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Highest point renovation San Luis School building

BONAIRE - Thursday April 20th, was celebration at San Luis Bertran School in Rincon, because the 'highest point' was reached, according to a press release from the RCN State Communication Service.

Teacher Jane Lo-A-Njoe and teacher Tica Koeks have placed a flag on the highest point of the school under the watchful eye of Nolly Oleana (RCN/OCW), Commissioner Mrs. den Heyer and teachers and pupils of Kolegio San Luis Bertran.

The school complex consists of five buildings, which are being radically renovated. This means that the roof structures are being completely renewed but also the ceilings, tile work and the sanitary facilities.

The school will probably be brought into use half way the end of the big school vacation.

The renovation is being carried out by the local construction company APA Construction NV, the design is by Jacobs Architekten NV. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Funding Agency SFC Office Relocated to Madame Estate

MADAME ESTATE - The ‘Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben’ office on Sint Maarten, which caters to the islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Statia with providing funding opportunities for social endeavours, has relocated from its original office space on Back Street, to Van Goghstraat 4, Unit 1 (KPMG Building), in Madame Estate.

The office relocation was necessary to provide a more accessible office space for interested Non-Governmental Organizations NGOs to inquire into funding opportunities and meetings related thereto.

The ‘Samenwerkende Fondsen’, also known as the Cooperating Foundation for the Dutch Caribbean or SFC, came into existence as a collaborative funding effort for the Dutch Caribbean.

It is supported through 5 Dutch funding agencies, namely: Oranje Fonds, Kansfonds, Innovatiefonds, Fonds Sluyterman van Loo and Kinderpostzegels. All with a focus on social endeavours executed by socially oriented organizations on all Dutch Caribbean islands.

If someone is interested in learning more about these initiatives or the funding opportunities SFC has to offer, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 586-0808.

If persons wish to pass by the office, it is recommended to make an appointment first via phone or email.

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MP Wescot-Williams pushes initiative to increase drinking age

PHILIPSBURG - It is parliament's policy that initiative draft laws presented to parliament and whose authors are no longer members of parliament, can be further promoted by the faction to which the initiative taker belonged, Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams said in a press release on Wednesday.

“This is the case with the change to the permit ordinance and the "legal" drinking age.

“One would recall that the Lion's Club has been an advocate for the legal drinking age to be established at 18. This is the case in our penal code, however the permit ordinance that regulates the sale of alcohol, prohibits the sale of alcohol below the age of 16. A discrepancy thus! This matter was addressed in Parliament during a meeting with representatives of the Lion's club.

“Former MP, now Minister of ECYS, Mrs. Jacobs, presented an initiative draft law, amending the permit ordinance to bring this in line with the penal code. This draft went to the Council of Advice (Ed CoA), was commented on and the former MP reacted to the advice of the CoA.

“This draft therefore is ready for handling in a central committee meeting for parliament,” according to the press release from the MP.

"Given the policy of parliament that in the absence of the initiative taker, the respective faction can further the draft initiative law, I have recommended to the faction leader of the NA (the faction of the initiator) to take up this matter and present it to Parliament for further handling."

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Artist E-mann back on the scene

PHILIPSBURG - Emmanuel Richardson a.k.a Manno from Body Action Gym former Solid Gold Dancer and well known entertainer here on the island is not only a retired body builder and a current trainer, but he is also a reggae artist that is back on the scene in St. Maarten after a long hiatus. His stage name is E-Mann, a press release from Body Action Gym said on Tuesday.

E-Mann and his reggae band “Higher Plain” will be closing off the much anticipated SCDF organized “One Love Reggae Concert” on Saturday April 29, 2017 at the Festival Village.

E-Mann will be performing all new hits along with his biggest hit “Angel Eyes.”  E-Mann has performed throughout Europe and at various festivals throughout Europe, such as the Ostróda Reggae Festival in Poland.

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Diamond trader arrested for staging multi-million euro raid

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – A diamond merchant has been arrested for allegedly staging a multi-million-euro raid in order to claim the insurance money.

The 50-year-old man was kidnapped at gunpoint and locked in his office in Amstelveen together with his son by three men last November, in a case that featured on the police appeal show Opsporing Verzocht.

The trio made off with diamonds worth millions of euros in the jeweller’s car. Police arrested the alleged kidnappers, a 23-year-old man from Houten, a 32-year-old man from Rotterdam and a 38-year-old woman from Huizen, on the basis of tips from the public.

The dealer was arrested on April 18 after police recovered jewels in a raid on his home and wholesale business. The insurance company, which had already paid out a chunk of the compensation claim, is pressing fraud charges. (DutchNews)

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Serious ill treatment at the Carnival Festival Village of three security guards

PHILIPSBURG - On Sunday, April 23, around 4:30am, a total of three men were arrested in connection with a serious case of ill treatment against three security employees working at the Carnival Festival Village.

The arrested men with the initials J.J.H, J.P.H. and D.S.K.M. were questioned and remain in police custody for further investigation.

The three members of the security company received serious concussions and had to be taken to the Sint Maarten Medical Center to be treated for their injuries.

After treatment they were allowed to go home. The detectives are looking into this case of serious ill treatment as the investigation continues. (Police Force Sint Maarten)   

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Customs dog Jacky dies in traffic accident

BONAIRE - Last Thursday, April 20th, the Customs / Tax Office proudly presented the new customs detective dogs to the community of Bonaire. Jacky, the special detective dog for coral and sea turtles was the star of the show, according to a press release from the Caribbean Netherlands State Service RCN.

On Sunday, April 23rd, Jacky was killed in a tragic traffic accident on Bonaire. The Customs / Tax Office are very shocked and sad by what transpired.

At a moment to be determined, the Customs Caribbean Netherlands will do its utmost to further fulfil the original idea of ​​contributing to the supervision and preservation of the beautiful nature of, in principle, Bonaire.

It was last week Thursday, that the Customs / Tax Office Caribbean Netherlands (CN) presented the customs dogs during a festive gathering on a pier in Bonaire.

Caprice, Silke, Jacky and Destiny, along with their leaders, demonstrated their skills in detection during the presentation ceremony. Jacky was the very first detective dog that specializes in tracking coral, conch shells and sea turtles.

The detective dogs can be deployed not only to Customs, but also the judicial chain partners, such as the Police, Coast Guard and the Correctional Institution who may also call for the assistance of the dogs. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN MAINTAINS PARTNERSHIP WITH UWI

SINT MAARTEN/BARBADOS - The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus is expected to take a multi-million dollar step to help the Caribbean further develop through science and technology. The effort will see the establishment of a state-of-the art Faculty of Science and Technology at the campus.

Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Cave Hill, , Professor Eudine Barriteau spoke about this goal when Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CIBC FirstCaribbean Gary Brown paid her a courtesy call recently. She also said that the campus was aiming to increase its student population to close to its carry capacity of 9,000 by tapping in on non-traditional Caribbean markets as well as international markets.

She said that the campus’ enrolment had declined after the Barbados government introduced tuition fees for local students, however, she was seeking to market the campus internationally by leveraging its reputation for offering a quality education as well as its location in Barbados highlighted by factors such as good international connections by air, access to digital technology and good social cohesion.

Prior to meeting with the principal, the CEO toured the campus and said he was impressed with the facilities. Professor Barriteau noted that her predecessor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, now The UWI’s Vice Chancellor, had worked diligently to modernise it but the Faculty of Science and Technology, originally built in the 1960s, was out of pace with today’s requirements and was the next area for attention.

Barriteau noted that growth in science and technology was integral to the region’s development; therefore it was necessary for faculty and the student population to have access to better facilities. In addition, she said having a modern faculty was important to the long term transformation of learning, delivery and investment at the campus. She added that the Caribbean Development Bank was carrying out preliminary work that will facilitate design and other fundamentals of the project.

The CIBC FirstCaribbean CEO said the bank was interested in learning more about the project and was willing to help, especially recognising its link to the region’s development.

CIBC FirstCaribbean is a long time supporter of the university. The parties formalised their relationship in 2003 with the signing of their first three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU). During the courtesy call, Mr. Brown presented Professor Barriteau with the final tranche of sponsorship money under the 2014-2017 MOU.

Noting that the bank was pleased to partner with the university as it developed the human resources of the region, Brown announced that its community relation’s arm, the FirstCaribbean ComTrust Foundation, had given the go-ahead to commence negotiations with The UWI for a new MOU.

The MOU usually targets scholarships for students, research funding as well as the campus’ outreach to the general public through the annual Frank Worrell Memorial Cricket Lecture and the annual International Women’s Day lecture.

Professor Barriteau, who is in her second year as principal, thanked the bank for continuing its relationship with the university, adding that she would ensure the campus carry some visible sign of the bank’s tangible contribution.

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Armed robbery at Foo Hoo restaurant on Front Street

PHILIPSBURG - Last night, Thursday April 20th at 9:45 pm an armed robbery took place at The Foo Hoo Restaurant, located on the Front Street.

The restaurant was robbed by a lone gunman, masked and with a fire arm. He walked up the stairs and when he entered the establishment he went to the owner of the restaurant and under the threat of the firearm the restaurant owner was obliged to give off an undisclosed amount of money.

After this the culprit left the scene and disappeared in an unknown direction. (Police Force Sint Maarten)   

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Be aware of Sexually Transmitted Infections

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Service’s (CPS) calendar of health observances, focuses on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) during the month of April, reminds and encourages the community to take a proactive approach to prevent STIs, and continue to make healthy choices.

CPS, which is a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is calling on the populace to get checked, treated and apply preventive measures, adding that Sexually Transmitted Infections are real, they are here, and they do not discriminate. Individuals should also be well informed in order to make wise choices.

CPS encourages individuals to be more responsible for their own health and their partner's health, make proper use of condoms or abstain.

STIs are infections that are spread primarily through person-to-person sexual contact.  STIs are infections that are likely to be transmitted while having unprotected sex.  Transmitted means that the infection is passed on from one person to another person.

If you may have been exposed to an STI, you should consult your general practitioner and get tested; or if you have ever had unprotected (without a condom) sex (vaginal, anal or oral) with someone whose status you don't know, consult your general practitioner and get tested. For good sexual health care, consult your family physician.

There are more than 30 different sexually transmissible bacteria, viruses and parasites.

The most common conditions they cause are cancer, gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, syphilis, trichomoniasis, chancroid, genital herpes, genital warts, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and hepatitis B infection.

Practicing safer sex is important as it decreases the chances of transmitting sexual infections.  Safer sex means taking positive action to lower the risk of sexually transmitted infections. You can lower your risk of becoming infected with an STI by using a condom male or female the right way every time you have sex.

Unsafe sex results in unplanned consequences. Be responsible for your health and your partner’s make an informed choice such as one can choose to abstain, be faithful and continuously and correctly use a condom during sexual activity.

For STI information you can also contact your local Family Physician, and the AIDS Foundation.

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