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Baby Wellness Clinic and School Program Hours Announced

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Baby Wellness Clinic of Section Youth Health Care and School Program that falls under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, as of Wednesday, 18 October will be open to the public as follows until further notice: Monday thru Friday 8:30 am - 12:30 pm (Baby Wellness Clinic); Tuesday and Wednesday 2:00 pm - 4:00pm (School Program).    

The aforementioned services are being provided from the Vineyard Office Park, W.G. Buncamper Road #33, Philipsburg.

For questions or appointments please call Tel 542-3003.  Walks-ins will be accepted for the month of October.

As per November 1st 2017 appointments will resume.

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Day against Human Trafficking

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - Worldwide, people will reflect on human trafficking on October 18th, and so will we in the Caribbean Netherlands. The word ‘human trafficking’ may sound grave to you. Human trafficking is a violation of human rights.

Human trafficking also occurs in the Caribbean Netherlands in the form of labour exploitation. The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, the Police Force, the Public Entities, the Immigrations   and Naturalization Service (IND) and the Labour Inspection are making extra efforts to prevent this.

The different authorities will go into the streets on Human Trafficking Day to give foreign nationals information about their rights and duties. A special pamphlet has been prepared for this purpose. Information is the cornerstone in the combat against human trafficking and labour exploitation. Employers will also receive information.

Many people who are faced with human trafficking or labour exploitation are often not aware themselves that they are a victim. Such a situation often does not arise overnight. When a foreign national decides to leave their country of origin to work abroad, they often are offered great prospects but in practice these usually prove to be false pretences.

Unfortunately, it happens that a foreign national is paid far less than what they are entitled to. Sometimes they also have to work very long hours or they are threatened with withdrawal of their residency permit. Other signs are: failing to meet promises, not being in control of one's own passport and/or being forced to incur a high debt to the employer. By the way, Dutch citizens may also fall victim to human trafficking.

One of the most common forms of human trafficking in the world is having to perform sexual acts under coercion or on instruction. It often concerns trafficking in women and illegal prostitution. The objective of the Day against Human Trafficking is to involve everyone in the combat against such humanly degrading situations.

Your help and alertness are important. All authorities are calling on the public to report situations.

You can contact the police (KPCN) to do so.

The following KPCN phone numbers can be reached at all times:

  • On Bonaire: + 599 - 717 - 8000 (general). Anonymous Tip Line at the Info department in Bonaire: +599 - 717 - 7251
  • On Saba: Basic Police Care: 00599 - +599 – 416 - 3737
  • On St. Eustatius: Basic Police Care: +599 - 318-2333

Your report will be handled confidentially!

(RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Annual appreciation day for the prison workers of JICN

SABA/ST.EUSTATIUS - On Saturday, October 14th, the annual “Prison Workers Day” was celebrated with a parade to the Misa di Playa.

There followed a church service were the Director of the Correctional Institution Caribbean Netherlands (JICN), Wibo de Vries, addressed prison workers.

This annual celebration is an expression of appreciation for prison workers. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Charlotte Brookson Academy, MAC High and St. Maarten Academy to receive pavilions

RING ROAD – As part of the emergency relief efforts, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS) received 3 pavilions from the Netherlands on the Karel Doorman’s first trip to St. Maarten.

The construction of the first of four pavilions began on Monday, October 16th on the Ring Road. The pavilions were given to the schools which received the most damage and were left without classrooms or an alternate location. The Charlotte Brookson Academy, the St. Maarten Academy and the MAC High are the three schools which will be utilizing the pavilions until the repairs at the schools have been completed.

The pavilions are being constructed with representatives of Intertent, who are the manufacturers of the pavilions, the marines, the GENIE group of engineers, the Ministry of VROMI, as well as local contractors. Mr. Frits de Boer and Mr. Jeroen Harlaar, two representatives of Intertent, were deployed to St. Maarten to assist in the safety of the construction of the pavilions.

Four more representatives from Intertent will be arriving on the island in the coming days to assist with the other pavilions. The other pavilions will be placed in Ebenezer near the Mac High Campus and partially on the land of the previous Prins Willem Alexander School for the St. Maarten Academy.

All pavilions were strategically placed nearby the main campus to cater to students and facilitate the rotation of classes. The fourth pavilion was sent through the United States, and will be utilized by the Sister Marie Laurence School. The details on the placement of the fourth pavilion is yet to be determined.  

The representatives of the Charlotte Brookson Academy were at the Ring Road to witness the construction of the pavilions. The representatives of the CBA were very thankful to the Minister and the Ministry for the usage of the pavilions. The CBA was housed at the old Government Administration Building, however, due to the passing of Hurricane Irma, the building was severely damaged, rendering it unusable for the students, teachers and staff of the CBA.

The exam and pre exam classes are now being housed at the University of St. Martin and the Philipsburg Cultural and Community Center. The pavilions will be housing the schools until the major repairs and rebuilding is completed.

The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the honorable Silveria Jacobs, has been working closely with all the schoolboards to ensure the schools have all necessities to assist in the smooth transition back  to school.

inside minecys struct

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Simpson Bay Causeway to be Temporarily Closed for Motorized Traffic due to Emergency Repairs

SIMPSON BAY – The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority (SLAC) announces that the Simpson Bay Causeway Bridge will be temporarily closed due to emergency repairs to motorized traffic on Tuesday, October 17 between 12.00PM and 2.00PM.  The temporary closure has been discussed with the relevant authorities.

Persons traveling to the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM Airport) to travel during the aforementioned timeframe should leave or arrive earlier at the airport in order to avoid any potential inconvenience.

The emergency repair closure is in connection with carrying out an operational assessment of the Causeway swing bridge.  This could take approximately 30 minutes or more, and in order to avoid any inconvenience to motorists, it was decided to close the two entrances to the Causeway Bridge from the Airport Road round-about- and at the Cole Bay round-a-bout during the aforementioned timeframe.

Engineers arrived on the island over the weekend to carry out assessments related to the Causeway Bridge.  The swing bridge which falls under the Lagoon Authority has been closed to marine traffic since the passing of Hurricane Irma on September 6.

The Swing Bridge on the Causeway is 220 feet long and weighs 450 tons.  The Causeway has a total length of 2493 feet and features a two-lane motorway, a bicycle track, footpaths and two round-a-bouts at the Airport Road near the end of the runway and at Union Road near the border.

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SHTA calls on hospitality and business members to share their status

PHILIPSBURG - The Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) calls on membership to share their possible reopening after hurricane Irma. The association can assist its businesses by providing clarity regarding their post-Irma status. Hotels and accommodations are requested to update weekly as demand is high. Many relief workers, construction teams and airline personnel need lodging in order to help the country recover.

To keep up exact numbers, SHTA has created www.shta.com/we-are-open. Business openings will be promoted by means of publication on SHTA’s social media and website. Accommodation availability will be shared with incoming demand. Over the past weeks, SHTA received many requests from large and small groups whose visit directly contributes to recovery efforts.

SHTA sees it as essential that speedy recovery takes place.  As of now, Alicia's Inn, Atrium Resort, Baker Suites, Commodore Suites, Holland House, Paradise Inn, Princess Heights, Turquoise Shell Inn and Simpson Bay Marina Residences have shared to have some or more rooms available. SHTA recommends to send further inventory updates to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  As many hoteliers partially reopen and give their best to enable speedy reconstruction, SHTA stresses that inventory will change on a daily basis.

SHTA has witnessed several positive developments and commends many hospitality and business employees giving their best in recovering their businesses. However, it stresses various bottlenecks are still to be overcome.

First and foremost, many Sint Maarten companies suffer from financial uncertainty. As many islands in the region have been struck by Irma and Maria, the workload of the various insurance companies is tremendous. This causes delay in processing the various claims, leading to extra lack of funds next to the absence of tourist income.

In its advice to the National Recovery Plan committee, the association has underlined the need for businesses on island to get either tax relief – as is the case on the French side – or government assistance in continuing the payments to its employees -as the Netherlands did in the aftermath of the credit crunch.

Another point that will be crucial for continued recovery is safety. The assistance of the Koninklijke Marechaussee and Royal Dutch Marines, VKS and KPSM allowed for entrepreneurs to take the first steps towards recovery. As many marines have left and many properties in both hospitality and business are still vulnerable, it is essential to continue to protect the process of rebuilding business.

A third concern of the association for speedy recovery is the continuous availability of building materials, and more importantly, equipment. Even though the association commends the Dutch navy for bringing in tremendous amounts of materials, trucks and heavy equipment will be in continuous use over the upcoming months. This is why the SHTA relief organization SHTA-relief.sx that took off already the day before Irma, now focuses on these materials. 

The SHTA is dedicated to bringing quality to all aspects of life on St. Maarten by promoting sustainable economic development for its members in cooperation with the social partners and the creation of a fair marketplace.  For more information please contact our offices at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website at www.shta.com.

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Nagico expects losses of $425 to $500 Million from Hurricanes Irma and Maria

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - Caribbean insurer Nagico has more than enough reinsurance in place to cover its losses from hurricanes Irma and Maria, its chairman has said.

Nagico has notified its excess-of-loss reinsurers of an expected loss of $325mn-$400mn from Irma and is expecting a gross loss of around $100mn from Maria.

However, its chairman Imran McSood Amjad told The Insurance Insider that concern in some quarters that it could go through the top of its reinsurance on Irma was misplaced.

"We are confident, as are the regulators, that the impact on Nagico's financials will not be as massive as people might expect and that our reinsurance coverage is sufficient. We will be able to look after all our clients with room to spare."

He added: "Nagico has placed reinsurance based on RMS modelling and we are 200 percent confident that we are well covered."

Irma ripped through the Caribbean, making landfall in Barbuda with winds of more than 150mph. It passed over St Martin and St Maarten and caused massive devastation before it struck the [British] Virgin Islands.

RMS has estimated losses in the Caribbean from the event at $10bn-$20bn, while AIR Worldwide has pegged the losses at $7bn-$15bn.

Sources have said that Nagico has over $2.5bn of total insured values on St Maarten and the Virgin Islands.

Nagico's chairman also said that he believed that the industry losses were not as high as some feared, and that damage factors of 50 percent for Dutch St Martin, where the insurer is headquartered, were overstated.

"I have been personally to visit with our CEO virtually every major insured on the island," he said. "We have been there and we've seen the damage."

The Insurance Insider reported yesterday that fears had been mounting in the sector that the insurer, which has dominant market share in the Dutch Caribbean, would exhaust its reinsurance, which was believed to include an excess-of-loss tower as well as a 50 percent quota share.

Amjad confirmed that there was a 50 percent quota share in place with 50 percent owner Peak Re that had a low cap for catastrophes, which meant that the Hong Kong reinsurer's direct exposure to the losses would be "minimal".

The net account is protected by an excess-of-loss tower led by Swiss Re, which Amjad said is "substantially" more than the $400mn reported.

In addition to this heavily impacted cover, Amjad said that Nagico purchases facultative reinsurance.

"It is not on everything, but we buy it on quite a few [accounts]," he said.

The executive continued that Nagico also had an unlimited quota share for all of its cat exposure on French St Martin, and noted that the carrier had put windstorm caps on some of its policies.

"We have one risk, for example, where the sum insured is over $200mn, but the [windstorm] cap is $10mn," he told this publication.

The Nagico chairman went on to explain that the firm had a net retention of $2.5mn for Irma and $2.5mn for Maria, against a capital base of around $100mn.

Nagico, which has a B++ financial strength rating from AM Best, wrote $146mn of business across two entities in 2016, according to credit reports from the ratings agency.

AM Best said that St. Maarten/Curacao/Bonaire accounted for 27 percent of gross written premium across the group, which is equivalent to $39mn.

It added that 14 percent of premiums were sourced from the British Virgin Islands - representing $20mn

A range of Caribbean insurers have bought third and fourth event protections from reinsurers following Irma and Maria.

Amjad said that Nagico was talking to its brokers about buying additional cover, but already had reinsurance in place to cover a third event. (CBN)

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Mystery helicopter lands on Cupecoy Street around the passing of Irma

CUPECOY – Either hours or days after the passing of Hurricane Irma on September 6th, Jordan road, Cupecoy, had a new resident with a current registration number of PJ-KSG.  This is a four-seater Robinson R44 helicopter built in 2000.

The helicopter was removed from the street a few days ago.  Soualiga Newsday contacted the Sint Maarten Police Force Public Relations Department inquiring about the helicopter which landed in the Cupecoy residential neighborhood, but to date has not received any information.

It appears that the helicopter landed on Jordan Street after the passing of Hurricane Irma on September 6.  It remained there for over a month as clean-up crews moved around cleaning up the area.

The current registration number had the aircraft owner addressed in the Netherlands Antilles. 

The aircraft was also registered as N644PD with the United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to a Corporation, but it was deregistered in 2000 for export to Brazil.

At that time the helicopter was registered to Robinson Helicopter Company out of Torrance, Los Angeles, California. 

A second deregistration in October 2001 reveals that the aircraft was registered to N644PD Helicopter Co. Inc. out of Wilmington, Delaware with export to the Netherlands Antilles.

PJ-KSG seems to be a mystery.  Was the aircraft originally parked at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM Airport)?  If so, was it cleared for take-off after the passing of Hurricane Irma or before?  Did it fly to another destination but then returned to Sint Maarten for whatever reason?  Where did it fly too?  Who was the pilot or passengers onboard?  Where are they now?

heli in cupecoy

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT 

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Sol confirms the re-establishment of fuel supply

CAY BAY – SOL ANTILLES N.V. (Sol), confirms that after the passage of Hurricanes Irma and María, the residents of St Maarten once again have full access to fuels from the island’s five Sol Service Stations. Sol, the leading regional supplier of petroleum products, has re-established service at the Tackling, Sucker Garden, St. Peters, Risdons and Madame Estate service stations.

The re-establishment of supply means that residents once again have reliable access to fuel for vehicles, electricity generation and cooking.

“I genuinely thank our teams who have been working tirelessly under challenging circumstances to re-establish service and we are happy to confirm that our five service stations are fully operational,” David Antrobus, General Manager of Sol St. Maarten, stated.

“Providing our customers with a safe, reliable supply of energy products is our top priority,” the General Manager explained, “and we are satisfied that all of the necessary assessments have been conducted to ensure the safety and security of our operation and the integrity of our products and delivery systems.”

The company has restored service of its Aviation Services, as well as supply to the national power company GEBE. Sol has also re-established service to the Island Water World Marina, and is working to restore the delivery of its energy products to the other affected marinas as soon as possible. We expect to have our Marinas fully functional for the Marine season which commences in November.

The company has reinstated its LPG product supply to commercial customers which has facilitated the operating restaurants, bakeries and hotels to commence business. Our pack LPG product is available to residential customers through our distributor, Island Cooking Gas, whilst we concentrate on re-establishing our island wide Reseller network.

Sol is receiving replenishment of all products via the company’s fully functioning terminals on a weekly basis, and service stations are operational from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. “We are confident that we have sufficient supply to meet the needs of the island on a continuous basis and there is no shortage.” Antrobus explained, “And we would like to thank the public for their patience as we underwent the necessary safety checks, tests and repairs before reinstating island-wide distribution.”

Antrobus continued “ that most importantly thanks must be given to Sol’s staff and contractors at the Cay Bay and PJIA Depots as well as at all service stations for their great efforts and service in getting our operations back to where they are today.” 

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Join the Heineken Ladies Sailing Team ‘Something Hot’ to raise money for St. Maarten

SIMPSON BAY - The Heineken Ladies Sailing Team ‘Something Hot’ is hosting a charity concert on October 18th at the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam to raise money for St. Maarten.

The funds will go towards rebuilding the island after Hurricane Irma decided to go right over it. The organizers are a group of women working for Heineken, who have been sailing the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta as Ladies Sailing Team ‘Something Hot’ for twenty years.

The fundraiser is a way to give back to the people on the island who need food, water, and materials to rebuild their homes.

During the concert ‘All hands on deck’ numerous prizes will be raffled and auctioned, like Formula 1 and Champions League tickets with special VIP treatments, POM Amsterdam scarfs, a chocolate workshop at Tony’s Chocolonely, several concert tickets and much more.

Tickets are €25 and all revenue goes to Giro 5125, opened by the Dutch Red Cross for victims of hurricane Irma. The organization expects approximately 300 visitors. Tickets can be bought by clicking here.

In case you cannot attend the concert, but do want to donate, this can be done via the same link (page is in Dutch only).

When:   October 18th, 2017

Time:    20.30-23.30

Where:  Heineken Experience, Amsterdam - Molenzolder

Tickets: €25 (includes beer and soft drinks)

A big thank you goes out to the people from the HEINEKEN Experience who are sponsoring the event location and beer.

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