the quick cleaning of the drainage system.

Motorists are advised to be vigilant and observant of the heavy equipment that will be in use in the aforementioned area.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Johnson talks marketing/cooperation with the Netherlands Tourism Bureau

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS - The Honorable Stuart Johnson, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication is in The Netherlands where he spent much of Wednesday speaking with the Netherlands Bureau for Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) on solidifying collaboration agreements for improving St. Maarten's Marketing Strategy.

Johnson, who adjusted the first half of the planned European Tour to promote St. Maarten, wasted no time on arrival in The Netherlands. He has already met with the Partnership Development Manager Thijs de Groot and the Project Manager for Strategy and Branding Emilie Zonnevylle for the NBTC. During Wednesday's meeting, Johnson discussed with NBTC how St. Maarten can improve its branding effort with some support and how the island can benefit from expanded use and gathering of information.

He said improving the way we collect and use data can assist St. Maarten, where it pertains plans for increased brand recognition. "In general, creating a better and more sustainable strategy for branding St. Maarten as a preferred vacation destination is our ultimate goal," said Johnson.

According to Johnson, there has to be a "paradigm shift" in terms of how we brand the destination. Increased focus will be put into deciphering what the data collected by TEATT from visitors and focus groups are saying about St. Maarten as a vacation destination.

Johnson said, "The discussions were fruitful and will continue as the NBTC and TEATT through the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau STB, work on details of their plans including Kingdom relation-building."

The NBTC 2030 development plans titled, Perspective 2030 was shared and highlighted with a presentation to Johnson and his delegation.

"We must focus on quality tourism for our country and continue to lead by example in every sector of the industry," Johnson stated.

Some of the areas identified for improving St. Maarten's destination marketing strategy include, Influence marketing putting more of our local artist out into the wider-world to sell the destination. He explained that where it concerns Influence Marketing, it is an opportunity to both showcase the local talent and use their skillsets as artists to captivate their audience and promote St. Maarten.

"The plan is also to increase our reach through networking and to solidify our message of being open for business as "the best vacation destination on earth" by capitalizing on positive stories from visitors to further strengthen our message," said Johnson.

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The Philipsburg Jubilee Library temporarily closed Monday morning

PHILIPSBURG - The Philipsburg Jubilee Library will be temporarily closed for staff training on the mornings of Monday, September 23 rd & Monday September 30 th , 2019, until 2:00 pm.

The library will re-open on said days from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm. In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the library has re-opened at its new location upstairs on the second floor of the Adolphus Richardson Office Machines building at Walter Nisbeth Road 3.

The library continues to offer customers access to our range of library materials, such as the children’s collection and a small selection of Adult Fiction and Non- Fiction, our Internet Café, photocopying and a cozy atmosphere where children and persons of all ages can learn, read and experience the wonderful world of books.

The normal opening hours of the library are Mondays, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Saturdays 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. For the aforementioned Mondays the opening hours will be 2 pm to 5 pm. The library would like to apologize for the inconvenience this may cause to our loyal patrons.

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Man arrested for threatening his parents with firearm

PHILIPSBURG - On Wednesday morning September 18th, 2019, about 08.00 am the patrol from Philipsburg was directed to the Dollison drive whereby a man threatened his parents with a firearm, police said on Wednesday.

After a short investigation at the location, the patrol arrested the man with the initials R.D.P.F. for threat with a firearm. After being detained the suspect was brought over to the police station in Philipsburg and held for further investigation.

A search was done at the house of the suspect, but no firearm was found. This investigation is ongoing. (Sint Maarten Police Force)      

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