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Gasoline and diesel prices to be adjusted on Tuesday

PHILIPSBURG – On Tuesday, March 28 fuel pump prices will be adjusted. 

The current price of unleaded gasoline is Naf.1.894 per liter; the new price will be Naf.1.826 per liter.

The current price of diesel is Naf.1.430 per liter; the new price will be Naf.1.368 per liter.

The Government of Sint Maarten regulates the prices of petroleum products by imposing a maximum price at which wholesalers and retailers can sell these products in the country to motorists.

At the international level, the prices of crude oil have experienced adjustments and local prices follow the international trend, and therefore prices are adjusted to reflect this. 

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Police officers execute: “Turning the page Project”

PHILIPSBURG - On Saturday March 25th police officers Sharetti Hooi and Lavell Wilson executed their project called “Turning the page”. This project was inspired by their fallen colleague Gamali Benjamin who lost his life in the line of duty and is being guided by the C.P.O. (Community Police Officer) Inspector Helen Romeo.

The project location is the crossing of Arch road/ Soualiga road next to Johnnies 2 Supermarket. This location, on which two containers are placed, and on which the following words are pray painted; “R.I.P. Gamali how life turn out to be. We sorry”, was chosen to be where the project would start.

The plan of action by the two officers was to have this graffiti removed and replaced with something attractive and positive. It is with great cooperation from external partners such as Mr. Joclyn Arrindell, Mr. Leroy La Paix along with his daughter and friend, Mr. Eugene Heyliger and son, Mr. Rafael Arridell, Mr. Zabion Arrindell, management of Johnnie’s 2 Super, the Department of VROMI and other volunteers, that these two containers were painted on Saturday March 25th. All of the paint and and other material were provided by the Sucker Garden Community Center.

The next stage of the project is a beautiful drawing in graffiti will cover these two containers. Signs with “No loitering and No littering” along with garbage bins from VROMI will be placed at that location. (Police Force Sint Maarten) 

Turn the page 10 inside page

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Sub-Tropical Storm Development Remains Quite Possible. Would be Second tropical cyclone on record to form in the Atlantic during the month of March

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – Crown Weather’s update on Friday says that it appears quite possible that we could see sub-tropical storm development east of the Bahamas either during this weekend or during early next week.

“As of today (Ed Friday), it looks like the chances are rising that sub-tropical storm development could in fact occur between Sunday and Tuesday.

“The reason why we may see sub-tropical or even tropical storm development is because currently we have a frontal boundary that is pushing through the central Bahamas. Over the next 24 hours, this frontal system is forecast to lift out to the northeast leaving behind a piece of energy near the Turks and Caicos Islands. A ridge of high pressure is forecast to build to the north of this area of disturbed weather leading to lowering barometric pressures over the south-eastern Bahamas during this weekend.

“An area of low pressure is forecast to form near the Turks and Caicos Islands either on Saturday night or Sunday and may transform into a sub-tropical storm as it moves to a position just east of the Bahamas near 26 North Latitude, 70 West Longitude during Sunday and Monday. This potential sub-tropical storm is then forecast to move north-eastward to a position just south of Bermuda by Tuesday and then into the open Atlantic during Wednesday and Thursday.

“The various model guidance, including the GFS, European, Canadian and UKMET models, continues to be in very strong agreement in forecasting this sub-tropical storm forming east of the Bahamas during Sunday and Monday. In addition, a majority of the model guidance continues to point towards this system strengthening to about a 40 to 50 mph sub-tropical or tropical storm late this weekend into early next week.

“Given the look of the overall weather pattern (large high pressure system building to the north of an area of disturbed weather) and the overwhelming model guidance support of a sub-tropical storm forming to the east of the Bahamas. In addition to the favorable overall weather pattern, near record warm ocean water temperatures of 24 to 27 Degrees Celsius (75 to 80 Degrees Fahrenheit) will give an added boost to any system that forms this weekend into early next week.

“So, I think that there is about a 50 percent chance that we will see a sub-tropical storm form to the east of the Bahamas somewhere between 22 and 26 North Latitude and 70 West Longitude either on Sunday or Monday. This potential system is likely to lift north-eastward and move to a position just south of Bermuda by Tuesday and then into the open Atlantic during Wednesday and Thursday.

“If we do see this system become a tropical or sub-tropical storm, it will only be the second tropical cyclone on record to form in the Atlantic during the month of March. Previously, there has only been one Atlantic tropical cyclone to form during March and that was in the year 1908.

“Widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected across the south-eastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands this afternoon through Saturday. In addition, 25 to 35 mph east-northeast winds are expected across all of the Bahamas from this afternoon through all of Saturday.

“During Sunday and Monday, any sub-tropical system that forms to the east of the Bahamas could bring 20 to 35 mph north-northeast winds across the south-eastern Bahamas and up to 40-45 mph winds across the open waters east of the Bahamas and to the southwest of Bermuda. On Tuesday, 30 to 50 mph winds could impact the southern coast of Bermuda and the open waters to the south of Bermuda,” Crown Weather concludes.

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Fire Department wets down new crash tender

SABA - On Friday March 24th the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Brigade (BKCN) held a special wet down ceremony for its brand new crash tender at the Juancho Yrausquin Airport at Flat Point.

This new fire vehicle was commissioned especially for operation at Saba’s airport and has been put into use after a week of training by technicians from the company Rosenbauer.  The ceremony was attended by all fire personnel, airport management and staff and Island Governor, Jonathan Johnson.

General Commander of the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Brigade, Jair Tromp, travelled to Saba for this occasion. Tromp explained that the Ministry of Security and Justice had commissioned this crash tender to meet the specific requirements of Saba which is a category 3 airport.

“It took more than a year and I am happy this vehicle is finally here and can be put into use whenever required. I am equally proud to say that throughout the past several years the team here on Saba has been trained and upgraded in various disciplines of firefighting and disaster management. Our mission to strengthen the entire Caribbean Netherlands Fire Brigade continues. I am pleased with the results thus far.”

Speaking on behalf of the Executive Council was Island Governor Jonathan Johnson.  “With the acquisition of this new fire truck I hope that everyone recognizes and acknowledges the investments which the Dutch government is making on our island.

“With these investments in materials and the upgrading of personnel there comes a certain amount of expectations and standards. In the next few years we have to continue building upon what we currently have to meet the expected demands and standards”, stated the Island Governor Jonathan Johnson.

Local Commander, Julio Every, thanked his team for their efforts and commitment to their work. “This crash tender is a great improvement not only for our department, but also for the airport as the truck carries the name, Juancho Yrausquin. As Team Saba we pledge to always take care of all our vehicles and equipment and continue to upgrade and maintain our professionalism within the organization”. 

The honour was given to firemen Reid Barnes and Michel Johnson to wet down the brand new vehicle.

IMG 6716 800x600

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Sub-Tropical Storm Development is Possible East of The Bahamas this Weekend

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - Sub-Tropical Storm development is a distinct possibility east of the Bahamas this weekend, according to Crown Weather on Thursday. “A frontal system now pushing into the northern Bahamas is forecast to lift out to the northeast by Friday leaving behind a piece of energy near the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“A ridge of high pressure is forecast to build to the north of this area of disturbed weather leading to lowering barometric pressures over the south eastern Bahamas as we head into this weekend.

“An area of low pressure is forecast to form over the Turks and Caicos Islands on Saturday night and could transform into a sub-tropical storm as it moves to a position just east of the Bahamas near 24 North Latitude, 70 West Longitude during Sunday and Sunday night. This potential sub-tropical storm is then forecast to move north-eastward into the open Atlantic to the south of Bermuda during Monday and Tuesday.

“The various model guidance, including the GFS, European, Canadian and UKMET models, all agree that a sub-tropical system will form to the east of the Bahamas sometime this weekend. In fact, some of the model guidance forecasts that this system could strengthen to about a 45 to 50 mph sub-tropical or tropical storm.

“Given the look of the overall weather pattern (large high pressure system building to the north of an area of disturbed weather) and the overwhelming model guidance support of a sub-tropical storm forming to the east of the Bahamas, I think that there is about a 40 to 50 percent chance that we will see a sub-tropical storm form to the east of the Bahamas somewhere between 22 and 24 North Latitude and 70 West Longitude either on Saturday night or Sunday. This potential system is likely to lift north-eastward and move into the open Atlantic to the south of Bermuda during Monday and Tuesday.

“What is “interesting” is that all of the model guidance are pointing towards that any low pressure system that forms this weekend will be warm cored and tropical in nature.

“The development of this area of disturbed weather on Friday near the Turks and Caicos Islands will bring widespread showers and thunderstorms and locally heavy rainfall across the central and south eastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands starting later Friday and continuing through Saturday.

“In addition, 25 to 35 mph east-northeast winds are expected across all of the Bahamas throughout all of Friday and Saturday. By Sunday, any sub-tropical system that forms to the east of the Bahamas could bring 20 to 35 mph north-northeast winds across the south eastern Bahamas and up to 40-45 mph winds across the open waters east of the Bahamas and south of Bermuda. These 40-50 mph winds could continue across the open waters well south of Bermuda during Monday,” Crown Weather concludes.

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CPS continues to monitor Yellow Fever developments. Community strongly advised to eliminate mosquito breeding sites

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The number of countries with suspected or confirmed cases of yellow fever has increased.  According to the most recent Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) epidemiological update, suspected and confirmed yellow fever cases have been reported in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Suriname.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends for international travellers traveling to Espirito Santo State, Brazil

to get a yellow fever vaccination.

PAHO adds that given the current yellow fever situation in Brazil and the emergence of cases in areas where no cases have been detected in several years, Member States are urged to continue efforts to timely detect, confirm, and adequately treat cases of yellow fever within a timely manner.

Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease that is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and Latin America. Transmission is primarily between monkeys, and from monkeys to humans.

The yellow fever virus has three transmission cycles – sporadic, intermediate and urban.  Sporadic cases resulting from sylvatic (jungle) transmission are seen in South America and Africa.  The intermediate cycle of transmission occurs in the moist savannah zones of Africa only.

Urban transmission occurs where the virus is introduced into urban areas and the domestic Aedes aegypti mosquito is widespread.  The Sabethes and Haemagogus species are involved in the sylvatic/jungle cycle whilst Aedes aegypti is involved in the urban cycle.

The virus is transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti, the same mosquito that can transmits the dengue, chikungunya and zika viruses.  Mosquitoes acquire the virus by feeding on infected primates (human or non-human) and then transmit the virus to other primates (human or non-human).

In urban areas e.g. within the communities of Sint Maarten, risk can be reduced by eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites and reducing your exposure to mosquito bites.  Sint Maarten does not have any Yellow Fever cases, but due to the current situation of Yellow Fever being detected in areas in countries where no cases have been detected in several years, this has increased the country’s alert level.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), will continue to monitor developments related to yellow fever.  Its surveillance mechanism was placed on alert for any potential cases in January.

The department is requesting for all to be on the alert and be proactive if you experience any symptoms and have travelled to an endemic Yellow Fever area, you are requested to consult your physician.

There is one sure way of mitigating mosquito borne diseases, and that is removing mosquito breeding sites from within and surrounding your premises, and apply mosquito repellent to stop mosquitoes’ from feeding.

Yellow fever cases can be difficult to distinguish from other viral hemorrhagic fevers such as arenavirus, hantavirus or dengue.

Symptoms of yellow fever according to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) usually appear three to six days after the bite of an infected mosquito. In the initial phase, they include fever, muscle pain, headache, shivers, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting.

For most patients, these symptoms disappear after three to four days. However, 15% of patients enter a second, more toxic phase within 24 hours of the initial remission. High fever returns, and several body systems are affected, including the kidneys.

Half of patients who enter this toxic phase die within 10 to 14 days, while the rest recover without significant organ damage.

Treatment is symptomatic, aimed at reducing symptoms for the

comfort of the patient. Vaccination is the most important preventive measure against yellow fever.

The vaccine is safe, affordable and highly effective, providing effective immunity within 30 days for 99% of those vaccinated.

A single dose of Yellow Fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and life-long protection, with no need for a booster.  The Yellow Fever vaccine must be administered at least 10 days prior to travel. Persons that travel to endemic countries where Yellow Fever is confirmed should get the vaccine.

Travelers with contraindications for yellow fever vaccine (e.g. children below 9 months, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with severe hypersensitivity to egg antigens, and severe immunodeficiency or over 60 years of age) should consult their health professional for further advice about the Yellow Fever vaccine.

Persons returning to Sint Maarten experiencing Yellow Fever symptoms should immediately consult their family physician.

For more information call CPS at 542-2078, 542-3003 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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Ministry VSA Celebrates World Oral Health Day

ST. JOHN’S ESTATE - Taking care of your oral health has a positive impact on your general health and well-being, helping you live a better quality of life into old age, a press release from the Cabinet of the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Cabinet Minister VSA) said on Wednesday.

Oral health is much more than a nice smile. Oral disease can affect every aspect of your life – including your ability to perform basic functions. An unhealthy mouth, for example if you have gum disease, can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, pancreatic cancers and pneumonia.

Therefore, it is important for everyone to practice good oral hygiene”, stated Minister of Public Health Emil Lee in commemoration of World Oral Health Day.

During the press briefing on Wednesday, Minister Lee encouraged the community to get involved. The Department of Collective Prevention Services (CPS) has planned a month filled with activities.

From a colouring competition to mobile visits with the Dental Bus to various organizations such as:

•        Sister Basilia Center

•        Mental Health Foundation

•        Ujima Foundation

•        ASA Foundation

On Monday, Minister Lee attended to session at the Sister Basilia Center where he gave opening remarks encouraged the residents to be pro-active about oral hygiene.

“I would like to thank the staff and our Dental Care Coordinator Mrs. Irma Gumbs-Knight for their hard work in making this initiative possible”, said Minister of Public Health Emil Lee.

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Toastmaster Agape considered a Competent Communicator

MARIGOT, St. Martin - The St. Martin Evolution Toastmasters Club continues to help improve the public speaking skills of its residents, according to a press release on Wednesday from the club.

“Congratulations are in order for our newest Competent Communicator Toastmaster Nadia Agape, who received a ribbon and a pin from President Shirma France on her achievement during the meeting held on the 21st March 2017,” France said in her prss statement.

The St. Martin Evolution Toastmasters Club meets every first and third Tuesdays of each month at the former Evalina Halley School at 7:30pm.

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TelEm Group Donation for Softball Season Scores at Hit with Officials

POND ISLAND - TelEm Group hit the ball out of the park when the company donated a generous amount to the St. Maarten Pro Softball Association recently to get their Softball season rolling.

A check was presented to Association representative, Jacky Browne, recently by TelEm Group Manager, Marketing & Sales, Grisha Marten.

Jacky says the monies will go towards purchase of supplies and also for use of the Jose Lake Jr. Ballpark for match play and also for practice.

She said the Association and its members, not to mention the players themselves, are all grateful to TelEm Group for the company’s kind assistance.

Meantime Grisha has announced that the Association will be further assisted with the distribution of various TelEm Group giveaways during upcoming Softball games.

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Wescot-Williams express condolences to the family of Sir Derek Walcott

PHILIPSBURG – President of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams expresses condolences to the family and friends of the late Sir Derek Walcott who passed away on March 17th.

“In my capacity as Prime Minister, I was privileged to meet with Sir Walcott on more than one occasion and exchange thoughtful insights regarding his work and the region that he loved and wrote about.  The ancestral tapestry of the Caribbean region was his literary bed.

I am sure that many in the literary world and even more so here in the Caribbean and on his home island of St. Lucia, will be deeply affected by this loss. He has however left us with numerous pieces of work, expressions that incessantly spoke to Caribbean unity and integrity. He was a prodigious poet/playwright.”

“I would like to express my most heartfelt condolences to his family and I wish those affected by this loss much strength and guidance, knowing that Sir Walcott has left a lasting legacy for St. Lucia, the Region and the world.”

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