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Lucky winner of Weekend Getaway to Santo Domingo at Maduro Travel

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - To celebrate moving to its new office, Maduro Travel organized a raffle for travelers that purchased their tickets, vacation packages or cruise vacations during the month of December at the new Maduro Travel office at Emmaplein 2 in Philipsburg. 

As a Dominican Republic travel specialist and General Sales Agent for Dominican Airline Air Century it was decided to offer the winner a Weekend Getaway for two to Santo Domingo. 

Winner of the raffle is Mr. Calcano Perez who will be enjoying a weekend stay for two at Santo Domingo at one of the renowned Hodelpa hotels, Hodelpa Novus Plaza, in the heart of the Colonial Zone and will enjoy transfer to and from the hotel and a City Tour offered by Maduro Travel’s partner Colonial Tours. The comfortable one hour and ten minute roundtrip flight is offered by Air Century. 

For information about Air Century tickets, hotel stay and excursions in the Dominican Republic or any other travel packages or cruises, interested persons can visit the new Maduro Travel office at Emmaplein 2, Philipsburg (on the parking lot behind Jump Up Casino), email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call 542 34 10.

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Motorcycle rider injured in accident due to car driver not giving preference

MIDDLE REGION - The Police Traffic department is presently investigating a traffic accident between a private vehicle with license plate M-1134 and a motorcycle without any license-plate which took place on Tuesday January 8that approximately 2.15 p.m. on the Middle Region road in front of Win Li Supermarket. 

According to the police report the M-1134 coming from the direction Defiance road was making a left turn while the motorcycle coming from the opposite direction and did not give the motorcycle preference causing the vehicle to collide head. The impact threw both the motorcycle and the rider in the air. The rider landed on the ground and the motorcycle landed on top of him.

As a result of the accident the rider suffered a broken right leg and the motorcycle had quite some damage. The rider was treated on the scene by paramedics and then transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for further treatment. The driver of the M-1134 did not suffer any injuries however the vehicle had damage to the front and a shattered windshield. (Sint Maarten Police Force) 

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Minister Johnson calls for removal of Containers from the roadside

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The increased number of containers along the Island’s Main Road, particularly in Sucker Garden and on the "Ring Road" and Walter Nisbeth road, is of great concern to Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication (TEATT) Minister, the Honourable Stuart Johnson, who says a "container jungle" along the roadside is not what the island needs at this time.

Johnson said the containers posed a safety risk and pointed to many cases where vehicles utilise some areas where the “container jungles” are growing for unknown purposes at night. He also noted that the unsafe manner in which some containers are stored also puts motorists at risk.

Minister Johnson said he would be sending a letter to the Principal Importers/Shipping Companies, asking for their assistance in reaching out to their clients who utilise the roadside as a staging depot, admonishing them to begin the process of removing these containers. 

He will also be asking for updates on the progress made to repair warehouses, which will eliminate the need to store containers on the roadside. After the principal importer/shipping company releases a Container, the responsibility falls on the business to ensure that they offload and store their goods. 

“I am aware that there was a need for businesses to find alternatives to stock and offload containers in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, as many warehouse facilities utilised by local businesses were destroyed,” said Johnson. He said, “However, we have now seen a huge increase of containers along the roadside, and besides being an eyesore for the tourism destination; the situation has created some security concerns that simply cannot be ignored.”

Johnson indicated that repairs to over 4000 square meters of critical areas at Port SXM’s Cargo Facility are completed. This was necessary to ensure that the Port could properly manage container arrivals after the hurricanes. 

Johnson also expressed concern over the length of time containers will be stored in these areas stating, “With St. Maarten being prone to hurricanes, we cannot wait until we are closer to the hurricane season to start asking people to remove these containers.” 

This according to Johnson is also in keeping with the need to ensure that “we clean the island” in the aftermath of the most devastating hurricane in the island’s history. 

Johnson expressed these same sentiments several months ago after taking office. He reiterated his earlier comments stating, “The cleanliness of St. Maarten is and should remain a concern for everyone.” 

“What may have been a temporary solution simply cannot become the standard practice. Leaving this issue unaddressed, will only serve to increase the already high number of containers stored on the roadside,” said Johnson. 

Johnson said his ministry was working diligently to attract tourists back to the destination and suggested that a collective effort from Government with the support of the public and businesses is needed to give the destination the look and feel of an island that is ready to welcome guests. 

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MP Jacobs concerned about CKAIR Chair MP Heyliger’s Absence from IKPO

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Inter-parliamentary and Kingdom Relations consultations (IPKO) scheduled to be held in St. Maarten since last year June 2018, have commenced today January 7th, 2019 with discussions with the tripartite of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten, National Alliance (NA) Leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Silveria Jacobs said in a statement on Monday. 

“It is with extreme disappointed that this member of parliament takes note of the lack of interest by MP Theodore Heyliger, elected as Chairman of the CKAIR, in representing the people of St. Maarten by his actions which include: 1) not attending and chairing preparatory meetings nor 2) showing up to the meetings held right here on the island with our counterparts in the Kingdom.

“The CKAIR Chair held exactly one meeting and since then has been represented by Vice Chair Peterson in his very obvious absence, throughout the month of December and into January. While sending correspondence of his absence last week and that he would attend this week’s consultations, his seat at the table remains ominously empty. 

“Coincidently and unfortunately quite suddenly, his replacement MP Peterson has fallen ill, and is not able to attend the meeting today due to illness. This unfortunate announcement was relayed to the meeting by the Chair of the IPKO and St. Maarten Chair of Parliament MP S. Wescot-Williams as a notification, however, no notice was given as to the obvious absence of MP Theo Heyliger, Chair of the CKAIR, who’s role in these meetings is very important in the representation of St. Maarten’s position in these Parliamentary Kingdom discussions.

“What conclusions can we draw from this apparent lack of interest by the Member of Parliament? Can we assume that the MP is also ill? Or could it be that the MP’s legal issues has made it a very difficult period for him to focus on his responsibility towards the people of St. Maarten? 

“Or should we assume, as he stated many times both on and off the record, that he is not prepared to meet with the Dutch for any reason as he feels targeted by them?
Whatever the reason, the MP has shown little regard and respect to the people who elected him and his party, the people he’s sworn to represent as well as the people he jointly appointed to Council of a Ministers, in neglecting his duties without a single word of explanation.

“How can we as people of St. Maarten be expected to fight for our leaders to lead when our most highly elected leader of the people refuses to stand up for the people when it counts the most!”

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Academy to resume at PSVE Jan. 9. Construction at new campus incomplete

SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - Students of St. Maarten Academy’s two schools (the academic and PSVE campuses) will continue to share one building and operate on a shift schedule when school reopens for them on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

The announcement was initially made on December 18, 2018, during the commencement ceremony for the academic school by Mr. Roland Duncan, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Academic and Vocational Education (FAVE) under which the schools fall.

Duncan touched on the adversities faced by students since January 2018 when the two schools were forced to operate out of the Ebenezer building due to damage sustained to the academic campus during the passage of Hurricane Irma. It was estimated that construction of the academic campus would have taken 11 months, however, Duncan told the audience that “unfortunately, the contractor has passed the deadline, so I regret to announce tonight that we are not going to move by January 9.”

He, nonetheless, emphasized that the rebuild and expansion of the school was necessary due to the growing sixth form programme (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination – CAPE) which now offers students a Caribbean associate degree in the myriad of fields, including Entrepreneurship, Tourism, Accounts, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Natural Sciences.

“We need to expand the school. The CAPE is growing and going forward, we are producing 100 plus graduates, so we need to make room and have facilities that can cater and provide teaching spaces for our students; hence the sacrifice,” Duncan said.

He lauded the efforts by the Government for the continued subsidies despite problems it faces with organizations such as the World Bank. 

Students and parents were informed via letter about the delay in the move back to the academic campus prior to school closing in December. Duncan also met with the teachers of the academic campus on December 20, 2018, during a walkthrough of the construction site to answer questions and explain the reasons for the delay.

The school’s Management has taken into consideration that moving back to the academic campus after March will cause undue disruption to the more than 100 Form 5 and CAPE students preparing for their regional Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) examinations. That, added to the fact that returning to the school in the current state can pose a safety hazard to all students and personnel, were matters discussed at length during several meetings with the board.

As such, classes at PSVE will continue to run from 7:30am until 12:00pm; while classes for the academic school will begin at 12:30pm and end Monday through Thursday at 5:55pm and 6:30pm, depending on the level; and at 5:20pm every Friday. 

The Management of the academic school would like to inform all parents that the schedule of all Form 1 students will be adjusted to end at 5:55pm on Monday through Thursday to coincide with the bus pick up time. 

The Board and Management would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused but would like to assure all that the safety of students is paramount as they continue to meet the educational needs of all students.

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All set for January 2019 Tripartite and IPKO Parliamentary Consultations

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - From January 7-11, 2019 The Parliament of Sint Maarten will be hosting the Tripartite and Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultations (IPKO).

Delegations from the Parliaments of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten will be meeting at the Simpson Bay Resort and Marina, for the Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultations (IPKO).

The four parliamentary delegations will be discussing a number of topics that include presentations on: recent developments per country; state of affairs Venezuela; the Kingdom Charter including current relations within the Kingdom as well as bottlenecks and proposals for improvement; the draft Kingdom Law Dispute Regulation; Housing and the Landfill; election observation; and state of affairs consensus Kingdom laws. The program also includes a work visit to monuments in Mary’s Fancy. The delegations will also get a view of the landfill in Philipsburg. 

The Interparliamentary consultations will conclude on Friday, January 11, 2019 with the signing of an agreement list and a joint press conference of the four delegations. 

Prior to the start of the Interparliamentary consultations, on January 7, 2019, the delegation of Sint Maarten will also be participating in the Tripartite meeting along with delegations from the sister islands of Aruba and Curaçao. 

Among the topics to be discussed are: Constitutional Court; draft Kingdom Law Dispute Regulation; current relations within the Kingdom, bottlenecks and proposals for improvement; situation in Venezuela; collaboration Immigration service of Sint Maarten with the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and handling immigration in general via ferry; collaboration in the field of Education more specifically the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate; and cooperation in the field of Healthcare.

The goal of the meeting is to prepare for the Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultations as well as discuss topics of mutual interest. 

The Sint Maarten delegation partaking in the IPKO and Tripartite meetings will consist of the following members:Mrs. Sarah A. Wescot-Williams, President of Parliament, Delegation leader;
Mr. Theodore E. Heyliger, Member of Parliament (MP) and Chairman Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Interparliamentary Relations;
Mr. Claude A.H. Peterson, MP
Ms. Silveria E. Jacobs, MP
Mr. Rolando Brison, MP

Mrs. Ann A. Groen-Gumbs, LL.M., Acting Secretary General;Mr. Garrick J. Richardson, LL.M., 2nd Act. Secretary General.Attendance to the IPKO is strictly upon invitation. Other Members of the Parliament of Sint Maarten have been invited to be present as observers. The Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultations (IPKO) sessions will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, the audio via the internet www.sxmparliament.org,www.pearlfmradio.com and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten.

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MSC Preziosa Host Plaque Exchange in First Inaugural Call for 2019

PORT ST. MAARTEN – MSC Preziosa made its inaugural call on Wednesday, January 2nd – the first for the New Year - and was welcomed by Port St. Maarten and St. Maarten Tourist Bureau representatives where the official plaque and welcome pleasantries were exchanged.

The Captain mentioned that St. Maarten is one of his preferred destinations and has been coming to the island on various ships within the MSC fleet. 

MSC Preziosa launched in 2013, one of the four Fantasia Class ships, has a gross tonnage of 139,072 tons; has 18 decks including 14 guests’ decks; 1,083 feet long, a beam of 124 feet, and is 222 feet high.  The ship carries over 4,300 passengers and close to 1,400 crew.

The other three Fantasia Class ships are: MSC Divina (2012), MSC Splendida (2009) and MSC Fantasia (2008) – are large-size and modern ships. MSC Preziosa has been ranked among the five best cruise ships in the world.

MSC Cruises, is a Swiss-based and is considered the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line.  The company, which grew by 800% since 2004, carried two million guests in 2017 and reported strong financial results with a turnover of $2.2 billion. 

MSC Cruises has deep Mediterranean roots employing over 23,700 staff globally and selling cruise vacations in 70 countries around the world. 

MSC Cruises’ 15 ships boast a host of cutting-edge innovations and the latest technologies, and its global fleet is one of the youngest at sea. The fleet was born of a €6 bn investment program launched in 2003 and after successful completion of the first investment phase, the Company launched a second phase investment worth €11.6 bn that will see the fleet expand to 25 mega-cruise ships by 2026. MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of such length and magnitude, according to company information. 

MSC Cruises is the cruise line with the highest passenger capacity on order. An additional ten cruise ships are due to join its’ fleet by 2026. In addition to the upcoming four Meraviglia and two Seaside ships, these will include four World Class vessels. With 205,000 GT and capacity for 6,761 guests, this new class of cruise ships will bring a new generation of LNG-powered engines that will strongly minimize their environmental footprint.

MSC Cruises is the brand market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, sailing year-round in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.  Seasonal itineraries cover northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, South America, southern Africa, China and Abu Dhabi, Dubai and India.

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Louis Wever to be Rotary District Governor for the period 2021-2022

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - Rotary District 7020 Governor Patrick Adizua announced on December 2018 that Louis Wever a member of The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle is now the District Governor Nomine for Rotary District 7020 for the year 2021-2022, Rotary Mid Isle announced on Thursday.

“The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten-Mid Isle sent the proposal for Louis Wever’s nomination for Rotary District Governor of District 7020 for the year 2021-2022 to the nominating committee on October 24th, 2018 with the Club’s signed resolution.  

“Sint Maarten and Saint Martin have previously had three District Governors for District 7020. From Sint Maarten for the Rotary year 1987-1988 was Aadu Abdel and in 1996-1997 was Reinier Heere and from Saint Martin for 2004-2005 was Dr. Victor Gibbs. The post of District Governor is held by an individual for one Rotary Year. The New Rotary Year starts on the 1st of July every year and ends on the 30th of June of the following year.

“District Governor Nominee Louis Wever is a member of the Paul Harris Society and is a six-time Paul Harris Fellow. Louis has held the position of Club President for Mid Isle for the Rotary years 2006-2007 and 2010-2011. He has also held the post of Assistant District Governor twice, in 2007-2010 and in 2015-2016. The post of Assistant District Governor is held for a period of one to three years. Louis has been a member of Rotary for 16 years.

“The Rotary District 7020 consists of the following countries: Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Haiti, Jamaica, St Barth’s, St Maarten / St Martin, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and the US Virgin Islands. There are approximately 85 Clubs in District 7020 and 35,000+ clubs worldwide.

“Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves. 

“The needs spanning Rotary's six areas of focus are vast, ranging from lack of access to clean water to the need for immunization that prevents deadly diseases. Rotary clubs serve communities around the world, each with unique concerns and needs. Rotarians have continually adapted and improved the way they respond to those needs, taking on a broad range of service projects. 

“The most successful and sustainable Rotary service tends to fall within one of the following six areas: Peace and conflict prevention/resolution, Disease prevention and treatment, Water and sanitation, Maternal and child health, Basic education and literacy and Economic and community development.”

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle meets Tuesdays' at 7pm at Pineapple Pete in Simpson Bay. For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit their Facebook page Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle.

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Join our team for the 39th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta!

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The St Maarten Heineken Regatta is looking for volunteers to assist with the preparations and execution of the 39th edition of this annual event taking place February 28 – March 3, 2019. Every year approximately 150 volunteers assist in putting together this world-renowned event.

“The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta would not be the success it is without the help of volunteers. Some volunteers have been involved since the early years and keep coming back so they can meet up with friends and be involved in the Regatta. 

“Others book their vacation to St Maarten specifically during the Regatta so they can be part of the Event. And there is also a large number of people, mainly Cruisers, that are only here for the season and still volunteer their time. 

“One of the motivations is the social aspect, the volunteers love to meet new people and the Regatta Village at the Princess Port de Plaisance Resort, Casino & Marina offers a great platform to bring everything and everyone together. Volunteers often walk away having made new friends.” States Leonde Vermeulen, Event Manager.  

Enthusiastic and motivated volunteers are needed for merchandise sales, token booth sales, media registration, committee boat assistance, set up and breakdown/logistics and volunteer care. Some more specific jobs include survey takers, hobby photographers, green team (clean-up crew), hostesses at the concerts, and bar staff.

As volunteer coordinator Jane Pipes-Parisi states: ‘Year-long anticipation, excitement, hard work, a sense of being part of the sailing action, while on land, and meeting new friends from around the world are just a few of the reasons that I love the St Maarten Heineken Regatta. I am amazed at the professionalism and hard work that is shown by the volunteers, organizers and staff each year. It is an intensely complex event that always runs extraordinarily well. I enjoy helping by coordinating the volunteers and can't wait to see everyone back on the island!

The St Maarten Heineken Regatta is unique in offering a water taxi service to its competitors, sponsored by Sol Petroleum. This accommodates competitors that are anchored out in the Bay or in the Lagoon to get from their sail boat to the onshore venues and back.

‘To be part of an exhilarating, rewarding experience of camaraderie amongst highly competitive, professional sailors and support groups in the best Regatta in the World is something I look forward to every year’ says Tony Parisi, Dockmaster of the Sol Watertaxi Service. ‘I look forward to every day with anticipation, working with fellow volunteers, meeting new competitors and seeing some of the most expensive equipment in the world’.

Do you want to have the experience of your life? Want to join the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta family and be part of a unique event? Sign up as a volunteer now! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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Public reminded about Carnival season passes

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) on Wednesday issued its 6threminder to the general public regarding the deadline to pay for their Carnival 2019 season passes. 

The SCDF stressed that the deadline for full payment of the pass is February 1, 2019. Interested persons have had since early November to pay for their pass. The SCDF afforded the public the opportunity to pay for the pass in two installments of US $125 or to pay the full price US $250.

“As we enter January we are getting into the final stages of all Carnival 2019 preparations. 50 years of Carnival is shaping up to be an extremely busy period which starts as early as mid-May. Before that the foundation has an abundance of work to put to ensure that all falls into place. This includes the season passes,” a press release from the foundation noted.

Payment can be made daily at the office of the SCDF on Illidge Road above the Windward Islands Bank (WIB) branch. Office hours are 9:00am to 5:00pm daily and 10:00am to 2:00pm on Saturdays.  

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