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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (1605)

Man sitting in his car stabbed in his leg by knife wielding suspect

PHILIPSBURG - The Special Unit Robbery is presently investigating an attempted robbery of a vehicle which resulted in the persons being stabbed in the leg buy the suspect.

The incident happened on Sunday May 6th at approximately 6.00 p.m. on Cannegieter Street. According to the victim he was supposed to meet a friend at the Jump Up Casino.

Due to the limited parking in the area he decided to park on Cannegieter Street. While sitting in his car on Cannegieter Street he was approached by an unknown man who held a knife to his throat and demanded the keys to his car.

The victim tried to defend himself against this attack and in that process he was stabbed twice in the upper leg. The victim escaped from his attacker by running from the scene.

The suspect did not succeed in taking the car. The victim was later met by police who took him to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for treatment. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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CPS surveillance system monitoring for diphtheria after PAHO regional alert

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in a recent epidemiological alert to public health agencies in the Americas, gave an update with respect to diphtheria in the Americas.

Diphtheria is an infection caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to difficulty breathing, heart failure, paralysis, and even death. Vaccines are recommended for infants, children, teens and adults to prevent diphtheria.

In 2017, four countries in the Region of the Americas – Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela – reported confirmed diphtheria cases. In 2018, the same four countries and now Colombia, have reported suspected and confirmed cases.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, has taken note of the PAHO alert which calls for continued efforts to maintain high vaccination coverage with the full three-dose primary series and booster doses throughout the countries and territories of the Americas.

PAHO/World Health Organization (WHO) stresses that the populations at greatest risk are unvaccinated children under 5 years of age, schoolchildren, healthcare workers, military service personnel, prisoner community, and persons who, due to the nature of their occupation, are in contact with a large number of persons on a daily basis.

PAHO advice for travelers, “Although travelers do not have a special risk of diphtheria infection, it is recommended that national authorities remind travelers going to areas with diphtheria outbreaks to be properly vaccinated in accordance with the national vaccination scheme established in each country prior to travel. If more than five years have passed since their last dose, a booster dose is recommended.”

PAHO/WHO recommends Member States strengthen their surveillance system for the early detection of suspected cases in order to initiate the timely treatment of cases and follow-up of contacts, and ensuring the supply of diphtheria antitoxin. Vaccination is key to prevent cases and outbreaks, and adequate clinical management reduces complications and mortality.

CPS surveillance system has been in the alert phase already for months for any suspected cases from the sub-Region and any country from Europe where there is an outbreak of measles.

Now Diphtheria has been added to the list to be monitored and to report to the respective public health authorities; to secure timely intervention to mitigate possible increase of cases, to control, prevent the spread and to register relevant data.

Immunization averts an estimated two-three million deaths every year, protecting children from diphtheria, measles, pertussis (better known as whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhea, rubella, tetanus and others.

For more information call CPS at 542-1122, 542-1222, 542-1322 and 542-1570; or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Free Ebook Tells Stories of Animals After Irma

ST. MARTIN (GRAND CASE) - With their fifth annual Endemic Animal Festival coming up on May 20th, the Les Fruits de Mer association released a new ebook. The Animals of Irma’s Islandis full of stories about local wildlife after Hurricane Irma. You can download it for free at the group’s website.

“The aftermath of Hurricane Irma was a special time for both people and nature,” explained author Mark Yokoyama. “There were many hardships, but it was amazing to see nature in action. The chapters in this ebook were written between September and December 2017. They show nature bouncing back during that time.”

The ebook was made for this year’s Endemic Animal Festival. This event celebrates the animals that are found only on St. Martin or only in our region. The 2018 theme is Made Here

“We’re excited to host this year’s festival at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House,” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “We’re still working on the museum itself, but this beautiful space is the perfect place to learn about St. Martin’s unique wildlife. We’ll also use the theme Made Here to show how nature connects to other parts of local heritage.”

The Endemic Animal Festival is a free public event for all ages. Activities include an Endemic Animal Discovery Station, birdwatching, and wildlife-themed art activities. Guests will learn about Plantilles, a series of native plant and community garden projects at The Old House. Several local experts will explore the Made Here theme as it relates to local wildlife, heritage and culture. 

The 2018 festival will be held Sunday, May 20th from 9am to noon, and is made possible by support from our sponsors: BirdsCaribbean, Delta Petroleum, Happy Wine, Location De Bennes Diligence Express, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar and Tri-Sport. For more information, and to download The Animals of Irma’s Island, visit: http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/

About Les Fruits de Mer

Les Fruits de Mer is a non-profit association based in St. Martin whose core mission is to raise awareness about nature, culture, and sport. The organization carries out this mission through publications, an education program, and special public outreach events that entertain, inspire, and inform. The association is currently accepting new member and corporate benefactor member applications on its website, http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com.

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LU students show creativity in annual Science Fair event

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - Learning Unlimited Preparatory School held its annual Science Fair just before the Carnival break and its students once again impressed over 20 judges.

The Best overall project distinction went to Grade 10 students: Rohan Kalra, Nikita Ramchandani & Mohit Sadarangani. Their project focused on Water Purification.

The judges took time out of their busy days to review all of the projects displayed and commented that the projects showed great creativity and thought in the scientific research process.

The students displayed their work and presented their findings to multiple judges before the final results were announced.

Under the guidance of the school science department, led by Preeti Notani, students' efforts were met with many positive comments from the judges present who critiqued the projects.

Besides the Grade 10 result, the other final results were as follows:

Grade 6 Winners:

1st Prize - Paige Elliott & Kavina Mansukhani - Egg Power

2nd Prize - Kaiziah Paul & Frans Richardson - Eco Charger

3rd Prize - Anneke Lamerigts, Emma Lennox & Shirley Sadowski - Clean Energy

Grade 7 Winners:

1st Prize - Natalie Johnson & Gimora Calmero - Hydroponics

2nd Prize - Sara Bharwani & Mehr Chelani - Bug Away

3rd Prize - Aarti Ginachandani, Anna Lerondelle & Princess Ozkan - Plastic Plan

Grade 8 Winners:

1st Prize - Avinash Khemchandani, Aryan Notani & Siddhant Vaswani - Floating Gold

2nd Prize - Jamie Lynch & Juhi Soneji - Climate Change

3rd Prize - Anna Jian & Prerna Ramchandani - Blown Away

Grade 10 Winners:

1st Prize - Rohan Kalra, Nikita Ramchandani & Mohit Sadarangani - Water Purification

2nd Prize - Maximo Lanari, Sabrina Macauley & Ridhi Mahbubani - Polymers

3rd Prize - Sudi Ozkan, Dhruv Sagre & Mihir Mirchandani - Smart Cities

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Reminder: Hurricane Pass Application Process Concludes May 11

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management, would like to remind potential applicants that the application process for the annual Hurricane Passes for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season will conclude on Friday, May 11.

There are two types of passes, the Disaster Pass and the Hurricane Pass.  No passes will be issued to business owners, only with some exemption categories as noted below.

Disaster Passes are issued to the following crucial disaster relief organizations and are valid for three years.  The disaster relief organization consists of the following: Emergency Operations Center staff, Emergency Support Services staff, Crucial governmental organizations and entities involved in disaster management such as medical institutions, general practitioners and pharmacies, Red Cross, WIENS, White & Yellow Cross, National Security Service VDSM, Sea Rescue, Shelter Management, Ministers and their drivers.

The following categories qualify for a Hurricane Pass which is valid for two-years: Government personnel without a disaster pass; Essential personnel of crucial companies or organizations: NV GEBE, Seven Seas Water, Telecom and Internet providers, Princess Juliana International Airport, Port St. Maarten, Hotels and Guesthouses, Marinas, Fuel distributors and gas stations, Commercial banks, Medium and large sized supermarkets, Restaurants (those providing food services to emergency services), Importers and Wholesale Companies for perishable goods (Only requests can be submitted for refrigeration and or generator technicians).

The crucial organizations as listed above (disaster & hurricane passes) can request personal passes for their key personnel.

An application form can be requested by sending an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Emails should include the following: Name of organization; Request for disaster or hurricane pass.

When submitting the application the following documents need to be attached:

-        copy business license fee paid (or receipt) for 2017/18;

-        proof of 2018 registration at the Chamber of Commerce;

-        copy valid Sint Maarten ID-card of applicant;

-        Nafl. 50,- in leges stamps per application (to be obtained at the  Receiver’s Office or the Public Service Center), this is a non-refundable handling fee;

-        One (1) passport picture for new applicants.

The application form has to be completed and submitted to the offices of the Fire Department & Disaster Management, to the attention of the secretary located at Jackal Road 5 (Office hours Monday-Friday 9.00AM to 4.00PM), Cay Hill or at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center, (Monday-Friday 8.30AM to 12.00PM and 1.00PM to 3.30PM) Airport Road 6, by May 11, 2018, with all necessary documents attached.

Applicants will be informed by email or telephone when to pick up the pass at the aforementioned addresses.

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Library vandalized over the Carnival Holidays

PHILIPSBURG - It’s unfortunate for the Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL) to announce that unknown person (s) for reasoning only known to themselves try to vandalize and break- in to the Library over the carnival holidays, PJL said in a press statement on Thursday.

“The vandalism and failed attempt to break in left the staff flabbergasted on Wednesday May 2nd, 2018 just before opening hours, causing the library to open one hour past scheduled time to their loyal patrons. Shattered glass and stones could be found near the created temporary Children’s Non –Fiction Collection and partway to the garden. 

“In September 2017, the library structure was not spared with the passing of Category 5+ Hurricanes Irma and Maria, subsequently followed by looters that dealt a severe blow to education when laptops among other things were stolen.

“As the library is currently searching for a new, temporary building, and 2018 hurricane season is fast approaching, words cannot express the disappointment of the continuous blows to the heart of a community’s Philipsburg Jubilee Library. 

“When residents of a community can attempt to break – in, not standing still, be mindful, and being conscious of how vital a library is for the whole community – it is much more than a building which houses books – it is a place for people to access new information, develop their skills and knowledge and improve their own lives through reading and relative activities; this is a learning environment for all.  Our Library, Your, library should not be vandalized, but rather cherished.

“The management and staff are happy to continue providing their service to our loyal customers. The temporary solution to accommodate the public by using the entrance hall has brought back some ambience to our library since the passing and the devastation to our structure in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

“Remember together we will make St. Maarten a great reading nation.”

The library is open on Mondays from 10 am to 5 p.m. and from Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 am to 1 p.m.

For more information please contact us via our website: stmaartenlibrary.org or Facebook page: stmaarten.pjlibrary

pjl ins2

pjl ins1

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Worth Its Salt: Bonaire’s Cargill Salt Ponds Named as Area of Regional Importance for Shorebirds

SINT MAARTEN/BONAIRE - BirdsCaribbean is delighted to announce that the Cargill Salt Ponds on the island of Bonaire have been named as a Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) site of Regional Importance.

This is only the second WHSRN site in the Caribbean, following the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats in southwestern Puerto Rico. BirdsCaribbean was happy to collaborate with Cargill Salt Bonaire B.V., owners of the site, on the nomination of the Salt Ponds for WHSRN status. The process began with surveys during 2015.

The privately-owned salt production facility in southern Bonaire consists mainly of artificial wetlands covering 2,700 hectares. These ponds fill up with brine shrimp, while brine flies cover the dikes running between them.

For migratory shorebirds stopping over or wintering in the area, this is a delicious menu. The Caribbean is a vital link on the Atlantic Flyway, so the protection of sites such as these is critical.

The WHSRN designates important habitats in the Americas with the aim of protecting and sustaining the region’s shorebirds. Cargill Salt Ponds Bonaire is the 103rd site to join the network and the first site in the Dutch Caribbean.

WHSRN sites cover nearly 15 million hectares (38 million acres) in 17 countries. The Bonaire site is also a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, and forms part of an Important Bird Area (IBA).

“This was a fantastic team effort that involved international and local partners,” said Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director of BirdsCaribbean. “We are grateful to the staff and volunteers from WILDCONSCIENCE, STINAPA Bonaire, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, who worked so hard gathering data. Environment and Climate Change Canada provided major funding. We are also grateful to the U.S. Forest Service, International Programs and to Manomet for their assistance and support for the nomination.”

This WHSRN designation is especially good news for the endangered Red Knot. This sturdy bird is a long-distance traveler, flying up to 19,000 miles annually from the Arctic to southern Chile and Argentina.

Like many of the seventy species of migrating shorebirds worldwide, this bird’s numbers are falling. The rufa subspecies has declined 80% over the last 20 years, while other species such as the Semipalmated Sandpiper have also seen major declines. The coastal estuaries, wetlands, rivers, beaches, and mud flats, where shorebirds stop and feed on their journeys, are disappearing due to development. Other threats to these fragile populations include predators, pollution, hunting, and the global impact of climate change.

BirdsCaribbean surveys revealed that more than 20,000 shorebirds of 17 different species visit this large wetland complex every year, qualifying it to join the Network at the “Regional” level of importance.

This large concentration of shorebirds includes at least one per cent of the world’s population of Short-billed Dowitcher and the threatened rufa subspecies of the Red Knot, further supporting the designation. 

The salt ponds support large numbers of several other species of migratory shorebirds, including Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover, and Sanderling.

Wintering and breeding populations of Snowy Plover use the site. One of the Caribbean’s largest populations of American Flamingo nests in the area, which also nurtures Bonaire’s only known breeding spot for the Royal Tern.

“It has been a pleasure working with Cargill on this project,” noted BirdsCaribbean’s Sorenson. “We could not have achieved this without their support.”

BirdsCaribbean looks forward to continuing to work together with Cargill and all the partners to monitor and manage the site for shorebirds.

About BirdsCaribbean

BirdsCaribbean is a vibrant international network of members and partners committed to conserving Caribbean birds and their habitats. We raise awareness, promote sound science, and empower local partners to build a region where people appreciate, conserve and benefit from thriving bird populations and ecosystems. We are a non-profit (501 (c) 3) membership organization. More than 100,000 people participate in our programmes each year, making BirdsCaribbean the most broad-based conservation organization in the region. You can learn more about us, our work, and how to join at: http://www.birdscaribbean.org.

CUTLINE: Cargill Salt Ponds are a haven for migratory shorebirds like the Red Knot. The bird with the green flag on its leg was first banded in Delaware Bay in the Eastern U.S. in 2004. It breeds in the Arctic and winters in Bonaire. (Photo by Fernando Simal)

Banded Red Knot at Cargill Salt Ponds Fernando Simal

CUTLINE: BirdsCaribbean biologist Fernando Simal counting shorebirds in the productive solar evaporation ponds of Cargill Salt Bonaire, with salt pyramids looming in the background. (Photo by Lisa Sorenson)

Counting birds at Cargill Salt Ponds

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TelEm Group pays tribute to former board chairman, Joseph Richardson

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - TelEm Group Supervisory Board of Directors, Management and personnel interrupted carnival celebrations Monday to pay their respects to former Supervisory Board Chairman, Mr. Joseph Richardson, who passed away Sunday.

During his time as Supervisory Board Chairman, Mr. Richardson is credited with building a strong relationship between the board and the TelEm Group management team.  He was highly respected for his non-combative approach and calm demeanor. He also had a high regard for following official procedures.

TelEm Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Kendall Dupersoy, expressed sadness at the passing of one of St. Maarten’s top civil servants and former Island Government commissioner.

“I extend condolence on behalf of the company, my fellow directors, the present supervisory board and TelEm Group personnel, to Mr. Richardson’s family, friends and the St. Maarten community on his passing. He will be missed,” said Mr. Dupersoy.

He described Mr. Richardson as a “Class act” noting how he had received much advice from the experienced politician as he shared many hours with him in the past, speaking about all the different issues affecting St. Maarten.

“I have a lot of respect for the late Mr. Richardson because he never saw political colours. For him, it was always about St. Maarten. When I was only mentioned as CEO for TelEm without any appointment in the offing, he was one of the first persons to call and wish me the best,” said Mr. Dupersoy.

He said St. Maarten will miss a stalwart politician and model citizen and once again wished his family much strength on his passing.

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Possible Flash Floods for Northern Leeward Islands

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – Crown Weather reported over the weekend that an area of disturbed weather could form in the Caribbean Sea next week and could bring flash floods to the Northern Leeward Islands.

“I will be watching the area just east of the Bahamas and just north of Puerto Rico late next week through next weekend as it looks increasingly more likely that an area of disturbed weather may form here.

“In fact, an area of low pressure may form in this area of disturbed weather and whatever disturbance does form will need to be monitored for possible tropical development,” Crown Weather reported on Saturday.

Crown Weather points out that two long-term weather forecast models, the GFS and the Canadian model, forecasts that this area of disturbed weather could become a tropical depression or maybe a tropical storm just East of The Bahamas.

Other weather forecast models do not go as far as forecasting a tropical depression or storm.

Soualiga Newsday Weather Watch will continue to monitor forecasts models and keep you informed.

HURRICANE NAMES FOR 2018

ATLANTIC TROPICAL (AND SUBTROPICAL) STORM NAMES FOR 2018

Alberto

Helene

Oscar

Beryl

Issac

Patty

Chris

Joyce

Raphael

Debby

Kirk

Sarah

Ernesto

Leslie

Toney

Florence

Michael

Valerie 

Gordon

Nadine

William

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

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Royals celebrate King’s Day in Groningen, king talks to gas quake victims

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – King Willem-Alexander, queen Maxima, their three daughters and other members of the royal family celebrated King’s Day with tens of thousands of people in Groningen on Friday.

Royalty fans had begun lining the streets early in the morning to catch a glimpse of the king, queen and three princesses. They arrived in the northern city around 11am and will leave in the early afternoon.

The king, who came to the throne five years ago today, turns 51 today. A new poll by Ipsos for broadcaster NOS givens him a 73% approval rating, and 25% say he does a better job than his mother Beatrix.

The day’s activities included a chat with Groningers whose homes were damaged by earthquakes due to gas extraction in the province. ‘I think that the country really understands how we feel but that any sympathy stops at the Binnenhof,’ one victim told the king.

When asked by the king if they felt they were now being heard most said they did. (DutchNews)

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