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PROMOTION of THEATRICAL PERFORMANCE - Ti Jean & his Brothers in St. Maarten by YOUTHS of STAGES ANGUILLA

SINT MAARTEN/ANGUILLA - Stages Anguilla is a young Performing Arts Company comprising of Forty –Five - Fifty students ranging from ages Seven to Eighteen, Collette Jones-Chin, Director and Executive Producer said in a press statement on Monday.
“Our aim is to use the Theatre Arts to empower, educate and entertain our Caribbean Youth and to provide creative activities in the Theatre and Visual Arts for Caribbean and Global audiences. 

“As we explore the History and Culture of the Caribbean, we assist in building the confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline in our youth.  We also assist in their ability to organize, prioritize as they apply such to their academic skills, additionally developing their personal and interpersonal abilities. 

“Being the Director/ Producer of the group, I aim at exposing our youths to various cultures with the promise that twice per year, we will visit two new countries. We previously made visits to Antigua and St. Maartin. After this, our second visit to St. Maartin, we will be visiting St. Kitts & Nevis and Barbados. By these visits we hope to achieve the following: 

  • To make a cultural exchange and in doing so, we will Showcase our talents by presenting a Theatrical production. 
  • Enhance Students’ perspective. 
  • Sharpening of Students’ self and cultural awareness. 
  • Fostering Students’ independence. 
  • Strengthening leadership skills in Students. 
  • Building Students’ courage and self-esteem. 
  • Building relationships/ synergies among students of our school and your students. 

“The production we are staging is appropriate for upper Primary and Secondary School Students’ viewing.
It is titled, “Ti Jean & His Brothers” and was written by St. Lucian Laureate Author, Derek Walcott. The cast consists of ten (10) students. 

“This play is the choice piece for CXC literature for this and the next three years and will benefit students from 2nd- 5th forms who will be writing the subject. A half hour segment will also be added after the completion of the performance; exclusively for students who are studying the play to discuss and ask questions pertaining to the play. Our Actors who will make up the panel will be prepared to answer questions and discuss. We are also inviting Teachers of The Theatre Arts and Literature. They can also give their input and feedback. 

“Please note that most of the Actors in the play already wrote the examination in 2018 and obtained Grades 1 and 2.
We will be performing at the National Cultural Center on Sat. 6th April, 2019 @ 6 pm and Sun. 7th APRIL, 2019 @ 3 pm. 

“Tickets for this production are US$15 for Adults and US$10 for Children up to 17yrs old and are available at Vantrop or persons can inbox / What’s App Ms. Joanna Trim, Drama Tr. St. Martin Academy on 721-527-3198 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
All proceeds go towards the development of our company. 

“With all the above presented, I humbly seek your involvement by means of assisting in promoting our production. If you are willing to assist us, please let us know in what way/s you can do so.  Thanking you as we continue to enrich the lives of our YOUTH,” Collette Jones-Chin concludes in her statement.

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Collette Jones-Chin, Director and Executive Producer

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Mandatory meeting for leaders of bands, troupes on Tuesday

PHILIPSBURG - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) is inviting all band leaders, troupe leaders, sponsors of troupes and jump-up bands to a mandatory meeting on Tuesday evening, March 19. The meeting will be held at the SCDF office on Illidge Road at 6:30pm.

President of the SCDF Alston Lourens on Monday explained that although meetings were held with all of the above parties weeks ago, the foundation thought it crucial to call this mandatory meeting following the Causeway Jump-Up on Saturday night.

He said that everyone must be on the same page when it comes to living up to obligations and following rules and regulations. “The excitement for Carnival is very high and sometimes there is the urge to do a little extra, but we have to make sure that we are all in line. We stressed this before, but moving forward we felt the need to re-iterate it again,” Lourens said.

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Over 2,000 volunteers participate in 112 projects over two days for the 5th year of SXM DOET

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The 5th year anniversary of SXM DOET was a huge success. Over 2,000 volunteers rolled up their sleeves to be part of positive change and lend a helping hand at 112 different projects over the course of 2 days. 

81 local organizations in total hosted a number of projects on Friday March 15 and Saturday March 16 and this year saw projects that were elevated in quality and impact than ever before, with many organizations participating for the first time.

There was a diverse selection of projects, something catering to everyone's abilities and preferences, ranging from very hands-on projects requiring more skilled volunteers like fixing roofing for play areas, building school benches, fixing playgrounds, kitchens and cupboards, rejuvenating basketball and netball courts, creating recycle bins, HIV-testing events, and clearing hiking trails. 

Others were more beautification type projects such as: gardening, painting murals, clean ups, creating signage, painting schools and day care centres. Additionally, there were lots of social projects, such as: baking cookies, taking special kids for a fun day out, movies in the park, assisting with food drives, island tours and sports and spa days with the elderly. 

There were also more culturally driven projects, such as: creating little libraries, and restoring a historical site, amongst others. Most of the projects received a small stipend in order to obtain the materials for the projects, but they could not have been executed without the generosity of hard-working volunteers and NGOs who were up to the task to make their ideas reality.

"We are so very thankful to all the volunteers that participated this year. The NGOs have all been working so hard to get back up on their feet post-Irma and keep contributing day in and day out to the community, no matter how hard they have it in their personal lives. They really are the drivers of our community. Their dedication, spirit and drive is truly impressive. It is also absolutely heart-warming to see this initiative grow each year, not just in size, but mainly in impact and quality,” stated Melanie Choisy, Fleur Hermanides and Laura Bijnsdorp, of the SXM DOET Project Management Team.

The welcome addition of the project coaches over the recent years has also ensured success, we are very grateful to have them all on-board this year again. They have really made SXM DOET what it is today, and it is always a pleasure to work with such motivated and caring persons whom want to give back in such a profound manner.

SXM DOET is part of a Kingdom-wide initiative, whereby, this year, a total of over 10.000 projects were hosted with over 400.000 volunteers all giving back to their communities on the same two days.

The King and Queen join in, as well as Princess Beatrix, whom all physically contribute at a project every single year in the Netherlands, as patrons of the funding agency whom have initiated it all, the Oranje Fonds.

Locally, many persons, such as representatives of Government and/or Parliament, businesses, schools, clubs and groups joined in, with many requesting to contribute to the event in multiple ways.

Some companies partnered with the SXM DOET Team to provide discounts and donations to all participants, and others donated their time and assistance by adopting a project for the weekend. To those entities, we owe a very special thank you, since without such selflessness, SXM DOET would not be what it is today! 

The SXM DOET Team would therefore like to thank: SXM Festival, including the photographers, Easy Print, Firgos, Domino’s Pizza, Cake House, Prime Distributors and CC1, Heavenly Water, Greenfingers, Kooyman, Sherwin Williams, Dijtham, the Johnny Caker, UTS, R&R Tackling Gas Station, RMG Designs, Viva Signs, the Philipsburg Broadcasting Company, Island 92, PJD3, The Daily Herald, Caribbean Legacy, NIPA, Hospitality First Training + Education, Soggy Dollar Bar, the Daily Herald, Fit Foods, and Purple Pelican. Partnerships that have helped make a difference.

Be The Change Foundation, the executor and organizer of SXM DOET would also like to thank the Oranje Fonds for having brought the initiative to Sint Maarten just 5 years ago, and of course, for funding the effort locally and throughout the rest of the Dutch Kingdom. This year a welcome contribution from SXM Festival made it possible for this year’s contribution to the NGOs to have been even greater.

A much-appreciated collaboration which will hopefully grow in the future. This year a total of $68,065.00 was divided over 98projects (of the 112total) in funding, all of whom submitted requests to SXM DOET for their projects, of which $10.000 was in thanks to a SXM Festival donation. Many more in-kind donations and discounts were provided as well thanks to the above-mentioned partnerships.

“Thanks to the collaboration of funders, government departments, businesses, foundations and especially our volunteers - a huge positive impact was made on Sint Maarten. And that all in just two days! We hope that SXM DOET continues to grow, mainly in impact, each year!” said the SXM DOET Project Management Team.

For more information on SXM DOET or to learn how to contribute in any way, please contact: the SXM DOET Project Management Team, Melanie Choisy, Fleur Hermanides or Laura Bijnsdorp, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.sxmdoet.com / www.facebook.com/SXMDOET.

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Clients being pampered at the Sister Basilia Center 

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Teachers at MPC painting a beautiful mural on the school's campus walls

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Diamonds International volunteers beautifying Learning Unlimited's playground walls

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Students hard at work painting a mural at the MAC-Rev. John A Gumbs Campus

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A Kooyman volunteer painting flowers on a container at Player Development

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Voluntarily laying bricks at Discovery Kidz playschool in Dutch Quarter

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Argument escalates into two major fight and the arrest of numerous people after shots fired

ZORG EN RUST - The Detective Department is presently investigating a case involving numerous persons several of which were arrested after an argument between a couple had taken place and quickly got out of hand, police said on Sunday. 

This incident took place on Sunday March 17that approximately 2.15 a.m. on Sao Paolo road in Zorg en Rust also known as the 911 Project. Several police patrols were sent to the scene to assist in the incident.

The incident started as a result of an argument between a couple which quickly turned into fight. The situation then escalated at which time family members of the female got involved. Stones were thrown by family members injuring the male victim involved to his head. On the arrival of the patrols the situation had seriously gotten out of hand involving numerous persons. The female victim involved for still unclear reasons suffered a possible broken arm.

During this incident an argument broke out between two other men who were near the scene at which time a shot was fired. Immediately the investigating officers looked in to this situation and located the firearm which was used. 

No one was injured during the shooting however two male suspects were arrested in connection with this incident. Another man came on the scene and tried to obstruct the officers from making the arrests. This suspect identified with initials M. was also arrested.

The victim was treated on the scene by paramedics and then transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for further treatment. Detectives are presently investigating the situation to piece together what exactly took place, why and who is responsible for which criminal act because the situation at this point is very unclear. When more details into this investigation becomes available the media will be informed. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Preparing for the Future: “Choosing a Career or Study” workshop to be held on March 19, 2019

PHILIPSBURG – Every academic school year, many students typically in their last two years of school start to ponder what they will be doing next. In some cases, students who have recently graduated have no idea what they want to do or how to go forward. 

Career Guidance Counselors at the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport see many of the abovementioned cases on a regular basis. Consequently, SSSD is once again organizing an interactive workshop entitled “Choosing a Career or Study” on March, 19, 2019 geared mainly at the abovementioned individuals.  This free workshop will be held at SSSD’s offices from 5:00 PM 6:30 PM.   

Choosing a career path, overcoming being undecided about a major or study at college/university, exploring various career options, and not overlooking other career options are the main areas that will be addressed during this workshop. 

“During the workshop participants will be given tips on how to explore what their interests may be, what skills they may enjoy using, and how these interests and skills (amongst other factors) can tie into choosing a career or study,” says SSSD officials. The next SSSD workshop in April will be geared at parents and how they can help their children with career choices.

Persons interested in attending the Choosing a Career and Study workshop on March 19, 2019 are encouraged to register early for this workshop. Students are also encouraged to be on time. Students are also urged to contact the career guidance counselors, Ms. Robin or Mr. Chance, at 543-1235 for more information. 

The SSSD office is located in the Amigo Building across from the Police Station and next to the WIB. SSSD provides many services to students. Some services include: psychological services, counseling services, speech language pathology services, social work services, educational diagnostic services, career services, and parental workshop.   

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Young Kings and Queens Honoured at 4th ANNUAL “G.I.F.T.E.D. ROYALTY AWARDS”

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Forty-three students were celebrated for their outstanding work in the categories of Athletics, Expressive Arts, Academics, Leadership and Community Service at the G.I.F.T.E.D. Foundation's 4th Annual “GIFTED Royalty Awards”. Six local high schools nominated their students in this year’s event.  One young queen and one young king were selected from among their peers to be crowned King and Queen from the 5 categories. The event was recently held at the Belair Community Centre.

In Community Service, Brandon Fitzpatrick (St. Dominic High) and Geraldine Benders (St. Maarten Academy) walked away with the trophies. In Academics, David Beek (St. Maarten Academy) and Yvette Rosario (St. Dominic High) captured the award.  For Athletics, Andres Patrick (MAC-CSE) and Judine Francis (MAC-CSE) bagged the prize. In the Expressive Arts, the winners were Tyler Percival (St. Maarten Academy PSVE) and Aziza Vanterpool (Milton Peters College). For Leadership, Jesus Mateo Ortiz Bejarano (St. Maarten Academy) and K’nisha Radjouki (St. Maarten Academy) emerged victorious.

St. Maarten Academy dominated the awards by taking home 4 trophies in 3 categories, one of which being Leadership where the both King and Queen recipients were from that school. MAC-CSE dominated the area of Athletics. St. Dominic High shared the Community Service and Academics categories. Milton Peter’s sole nominee also did her school proud by bringing home the trophy in the Expressive Arts category, while the King prize went home to St. Maarten Academy PSVE. 

St. Maarten’s very own cultural ambassador, Ms. Nicole DeWeever was celebrated that night. DeWeever was awarded GIFTED’s "World Changer" Award for her outstanding contributions to the community.  Her years of service and dedication to the improvement of the expressive arts on St. Maarten were recognized in addition to her spirit of community service and youth development. DeWeever stands as a role model for many youth to follow.

In considering the recommendation given by Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the Honourable Wycliffe Smith, GIFTED Foundation will be exploring the possibility of two additional categories for the next GIFTED Royalty Awards. The categories recommended are Technology and Vocational. GIFTED Foundation is a non-profit organization and as such, donations are encouraged from citizens and corporate sponsors.

GIFTED Foundation continues to highlight young people in the community who are excelling in their fields and encourages the youth to continue striving for excellence. The profiles of all nominees are posted on the GIFTED Foundation’s Facebook page. 

2019 GIFTED Royalty awardees and presenters with the board of GIFTED Foundation

GIFTED Royalty Awardees and Presenters with the Board of the GIFTED Foundation. 

 

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Winair to increase flights among ABC Islands, Santo Domingo & Haiti

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - After a successful introduction of flights between St. Maarten and the three ABC (Ed Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) islands in 2018, WINAIR became the only airline that connects all Caribbean islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the airline said in a press statement on Wednesday. 

Commencing April 15 WINAIR will increase flights to and between Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, with additional services to Santo Domingo and Haiti from Curacao.

WINAIR will increase its daily service between Aruba and Curacao, five flights per week between Bonaire and Curacao. This increase opens daily day trip options for Aruba and Curacao as well as day trip connectivity for Bonaire and Curacao five times a week. 

WINAIR will offer three direct flights from Curacao to Santo Domingo and two direct flights to Haiti per week. This will offer convenient connection to these destinations for Aruba and Bonaire as well. 

“Thanks to the dedication of WINAIR’s staff we have been able to provide reliable and stable service to all our destinations, WINAIR is very grateful for the confidence our customers have shown. We hope to serve our customers even better and provide more convenience with these additional flights and frequencies. Please visit your favorite travel agency or check fly-winair.sx online for bookings and more information,” the WINAIR press statement concludes. 

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TelEm Group technicians carrying out cable repairs in Mary’s Fancy

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - TelEm Group technicians will be carrying out much-needed repairs works to corroded telecommunication cables in the Mary’s Fancy area Thursday, March 14, 2019.

A short notice to residents in Gladiola Drive and Match Me Blue Drive, in Mary’s Fancy, says both internet and land line services will be affected by the works, which are scheduled to begin at 7:00 am and end at approximately 5:00 pm.

TelEm Group has apologized to customers in the affected areas for any inconvenience caused by the repair of damaged and corroded telecommunication cables. The company says once the work is completed, residents in the area can expect cleaner lines and more reliable service, especially during inclement weather.

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Coast Guard Metal Sharks commissioned

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY LAGOON) - After two weeks of intensive training, the four new Metal Sharks were officially taken into service on Tuesday by the Coast Guard St. Maarten.

The Director of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, General Peter Jan de Vin, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Cornelius de Weever and the Head of the Coast Guard substation, Mr. Jocelyn Roberto Levenstone expressed their satisfaction with the project during the official ceremony where the commissioning of the four new Metal Sharks took place. 

These interceptors will become an asset to the Coast Guard with their fully-enclosed pilothouse which offers added protection for the crew, special glass which gives perfect visibility and full systems for night operations. The four new interceptors will collaborate to keep the beaches and seas safer.

Among the guests present were officials from the St. Maarten and Saba government as well as the Governor of St. Maarten drs. Eugene B. Holiday, a group of 10 students of the Kidz at Sea program and local media members. After the inaugural ceremony, the guests were invited on board of the cutter Poema which sailed in Simpson Bay lagoon where the Metal Sharks gave a demonstration of agility and speed.

With the delivery of these four Metal Sharks, the DCCG now has twelve Metal Sharks operating in the territorial waters of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba, strengthen the DCCG presence in the Dutch Caribbean Sea.

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20 Public Transportation Busses Controlled in Joint Controls

PHILIPSBURG - The KPSM’s (Sint Maarten Police Force) Bike team joined forces with the control unit of Ministry of TEATT on Friday 08thMarch, to conduct controls in the Philipsburg vicinity. The control was geared toward checking the permits of busses and making sure they were in compliance with the road laws. 

A total of 20 busses were stopped in the CA Cannegieter and the Back street area. Fines were given out by KPSM to bus drivers who did not stop passengers on the designated bus stop, who were not in possession of valid insurance as well as busses with tinted windows; owners had to remove the tint on the spot. 

TEATT also gave a stern warning, as well as took note, of the bus drivers that were transporting passengers out of their permitted districts based on their permits and gave fines to a few bus drivers that were operating without a first aid kit in their vehicle. 

The KPSM along with the Ministry of TEATT would like to urge all public transportation owners to have all of their permits and documents up to date prior to operating their vehicle in a public transportation capacity or risk being fined. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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