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SXMNBA Concludes Successful 5x5 Basketball Tournament

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The St. Maarten National Basketball Association (SXMNBA) just concluded their 5x5 Basketball Tournament on Tuesday November 30th, 2021. With the Back Bay team winning the veteran division 58-55, and the Middle Region Saints winning the senior division 82-79 in overtime.

Michelet Dede, player for the Veteran Division Champions Back Bay team, was awarded the title of Most Valuable Player of the SXMNBA 5x5 Basketball Tournament T1. (see top photo)

Dede has had an outstanding season with Back Bay, averaging 16.3 points per game in this tournament. He scored 21 points in the closeout game vs the No Limits team: Top scorer for No Limits, Alex Ferdinand scored 14 points and averaged a tournament high 16.5 points per game in the veteran division. 

Four (4) teams took part in the veteran division; BACK BAY (6-0), NO LIMITS (3-3), THE ORIGINAL RUG RATS (1-3) & DOMINICANOS (0-4).

2 sxmnba photo 2

John Gumbes player for the Senior Division Champions Middle Region Saint basketball team, has been awarded the title of Most Valuable Player of the SXMNBA 5x5 Basketball Tournament T1 for his performance in the final minutes in securing his team’s victory. (see above photo)

Steve N. scored 20 points in the very exciting overtime closeout game vs the Slasher Bee's senior basketball team: Top scorer for the Slasher Bee's was Jurien Blijden with 18 points. Luis Polanco for the Dominicanos senior team averaged a tournament high 19.3 points per game. 

Four (4) teams took part in the senior division SLASHER BEE’S SR (3-1), SHORELINE SR (3-1), DOMINICANOS SR (1-3) & MIDDLE REGION SAINTS SR (1-3) 

The SXMNBA next event will be a next 5x5 BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT T2

This tournament will be featuring 4 divisions: JUNIORS 21U | SENIORS 21+ | VETERANS 38+ | SILVER 48+

There is a $30 registration fee per person (minimum 8 per team) - Team registration deadline is December 13th, 2021. 

For more information contact +1(721)520-2151 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can view statistics and game schedules at www.mystatsonline.com/sxmnba

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Another record for Sea to Scenery

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Yet again, a very successful edition of the Sea to Scenery race was held on Saba on Saturday, December 4. As customary, the day after Saba Day, a group of sport enthusiasts in for a challenge participated in a race from sea level to the highest top of the Dutch Kingdom at 887meter.

The popularity of the Sea to Scenery, organized by the Saba Triathlon Foundation and sponsored by Chez Bubba, keep increasing. During this 6th edition, the group was larger than ever with 56 participants.

After Island Secretary Tim Muller gave the traditional start signal by blowing on his conch, the runners left the seaside at Cove Bay, went up Airport Road, through Hell’s Gate, English Quarter and the Windwardside, to the start of the stairs of Mt. Scenery with its 1,064 steps, covering a total 6.2 kilometers almost all uphill.

The top three in the male section were: Alwin Hylkema (52 minutes, 10 seconds), Peter Johnson (52.42) and Jochem Batstra (53.03). Fastest in the female category were: Hester van Halen (1 hour, 14 minutes, 21 seconds), Quirine Hakkaart (1.16.18) and Sue Skibinski (1.17.19). Once all participants had reached the top, the athletes walked back to the Windwardside for a refreshment and snack at Chez Bubba.

Organizers Peter Johnson and Jochem Batstra look back at the very successful event. “We are really amazed at the turnout for the event. We are beyond happy about the commitment to fitness by the people of Saba since the pandemic. Let’s keep on going uphill together,” they said.

The organizers thanked all volunteers, as well as the Saba Red Cross and Saba Splash Water. “It was only possible with the support of our volunteers.” The organizers said they looked forward to the next event, the Saba Triathlon on January 22, 2022.

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CDFHA Host First Annual Interscholastic Speech Competition

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Wednesday, December 1st, the Department of Community Development, Family, and Humanitarian Affairs (CDFHA) hosted its first annual interscholastic speech competition themed “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility.” commemorating World AIDS Day 2021.

In his opening remarks, Minister of VSA Omar Ottley commended the participants for taking up the challenge, and he emphasized the importance of the youth being involved in spreading awareness of the disease, HIV/AIDS.

Six gifted young ladies representing three secondary schools gave memorable speeches, but there could be only one winner. Fourth former Angeornee Canhigh of the Methodist Agogic Center - Comprehensive Secondary Education (MAC-CSE) won that top honor as she highlighted the ignorance surrounding HIV/AIDS and the disastrous impact this sexually transmitted disease has on young people, third former Rianna Roberts of St. Maarten Academy PSVE won second, and fourth former Aisha Khatnani of Learning Unlimited won third place.

This event was one of many initiatives from the department AIDS awareness campaign collaborating with the Sint Maarten AIDS Foundation. Dr. van Osch, the Sint Maarten AIDS Foundation president, congratulated the participants for doing such an exceptional job. He also reminded the audience that we all have an essential part to play in staying safe and reducing the stigma and discrimination towards individuals living with HIV in our community.

CDFHA extends congratulations and appreciation to all the participating schools – Learning Unlimited Preparatory School, St. Maarten Academy, and MAC-CSE- to make this year’s competition a success. Special thanks to the team of judges for their assistance and stakeholders, Telem, Belair Beach Hotel, and the Caribbean Institute for Social Education Foundation for providing gifts for the winner and runner-ups of this educational event.

The Department of Community Development, Family and Humanitarian Affairs in its aim to create opportunities for the youth to get involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS, looks forward to the participation of more secondary schools and especially our young men in next year’s competition.

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332 Booster shots administered at the WYCCF on Thursday and Friday

SINT MAARTEN (ST. JOHN’S ESTATE) - On Thursday, December 2nd, and Friday, December 3rd, the White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF) hosted a vaccination pop-up for the booster against Covid-19. On Thursday, a total of 146 boosters were given. Thirty-two to the WYCCF staff, 70 clients, and 44 clients' family members and senior citizens.

On Friday, all healthcare workers on the island were invited to come and take their booster, as well as the remainder of the WYCCF staff, clients, and family members who couldn't come the day before. On Friday, the remaining staff and clients and all local healthcare workers were invited for their booster vaccine, adding up to a total of 332. 

The process went just as smoothly as in February and March when the WYCCF functioned as a vaccination location for two weeks. Guests were pleased with how the event was organized, the staff was very kind, and the waiting time was almost none.

The WYCCF would like to thank everyone for coming and, in particular, its staff for these two very successful two days, as they indeed did a fantastic job. The WYCCF also thanks Dr. Neha Dayalani-Vaswani, who attended as the supervising doctor.  

The WYCCF is also delighted with the number of staff and clients it could provide with the booster. 95% of the eligible Nursing Home clients took their booster, with similar rates in the psycho-geriatric daycare of WYCCF, where many vulnerable clients receive care. With the new, more contagious Omnicron variant, boosting your protection against Covid-19 becomes even more important.

Even though the numbers of active cases on the island have been relatively low lately, this pandemic is not yet over. We want to prevent a situation like we are currently seeing in Europe, where hospitals are overflowing once again with primarily unvaccinated persons. Therefore, we need to do everything we can to protect our vulnerable clients. The WYCCF asks everyone, for the sake of the most vulnerable in our society, to get vaccinated.

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Sint Maarten Fire Dept. participates in First Risk management training takes place on Bonaire

SINT MAARTEN/BONAIRE - From Monday the 29th of November up to and including Friday the 3rd of December, the Risk Management Training, given by the Institute for Physical Safety (Instituut Fysieke Veiligheid, IFV), took place for the first time in the Caribbean Netherlands.

The training was conducted in cooperation with the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department (Brandweerkorps Caribisch Nederland, BKCN) at the fire station in Kralendijk.

Inspectors, employees, and specialists from Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands came together to learn more about fire safety.

Among the subjects covered were the testing of building plans with regard to fire prevention, the inspection of buildings for fire safe use, spatial safety and industrial safety. The goal is to increase knowledge of risk management within the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.

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Supermarket fined for selling medicines without a licence

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - A Philipsburg supermarket has been ordered by the Court of First Instance to pay a fine of NAf 700 for selling items considered medicines by law. Those items include creams and ointments such as Vick’s Vapor Rub.

The law related to medicinal items only permits products listed as medicines to be sold in a pharmacy, by doctors or in stores with a special permit from the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA. The supermarket was not in the possession of such a permit.

Unregistered pharmaceuticals sold without a permit may have a bad effect on health.

The illegally stocked items were confiscated from the supermarket and will be destroyed.

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8th Road fatality recorded early Friday morning. Driver was not wearing seatbelt

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - For the last few weeks, the Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM has registered a sharp increase in the number of accidents resulting in injuries or death.

KPSM’s Traffic Department is conducting an investigation into the eighth road fatality for the year. The incident occurred this early morning, December 3, 2021, on G.A. Arnell Road (Link 1, Phase 2) when the driver of a Suzuki Swift, travelling at what is estimated as very high speed toward the roundabout on A.J.C. Brouwers road, lost control of his vehicle.

He swerved all the way to the left road shoulder, slammed against the hillside rocks flipping the car over. The driver, who was not wearing his seat belt, was thrown from the car and ended up underneath it when it rolldown on him.

He was extricated from under the vehicle by the Fire Department and received first aid from paramedics. However, he subsequently succumbed to his very serious injuries.

KPSM expresses condolences to the family and friends of the deceased F.A.M.A.

Police again warn drivers about their behavior in traffic. Since serious accidents keep happening and because of the severity of the damages caused may and have result in the death of persons using the public road.

We have noticed an increase in risky behavior by certain groups of road users, which is causing concern for the safety of the general public. One of the issues that has our are drivers not adhering to the speed limits and driving/riding in such a way that it is obstructing safety and free flow of traffic.

Speeding

Speeding is the second most common cause of road accidents. Since cars, motorcycles and truck accidents that involve speeding typically occur at high speeds, it is also a major cause of serious or fatal road injuries.

Driving above the speed limit is a common practice for many motorists. In addition, illegal behavior vastly increases the risk of losing control of a vehicle and causing an accident

Even a small increase in speed can result in a much higher risk of being involved in a collision or other type of accident. As such, it is essential for motorists to be aware of the speed at which they are traveling and stay within the legal limits.

Reckless Driving

Speeding, changing lanes without looking, hopping of scooters and motorbikes and ignoring road signs are all classic signs of reckless driving. An illegal driving habit’s now one of the most common cause of road accidents on our island

Reckless driving usually involves a motorist that is less concerned about other road users than they are.

After having looked at the reasons why vehicle accidents happen, an overview was done into the location on the island where most vehicular accidents take place.

Through this information the Sint Maarten Police Force would again like to caution road users. A lot of the accidents happening can be avoided if everyone drove not only for themselves but also for the cars around them. Take heed the roadways are not your own avoid unnecessary collisions.

The Police Force will continue to work towards keeping Sint-Maarten roads ways safe but it is a job that cannot be done without the help of the community. In many cases, easy safety measures can be taken to prevent unnecessary accidents. (KPSM)

police scene of accident aerial

police investigation into car

police car overturned frpg

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Construction new building Out of School program starts next year

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - The construction of the new building for the Out of School program is expected to start in the second half of 2022. The area that is designated for the realization of this building is situated in Lynch, to the north of the Governor de Graaff school. 

The Public Entity St. Eustatius is responsible for the realization of the project which task has been delegated to the Directorate Social Domain.

A project team coordinates the input from the users of the building in the design phase that recently started, and at a later stage coordinates the construction. Government Commissioner Alida Francis said she is proud that the island reached this stage. ‘’It is expected that the construction will start in the second half of 2022.’’

After inspection of the existing buildings in use for Out of School Programs and after meetings with the stakeholders, it became clear that the current buildings are not in line with the vision and mission of the programs. In addition, the buildings do not meet the quality requirements as stipulated in the Basic Ordinance Childcare.

The Public Entity has the final responsibility for the quality of these programs, which is laid down in this Ordinance. For Statia one of the main aspects of this program is the quality of the buildings. This is the reason why the process started with the development of plans for a building to accommodate the Out of School Programs. Edwin Meyer Viol, the architect who is contracted to design the building and prepare the tender documents, is currently on Statia to meet with the key stakeholders.

Centers

There are 3 centers in Statia that provide out of school care: Mega D Youth Foundation, Daughters of the King and Academic and Professional Training Center (A+). The program BES(t)4KIDS for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba started in 2019 which the objective to improve the overall quality of childcare.

It is financed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports. The program focusses on children between 6-18 years old during out of school hours. In the future, it is expected that the programs will be used by approximately 300 children. (Statia GIS)

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Joint inspection of hospitality businesses and other companies on St. Eustatius

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) In October and November, the Labour Inspectorate once again carried out inspections at companies on St. Eustatius. The focus was primarily on hospitality businesses and some other companies. The Dutch Caribbean Police Force (KPCN) was also involved. 

At various hospitality businesses the Labour Inspectorate assessed staff working hours and break times and checked whether the employers were complying with the legal minimum wage requirements. Also checked was whether the correct first aid equipment was available and that no illegal workers were being employed. No violations were observed during these inspections, which is a positive result.

During a joint inspection in another sector three foreigners were found who did not have a residence permit for the island and for whom no work permits had been issued. The three persons in question are now being dealt with by the KPCN and the employer was issued with a fine.

In addition, a number of targeted inspections were carried out on the basis of signals. A company in the services sector was found not to be giving its employees sufficient time off. Staff were expected to be on call throughout the week. Staff at a company in the retail sector were consistently working more than forty hours a week, without receiving overtime pay. Both employers received a warning, and a deadline was set for them to make changes. If they fail to comply, they will be fined.

The number of working hours that people are allowed to work is limited by law to ensure that they do not work too much and are allowed sufficient time off. Employees have other responsibilities outside their work, such as caregiving tasks. In addition to healthy and safe working, the BES Labour Act 2000 [Arbeidswet 2000 BES] therefore provides protection in order to ensure a good work-life balance.

Throughout the year the labour inspectors can be contacted via the telephone number of the Labour Inspectorate, which is +599 781-5662, or by email via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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DELEGATION CHANCERY VISITS STATIA TO DISCUSS ROYAL DECORATIONS

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - A delegation of the Chancery of the Netherlands Orders (Kanselarij der Nederlandse Orden) visited Statia last Friday, November 26th, 2021, to discuss the nomination of Statian candidates for a Royal Decoration. The Chancery is instrumental in the process of awarding Royal Decorations, on an annual basis.

Peter van der Velden, member of the Chancellor of the Netherlands Orders, said that he was deeply impressed by the people on Statia and what they do for each other. Government Commissioner Alida Francis agreed and mentioned she is proud to have a Royal Decoration Committee on Statia.

In 2021, seven persons were honored with a Royal Decoration on behalf of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. Martine van Grieken (Director of the Chancery of the Netherlands Orders) and Mischa Vos (Head of the Department of Advice and Decorations) explained that there is also a medal of honor for persons who risked their own lives to save another. The 3 members of the delegation of the Chancery also visited Saba and St. Maarten.

Submit nominations

It was pointed out that residents in the Statian community can come forward with a candidate who, in their opinion, deserve a Royal Decoration. The Royal Decoration Committee on Statia has an email address to send in nominees: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Royal Decoration Committee presents the nominees to the Government Commissioner who on her turn presents the candidate to the ‘Rijksvertegenwoordiger’. After this, the nominees are presented to the Chancery. The organization works behind the scenes to ensure that the process of awarding Royal Decorations runs smoothly. It also assists the Netherlands Civil Honors Advisory Committee and the Military Order of William Advisory Committee ; both are independent bodies that advise the Dutch Government on the Dutch Honors System.

Meet and greet

In addition to a meeting with Government Commissioner Alida Francis, a tour on Statia and a ‘meet and greet’ with the nominees of this year (2021) was organized. Peter van der Velden expressed his great appreciation for the work of the nominees and the often difficult conditions under which their work had to be performed. (Statia GIS)

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