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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (2128)

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.


One dead, another in critical condition in shooting incident. Shooter turns himself in

PHILIPSBURG - On Thursday October 3rd, 2019 at approximately 11.00am, the dispatch center received a call concerning a shooting that took place on the Soualiga Road, police said in a report on Thursday.

The police patrol and the personnel of the Ambulance department encountered two male victims whose identity are currently still unknown.

One male victim had sustained a gunshot wound but was not showing any signs of life and the second victim who had also been shot and was in need of medical assistance. The Ambulance personnel treated the second victim on the scene before taking him to the Sint Maarten Medical Center in serious condition for further treatment.

Shortly after this shooting incident, a male suspect with initials A.R. turned himself into the Philipsburg Police Station as the shooter. The suspect was immediately arrested and handed over to the detective department for further interrogation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)      


Free workshop hosted by SSSD. “My PBL, PKL and TKL Education and Beyond”

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Students in Voorbereidend Secundair Beroepsonderwijs (VSBO) or Preparatory Secondary Vocational Education (PSVE) – PBL, PKL and TKL - on St. Maarten have the possibility of continuing their education St. Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, the Netherlands, United States or Canada, but they have to be aware of what their options are and what it takes to be successful.

This was noted by Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sport while announcing their workshop entitled “My PBL, PKL and TKL Education and Beyond” to be held on October 3, 2019 at the University of St. Martin from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM.

Voorbereidend Secundair Beroepsonderwijs (VSBO) is offered at Milton Peters College (PBL, PKL and TKL streams) and at Sundial (PBL and PKL streams.) Preparatory Secondary Vocational Education (PSVE) is offered at the St. Maarten Academy PSVE (PBL and PKL streams). For many students or graduates of the VSBO/ PSVE - PBL, PKL and TKL secondary school systems on the island, the question of ‘What is next?’ after their education, often poses a challenge.

Student Support Services Division (SSSD) is aiming to show these students that there are many study/educational opportunities for them. These opportunities will be highlighted during the workshop which is open to students in the last two years of the PBL, PKL and TKL sections or recent graduates. Parents are also encouraged to attend this workshop to get an understanding of what the options are for their children who are being educated in these systems.

There are ways and means for these VSBO PBL, PKL and TKL graduates to continue their studies if they wish but all these different opportunities have specific requirements and the graduates should be aware of these requirements. Attendants of this workshop will also be explained some of the technicalities associated with moving from vocational to academic education as well as moving off island to study

“Moving from one educational system may not be straightforward but it is possible and up to the student to take advantage of what is there and they do need to apply themselves,” SSSD officials stated. Many PBL, PKL and TKL students complain that the possibilities of continuing their studies are limited but they don’t realize that they have to apply themselves and be serious about their studies whether pursuing their studies locally or off island.

The “My PBL, PKL and TKL Education and Beyond” workshop will highlight both opportunities to study in English as well as in Dutch. Students are encouraged to be on time and to register for the workshop since space is limited. They are also urged to bring their own writing utensils and come prepared to receive the information being presented. If parents or students have any questions on this workshop, they can contact the Student Support Services Division at telephone 543-1235 for more information.

The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) provides services to students referred by the schools such as psychological services, counseling services, social work services, educational diagnostic services, speech language pathology services. SSSD also provides general services such as career services, parent sessions and crisis response.


Destination St. Maarten the Perfect Example in Proactively Working with the Cruise Industry

SINT MAARTEN/Miramar, FLORIDA - The FCCA has taken note of the ongoing debate regarding cruise figures for the St. Maarten 2020 cruise season.

"The FCCA cannot provide accurate figures due to the cyclical nature of itinerary planning. Based on figures provided by the reporter showing a decline, the figures indicate St. Maarten returning to its previous high averages - which could be expected after St. Maarten experienced an artificial gain from BVI's impact and slower recovery after the 2017 hurricane season - and that any potential decline would be due to trends like that along with normal itinerary planning cycles, and not from any poor direction or decisions by anyone in the destination.

"Destination St. Maarten and Port St. Maarten in particular have been proactively working with the FCCA and the industry, and from our partnership over the years, everything is being done correctly, not just listening to the industry's input, but also enacting numerous strategies to constantly improve," President of the FCCA Michele Paige said on Tuesday.

The minister responsible for tourism, Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Hon. Stuart Johnson, will be organizing a press conference within short to address a number of cruise tourism industry related matters, and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) has been invited as a guest to provide information about cruise trends and developments.    


The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 21 Member Lines operating nearly 200 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA provides a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and builds bilateral relationships with destinations' private and public sectors.

By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA works with governments, ports and private sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors.


Minister Johnson attends Monaco Yacht Show 2019

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication the Honorable Stuart Johnson wrapped up his Europe work visit by attending the Monaco Yacht Show 2019 last week.

This year's event has been hailed by the organizers and attendees alike as the largest mega-yacht show and has fittingly received significant attention from Marine Industry service providers around the globe.

Johnson was the invited as the "Chief Guest" for the event, and participated in a roundtable discussion at the ACREW IMM Crew Lounge with several Mega Yacht Captains, other stakeholders in the Yachting Industry, Port de Plaisance St. Maarten's Yacht Club representative Jesse Peterson and the media personnel from around the globe during the event.

The goal was to provide updates on developments in the local front as St. Maarten continues to be a destination of great interest for the global yachting industry. "It is important that updates on St. Maarten's progress post-Irma are positive. It must be spread whenever and wherever we have the opportunity as this allows to attract future yachts," said Johnson.

Johnson said he would "continues to embrace and support the Marine Sector on St. Maarten as it contributes significantly to our economy."

During the roundtable discussion, Johnson highlighted the Triton Update Online, spoke about current affairs and gave a synopsis of the past six months of activities on the island where the Yachting Industry is concerned.

Part of the discussion focused on updating the Crew Members and Captains on what they can expect in terms of improvements since St. Maarten was devastated in September 2017 by Hurricane Irma and Maria.

Johnson also had "a frank discussion" with the attendees during which he explained that the Simpson Bay Bridge has already exceeded its lifespan and will need to be replaced. He said, “Part of the vision for the industry includes widening the channel and making the entryway deeper to accommodate the larger vessels as more mega yachts have shown interest in coming to our destination.” He also mentioned the new Marinas and those that have come back online since suffering damage in 2017.

"We stressed the importance of having all businesses and Marinas fully operational. However, we made it clear that based on our experience with hurricane Irma and Maria in 2017, new developments must be sustainable," said Johnson.

Some feedback he received from Captains included concerns about the Immigration issue of the past with regards to clearance of crew members. He informed the Yacht Operators of the Immigration Department's efforts to improve clearing times. He also more work will be done to improve on efficiency, especially where it relates to the B1/B2 Visa requirements and other issues that were challenges in the past. Johnson explained that some problems, such as those pertaining to Cruising Permits, should be resolved. He also said the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau would continue working on improving the visitor experience for the Yachting industry.

Consideration is being given to beautification projects for Simpson Bay. Adding walking trails through the Cole Bay area and creating other hiking trails and bike ride excursions, and increased hotel services, are also some requests made during the discussion. Johnson intends to work with his colleague Minister of Justice on addressing the concern over the Simpson Bay Police dock being closed from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am, which was a point of interest for the Captains.

The Ministry of TEATT will be carrying out an impact study to determine how far and wide the financial benefits of the Yachting Industry reach. At the same time, the Ministry will, through the TEATT at Work awareness television program, inform the community at large about opportunities within the Yachting Industry.

"More attention will be put on "All about SXM" donations which PDP launched after the hurricanes of 2017. The work BWA has done assisting the community over the past four years, and the recycling effort of TRITON will also be highlighted.

During his trip, Johnson also met with tourism officials in Cannes, France and Monaco. He was featured in a video message on progress in St. Maarten post-Irma and Maria, which was launched by the Cannes tourism office.

"St. Maarten has a great opportunity to expand its Marine Sector. And through the Memorandum of Understanding with our counterparts on the Northern Side of the Island, we can create greater links with France to increase of Yacht arrivals from that region," said Johnson. He has held an initial discussion with Vice President of the Collectivity Valerie Damasseau and intends to continue these discussions within short to determine a way forward.

"To attract tourist, we have to go out, and foster relationships along with marketing efforts will stimulate tourist movements to our island," Johnson concluded.

Round table discussion in Monaco





Four-Country Consultation of Ministries of Education about education, culture and science

SINT MAARTEN/BONAIRE - Representatives of the Ministries of Education of the Netherlands, Curacao, Aruba and St. Maarten met on Bonaire last week for the second official consultation for the four countries this year.

During this consultation, officials from the four education ministries discussed various topics for cooperation in the field of education, culture and science.

The purpose of these consultations was to set the agenda and prepare for the second ministerial Four-Country Consultation that will take place in the Netherlands in November.

The first ministerial Four-Country Consultation took place earlier this year, on Curacao. This consultation kicked off cooperation between the four countries in areas such as local teacher training, intangible heritage, the ratification of the UNESCO 2001 convention on underwater heritage, internship exchanges in the Caribbean, the introduction of the education system of the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) and the transfer of students for further education in the surrounding region or in the Netherlands.


Port St. Maarten to Undertake Investments to Maintain and Enhance High Guest Satisfaction Ratings

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten is expected to see a shift in the cruise market by receiving overall 10.6 per cent less cruise calls for the period November 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020 when compared with figures for the same period in 2018-2019.

For the same period, Port St. Maarten anticipates 416 cruise calls (November 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020) with approximately 1,049,419 cruise passengers compared to 466 cruise calls (November 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019) and 1,239,707 cruise passengers.

Port St. Maarten will be embarking on new investment plans within the short and long-term, and these will be presented at the upcoming Florida-Caribbean Cruise Conference (FCCA) & Exhibition in October in Puerto Rico with the primary focus of getting additional business in 2020 and beyond.

Within the next 24-months, Port St. Maarten will finance out of its own cashflow the construction of a replica historical ship in the main cruise area; a small replica of the salt pond; a heritage wall; and introducing more green spaces. This is to further enhance the guest passenger experience at the port since the cruise terminal is the last place they encounter before boarding their vessel.

Plans are being prepared to construct a permanent homeporting terminal to cater to the Fly & Cruise passenger which will enhance the experience of guests who arrive on the island to board a vessel for a one-week cruise. Homeporting is very important for the local economy as it generates more airlifts in and out of the destination; brings additional business for local service providers; and creates the potential for pre- and post- cruise extension visits.

Under the build back better principle, cruise pier south will be further strengthened to handle the increase in storm activity as well as their ferocity that they inflict on infrastructure.

The port will also fund the repairs to the inter-island berth and RoRo pier; construction of an additional reefer plug-in points which will further stimulate transshipment cargo to islands within the North eastern Caribbean.

For the long-term, 20-25 year period, the port will issue a ‘request for proposal’ with the aim to realize the long-term strategic goals of attracting a strategic partner which could comprise of private port operators or a cruise line(s), and such a partnership would bring additional strategic expertise and capital leading to mutual benefits for the port and the country overall.

“Despite facing competitors, emerging new markets in addition to changes in travel trends of cruisers, destination St. Maarten still has the highest guest satisfaction rates which in the end is still the single most important business driver for the island.

“For 2019, the cruise passenger destination experience score of 9.3 out of 10 is testament to the hard work and dedication from partners in the hospitality industry on St. Maarten which has resulted in a welcomed increase in positive reviews from cruise passengers.

“Shoreside and port experiences are the focal points of the industry with destinations striving to create experiences that really engage guests with a destination’s heritage, culture, people, food and much more all authentic experiences. The ports investment plans cater to these key focal points.

“Port St. Maarten is looking at quality rather than quantity based on on-going shifts in cruise trends and developments. The port will continue to be proactive in making sure that there isn’t anything that would diminish the guest experience. Sustainable tourism and how ships and ports should adapt for a greener future, preparing for the cruise terminal of the future is the buzz in the industry and fits into the investment plans of the port.

“According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), one of the trends is conscious travel. This entails travelers wanting to see the world in a conscious, mindful way, and this is forcing cruise lines to work with local destinations to local cultures, landmarks and minimize environmental footprints,” Port St. Maarten Management said on Monday.

Another trend pointed out by CLIA is ‘access is the new luxury.’ Travelers are setting sights on destinations that were previously out of reach – some only accessible now by cruise ship – from the Galapagos Islands to Antarctica.

Generation Z (those born in the mid-1990s to early 2000s) at Sea is another trend where this generation is set to become the largest consumer generation by the year 2020 – outpacing even Millennials. This generation like the one before, prefers experiences over material items and is seeking out travel. The appeal of multiple destinations and unique experiences, such as music festivals at sea, is attracting this new category of cruisers.


Prices slightly down from last quarter (0.05%) but up from last year (0.61%)

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Sint Maarten in the 2 nd Quarter of 2019 is 100.24. This represents a decrease of 0.05 percent, when compared to that of 1st Quarter 2019. When comparing the consumer prices from the same period 12 months previously (2nd Quarter 2018 to 2 nd Quarter 2019), an increase of 0.61 percent was recorded.

Quarter-to-Quarter Percentage Change: 2019 Q1 to 2019 Q2

For the 2 nd Quarter 2019, prices in six of the twelve expenditure categories recorded increases, four decreased in price and two remained fairly stable compared to 1st Quarter 2019. The increases were in the categories: ‘Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics’ (+0.74%), ‘Clothing and footwear’ (+0.35%), ‘Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ (+0.28%), ‘Health’ (+1.67%), ‘Transport’ (+0.65%) and ‘Restaurants and hotels’ (+0.04%).

Decreases were seen in the following categories: ‘Food and non-alcoholic beverages’ (-1.05%), ‘Furnishings, household equipment and maintenance’ (-0.32%), ‘Recreation and culture’ (-0.31%) and ‘Miscellaneous goods and services’ (-1.43%). The increase in ‘Communication’ was negligible and there was no change in ‘Education’.

Based on the latest Household Budget Survey, the following four categories have the largest percentage weight (influence) of the total CPI: Food and non-alcoholic beverages (7.2%), Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (36.1%), Transport (14.6%) and Miscellaneous goods and services (13.4%).

For Food and non-alcoholic beverages, the cost of the subcategory ‘Food’ went down by 0.95 percent. This was mainly due to the drop-in price of meat (-1.02%); milk, cheese and eggs (-2.94%), fruits (-2.09%) and vegetables (-2.61%). Prices in the subcategory ‘Non-alcoholic beverages’ decreased by 1.62 percent.

This was driven by a decrease (-1.98%) in the prices of mineral waters, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices. The change in the price of Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels was influenced by increases in the price levels of the subgroups: ‘Actual rentals for housing’ (+1.36%) and ‘Maintenance and repair of the dwelling’ (+0.48%).

These increases counteracted the decrease in prices of ‘Electricity, gas and other fuels’ (-1.58%). For this quarter, the price for Transport was largely impacted by the ‘Operation of personal transport equipment’ (+2.76%) such as fuels and lubricants. While, prices in the category Miscellaneous goods and services decreased largely because of the subcategories ‘Personal care’ (-2.75%) and ‘Personal effects n.e.c1’ (-4.31%).

Year-on-Year Percentage Change (Inflation): Comparing 2019 Q2 with 2018 Q2

The prices of 2nd Quarter 2019 has increased when compared to those of 2nd Quarter 2018. The inflation rate recorded is 0.61 percent. This rise in prices for the 12-month period was largely due to increases in the household expenditure categories: ‘Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics’ (+2.32%), ‘Clothing and footwear’ (+6.22%), ‘Furnishings, household equipment and maintenance’ (+2.20%) and ‘Health’ (+3.29%).

For the four expenditure categories with the highest weight on the Total CPI, the cost of Food and non-alcoholic beverages went down 0.72 percent. The category Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels as well as the category Transport, went up 0.96 percent and 0.37 percent respectively, while ‘Miscellaneous goods and services went down by 0.88 percent, when compared to the same period last year.


Sarah: World Bank/EIB financing for SXM Airport cannot be revoked despite attempts

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - The present majority coalition in parliament does not want to hear anything regarding the Princess Juliana International Airport, Leader of the United Democrats (UD) and Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot Williams said on Saturday in a media statement.

“How else can they explain the embarrassment created in Thursday’s parliament meeting about the very airport? The deputy prime minister, totally unfamiliar with the topic, went out of his way to provide the information requested by members of parliament back in August.

“He promised to be back at 4 pm. Low and behold, the chairperson of parliament using the clock in the hall, proceeds to open and adjourn the meeting in a blink of an eye. He could not wait for the minister to return, the very minister who had come to parliament because he was summoned by the Chairman!

“Earlier in the meeting, the Chair had patiently waited for the same minister to arrive. So why not at 4 pm? The only reason this was done was to make it seem as if the minister was being belligerent. Like the minister, my colleagues and I looked on in disbelief at the actions of the Chair. If they so wanted answers on the airport, the Chair could have adjourned until the arrival of Minister Smith.

“The majority coalition in parliament does not want answers. They are long passed that. What they want is the meeting on the airport to get to the stage where they can halt the process of the reconstruction financing for the airport from the World Bank/Trust Fund and EIB loan.

“Their subtle threats to the airport’s CEO have not gone unnoticed. But guess what, in the coming days that process will become irreversible and the airport reconstruction will start in an affordable and sustainable way. Any attempts to thwart the process and go for the proverbial bird in the sky will be futile,” the media statement from MP Wescot Williams concludes.


EIB – European Investment Bank

CEO – Chief Executive Officer

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