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75+ Organizations and 200 Delegates Register for SMILE Networking Conference

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) today announced the final program of upcoming business conference SMILE, taking place this Friday and Saturday.

Professional Participants coming from businesses many NGOs, have a wide selection of 16 workshops and 5 keynote speakers.

Keynote speakers are from the World Bank on how the NRRP procurement process; Aruban’s 360 Degrees of Innovation on the future of work; the Sint Maarten Yacht Club will present its vision for Heineken Regatta and the official launch of the Waste2Work program.

Four workshop rounds provide insights on innovation, sustainability and professional development. Many of those are provided by expert Sint Maarten professionals sharing their extensive knowledge on doing business both on island and abroad.

The full schedule is available on both www.shta.com/SMILE and www.facebook.com/smilesintmaarten.

SMILE is an innovative networking event for businesses and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s), intended to provide more clarity on World Bank tenders, as well as highlighting “how things can be done differently after Irma’ – most notably more sustainable and innovative.

SHTA organizes the event in conjunction with its partners ORCO Bank, Global Resourcing, Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI), University St. Martin and 360* of Innovation.

In order to promote more local access and understanding to the World Bank Procurement process, a free World Bank procurement masterclass for companies not able to attend SMILE is provided immediately following the event--5.30pm at USM.     

SHTA, COCI, ORCO Bank and 360° of Innovation all contributed to the successful “Build Back Better Week” event last March. Build Back Better Week focused on developing concepts for a better Sint Maarten post-Irma—as an opportunity to make significant changes to our country. Its successor SMILE will focus on the practical side of innovation and offer networking opportunities for individuals, companies and NGOs.

The organizers of SMILE also thank ILTT for providing libations for the opening the event during the mixer on Friday November 2nd and the Guardian Group - Fatum for hosting lunch on Saturday November 3rd.

In order to continue to promote “linkages” a SMILE National Business Card will be launched immediately following the event inclusive of all participants. This digital Business Card catalogue will serve as a reference guide to all foreign entities seeking a local partner to do business with; thus, showcasing Sint Maarten companies and NGO’s.

Over 75 organizations will be present and 220 delegates have registered to SMILE.

Interested companies both domestic and foreign can take up contact with the SMILE project office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 542-0108. More information and the full program can be found at shta.com/SMILE or visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/smilesintmaarten

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UPDATE: Fire Department has temporary emergency number for TelEm Four-hour Emergency Shutdown

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Fire Department has been informed that the planned shutdown by TelEm has been postponed until further notice, therefore, the emergency number that the Fire Department has made available is no longer valid for the TelEm shutdown Tuesday night event. (UPDATE)

ARCHIVE - Fire Chief Clive Richardson announced on Tuesday that the Fire Department has a temporary emergency number that will be active during the TelEm four-hour emergency shutdown.

The temporary emergency number is: 587-1299.

The aforementioned UTS Chippie number will be active for the public in the event of a fire emergency from 10.30pm Tuesday night October 30, until TelEm restores its network and the regular Fire Department emergency numbers are back online.

Fire Chief Richardson would like to thank UTS for their cooperation with respect the aforementioned.

The TelEm emergency shutdown will affect all mobile voice and data services, internet and landline services.

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Minister Smith Encourages Public to Attend Career & Study Fair

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport the Honourable Wycliffe Smith is encouraging students, parents and the general public to attend this year’s Career & Study Fair which is being held at the Belair Community Center on October 30, 2018 from 8am to 6pm. Between 9am and 12 noon, the doors will be open to pre-exam and exam students of all local high schools, and from 3pm to 6pm, the general public is invited.

Minister Smith stated, “Everyone who will visit the Career & Study Fair will be better prepared to make their choices for furthering their studies or their careers as they get exposed to the opportunities available locally, regionally and internationally.

“There are many tertiary institutions, including our own, as well as the overseas colleges that will be presenting there. The displays from the corporate organizations are sure to be enlightening.”

According to the Planning Committee, colleges from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Anguilla, the United States and Holland will join the University of St. Martin and National Institute for Professional Advancement and other local post-secondary institutions for the fair.

Also, there will be government agencies and local businesses represented. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport recognizes the significance of this forum and continues to support the Career and Study Fair annually.

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ENNIA MEETS PAYMENT OBLIGATIONS

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Since the emergency regulation on companies within the ENNIA group, the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) has been working on the restructuring of ENNIA, CBCS said in an update on Sunday.

“This restructuring is also carried out in the interest of policyholders of ENNIA. As stated earlier by the CBCS, ENNIA continues to carry out its activities normally during the restructuring; Pension and damage benefits are simply paid out.

“As a result of the articles published in newspapers, suggesting that ENNIA doesn’t have to meet its payment obligations, the CBCS wishes to clarify the following. It is true that if an emergency regulation applies, as in the case of ENNIA, payments can be suspended.

“The purpose of the emergency regulation at ENNIA is to restore solvency. Part of this is the normal continuation of business operations. It has been decided that individual policyholders will not be duped.

“People who count on payments from ENNIA for their income are paid and payment obligations towards private individuals who are insured for medical expenses, damage (for example, home or car), invalidity & death and liability, will be fulfilled in accordance with the policy conditions.

“There are other activities that can be suspended in case they hamper the restructuring. An example is the transfer (upon request) of accrued value under a collective pension contract to another pension provider.

“While suspending such a transfer, ENNIA will continue to pay out to the pension beneficiaries under the collective pension contract and the returns will be credited to the accrued value in accordance with the agreements made.

“Even if no emergency regulation is applicable, transfer of accrued value may be refused (article 45 paragraph 1 of the National Ordinance on the Supervision of Insurance Industry).”

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SCDF hosts first of three booth holder meetings

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - All is set with booth for Carnival 50. The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) hosted the first of three booth holder meetings on Thursday night as the next step in preparation for Carnival 2019.

The foundation hosts three booth holder meetings annually, with vital information exchanged between the foundation and booth holders as well as other entities. The Fire Department, Health Department, cleaners, liquor companies, etc. all join these meetings to relay information.

In the first meeting on Thursday, the foundation went over basic information with the booth holders, 54 of whom will be returning booth holders. There will be 13 new booth holders for Carnival 2019. Topics such as payment dates, booth passes, moving in and out of Carnival Village, booth helpers acquiring food handler’s certificates and more were discussed in this first meeting.

“All of our booths have been allotted and booth holders will now start their preparations for what we anticipate will be a terrific Carnival season. Every year we make sure that the information sharing between the SCDF and booth holders is very clear by opening registration early and having three meetings in the months leading up to Carnival,” the foundation said.

“It is extremely important to us that we are all on the same page. The booth holders and SCDF together prepare Carnival Village, the heart and soul of Carnival. So from now until the opening of Carnival, there will be a lot of work to be done, so early preparation is a must. We are not past the registration and allotting of booths, now it’s time to get ready for Carnival,” the foundation added. 

  

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Minister Johnson: Digital Innovation is Revitalization of National Economy

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – The United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1972 established World Development Information Day (WDID) to draw the attention of the world to development problems and the need to strengthen international cooperation to solve them (resolution 3038 (XXVII)), according to the UN.

“The Assembly decided that the date for the Day should coincide with United Nations Day, 24 October, which was also the date of the adoption, in 1970, of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.

“The Assembly deemed that improving the dissemination of information and the mobilization of public opinion, particularly among young people, would lead to greater awareness of the problems of development, thus, promoting efforts in the sphere of international cooperation for development.”

“This past Wednesday marked World Development Information Day. Information technology today is what makes the world go around. We are living in exciting times as digitalization continues to transform our way of work and how we live.

“Digital technologies are shaping the world beyond our shores. Therefore, we also have to look at where we are going and how we can utilize this technology to benefit the country in its socio-economic development.

“The digital era that we live into today offers many opportunities and we must make full use of them. We need to harness all capabilities across the board where socio-economic development is concerned especially in this post-Irma era.

“Technology continues to evolve in this digital age and our country is making use of the technology. Digital kiosks and e-Gate service at the Princess Juliana International Airport and the introduction of the Port Community System in 2019, forms part of how Sint Maarten is already doing as it prepares to lead the Caribbean in digital innovation in the hospitality industry which are all key to the economic revitalization of our national economy.

“We have the ability to make our country better than before during the building back better reconstruction phase by working together and transforming our destination into the beautiful gem of the Caribbean it once was.

“Let’s keep the focus on rebuilding an amazing and sustainable resilient Sint Maarten,” Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Stuart Johnson said on Thursday.

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KPSM Forensics Department holds First Responder Crime Scene Training

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Friday the 17th of October Detective / Inspector Janine Muller-Rijna and Tishandra Constance of the KPSM (Sint Maarten Police Force) Forensic Department hosted a training themed, “How to act at the scene of a crime” for members of the Ambulance and Fire Departments.

The training was in hopes to further strengthen the cooperation between the aforementioned departments because they are always the first on the scene of a crime, along with the Forensic Department.

It is important all entities be aware of their roles, as well as the rolls of their fellow colleagues in order for a thorough investigation to be conducted. Tips were exchanged, and a practical scenario was conducted between the first responders regarding everyone’s duties on a crime scene.

It was the first of many trainings between the first responders and was deemed a success. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Dutch Quarter Sewage Project officially kicked off. Major district improvement project

SINT MAARTEN (DUTCH QUARTER) - The ground-breaking ceremony for the 10th European Development Fund project was held on Wednesday, October 23rd in Dutch Quarter. 

The project, which consists of several components, will lead to an expansion of the sewer network in Dutch Quarter including over 500 home connections to the main sewer line.

An upgrading of the side roads and improvement of the overall drainage system, improvement of public street lighting for the entire district and the construction of pedestrian sidewalks have also been designed.  Plans forecast completion of the project within one year.

Present at the ceremony were a host of government officials and special invited guests which included Sint Maarten Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin, the Prime Minister of Curacao Eugene Rhuggenaath, Minister of VROMI Miklos Giterson, Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever and Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Guyana, for Suriname, and with responsibility for Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories and Saint Barthélémy Jernej Videtič amongst others.

In thanking all of the stakeholders of the project, Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin expressed “Now that we have faced the challenges and addressed the bottlenecks, we stand ready to forge ahead and look forward to the continued cooperation and support that we will need to successfully complete the Dutch Quarter sewerage project.

I would further like to express my sincere gratitude to the European Commission for their continued commitment to the development of Sint Maarten, cognizant that the project at hand is one that will certainly benefit our people, once completed.”

The Minister of VROMI in his address shared that “The lack of sufficient sewage infrastructure on Sint Maarten has become a critical issue, which we have attempted to address within the 2018-2022 Governing Program.

“The construction of a proper sewage network, investing in our infrastructure and improving safety and facilities resources are all fulfilled in this project as it has been of high priority.

“The fact that we have found a way to involve young unemployed men and heavy equipment owners of this community is another success to be applauded.  The people of Dutch Quarter will be heavily involved in the rebuilding and betterment of their community” Minister Giterson stated.     

After a short opening ceremony on the de Weever property, the invited guests were bussed to the Belvedere roundabout where the Ministers and Ambassador joined in symbolically “breaking ground” on the project.

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Police commissioners attend working visit on Sint Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Chief of Police of the Netherlands Mr. E. Akerboom and his delegation, consisting of Mr. Frank Paauw, Mr. R. van Dalen, Mr. S. Pennekamp and representative of Justice and Safety (V&J) along with the Police Chief of KPCN (BES-islands) Mr. J. Rosales, and Chief of Police from Aruba (KPA) Mr. A. Hoo on Friday October 19th and Saturday October 20th , attended a working visit with the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM) headed by Chief Commissioner Carl John and the management-team, police said in a statement.

“This visit consisted of a presentation at the Police Headquarters in Philipsburg by Carl John to the other police commissioners regarding the rebuilding of Sint Maarten as a country in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria and also the rebuilding of the police force.

“The presentation also included and explanation by John that thanks to the immediate response of all the countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, after the passing of the hurricanes, safety and security to the island could be restored and maintained.

“Immense gratitude was also expressed to the Netherlands represented by Mr. E. Akerboom who have provided Sint Maarten with the necessary assistance in the form of equipment, manpower and training to help KPSM give the necessary service to the country.

““Twinning is winning” was the theme for this work visit. Local officers are twinned with and an officer from the Netherlands and it has shown to be very effective. The officers learn from each other, assist each other in many forms. Everything that they do is done together as a team. The request from Carl John was to have the Dutch contingency remain on the island until KPSM is strong enough to do it all alone.

“Mr. Akerboom and his delegation also met with of the Dutch contingency that is presently assisting KPSM with manpower and with the rebuilding of the organization. After that meeting the Police Chief met briefly with the Minister of Justice the Honorable Cornelius De Weever in the conference room of the Government administration building on Pond Island.  

“On Saturday October 20th the entire delegation was given a tour of the ongoing construction of the new emergency dispatch, soon to be in operation, the Cruise facilities and the Simpson Bay police Station before leaving on their flight in the afternoon. This work visit was very successful and all commissioners look forward to their next official meeting,” the police statement concludes. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

Twinning is winning fpg

Twinning is winning ins2

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SMDF Updates COM about the work of 23 NGOs and Home Repair Schemes

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Recently, St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) took a pause from its regular activities to meet with the Council of Ministers (COM). In the meeting, SMDF took the opportunity to formally update the Ministers of the organization’s works in 2018 and goals for 2019. 

Present on behalf of SMDF were the Chairlady of the Supervisory Board, Richelda Rodriguez-Emmanuel, SMDF Managing Director Keith Franca and Program and Development Manager Makhicia Brooks. 

The presentation included insight into SMDF’s scope of work and updates on the activities of the 23 NGO clients currently funded by SMDF. Additionally, the development agency also provided an update on its Elderly Project which has financed the construction of 16 new homes and executed repairs to 76 existing homes. 

As an organization that receives direct subsidy from the Government of St. Maarten, SMDF regularly provides updates of its activities via its quarterly financial and annual audited & financial reports.

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