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Anna Rabess-Richardson inducted as Director for Miss Teen International

SIMPSON BAY - Mrs. Anna Rabess - Richardson, CEO and Founder of Posh Productions has been inducted as a Director for Miss Teen International and looks forward, via Posh Productions to host the Miss Teen St. Maarten International Pageant in Spring 2018.

On Wednesday August 16, 2017, International Pageants CEO Mr. Mel Richardson, Executive Director Mrs. Mary Richardson, in the presence of Mrs. Anna Rabess-Richardson, were welcomed and thanked by the Honorable Prime Minister William Marlin for this great milestone and opportunity to promote St. Maarten at the Princess Juliana International Airport.

This pageant system has three different levels, Teen, Miss and Mrs. and Posh Productions has been awarded the teen level and once successfully held, will proceed with the Miss and Mrs. Pageants.

Being inducted as a director means that St. Maarten is the first Caribbean island, with the pageant being based in the Caribbean that will be taking part in this pageant.
The pageant have about 90 contestants coming from the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and Africa that are sent annually to compete for the crown.

This pageant can be compared to the Miss USA, Miss America, Miss Universe and Miss World.

“This is very big for St. Maarten, St. Maarten has been only competing in regional pageants in Anguilla, St. Kitts, Nevis and Antigua but now have the opportunity to compete on an international platform” stated Mrs. Rabess-Richardson.

This connection was made possible by Hilary Grant, a former queen herself who was a guest judge at this year’s Posh Production’s pageants. Through her experience, she felt that Mrs. Rabess-Richardson and Posh Productions were capable of handling the international pageant system. 

After the introduction and recommendation, Mrs. Mary Richardson and Mrs. Anna Rabess-Richardson held discussions and handled the paper work necessary to be a part of the pageant. Mr. Richardson also added that he took the time to "Google" Mrs. Rabess-Richardson.

The connection and excitement from both the International Pageants and Posh Productions is mutual.

Mrs. Mary Richardson, Executive Director of International Pageants stated “We are super excited, we feel that it’s a good fit. Anna’s passion for the scholarship and the importance of these young women growing is exactly what we are looking for when we are looking for a director plus we love the island, we have been coming to St. Maarten for over 10 years, it’s our second home. Anna has the vision that we have, she understands the importance of the platform, the importance of the microphone we are giving these women.”

“One of the beautiful things about this is that when we host our Miss Teen St. Maarten International pageant, the winner stands a chance, with a 3.2 GPA (equivalent to 80+ avg) to win a $17,500 annual tuition to the prestigious Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia in the United States for 4 years” elaborated Mrs. Rabess–Richardson on the scholarship opportunity.

International Pageant’s mission is to make a difference. At the end of the day, we all leave this place and the question is, did you leave it a better place?” Mr. Mel Richardson, CEO of International Pageants asked.

“Making a Difference” is in line with the mission and vision of Posh Productions which is to promote philanthropy through strong community-based services and to foster good-will ambassadors by encouraging individual growth, personal platforms and community involvement.

Following the induction, Posh Productions will be hosting the inaugural Miss Teen St. Maarten International Pageant in St. Maarten in Spring 2018 and the winner will go on to the USA to compete in the national competition.

Once launched, Posh Productions is seeking to have the pageant as a district pageant in comparison to the United States where various states compete for the crown.

“I would like to truly thank the Honorable Prime Minister William Marlin and Mrs. Marlin for their continued support of Posh Productions and our efforts to elevate St. Maarten on the pageant platform. I'm truly grateful that the Prime Minister sees the vision and supports the mission.

Thanks to Keoma Hamer, The Marketing Department at SXM Airport, DCOMM, The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, Hilary Grant and Chiaira Bowers. Thank you to each of you for your role and support in making today possible and a success” said Mrs. Rabess – Richardson.

Mrs. Rabess–Richardson, reflecting on this milestone, concluded by saying, “This is a dream come true for me and I intend to take St. Maarten even further”.

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TelEm Group maintenance works in Betty’s Estate, Saunders and Almond Grove Thurs. and Sat.

POND ISLAND - TelEm Group technicians will be carrying out important repair and maintenance works in several areas around the island Thursday and Saturday, as a result, voice and data services for residential and business customers will be affected.

The maintenance works will begin Thursday, August 17, in the Almond Grove area from 8:00 am in the morning until approximately 1:00 pm in the afternoon when work is scheduled to be completed. Amongst the roads affected by the maintenance works are: Almond Grove Road, Calabash Road and Mountain Ebony Road.

A different team of technicians will be carrying out repairs to a telecommunication cable that feeds residential and business clients in the Betty’s Estate and Saunders areas from 6:00 a.m. until approximately 4:00 p.m. Saturday, August 19.

In both cases the repair and maintenance works are being carried out to improve and enhance telecommunication services.

TelEm Group takes this opportunity to apologize to customers for any inconvenience caused in the areas mentioned above, where repair and maintenance works will be carried out.

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Family fight, son arrested for threatening mother with gun

SUCKER GARDEN - On Tuesday, August 16th, a patrol was directed to Sucker Garden for a dispute between family members.

The Central Dispatch informed the officers that a young man threatened his mother with an illegal weapon.

When they arrived at the scene the man was still holding a gun is his hand and the officers ordered him to put it down.

The suspect M.A.F. was arrested on the scene and the gun was immediately confiscated and it turned out to be an air gun. The suspect remains in police custody during the investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force) 

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Shots fired in home invasion. Three-armed men flee the scene

BELVEDERE - Yesterday, August 14th at approximately 1.00 p.m. police patrols were sent to a home in Belvedere where according to reports three unknown men armed with guns forced themselves into a house while the owner was home with a friend.

The intruders held both persons hostage and demanded they hand over all the money in their possession. During this invasion shots were fired by the suspects. Fortunately, nobody was injured. All three suspects fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Anyone having information in connection with this case should immediately get in contact with the police department by calling 54-22222 ext. 213/214, the anonymous tip line #9300 or the Emergency Dispatch 911. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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PJIAE & TPI RAISES THE BAR FOR TEAMWORK

SIMPSON BAY - On Tuesday, August 8 2017 and June 6, 2017 the Operations Department of Princess Juliana International Airport, (PJIAE) held two Team Building Retreats facilitated by Training Professionals International Firm, (TPI).

The Retreat was facilitated by Dr. Gittens who lead both teams, team one consisting of the Manager of Operations and Supervisors and team two consisting of the (13) Operations coordinators.

The Retreat’s primary goals was to introduce modern-day team exercises, team building principles and techniques and effective team building simulations in a unique course format that was employee-focused and provided participants with an opportunity to self-evaluate and adopt both higher performance standards and practices. 

The Teambuilding course is globally accredited and the curriculum is approved by an academic governing body in the United Kingdom.    

The Team Building Retreats facilitated by TPI are held off site in environments that foster positive exchange and effective team bonding.  The Retreats place heavy emphasis on the keys to working well together, encourages teams to celebrate past and current successes and encourages teams to set new goals to support departmental high performance while simultaneously encourages employees to become role models of high performance standards within their organizations’.

Participants leave the team building Retreat with a renewed energy, a desire to improve their working relationships with one another and go back to their organizations exemplifying their team synergy. The Retreat results were impressive and PJIAE Operations Team had much to say about their experience.   

Mr. Levon, Operations Manager stated: “The importance of the Team Building Retreat was to bring openness and accountability to our team.  It allowed my team members including myself to slow down and really think about our individual actions and how it effects the overall team. What I learned is when you slow down and listen to your fellow team members you gain a better understanding on how to perform at a higher level and coexist in unity but most importantly respect each other.”

Mr. Mukesh, Operations Coordinator elaborated on the retreat: “At the end of the day my colleagues and I have determined that we hold the key to enhancing the existing team efforts in Operations and have recommitted to taking the airport Operations to a higher level of excellence.”

Mr. Illis, Operations Coordinated stated it most simply: “We are more motivated to be disciplined!”

Mr. Lake, Operations Coordinated shared his take on the retreat: “Teamwork makes the Dreamwork!”

Mr. Wilson, Operations Coordinator perspective on team changed: “I have a difference perspective of how my work performance is perceived. When Dr. Gittens asked me “What is your role on the team and why is it important” helped me to understand the importance of my 100% participation daily.”    

Mr. Thomas stated: “I learned a great deal from this session, to say it simply…being the best that I can be regardless of the situation or circumstances “must be my focus at PJIAE.”  

Dr. Gittens, President & CEO of TPI stated: PJIAE is a leading organization in my opinion that understands the importance of team revitalization. Mr. Hyman, CEO was instrumental in scheduling the Retreats. His vision will continue to accentuate the importance of team synergy, customer relations and professional development currently and in years to come. 

The PJIAE Human Resource department must also be recognized for supporting these type of professional development opportunities that build teams within their organization where individuals can see how important they are within their department and within PJIAE overall.  

The PJIAE leadership understands that good teams equal engaged employees who in turn produce at high performance levels. 

For information on scheduling your organization’s retreat email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 526.2052. Web: http://firmtpi.com/

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Casting call this Saturday for upcoming B-the-B Theatre Production

COLE BAY - Non-Profit foundation, BEHIND THE BEYOND Community Theatre FOUNDATION (B-the-B) is inviting aspiring actors and persons interested in live theatre to a casting call for new members for its upcoming stage production.

Members of B-the-B are assembling a new cast of characters to begin rehearsals and training for the new production right away.

The production will be directed by Ukrainian Director and drama teacher Albina Matuzko, who is auditioning with the possibility of staging one of two exciting productions, depending on the cast of performers she can gather together.

“Both planned productions are world masterpieces. They are classical comedies, once again with totally ridiculous characters that we are certain will strike another profound note with St. Maarten theatre lovers and live theatre audiences,” said Ms. Matuzko.

The director is very excited about either one of the productions that will be finally chosen, believing both, despite being very old, to be significant to what is happening in the world and on St. Maarten to this very day.

Returning to the stage will be a number of performers from Ms. Matuzko’s hit production, Behind the Beyond, earlier this year, however the director says there are lots of different roles to be explored and other theatrical activities that members of the public can get involved in.

“Anyone who has even thought what it might be like to be on stage and perform lines in front of an audience should come along to our audition to meet with members of the previous cast and hear for themselves what live theatre is all about,” continued the director.

She says those coming to the casting call need not bring anything more than their enthusiasm and a willingness to try something new, stating: “Training in the skill of acting, character physicality, comedy techniques, voice projection and state presence is part of the production process, so new members with no experience on stage have nothing at all to worry about.”

“Age doesn’t matter, neither gender nor personality, in fact, the crazier you are in personality, the better. We want to hear from anyone who is interested in being on stage for our next production, but also those who have something to contribute backstage, behind the scenes or just working with the Foundation,” said Ms. Matuzko, who last week announced the formation of the Behind the Beyond Community Theatre Foundation (B-the-B) as the first step to staging regular productions of live theatre on St. Maarten.

The auditions will take place at a new activity center called Time Out, in Cole Bay, Saturday, August 19, 2017, (located on the waterfront next to Island Waterworld and immediately down the road from ACE on Union Road, to the Lagoon), starting at 12:00 pm in the afternoon.

“One very important condition that we will be insisting on is that those who are eventually selected must undertake to be punctual with their timekeeping, dependable and committed to rehearsals for several hours a week,” said director Matuzko. She also wants interested parties that B-the-B is a non-profit foundation and its existence will depend on membership contributions and donations.

“Membership fees will go towards rehearsal costs, costumes, props, administrative costs and the staging of the final play, all of which will be thoroughly explained during the casting call, Saturday.

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Rotary Mid Isle Donate Bibs

COLE BAY - The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle has donated sixty-five bibs to Marc Smoorenburg of Keijzer. In branding for their ‘Welcome Baby Bag’ project Mid Isle had ordered baby bibs.

Unfortunately, when the bibs arrived they were not up to spec, hence the manufacturer sent us a second perfect batch, a press release from Mid Isle said on Sunday.

Mid Isle were reluctant to see these bibs go to waste, so they decided to look around to see where they could best be used.  Marc Smoorenburg has been sending required items and goods to Haiti twice a year.

We learnt that Marc’s father is a pastor and has been a missionary for thirty-five years. Marc’s father has set up a mission in Haiti that has a home for the elderly, an orphanage and a school. They presently have 18 babies at the mission and told us the bibs would be very useful.

Even though the mission has suffered disasters back to back, with funding they have been able to keep the mission going.

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle meets Tuesday at 7pm at Mary’s Boone 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 our Facebook page Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle.

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CPS urges parents and guardians to prepare healthy school snacks for kids throughout new school year

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Nutrition related health problems in children are increasingly significant causes of disability and premature death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The problem of overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions globally, and both developed and developing countries are seriously affected.

In some countries, the epidemic of obesity sits alongside continuing problems of under nutrition, creating a double-burden of nutrition-related ill health among the population, including children.

The St. Maarten Health Study, “How Healthy is St. Maarten,?” indicated that on a daily basis 31 per cent of the participants don’t consume breakfast; 63 per cent don’t consume vegetables and 66 per cent don’t consume fruits.  Based on these results it is likely that this lifestyle is also practice by their descendants.

Collective Prevention Services (CPS), executing agency of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, recommends to parents and guardians to prepare healthy snacks for their children throughout the new school year 2017-2018.  Healthy choices equal healthy children and healthy smiles!

Improving the nutritional status of school-age children is an effective investment for improving educational outcomes of school children and ensuring a healthy population.

Establishing healthy dietary and physical activity patterns among young people promotes health and nutritional well-being preventing obesity and various non-communicable diseases.

In making healthy foods and beverages available at home and for school, and in providing, supporting and encouraging opportunities for physical activity, parents can influence their children’s behavior.

Simultaneously parents are advised to live and promote a healthy lifestyle because children’s behavior is often shaped by observation and adaptation.

Here are some tips for children and adolescents: provide healthy breakfast before each school day; don’t leave home without breakfast; serve healthy school snacks to children (whole-grain, vegetables, fruits); promote and encourage the intake of fruits and vegetables. Introduce the children to local fruits e.g. sour sap, guava, passion fruit, mango, etc.

Restrict intake of energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods (e.g. packaged snacks); restrict intake of sugars-sweetened soft drinks; ensure an opportunity for family meals; provide information and skills to make healthy food choices.

Promote regular intake of water and physical exercise and get your child involved in sport activities.

For more information, contact CPS at 542-3003.

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THE ROTARY CLUB OF SINT MAARTEN REFURBISHES POINT BLANCHE BUS STOP SHELTER

POINTE BLANCHE - The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten, through the help of its members, American University of the Caribbean (AUC) students, many volunteers and several local businesses completed the refurbishment of its last remaining Bus Stop Shelter in Point Blanche. 

According to the President of the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten John Caputo, “This last remaining Bus Stop Shelter was built on a bare and treeless road to Point Blanche during the 1985 – 1986 Rotary year when our Club was lead by Past President and former Lt. Governor, the Honorable Max Pandt. 

Over the years, road patterns changed and this Bus Stop Shelter is the last remaining shelter of its kind”.

Today, the Point Blanche Bus Stop Shelter is used less frequently as a bus stop, but now serves as a visible monument to Rotary International, as millions of visitors to Sint Maarten walk or ride by, either coming or going, to the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise Ship Facility. 

President Caputo added, “Over the years countless Rotarians, residents and local businesses have helped maintain the Bus Stop Shelter.  I would like to recognize Immediate Past President Henna Budhrani for getting this project off the ground, Past Assistant Governor Stephen Thompson for his dedication and drive to get this project to fruition, along with significant contributions from former Rotarian, Bob McDonough, of Greenfingers, and the team from Sherwin Williams St. Maarten for their donation of paint, materials and supplies. 

The new signage at the Bus Stop Shelter was made locally by Tim Salt of Signs and Designs, and will welcome our many cruise ship visitors”.

For more information about the Rotary Club of St. Maarten or about joining Rotary, please contact the Rotary Club of St. Maarten Press Officer at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website www.rotarysxm.org

PHOTO: The bus shelter prior to the refurbishment. 

BusStopBefore3

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STAFF OF RED CROSS PARTICIPATE IN REGIONAL WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE PROMOTION TRAINING

SINT MAARTEN/SURINAME - On Sunday July 30th, 2017, four representatives of St. Maarten Red Cross left to attend the regionally organized Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion (WATSAN) Technical Training for overseas branches in Suriname. 

The aim of the 6-day training is to give participants the basic knowledge to analyze and test water and to purge water of disease germs. Travin Joseph (assistant Disaster Coordinator), Natasha Carty (Disaster Coordinator), Othneilia Binns (First-Aid Instructor) and Nadjesca Gumbs (General Manager) volunteered and was selected to take part in the training.

The St. Maarten Red Cross branch was invited by The Aruba Red Cross Association to attend the training which they organized in collaboration with The Suriname Red Cross.

The WATSAN training consisted of Red Cross Volunteers from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Suriname and St. Maarten. Aruba also took the initiative to include the W.E.B Aruba (Water & Energy Company) workers as participants in the WATSAN Training.

The WATSAN training is just one of a series of trainings provided by our neighboring island in order to build a stronger National and Regional Red Cross Society within the Caribbean.

The first training was the Mega V training that was held in May 2017 and was successfully completed by Travin Joseph, Assistant Disaster Coordinator SXM. The ODK and Mega V software is geared towards being able to efficiently and effectively assess a community in order to streamline distribution of humanitarian aid.

The Mega V will improve the response time by 12 minutes, allowing a complete assessment to be done within 3 minutes. Mr. Joseph will be conducting Mega V presentations in SXM to bring the rest of his colleagues up to speed with the Mega V program that is to be launched before the end of 2017.

The launch is dependent on the collaboration and cooperation on certain private and public-sector businesses and organizations. The Notebook for the Mega V program is donated by Antek, IT-solutions and software. Additional requests have been made by other businesses and organizations for equipment and materials.

The program will need a laptop, barcode scanner and 10 Android phones with camera focus in order to fully prepare the participants for the upcoming training in Aruba. This third training will have an integrated approach allowing participant to put together all the knowledge and experience gained in the other training to practical use in hands on exercises. One of the great advantages of the organized trainings is that it allows the participants to not only network and exchange best practices but it also allows them a chance to bond and work as a team.

This sentiment of achieving collaborate goals during these training will help to keep the momentum alive when called upon to respond to national and regional emergencies. Although the situation in Benati-mofo is not categorized as an emergency situation the SXM participants were elated to know that they played a part in providing 80 % of the households in Benati-mofo (a village near Marowijne, Moengo) with clean drinking water.

Other parts of the WATSAN Training included the CBHFA course (Community-Based Health and First Aid) as well as detailed community assessment exercises and an introduction to the SPHERE standards (The Humanitarian Character and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response).

The participants were pleased that essential components of the Strategy 2020 (Saving Lives, Changing Minds) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies were covered. The trainers/ facilitators, with almost 2 decades of experience, stressed the importance of being prepared intervene with the appropriate approach during moments of crisis.

In situations of chaos and despair it is of utmost importance that Red Cross volunteer relief workers treat beneficiaries in a humane and dignified manner stipulated in the SPHERE Project Handbook.  It is also vital to conduct a good assessment of the community (community specific needs) along with precise calculations of the necessary supplies and resources.

The WATSAN Training has heartened The SXM Red Cross Association to continue to push forward in organizing eventful trainings and activities to meet international standards of the federation. The SXM Red Cross is urging the community of Sint Maarten to get involved and volunteer at any organization geared towards humanitarian work because together we are stronger.  

PHOTO: (L-R) Othneilia Binns, Natasha Carty, Captain of Benati-mofo, Nadjesca Gumbs & Travin Joseph.

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PHOTO (L-R) Kenneth Letterboom, Othneilia Binns, Nadjesca Gumbs, Travin Joseph, Sylvia Jacobi & Natasha Carty.

Antek donation

PHOTO: (L-R) Leo Ligthart, Travin Joseph, Natasha Carty.

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