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Secure psychiatric clinic launches probe after three prisoners escape while on leave

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The Pompe secure psychiatric clinic in Nijmegen has launched an internal investigation after three prisoners escaped and one committed suicide while out on leave, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

Two of the three men who escaped were recaptured quickly but the third, who made off on a bike, was found in Paris five days after he vanished. On Thursday another man committed suicide by driving into a lorry while on leave.

Lawyers specialising in psychiatric prison cases say the escapes have been motivated by frustration because of the shortage of staff. ‘Things are escalating over a short period,’ lawyer Jan-Jesse Lieftink told broadcaster NOS.

He describes the Pompe clinic as possibly the best in the Netherlands. ‘This can happen anywhere, and it does happen everywhere,’ he said. ‘What is reported in the media is the tip of the iceberg.

But you must realise that official leave for people sentenced to psychiatric prison terms is extremely important and part of the system.’ The man who made it to Paris said in emails to local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland that the personnel are ‘a joke’.

‘Schoolgirls of 20 to 22 are supposed to tell me how to live my life?’ The shortage of staff was one of the reasons he took off, he told the broadcaster. In a statement about the Paris escape, the clinic said:

‘We are doing all we can to prevent incidents, but they cannot be ruled out entirely.’



Cupecoy Sunset Toastmaster scheduled to speak at TEDxAUCMED on Sunday

SINT MAARTEN (CUPECOY) - Melissa Harrison-Grinuva of the Cupecoy Sunset Toastmasters Club is scheduled to speak at the TEDxAUCMED on Sunday 13th of October 2019 at the American University of the Caribbean.

While “Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders” the “TEDx events share ideas in communities around the world via a series of powerful speeches on various topics.”

This is a fabulous opportunity for Toastmaster Melissa and the club because it allows her to display the communication and leadership skills that she has acquired over the years as a part of her Toastmasters training.

The Cupecoy Toastmasters club recently hosted a successful meeting on Thursday the 10th of October 2019 with guest speaker Attorney Mr. Roland Duncan who discussed the vote of no confidence (Article 33) and the dissolution of parliament (Article 59) in observance of Constitution Day.

The club meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the American University of the Caribbean with the next meeting scheduled for October 24th, 2019.

All interested persons wishing to improve their communication and leadership abilities are welcome to attend. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Ramesh Manek Walk-a-Thon for ‘End Polio Now’ Scheduled for Saturday

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - On World Polio Day October 24th, The Rotary Club of St Maarten-Mid Isle will join thousands of Rotary clubs around the world who will hold events and fundraisers to recognize Rotary’s progress in the global fight to end polio. 

In continuing their support for the eradication of polio worldwide the Rotary Club of Maarten- Mid Isle will host the annual Ramesh Manek Walk-a-Thon for ‘End Polio Now' fundraising event on Saturday October 19th starting at 5:30am. The walk starts and ends at Tony’s Air Conditioning opposite Carl & Sons Unique Inn in Cole Bay.

Support is also possible by joining the participants for fellowship at the breakfast after the walk.  Tickets are available from all Mid Isle Rotarians for USD 15 per person which includes breakfast and an ‘End Polio Now’ T-shirt.

Tickets can also be purchased at the event. The route is from Tony’s Air Conditioning – Orange Grove road – Waterfront Road – Airport Road – Causeway Bridge – Union Road – Orange Grove Road and back to Tony’s Air Conditioning.  

Polio Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine preventable.

The Rotary Club of St Maarten-Mid Isle would like to ask all citizens of St. Maarten to think about this debilitating disease Polio that has only been removed from the America’s since 1994. As long as the disease has not been eradicated, everybody in the world risks the return of polio to their communities. 

You too can be a part of the global effort to eradicate this disease globally very soon, as we really are this close to total eradication, by participating in the various efforts to raise the funds needed. These funds help to provide much-needed operational support, medical personnel, laboratory equipment, and educational materials for health workers and parents. Governments, corporations and private individuals all play a crucial role in funding towards the eradication of polio. 

To date, Rotary has contributed more than $1.9 billion to fight the disease, raised by events like this Walk-a-Thon, and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio eradication program, PolioPlus, in 1985, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication through the mass vaccination of children.  

In 1988, Rotary became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation later joined and matches 2 to 1 every dollar raised by Rotary up to USD 150 million annually. 

Since the initiative was launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018.

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world.

Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. Visit and for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.

Until Polio is eradicated the Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle remains fully committed to the global fight for the total eradication of Polio through its awareness and fundraising projects. If you would like to make a donation or learn more about how you can help eradicate polio, please contact any Mid Isle Rotarian or leave a message on our Facebook page Rotary Club of St. Maarten Mid Isle.

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle meets Tuesday at 7pm at Pineapple Pete in Simpson Bay. For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit their Facebook page Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle.


De Weever: Political inclusion needed for the interest of St. Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of Justice, Cornelius De Weever stated in his resignation letter that during the transition, it should not be about political polarization but political inclusion in the interest of St. Maarten.

Minister De Weever further stated in his resignation letter dated October 10, 2019 addressed to his colleagues in the Council of Ministers, that “today is Constitution Day and as a strong defender of our constitution and our Democracy, I must do everything humanly possible to avoid any potential conflict or confrontation from escalating with Parliament while protecting the principle of ‘trias politica.’”

“As we observe Constitution Day, I would like the council to consider my resignation as soon as possible to avoid the current impasse from intensifying. In the letter from the Chairman of Parliament dated October 1, 2019 it is clear that Mr. William Marlin will be using this impasse politically to vindicate himself of what transpired in 2017 and in fact has indirectly instructed the Kingdom Council of Ministers to intervene as they did in 2017. I do not want to be used as a political pawn in his, the NA, the USP, Brownbill and Mecellina vendetta or misconstrued revenge game against the Kingdom Council of Ministers, despite the lack of contention within the Kingdom, and that the interests of St. Maarten are actually being served while the opposite was true post Hurricane Irma,” stated Minister De Weever in his resignation letter.

Minister De Weever’s resignation letter further states that Parliament in their capacity as co-legislator, should in this stage until elections focus its strength on the handling and passing of the Penal Code, the Penal Procedure Code and Book 2 of the Civil Code to avoid a public statement for non-adherence/compliance to the recommendations of the CFATF. Given the sensitivity and risk associated with the potential public statement, I must submit to you my resignation in an attempt to avoid jeopardizing our national security. It is often said: “Country above self,” and I will surely put St. Maarten above myself to ensure that the livelihood of our people and our economy are protected.


BIP SXM continues the unreal campaign at the Vocational Training School

SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - “The Unreal Campaign is INTA’s consumer awareness initiative designed to educate young consumers (ages 14-23) about the importance of trademarks, brands, and the dangers of counterfeit products. The Campaign has successfully reached over 41,000 students directly since its launch in 2012.”

The Bureau for Intellectual Property (BIP SXM) continues the ‘Unreal Campaign’ workshop with its second stop at the Sint Maarten Vocational Training School. The Director, Mrs. Vincentia Rosen-Sandiford, together with the Policy Advisor/Deputy Director, Mrs. Aarti Jusia-Ramdihal, gave the ‘Unreal’ presentation to 26 students of the 4th year (exam class).

The presentation touches on counterfeit products and their social-economic influence in a country. In addition, BIP SXM provided information on intellectual property rights such as copyright. During the workshop, the students not only get an opportunity to gain some insight about the ‘Unreal Campaign’ and Intellectual property (IP) but can also provide feedback on how to create more awareness among their peers. The end of the presentation had a surprise interactive game that the students enthusiastically took part in.

The Sint Maarten Vocational Training School management, very pleased with the workshop, awarded the Bureau with a certificate of appreciation.

The INTA ‘Unreal Campaign’ series provided by BIP SXM, will continue throughout the schoolyear. “The intention is to give presentations to all the secondary schools in Sint Maarten, with the goal to reach as many students as possible”, says the Director.


St. Maarten Heineken Regatta brings the Caribbean to Annapolis Boatshow in cooperation with Ocean Racers and the Caribbean Sailing Association

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The Caribbean comes to Annapolis in this special collaboration between the St Maarten Heineken Regatta, Ocean Racers race team and the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) at the United States Sailboat Show. Sights and sounds from the Caribbean regattas liven up the docks and exclusive Caribbean Happy Hours sponsored by Heineken end every day in the true regatta spirit.

Ocean Racers and their Pogo 12.50 racing yacht, Hermes, are back at the Annapolis Sailboat Show with 2 years of racing experiences around the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas to share. During the winter regatta season, Ocean Racers are based out of St Maarten, home of the St Maarten Heineken Regatta celebrating its 40th Anniversary March 5 – 8, 2020, and together they are bringing the Caribbean up North.

“On behalf of the St Maarten Heineken Regatta, we are incredibly excited about this opportunity to work together with Ocean Racers and represent the Caribbean Regattas at the Annapolis Sailboat Show. This is in full partnership with the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) and many of its members, showcasing the fantastic opportunities of racing in the Caribbean — whether with your boat, a bareboat or a race boat like Ocean Racers! Every Regatta in the Caribbean has its own unique identity, and you will find that every destination stands out on its own as well. Whichever Regatta or Caribbean Island you choose, the racing is guaranteed to be spectacular, sailing in beautiful turquoise waters with favorable trade winds,” said Michele Korteweg, General Manager St Maarten Heineken Regatta.

A floating dock alongside Hermes will transport boat show goers right into Caribbean Regatta life. Watch highlights from all the Caribbean regattas while relaxing in the classic Caribbean ambiance — complete with a hammock and beach lounge atmosphere. Earn entrance to the Heineken sponsored Happy Hour by completing Caribbean Happy Hour Challenges (#CHHChallenge) during the day at the show.

The Caribbean Happy Hour Challenge is a media scavenger hunt to have some #SeriousFun at the Sailboat Show. A list of 20+ challenges will be posted, and show goers are invited to post photos and videos of their interpretation of the clues to social media. From finding Hermes’ wings to selfies with YouTube stars, participants will venture throughout the show completing challenges with the goal of earning a ticket to the exclusive daily Heineken Happy Hour 5-6 PM.

The Caribbean Regatta Party Dock is located adjacent to Ocean Racers’ Pogo 12.50 Hermes on Dock D at the Annapolis Sailboat Show and open to the public to enjoy daily until 5PM. There will be Daily Dock Talks hosted 3-4 PM for an open discussion of sailing topics including Ocean Racing 101 and getting to know the Caribbean Sailing Association events personally.

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

Celebrating its 40th anniversary next year, this Regatta just keeps getting better. Four days of world-class racing with some of the world's most seasoned sailors, hailing from over 35 countries. This is truly a Regatta for everyone including professional teams sailing Maxis, Monohulls and Performance Multihulls to holiday-makers on chartered Bareboats to live-aboard families cruising the Caribbean. Crystal clear waters and cooling northeast trade winds give the pristine conditions for spectacular racing just off the coast of St. Maarten. And with Heineken as title sponsor, the racing days blend seamlessly into four nights of exceptional parties. This event is your bucket list must-do! Come and enjoy life in the Caribbean, come for some Serious Fun from March 5 - 8, 2020! 

For full information on the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including results, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit:

Ocean Racers

Ocean Racers is an international sailing team and network whose mission is to build the sport of ocean racing through access and opportunity. The team is run by co-founders and co-skippers Morgen Watson and Meg Reilly, who race around the world on their Pogo 12.50 Hermes. Since the team’s inception in 2015, Ocean Racers have competed in the IMOCA and Royal Ocean Racing Club circuits and have supported the offshore sailing careers of young Volvo Ocean Racers and World Champion sailors. Follow the team @oceanracers and learn more on 

Caribbean Sailing Association

The mission of the Caribbean Sailing Association is to promote sailing within the region, and Caribbean sailing to the world. The CSA also administers Rating Rules to provide a simple and fair handicap system for racing. Additionally, the CSA serves as a forum for yacht clubs, regattas, sailing organizations and sailors throughout the Caribbean to coordinate interests and events, exchange ideas and best practices, and combine voices to achieve broader exposure to the international community.


Kickboxers Josefina and Blijd to Show Skills at Pre-St. Maarten Day World Kickboxing Competition

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Shanice Josefina and Lennart Blijd are both professional fighters from Amsterdam the capital of the Netherlands. Josefina and Blijd both fight for Sityodtong Muay Thai and Kickboxing Amsterdam and are trained by the brothers Paul and Vincent Pengel.

Preparations continue by the Better Opportunity for Talent (BOFT) for its pre-St. Maarten Day World Kickboxing Competition which will take place on Sunday, November 10 at the L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium on the Pondfill.

Milton Ottley said that fighters from around the region will be participating in the World Muay Thai Association (WMTA) sanctioned competition.

The bouts will bring the auditorium to life at 8.00pm and will feature three of St. Maarten/St. Martin kickboxers competing for one of three WMTA World Title Championship belts.

Shanice with her roots from Curacao and Suriname, is a three-year lightweight professional.

“This title fight is very important for her not only because of the title but also for her Caribbean blood. Her mother and a big part of her family lives in Curacao and they are planning to come to St. Maarten to support her big time.

“She said that her family will give her that extra strength that she needs and that's why she knows she will bring the title back to Amsterdam after the short stop at Curacao,” stated President of BOFT Milton Ottley, organizer of the pre-St. Maarten Day World Kickboxing Competition.

Lennart Blijd is a professional two-year welterweight fighter in Kickboxing and Muay Thai. His roots are from Suriname but has lived his entire life in Amsterdam.

“In May Lennart fought for the Dutch Champion Title in Muay Thai and won. The pressure that he felt was huge and everybody around him were screaming, the crowd, his trainers, but, as he his, he remained cool and fought his own fight. He did that with class.

“Lennart will bring that same class with so much more to St. Maarten to fight and bring the title back to Amsterdam. Sityodtong Muay Thai and Kickboxing is very proud of both Shanice and Lennart.

“They train very hard and they will continue that until they set foot on the ‘Friendly Island.’ The fighters, the trainers and the whole team Sityodtong are very grateful to be a part of the pre-St. Maarten Day World Kickboxing event. Both professional fighters are very thankful for getting the opportunity to show their skills to the people of St. Maarten/St. Martin,” Ottley said on Sunday.

Both Josefina and Blijd thanked Ottley for his role and organization of the upcoming competition and giving them the opportunity to defend their titles.

WMTA is one of the oldest amateur and professional sanctioning organizations of Muay Thai in the world for the sport. Created in the Netherlands in 1984, the organization became one of the major sanctioning bodies for professional Muay Thai.

Lennart Blijd SN


Lennart Blijd




Minister of VROMI Wever meets with Green Initiatives

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI), Christopher Wever was recently invited to the monthly green initiatives meeting to be briefed and updated on projects the group is working on.

Consisting of 16 groups, the Minister was introduced to those present and the initiatives they are working on and discussed possible future collaboration. The Minister also used the opportunity to inform the group about the upcoming clean-up/recycling campaign from government which will be launching soon.

The Minister was also briefed on the results of Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) Sint Maarten's lagoon valuation study as well as the Call for Action launched by the green initiatives to ban single-use plastic from St. Maarten.

The collaboration of groups started meeting in February 2019 and created Green Initiatives as a platform for NGO's and individuals who work towards sustainable solutions for the island to network, collaborate and support each other.


Students arrested for school fights. Zero-tolerance policy in place

CUL DE SAC - The police force KPSM and the Public Prosecutor’s office has taken a firm position on the fights occurring in and around schools, as part of the zero-tolerance policy, police said in a report on Saturday.

The police department started with the arrest of a group of juveniles that were involved in fights on two different occasions. On Thursday October 3rd, 2019 the juvenile division arrested a minor with initials R.A.C who was involved in a fight that took place on the October 3rd, 2019. After being questioned the suspect was incarcerated in the Miss Lalie Center pending further investigation.

Father and Son Assaulted by Teenagers

Later that same day, two other students with the initials J.I.A and J.K.C were arrested for a fight that took place at the St. Peters gas station on Friday September 27th. 2019 where a group of teenagers assaulted a father and his son duo.

A complaint was later made by the victims to the detectives at the juvenile division. A declaration was taken from both minor suspects.

After being interrogated the suspect with the initials J.F.A was held over for further investigation and placed at Miss Lalie Detention Center. The other suspect was released in the custody of his parents.

Rapidly Growing Problem

The police force KPSM is again reminding the students about the zero-tolerance policy when it comes to school and gang fights and, we are also pleading with all parents and the community to get involved in trying to alleviate this rapidly growing problem, police said on Saturday.

Parents of students involved in these fights should also be reminded that they are also partly responsible for the behavior attributed to their minor children. (Sint Maarten Police Force)  


K1 DIRECT Raffle Winners Announced

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - K1 DIRECT Program Managers Alan Schet and Iris Hakkens picked the ten lucky winners for sponsored prizes for the team’s raffle earlier this week. The fundraising raffle to raise funds for K1 DIRECT’s (K1 Disaster Relief & Crisis Team) disaster relief operational budget.

The budget will be used to cover the costs for medical supplies, fuel, vehicles, materials, and other necessities during the activation of the volunteer team during a disaster locally or in the region. Lorraine Scot, representing the St. Maarten Government Lottery Supervision, was present to assist with the supervision of the raffle.

The lucky winners are:

1st Prize: Round Trip Tickets to any destination flown by WINAIR
Winner: Kanishka Wadhwa - #0008

2nd Prize: 3-night, 4-day all-inclusive stay at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa
Winner: Island 92 Listener #435

3rd Prize: 2 tickets to the Big Three at Rainforest Adventures St Maarten 

Winner: Jimmy Fitzpatrick - #0949

4th Prize: 2 round trips to any of the following destinations flown by WINAIR (Saba, St. Barths, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, St. Eustatius)

Winner: E. Roger - #0592

5th Prize: Artwork valued at $1000 from Roland Richardson Gallery Museum

Winner: Shane Kelly - #0966

6th Prize: One Month Free Membership at Colosseum
Winner: Tisiana Hart #577

7th Prize: 2 vouchers @$85 at The Five Salon
Winner: Trevor Fraser - #0351

8th Prize: $75 Gift Voucher from Alina restaurant - Sushi & Sake Bar
Winner: Dr. Dick at Philipsburg Pharmacy - #0698

9th Prize: Nokia 2 and 2 Pandora Charms from Boolchand’s
Winner: Eileen Healy - #0210

10th Prize: $50 Voucher from Caribbean Liquors & Tobacco

Winner: Island 92 Listener- #0439

K1 DIRECT recently returned from The Bahamas, where the funds were used to activate the team and support their relief mission. Thank you to all individuals who bought or sold raffle tickets and promoted the raffle. Thanks to the businesses who sponsored prizes, sold raffle tickets on K1’s behalf and also those who supported by buying tickets.

If you are the lucky winner and would like to pick up your prize please call +1 (721) 553-8186, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit the K1 Britannia Foundation office located at Falcon Drive #7, Suite A3, Brooks Towers. Winners must bring their winning ticket to collect their prizes.

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