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Soualiga Newsday Top Stories (2571)

Wreath laid on Dr. A.C. Wathey’s 92nd birthday

PORT ST. MAARTEN – On Tuesday, July 24, Port St. Maarten Management and Staff laid a wreath at the statue of the late Dr. Claude Wathey in front of the Cruise Terminal Building on the occasion of his 92nd birthday.

The vision of Port St. Maarten is to lead in the Caribbean through quality service and operational excellence while providing a safe and secure environment for the ports customers and the people of the country, and the construction of a modern-day seaport was one of the visions of the late Dr. Wathey.

The country’s seaport – Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facility - is named after Wathey who has been described as the ‘father of the nation,’ overseeing the economic development of the country over a 40-year period.

The mission at Port St. Maarten is to provide quality integrated services to its customers through continuous development and innovation in all areas of business while maintaining the leadership role in the economic development on Sint Maarten where sustainability is the cornerstone for 21st century port development and progress.

Port St. Maarten has grown from 108,000 cruise passengers in 1980 to over 1.5 million passengers annually.  The port has received many accolades over the years recognizing its position within the Region and role it plays where employment and business generated for country is concerned, generating one third of the country’s Gross Domestic Product from its cruise and cargo operations.


Council of Ministers signs declaration with Electoral Council

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - All recently appointed Ministers have complied with Article 53 of the National Ordinance on Registration and Finances of Political Parties within 30 days of their appointment.

By signing the declaration, the Ministers have declared that they are cognizant of the provisions laid down in the National Ordinance on Registration and Finances of Political Parties and that they have not acted in contravention of said provisions during the election campaign for the Parliamentary elections held on February 26th, 2018.

Due to travel commitments, the Prime-Minister, Mrs. Leona Marlin-Romeo, and the Minister of Justice, Mr. Cornelius de Weever, signed said declaration on Friday, July 13, 2018, in the office of the Prime-Minister.

The remaining members of the Council of Ministers, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Wycliffe Smith, signed the declaration in the presence of members of the Electoral Council in the conference room of the Government Building on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

MINPRES MINJUS Art. 53 130717


Kooyman Launches Summer Fun Raffle! Three Weekly Winners to be Selected

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - Kooyman Megastore St. Maarten celebrated the launch of their summer raffle by selecting the first round of winners on Saturday July 21st. These 3 lucky winners received FUN prizes such as: A dinner for Two at the newly re-opened Chesterfield’s Restaurant, A Trip to the Rain Forest Adventures and Two Tickets to the Oualichi Festival – SXM Best Weekend.

Customers who Shop now through August 18th at Kooyman will get a chance to win “FUN” prizes this summer. With every purchase of $40 or ANG 75 or more shoppers will get a chance to participate in a weekly raffle prize giveaway where shoppers can win a variety of St. Maarten based activities to keep busy this summer.

“Kooyman would like to reward their customers with some FUN this summer, said Kooyman Marketing Officer, Evencia Carty-Seabrookes. A great deal of our shoppers have given up their summer holiday or vacation plans, so that they may focus on finalizing repairs to their home and or business. So once that big renovation project is complete, then it may be time to hit the beach and have enjoy the summer before it’s over”.

Kooyman would like to congratulate this week’s winners: Vincent Ellis, Melchoir Hughes and Herbert Libier.

Three weekly winners will be selected every Saturday up until August 18th. So be sure to deposit your raffle ticket and maybe you too can experience some of what St. Maarten has to offer: such as Beach Activities, Boat Trips and a night on the town may that be at a concert, a romantic dinner a movie date.

Check out the Kooyman website or like their page on Facebook for more information on this raffle and other promotions.


Atlantic Basin expected to “wake up” between August 5-18

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – Crown Weather reported on Monday that the Atlantic Basin could “wake up” and start producing tropical weather systems sometime between August 5 and August 18.

“An upward motion pulse of the Madden Julian Oscillation that is now over the central Pacific Ocean is expected to push into the Atlantic Basin during the first week of August. This will lead to a greater chance for increased rainfall and storminess thus leading to a greater threat for tropical development,” Crown Weather reports.

Crown Weather adds: “This is concerning because of how the overall weather pattern has been so far this summer. Our upper level high pressure ridge is set up in such a way that opens up the US East Coast to a tropical storm or hurricane impact.

“In addition to this, we have seen upper level troughs of low pressure frequently set up shop over the Midwestern United States or Ohio Valley. The position of this upper level trough is such that it turns the upper level winds into a south to north direction. Should this continue, it would lead to tropical systems being steered right up the US East Coast.

“If this weather pattern continues through August, September & October, we could be in real trouble in terms of landfalling tropical storms/hurricanes. The main area of concern for me continues to be from the extreme northeastern Caribbean through the Bahamas and along parts of the US East Coast, especially from South & North Carolina northward to New England centered between August 15 and October 15.”



Male victim of casino robbery died from robber gunshots

PHILIPSBURG - The investigating-team of the Jump Up casino armed robbery which took place on June 6th, 2018 at approximately 12.10 a.m. has confirmed that the male victim of this robbery identified with the initials Y.B. has died of the gunshot wounds he sustained during this robbery.

The investigating team is also confirming that the investigation shows that the two casino workers were both shot by one of the robbers before the exchange of gunfire between an off-duty police officer and the robber in question.

During the exchange of gunfire, the same robber was shot by the police-officer and subsequently died of the wounds he sustained.

The management of the Jump-Up Casino seeing the seriousness of the crime and the importance to have the other culprits of this robbery arrested and convicted, have found it fit to come to the aid of the police department to increase the reward of U.S. $ 2000, -- dollars to U.S. $ 10.000 available to anyone who can provide reliable information that can lead the to arrest and conviction of the other culprits of this robbery.  

Persons with information can call the number +1721-5567498. The officer taking the calls on this telephone will guide the caller through a process that has to be followed in order for him or her to give their information anonymously.  

The management of the Jump-Up Casino is appealing to anyone in the general public with information to please come forward. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


“Rio goes Green” – regular plastic cups banned from the 2018 Lighted Parade

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The 7th Annual Lighted Parade - “Destra Edition” which will take place on August 18th, 2018 in Philipsburg, is promised to be the “Greenest” parade ever, as the Management of Rio Productions has decided to completely ban regular plastic cups from the parade.

After the major devastation of hurricane Irma, garbage collection issues, pollution in our territorial waters and ongoing dump fires – as also recently addressed by the Nature foundation – the Management of Rio Productions believes that this little paradise we all call home has suffered long enough.

Rio Productions no longer wants to be part of the problem by adding more and more toxic plastic disposable materials to the landfill but is now fully committed to be part of the solution.

Rio therefore chose to use 100% Eco-friendly - biodegradable cups during the upcoming lighted parade. The cups are made of materials that are all based on natural resources, and have no side effects to water, land, plants and living organisms.

President of Rio Productions Brenda Wathey stated: “If you have Sint Maarten at heart, operating in an eco-friendly manner should be the modus operandi. We cannot idly sit by and only wait on the Government to take initiatives. We as business owners should take our own responsibility and start undertakings that will positively impact our society”.

Wathey continued: “over two thousand people will be participating during the upcoming lighted parade, and that means that more than ten thousand cups will be distributed amongst the revelers. To absolutely minimize our impact on the environment, we’ve decided to collaborate with the popular Bar & Restaurant “Nowhere Special” and choose to only utilize Eco Friendly and 100% biodegradable cups during the parade. We’ve also contracted a local cleaning company to follow the parade, to absolutely make sure that not one piece of waste will be left behind”.

The lighted parade 2018 is expected to be the biggest one ever, as the world famous Destra Garcia will be the main performer during the parade. The enthusiasm is widely shared in the community as over 500 shirts were sold within five days after the launch.

Everyone who is interested in participating can purchase a T-shirt at the NC Wathey office, Van Dorp Madame Estate, Nowhere Special, UTS stores and Caribbean Liquors & Tabaco (CLT).

The T-shirt comes along with LED lights and gives you access to the Lighted Parade. It also allows you to make use of the open bar during the event.

More information can be found on the Rio Productions web page:


Minister Johnson visits demolition site. Checks on vendors

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - As demolition of the old Fire Station next to the Philipsburg Market started on Thursday, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication, TEATT Stuart Johnson felt the need to take a few minutes to visit the facility and spoke to the sub-contractor.

The Minister wanted to ensure that workers exercised the necessary precautions to avoid creating any safety hazards for the vendors who sell their souvenirs on days when cruise ships are in port.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of TEATT Johnson said what is essential at this stage is to ensure that the temporary location for the vendors is kept hazard free. He also admonished the contractor to ensure that all debris from the demolition was removed.

He said his ministry is looking forward to engaging with the vendors and “we will keep an open door for dialogue while we continue working together to find a permanent solution for our vendors. The minister also praised his colleague, the Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, Mr. Miklos Giterson, for his action in demolishing the old fire station which was an eyesore for residents and visitors alike.

He is especially appreciative of the fact that the minister scheduled the demolition for the days when there were no cruise ships in port. Johnson who has been a strong advocate of clean-up said he wanted to ensure that all debris was removed correctly.

Johnson is expecting to meet with the Philipsburg Vendors shortly to discuss plans for the redevelopment of the facility.


Minister Geerlings discusses issues of mutual interests with US Ambassador

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The United States, US Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Peter Hoekstra, met with Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Finance for St. Maarten Perry Geerlings on Wednesday this week.

The Ambassador and his delegation, which included Netherlands Ambassador to the United States Hendrik “Henne” Schuwer and US Consul General to Curacao & Chief of Mission to the Dutch Caribbean Islands Margaret Hawthorne, arrived in St. Maarten on Wednesday afternoon and were welcomed by Minister Geerlings in his capacity as Acting Prime Minister of St. Maarten.

During the meeting, the Acting Prime Minister and the US Ambassador discussed several topics of mutual interest including establishing US Pre-Clearance at the Princess Juliana International Airport PJIA, and the possibility of establishing a local US-Based Agency.

The Acting Prime Minister was supported by a representative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary-General for the Ministry of General Affairs also attended the meeting.

According to a release issued by the Ministry of Finance, the US-Ambassador has embarked on a regional visit to all the Caribbean Dutch territories.



SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Hungarian production company named Greenyard has issued a recall of various frozen vegetables branded under different retailer’s names, the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour announced on Wednesday.

“Reason for the recall is that these products have been found to be contaminated with the bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes.

“The affected products are:

  1. Frozen Mexican mix vegetables of 1 Kg from the brand Leader Price;
  2. Frozen Caribbean and Mexican mixed vegetables of Kg from the brand D’Aucy ;
  3. ‘Chili con carne’ meatballs with chicken fried rice with frozen mushroom of 900 grams from the brand Carrefour;
  4. Frozen sweet corn of 1 Kg or 10 Kg from the brand ‘Pinguin

“Listeriosis is an infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. People usually become ill after eating contaminated food. Most people won’t have any symptoms of the infection or will only experience mild symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea, which usually pass within a few days without the need for treatment.

“More serious infection can develop in those with weakened immune systems or in vulnerable groups including babies, the elderly or pregnant women.”

“The Inspectorate is doing the necessary checks and has not received any complaints related to the recall yet. However, the Inspectorate informs all consumers not to consume any of products listed.”


Finance Minister clarifies claim of 2019 budget delay

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of Finance Perry Geerlings has every intention of delivering the final budget for 2019 to Parliament of St. Maarten before the December 15, 2018 deadline but says he will take the time necessary to “fine tune” the budget.

Hi statement came as a reaction to media reports on Monday that the 2019 budget will not be ready for the December 2018 legal deadline.

Under normal circumstances, the budget for each following year is delivered to Parliament by September 1 for deliberation by the Members of Parliament who are required to have an approved budget for the coming year by December 15.

Considering the new Council of Ministers entered office on June 25, Minister Geerlings said the 2019 budget will have to be aligned with the Sint Maarten United Christian Democratic Coalition’s governing program 2018 – 2022.

The Council of Ministers who are still in their first month in office will also have to review the budget to ensure that it matches with the vision for the governing program.

The governing program entitled ‘Building a Sustainable Sint Maarten’ stresses the importance of sound financial planning by government and encourages the strategic development of realistic goals for the short, mid and long-term.

The Ministry will present a budget that accurately reflects St. Maarten’s present financial reality and will in as far as is possible, incorporate every aspect of government’s financial commitments.

The additional time taken will also be used to secure positive advice from the Committee for financial supervision Cft, for the government to submit its budget with a deficit.

Article 25 of the Kingdom Law on Financial Supervision allows countries within the Netherlands Kingdom to seek permission to send an unbalanced budget under exceptional circumstances, such as the one St. Maarten has been facing since hurricanes Irma and Maria visited its destruction on the island in 2017.

The Kingdom Council has in the past given approval for the 2017 and 2018 budget using article 25 allowing the government of St. Maarten to submit its budget with a deficit. However, according to the Ministry of Finance, the time for receiving the approval is not set in stone and can affect the timing for submitting budgets. At present, the Ministry is in discussions with the Cft and The Netherlands in a bid to find an amicable solution to the approval process for submitting a deficit budget, which reduces the time for approvals.

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