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Closed door session of Central Committee of Parliament with General Audit Chamber about Governance Audit of BTP

PHILIPSBURG – TheCentral Committee of Parliament will meet in a closed door session on December 9 with the General Audit Chamber.

The Central Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is a discussion with the General Audit Chamber regarding their Governance Audit of Bureau Telecommunications and Post (BTP) of Sint Maarten.

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MP Leona Marlin-Romeo: Flu Shots a Must for Kids with Sickle Cell Disease

PHILIPSBURG – Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Leona Marlin-Romeo, says the Collective Prevention Services of the Ministry of Health, placed an article in the newspaper urging persons with high risk diseases to get vaccinated for the flu. 

“As one of the founders of the Sickle Cell Foundation and considering the change of weather, I would like to re-emphasize the need for parents of all Sickle Cell Disease children to ensure that their kids receive the flu shot and ensure that their children are properly vaccinated.  

“Children with the disease are hospitalized with influenza more often than other children. The call for flu shots by the department should not be disregarded as kids with Sickle Cell Disease are considered as high risks for complications from the flu. 

“The vaccine is administered by the general practitioners, therefore parents should make this a priority, as getting vaccinated is one of the preventative measures of avoiding a sickle cell crisis,” MP Leona Marlin-Romeo concluded.

Sickle Cell disease is a genetic disorder marked by abnormally shaped red blood cells, for more information please contact your general practitioner and for information on sickle disease contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel# 588-7723/550-2355, MP Marlin-Romeo shared.

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Two Cruise Passengers die in Tour Bus Accident and 18 Injured

TORTOLA (British Virgin Islands) – On Sunday, December 6th, an accident occurred in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola, where two tourists lost their lives and many persons, up to 18 were injured including the bus driver.

Police continue to investigate the accident since it involved only the tour bus that was carrying cruise passengers who were visiting the island for the day from the cruise ship Celebrity Summit.

There was a total of 20 passengers on board the tour bus.  The two cruise passengers died at the scene of the accident.  Once the accident occurred, emergency services immediately went to the scene including cruise ship personnel.

Celebrity Summit also calls at Port St. Maarten with the last call being made on Thursday, December 3rd three days before the accident.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

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Final High School Soccer Competition to take place this Saturday 12 December 'MPC female and PSVE male team at the top'

CAY HILL - The final standings are in and six schools have managed to obtain a spot for the finals of the competition. 

The top team for the male section is PSVE Academy who participated for the first time in the competition and won most of their games. They will go against MPC while St. Dominic High and Caribbean International Academy will compete for third place. 

For the female section it is the MPC girls that held a strong performance throughout the competition and who will be competing against St. Dominic High for first place upcoming Saturday. Not far behind are the combination Sundial/Charlotte Brookson team against MAC high.

The competition lasted six weeks with seven high schools registering to participate in the Oualichi WSA and the St. Maarten Soccer Association organised event. The games will start at 6:00 pm and takes place at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex. 

For more information follow the Oualichi Women's Soccer Association and Sint Maarten Soccer Association Facebook pages. 

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"DP needs to fess up"

PHILIPSBURG - "It's unimaginable how the DP has been able to produce its last press release as a rebuttal to our board," remarked the United People's Party (UP) board on Thursday. 

"The leadership of the DP was the catalyst for implementing the Electoral Council and today has yet to fully comply with the expectations of the council," the UP board stated.

"The UP Party which has falsely been accused of lacking transparency is the only party that has completed properly all the requirements of the Electoral Council," the UP board added. 

"The facts show we are indeed still ready despite the fancy political banter which the DP leadership is only known for," the UP board outlined.  

"Today the UP Party remains intact with the UP board, our UPnext and endless supporters who embrace us. Instead, the DP should look internally and ask itself, "why does our membership continue to implode?" 

The DP once boasted of its Chapter of Young Professionals (CPYP) but never did the actions of the leadership or board show confidence in the same young people they profess to have at heart today.  In essence the CPYP, the DP Youth Wing, the membership and even the board of DP seemingly continues to crumble. 

"The DP leadership must ask its own board and those at the helm of it why seeking greener pastures was ideal for them. So as scientific data confirms frogs don't exclusively come in the color green," the UP board stated emphatically. 

"We assume this same multicolour frog jumping was best enjoyed by the DP and it allowed the party to remain consistently in power without truly addressing issues such as electoral reform." 

Today, the DP's cabinet in the council of Ministers is simply "more of the same" while it bluffed the populous in opening it up for vacancies. "Why announce vacancies when now seemingly only providing jobs for individuals who worked for the DP in previous governments or those directly linked to the DP?" the UP board questioned. 

"We have national issues which deserve the collective attention of all. We believe this is of paramount importance and will not engage in a tit for tat exchange on this particular issue with any political party," the UP board concluded. 

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Be The Change Accepting Applications for Mini Grants. December 22 is the deadline

PHILIPSBURG - Be The Change Foundation announces it is now accepting applications for the Mini Grant Program for 2016.

Any organization that is an active registered entity or community group (i.e. NGO, youth club, sports team, school, service club etc.) may submit their application to be a featured project.

As we have done in past years, we will choose 12 to be our spotlighted organizations during the year of 2016.

Last year we were able to raise funds for diverse organizations such as the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation (SAF), Animal Defenders St. Maarten, Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC), Positive Foundation, and No Kidding With Our Kids Foundation, just to name a few.

If your organization or community group has any planned activities for 2016 that can benefit the community as a whole, this is your chance to be the recipient of a grant from Be The Change Foundation and have your organization highlighted at the same time!

Guidelines as well as the application form can be found on our web page at this link.

http://bethechangesxm.com/mini-grant-program/

The deadline for applying is December 22, 2015.

Our first grant will be given out in January 2016, and future grants will be given out each month.

Be one of our monthly spotlight organizations and apply today!

For more information, you can contact Melanie Choisy at 580-1437 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Thursday is International Day of People with Disability

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – International Day of People with Disability is a United Nations (UN) sanctioned day – Thursday, 3rd December - that aims to promote an understanding of people with disability and encourage support for their dignity, rights and well-being.

The theme for 2015 is: “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.”

People living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society.  As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation.

The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.  Persons with disabilities must be able to fulfil their role in society and participate on an equal basis with others.

It is important to focus on the ability and not on the disability of an individual.  Often, societal image of persons with disabilities is impacted by attitudes based on stigma and discrimination, as well as archaic ideas about disability and persons with disabilities that are often the greatest barrier to their full and equal participation in society and development on an equal basis with others.

It is important to note that disability is part of the human condition, and that all of us either are or will become disabled to one degree or another during the course of our lives.

By promoting empowerment, real opportunities for people are created.  This enhances their own capacities and supports them in setting their own priorities.  Empowerment involves investing in people – in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. 

When people are empowered they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities, they become agents of change and can more readily embrace their civic responsibilities.  

Collective Prevention Service (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) as part of its Calendar of Health Observances commemorates this international day with the provision of information regarding the international theme.

Today, there are over one billion people living in the world with some form of disability.  Around the world, persons with disabilities not only face physical barriers but also social, economic and attitudinal barriers.

Since 1992, the annual observance of International Day of Disabled Persons aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. 

It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. 

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28 and 42-year old arrested suspected of robbery. Police fires warning shot

GUANA BAY - Police arrested two men in the Guana Bay/Red Pond area on Wednesday December 2nd at approximately 12.30 p.m.

The arrest took place after the Emergency Dispatch received several calls concerning two or three men who were in the area probably breaking into homes. This call came in from a concerned citizen who stayed on the line with the Emergency Dispatch who directed the investigating officers to the spot where these men were hiding.

The two suspects with initials D.G. (42) and K.T. (28) did not want to come out of their hiding spot at which time a warning shot was fired by police.

The suspects were arrested shortly and taken to the Philipsburg Police Station where they remain in custody for further investigation. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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CPS advises against bathing/swimming in Great Bay on Wednesday and Thursday morning

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, strongly advises against any swimming in Great Bay on Wednesday and Thursday morning.

This advisory is in relation to water that is being released into Great Bay from the ponds. Pumping of the Great Salt Pond is part of a control lowering of the water levels in the ponds. 

This water can be contaminated, from amongst others, rainwater runoff into the ponds.

CPS advisory is a precautionary measure to prevent swimmers from coming into contact with any contaminated water that could pose a health risk if ingested or by skin contact, thereby making the person vulnerable to recreational water illnesses.

The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) commenced on Tuesday at 6.00pm with the pumping of water into Great Bay.  This will continue for eight hours.  The same timeframe will take place on Wednesday at 6.00pm. 

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