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Lagoon Authority advises Simpson Bay Lagoon boaters and other maritime traffic to be observant of channel markers

SIMPSON BAY LAGOON – The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority (SLAC) is advising boaters and other maritime traffic within the Simpson Bay Lagoon (Dutch side) to be observant of channel markers in order to have a safe passage within the lagoon.

The Lagoon Authority also advises for boaters to stay away from shallow areas as well as unmarked areas.

When approaching or departing private marinas, boat captains are advised to communicate with marina operators with respect to water depths, approach and departure routes as well as docking procedures.

The Lagoon Authority is responsible for maintaining the current shipping lanes in the Simpson Bay Lagoon.  Sint Maarten inland water buoys conform with IALA (International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities) Zone B specifications.

Other responsibilities of the Lagoon Authority are: operating and maintaining the J.S. Lejeuz Bridge in Simpson Bay; collecting the bridge fees for the J.S. Lejeuz Bridge; collecting the mooring fees in the Simpson Bay Lagoon; supporting the Government in creating policies for the management and administration of the Simpson Bay Lagoon; monitoring activities of vessels and persons in the Simpson Bay Lagoon, including possible waste and fuel disposals, and report any incidents or irregularities to the competent authorities of the Government; advising the Government on development matters of the Simpson Bay Lagoon; and operating the Simpson Bay Causeway.

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TelEm Group technicians training on use of newly purchased fiber-blowing tools

POND ISLAND - TelEm Group recently took delivery of state-of-the-art fiber-blowing tools that technicians are now learning to use in the field with the help of the equipment manufacturer.

The equipment is part of the arsenal of tools that TelEm Group workers themselves will be mobilizing in the coming months, when the company begins a massive Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) rollout.

According to Manager, Outside Plant, Mr. Marco London, Tools expert, Jesper Damtoft, and FTTH Engineer, Rune Hausvik, have been made available by the manufacturing company in Norway, to train TelEm Group staff on the use of the new equipment. This is part of the purchase agreement for the tools and equipment.

“Our staff will be training on the sub-ducting and blowing of fiber conduits and cables, operation of the tools, best practices as well as limited maintenance of the tools,” said Mr. London, during one training session in the Oyster Bay area Wednesday.

He said once classroom training was completed last week, the trainers have now gone into the field with the workers for hands on application, especially in areas where Fiber optic cable is already being deployed. They will also apply their newly learned skills by installing fiber tubing to cell sites and local businesses.

“With these tools and equipment we will be able to optimize the use of ducts that have been placed in the ground for years,” said Mr. London.

He said another advantage, and a great cost saving, is the fact that the company can minimize the amount of inconvenient and costly trenching that would have been needed to place fiber optic cables into the ground.

“With new technologies now available, and driven by a high demand for fiber capacity we will be able to blow a large amount of fiber into these old ducts without having to dig them up,” said Mr. London.

The Manager Outside plant explained that with the application of the new fibre-blowing tools, ducts previously laid to accommodate up to 24 customers can now serve as many as 432 customers by utilizing micro cables in these ducts instead of larger sized cables.

He also reminded that the training component of the equipment purchase is in line with instructions from the new CEO, Mr. Kendall Dupersoy, who is keen to see that maximum training is provided to Outside plant staff so that they can improve their skills and productivity in the shortest time in preparation for the wider rollout program.

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St. Dominic High Interact Club is called to Share

SOUTH REWARD - On February 6, 2017, to kick off Catholic Schools week under the theme: We are called to share with others, the Interact Club of St. Dominic High School welcomed Les Fruits de Mer President Ms. Jenn Yerkes and representatives from the Sister Basilia Center during the school's weekly assembly.

The Interact Club presented Sister Basilia Center with a donation of NAF. 1800. As well as, sponsoring NAF 198 to Les Fruits de Mer in order to become Friends of the Museum. Les Fruits de Mer curates Amuseum Naturalis our island's only natural history museum that strives to educate visitors and citizens about St. Maarten’s unique natural history. The Sister Basilia Center works with intellectually challenged clients.

These donations were made possible through Interact’s annual “Gift Wrapping for a Cause” project. During the Christmas Holidays, the members wrap gifts and the collected donations are given to charitable causes on St. Maarten.

The entire Interact would like to thank everyone who contributed to this project. Our biggest supporters every Christmas season are Klass Electronics and Super Plaza who offer space on their premises to wrap gifts. Without their continued support, our project would not have been a success.

The Interact Club would also like to thank everyone who came out and helped with the gift wrapping service, and we would also like to say a big thank you to our School Manager Ms. Gianne de Weever, our mentors Ms. Patrice Davis and Ms. Jennifer Halley, and everyone else who made this project possible.

We would also like to wish both Les Fruits de Mer and Sister Basilia Center all the best for their future endeavors.

"Giving back is not just about making a donation; it is about making a difference." A beautiful quote by Kathy Calvin, perfectly describes the enlightening feeling we had after making the donations.

The Interact Club of St. Dominic High School is a school based Interact Club sponsored by the Rotary Club of St. Maarten - Mid-Isle. Through teamwork, this club works together to help the community.

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Dangers of the Internet: The Effects of Technology on Students

PHILIPSBURG – The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs held an interactive and informative session entitled, “The Dangers of the Internet and the Effects of Technology on Students.”

The information session was presented to groups 7 & 8 students of the Sister Borgia Elementary School in order to empower them and their peers in using the media to their benefit and bring awareness of the many potential dangers.

The session was held on Wednesday 15th February, 2017 at the Sister Borgia Elementary School at 10:00 a.m. The objective of the session was to bring awareness to students about the many uses and types of media, the effects that this can have them (both academically and socially), and how their decisions play a great role in their future outcome.

The Student Support Services Division thanks the school manager and teachers of the Sister Borgia School for their initiative in taking advantage of the many services that are offered by SSSD all in the best interest of their students.

For more information, you can contact the Student Support Services Division at 543-1235 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The SSSD office is located in the Amigo Building across from the Police Station and next to the WIB. 

The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) provides support services to students referred by the care team of their schools.

These services consists of psychological services, counseling services, social work services, educational diagnostic services, career services, speech language pathology  services and parent education sessions. SSSD also provides workshops to teachers and school personnel.

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TelEm Group says automatic equipment shutdown responsible for interrupted services Monday

POND ISLAND - TelEm Group says a team of Engineers and Technicians were quick to identify and correct faulty equipment at the Earth Station on Pond Island limiting an interruption in service to two and half hours.

The alarm was raised at approximately 5:00 pm Monday evening when reports began to arrive of disconnected internet, mobile and leased line services.

Personnel familiar with outages of this kind were quickly mobilized and began troubleshooting immediately to determine what the problem was.

According to TelEm Group Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Mr. Eldert Louisa, the problem was traced to a faulty node (equipment connection point) that had apparently tripped, causing other sensitive electronic equipment to shut off as a safety measure to safeguard against extensive equipment damage.

“Once the faulty node was identified there is a process of restoration that involves reconnecting all the nodes in the network until a connection ring is re-established as it was at approximately 7:30 this evening (Ed Monday),” explained Mr. Louisa.

Mr. Louisa apologized to the general public for the outage, but meantime praised the call-out team for the combined effort to identify and restore all services as quickly as possible.

The CTO said technicians will continue to monitor the restored network which up until 8:00 pm Monday  evening was functioning normally.

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GEBE on board with SCDF in the promotion of culture

PHILIPSBURG - Utility provider GEBE and the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) have partnered for Carnival 2017 to specifically highlight SCDF’s Culture Night and culture in general throughout Carnival. The two entities are no strangers, having partnered for well over three decades in various forms.

SCDF President Alston Lourens accepted GEBE’s contribution towards Carnival 2017 on Thursday from the company’s Chief Operations Office Veronica Jansen-Webster and the Chief Financial Officer Iris Arrindell.

Lourens expressed thanks on behalf of the board and volunteers of the SCDF and noted that it’s a perfect fit for GEBE to support Culture Night as it will feature the various national groups that make up St. Maarten and who GEBE serves.

“GEBE has stood with Carnival longer than any of the current members of the foundation has been part of the foundation. We look forward to their key partnership every year in order to make Carnival and specific events possible. This year we are especially excited about Culture Night, which also features our Village Cook-Up. It is a local event that we hope our people will support in droves and one which we know GEBE will be proud to be associated with,” Lourens said. 

The management board stated that “GEBE is proud to be sponsoring the first show of the Carnival season in Carnival Village. They added that GEBE is committed to playing its part of its corporate responsibility towards the development of tourism, arts and culture in St. Maarten.”

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SZV hosts info session on Thursday about Sickness Insurance Ordinance

PHILIPSBURG — On Thursday February 23rd Social & Health Insurances SZV will host an information session at the University of St. Martin from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm on the topic of the Sickness Insurance Ordinance.

The general public but especially employed persons are invited to attend the information session. SZV will highlight the rights and obligations as it pertains to those who qualify; employed persons working five or six days in the private sector, earning less than the maximum wage limit, NAF 5651.36 gross per month.

The information session aims to empower insured employees and their dependents on their rights, obligations and benefits. Various topics will be addressed, such as; the right to register their spouse or child(ren), information on contribution, rights to medical services, doctor change periods, sick-leave procedure, limitations of the services; for example that the insurance is not valid abroad.

The healthcare package overview of the Sickness Insurance Ordinance, also known as ZV, will be available via the website of SZV www.szv.sx on Thursday as well. This document will be yet another new addition to the website of SZV, highlighting medical services and products that the Sickness Insurance Ordinance provides for those insured.

If you are currently not insured by SZV but feel that you may qualify, contact SZV via the website, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., message via the SZV Facebook page or call 546-6782 to get more information on how you can register. For those unable to attend the session on Thursday, the session will be live streamed via Facebook.

The information session this Thursday is a part of a series of information events hosted by SZV this year. SZV encourages frequent use of the website www.szv.sx and the SZV Facebook page, which offer information on the registration process, qualifications, frequently asked questions and much more.

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Youth Extravaganza will be a clean show says producers Laugh Out Loud

PHILIPSBURG - Organizers of the 2017 Telcell Youth Extravaganza announced over the weekend that the show will be a youth oriented clean show with Tolly Boys as the headliners.

Laugh Out Loud productions wanted to make it clear to concerned parents that the always clean show will be presentable for youngsters. Public Relations officer for Laugh Out Loud productions Daniel Dormoy said, “We did receive some calls from parents about the St. Maarten Carnival Development statements regarding the crackdown on extreme sexually suggestive jamming by young people in particular.

Tolly Boys has already made a clean set as they are known for catchy tunes enjoyed by young and old. Organizers recently met with the group who ensured them that they will be professional and respect the rules given to them by Laugh Out Loud productions and enforced by SCDF.

 “We totally agree with the Carnival Foundation and hope that this practice is a thing of the past. When it comes to Youth Extravaganza we will make sure that all performers stick to the high standards set over the years by the carnival committee,” stated Dormoy.

Tickets for the show are on sale now only at Mc Donald’s restaurants throughout the island. Youth Extravaganza is set to take place on Monday April 24 in the Carnival Village.

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Xtratight™ Entertainment launches it’s “5th Year Anniversary Special”. Pre-tickets sale for starts February 20

MIDDLE REGION - As customary Xtratight™ Entertainment is giving its fans and patrons the opportunity to purchase tickets for St. Maarten’s Carnival flagship show, TelCell Night Of The Hit Makers, at a reduced price.

Celebrating its 5th Year Anniversary Xtratight™ Entertainment wants to make sure that everyone can attend Carnivals premier dance experience. This special will save patrons $15,-, rather than paying $40,- on the day of the show, tickets can be purchased now for only $25, starting on Monday February 20th to Saturday March 6th. Tickets are limited, offer valid while supplies last. OP=OP

Even in its 5th year Xtratight still maintains the great deals. The special is for both young and old, no one is excluded as the event caters to a broad audience.

TelCell Night Of The Hit Makers’ the dance-floor is back and patrons can expect another memorable yet Xtatic experience for the 5th Year Anniversary Celebration.

TelCell Night Of The Hit Makers will feature:

Destra, Claudius Philips, Kai formerly known as Carimi, Jean Marc Ferdinand, Farmer Nappy and St. Maartens very own Impakt Band.

Xtratight™ “5th Year Anniversary Special” tickets can be purchased at Van Dorp (both locations), Adolphus Richardson Office Supplies, and S.O.S. Radio.

Partners: TelCell, Heineken, Johnny Walker, Accessible Ventures, SOS Radio and Genesis Music Group.

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Sucker Garden Road Closure February 21 and 22 during Evening Hours

SUCKER GARDEN, (DCOMM) – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), announces that there will be a road closure during the evening hours of Sucker Garden Road in the area of Silver Torch Cactus drive up to Golden Barrel Cactus drive.

The aforementioned will take place on Tuesday, February 21 and Wednesday, February 22 from 8.00pm to 5.00am. 

The works will be carried out by Windward Roads and entails the milling and patching on the first night and recapping of the road on the second night.

The complete closure is necessary due to the steepness of the road and with heavy equipment in use to ensure safety and works being executed incident free.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconveniences this may cause.

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