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Ticket promotion for TelCell Night of the Hit Makers sells out in 15 Minutes

POND ISLAND - It was billed as a 25-25-25 ticket promotion, however it was the number 15 that captured all the attention during tickets sales Saturday, for Carnival’s Flagship show – TelCell Night of the Hit Makers.

Bang on 25 Minutes past noon, on the 25th day and selling for $25, show promoters, Extratight Entertainment began their ticket promotion sale for those keen to purchase their tickets early.

The sale was held at TelEm Group’s Grand Marche branch and was expected to last one hour, however due to the huge number of music lovers waiting inside and outside, it was all over in just 15 minutes - with all 200 available $25 tickets completely sold out.

The first 25 persons in line also received a free $5.00 Top-up from TelCell, in effect only paying $20 for their $25 ticket.

“It was just crazy,” said Extratight Entertainment sales team, Shasca Fleming-Rey and Nalajsha Agard, who were caught off-guard by the number of persons standing in line to purchase four and five tickets at a time.

“Unfortunately we had to disappoint quite a few people when the supply of $25 tickets ran out, but after people requested $30 tickets, we were able to oblige them even though that was not the plan for the day’s promotion,” said Shasca.

She said the music fans seemed more than happy to pick up their tickets at the higher price with many of them determined not to return home empty handed.

“We are very excited and thrilled that there is so much interest in what “Mr. Rude” is planning for our 5th Anniversary Night of the Hit Makers,” said Shasca, hinting that there are sure to be other promotions and giveaways for the show from the promoters and also from the show sponsor, TelCell before the actual night.

“We had the same kind of interest shown two years ago when we also sold out at this time, so everyone, get ready to rock the Festival Village. Anyone who is not there on the night will be missing out on something really special,” stated Schasca.


EPIC and SHTA sign Collaborative Agreement towards Sustainable Tourism

PHILIPSBURG - On Thursday March 23rd the partnership between the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) and the local non-profit foundation Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC), was strengthened by the signing of the collaborative agreement to promote sustainable tourism through the Blue Flag and Green Key eco-label awards.

The event was held at Holland House Beach Hotel in Philipsburg, the newest Green Key awarded site for Sint Maarten, in anticipation of the official Green Key Award ceremony and sustainability expo which acknowledges the exceptional efforts of the awardees, being in the forefront of sustainable tourism for the hotel industry.

The event, to be held in May, will also award Princess Heights Luxury Boutique Condo Hotel for its third consecutive year as a Green Key Hotel.

Both parties were excited to finalize the long-awaited agreement which highlights the dedication, support and advocacy for the Green Key and Blue Flag programs amongst tourism businesses in St. Maarten.

The Collaboration agreement was signed by Mr. Rueben J. Thompson, EPIC Executive Board Treasurer and Paul J. Henriquez, SHTA Executive Board and was witnessed by Fleur Hermanides, Executive Board member of EPIC and project manager of SXM DOET and Wyb Meijer, SHTA Executive Director.

“EPIC has been working for many years to further develop sustainable tourism for Sint Maarten and SHTA has been a key partner in that effort. We appreciate the vision and concern of SHTA in committing to promoting best practices among its members and their customers. To really stand out from the crowd, St. Maarten can offer not just the standard Caribbean sun, sand, and sea, but an environmentally-responsible experience that guests can feel proud to support, further building their ties to the island," noted the President of EPIC, Natalia Collier.

The SHTA Board Member Paul Henriquez commented “This collaboration represents the effort of the SHTA to support and promote sustainability amongst its members and to work with EPIC towards making the environment of St. Maarten a better place for the community”.

Environmental Protection in the Caribbean is the National Operator for the international Green Key award for accommodations and restaurants and international Blue Flag award for marinas, boats and beaches, which is managed globally by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

Any business interested in learning more about applying for the award programs can visit or contact EPIC’s Eco-label Coordinator, Ms. Elisa Oldani at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 554-0742.

The SHTA, the largest business representative on the island, 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 the SHTA office: 542-0108, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our website


The public should avoid consuming meat product originating out of Brazil and remain vigilant

POND ISLAND - In light of the recent scandal in Brazil which emerged last Friday after Brazil's national police announced the findings of a two-year investigation, many countries have banned importation of Brazilian meat products, a press release from the Cabinet of the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) said on Sunday.

“Practices of two of the giant meatpackers - JBS and BRF remain under investigation as a result of allegations that they had been selling rotten, contaminated and substandard products for several years.

“Authorities have reported that the companies used chemicals to improve the appearance and smell of expired meats, and that meat processing plants allegedly paid off inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture to turn a blind-eye to their actions.

Up to this moment, the Inspectorate on St. Maarten cannot obtain comprehensive information in this regard, and therefore for safety purposes, has recommended that wholesalers, retailers (mini- and supermarkets), and any food establishment that have imported meat and meat products from any of the companies under suspicion, and have these products for sale are instructed not to serve these products to the public and must remove these products from the shelves effective immediately.

“The public should avoid consuming meat product originating out of Brazil and remain vigilant. Read the labeling on meat packaging when making purchases in order to identify where the meat product has originated from. For example, canned meat such as corn beef that was packaged in Brazil should not be consumed.

“Furthermore, the Inspectorate has imposed a temporary ban on all imports of Brazilian meat products and poultry meat from the companies highlighted in the Brazilian ‘rotten meat’ scandal with immediate effect.

“The ban will be implemented in collaboration with the Department of Economics (TEZVT) and will be lifted depending on developments in Brazil. All future imports of meat or meat products must be accompanied by a Health Certificate (sanitary certificate) issued by the official government authority.

“Any cargo of meat or meat products originating from Brazil that are not accompanied by a Health Certificate will be confiscated and destroyed. The Inspectorate already began strengthening its surveillance, both at the point of entry as well as the retail level.

Brazil must now demonstrate that it has put an effective meat traceability system in place. The Inspectorate of VSA will continue monitoring the developments and provide update when available,” the press release from the Cabinet of the Minister VSA concludes.


Lions Club donates to the Diabetes Foundation

PHILIPSBURG – The St. Maarten Lions Club donated a check of US$1,200 to the St. Maarten Diabetes Foundation which enabled them to purchase the costly cholesterol strips which were used for all persons visiting the Diabetes Foundation Booth at the recently concluded Lion Rudy Hoeve Health & Wellness Fair on Saturday March 25th, 2017. 

President of the St. Maarten Diabetes Foundation Mrs. Lottie Peterson and Mrs. Mandy Wever accepted the check from the St. Maarten Lions Club President Lion Davey Woods at the Lions Health & Wellness Fair which attracted 900 persons throughout the day.   


CPS on World TB Day: Unite to End Tuberculosis

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Worldwide, Tuberculosis (TB) along with HIV is the leading causes of death among infectious diseases.  Each year 1.4 million people die from this disease.

With the slogan “Unite to end tuberculosis,” the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), is promoting efforts so that together we will tackle TB by stamping out poverty; together we will better test, treat, and cure; together we will stop discrimination and stigma; and together we will drive research and innovation.

TB is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable.

TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

About one-third of the world's population has latent TB, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with the disease and cannot transmit the disease.

People infected with TB bacteria have a 10% lifetime risk of falling ill with TB. However, persons with compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes, or people who use tobacco, have a much higher risk of falling ill.

When a person develops active TB disease, the symptoms (such as cough, fever, night sweats, or weight loss) may be mild for many months. This can lead to delays in seeking care, and results in transmission of the bacteria to others.

People with active TB can infect 10–15 other people through close contact over the course of a year. Without proper treatment, 45% of HIV-negative people with TB on average and nearly all HIV-positive people with TB will die.

In the Region of the Americas, in 2015: 268,500 people became sick with tuberculosis; 24,400 people died due to TB including TB/HIV; 31,700 people acquired TB/HIV; and 50,000 people that had TB were not diagnosed.

Six countries account for 60% of the total, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, said on Friday that Sint Maarten does not have any cases of TB, and maintains a level of alertness to make sure if a case is identified that it is treated immediately.

TB, the world’s top infectious disease killer, claims 5 000 lives each day, according to PAHO. The heaviest burden is carried by communities which already face socio-economic challenges: migrants, refugees, prisoners, ethnic minorities, miners and others working and living in risk-prone settings, and marginalized women, children and older people.

CPS fully supports efforts by governments, communities, civil society and the private sector around the world, to unite to end this disease through a collective effort and collaboration.

Poverty, malnutrition, poor housing and sanitation, compounded by other risk factors such as HIV, tobacco, alcohol use and diabetes, can put people at heightened risk of TB and make it harder for them to access care.

More than a third (4.3 million) of people with TB go undiagnosed or unreported, some receive no care at all and others access care of questionable quality.

World TB Day is an opportunity to mobilize political and social commitment for further progress in efforts to end TB. This year, World TB Day signals new momentum at the highest levels with the announcement of the first ever Global Ministerial Conference on Ending TB, which will be held in Moscow in November 2017.

The Conference will inform the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on TB which will be held in 2018.


Coast Guard implements intensive maritime controls around Curacao

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO – On Thursday, the Coast Guard of the Dutch Caribbean increased maritime controls around the waters and coastline of Curacao.

The Dutch Station ship ZR. Ms. Van Amstel, which operates under the flag of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, jointly with the Cutter Jaguar and other units of the Coast Guard at the Operations Support Center, boarded multiple ships in Curacao waters and searched for illegal goods and illegal activities.

In addition to the Coast Guard units, support was received from aircraft out of HATO Airport which included the Dash-8 patrol aircraft and the AW 139 helicopter. Patrols were also carried out by the NH-90, on-board helicopter from the station ship.

The unannounced intensive patrols and controls were carried out to stop the import of drugs, weapons and illegal persons into the country.

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Rotary Club of St. Maarten Mid Isle Continues Water Filter Project at Primary Schools

HOPE ESTATE - March 22nd was World Water Day as declared by the United Nations and is also observed by Rotary International as its focus for the month of April as Water and Sanitation Month.

Last year The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle In an effort to ensure that clean drinking water was available to our children at school made an inventory of the schools that did not have properly functioning water coolers.

It was found some schools were lacking well-functioning coolers and some coolers were without filters, six schools participated in our in our ‘Water for School’ project in 2016. Again this year Mid Isle did another inventory and found eighteen schools that did not have properly functioning water coolers.

Mid Isle looked for donations to cover expenses for the replacement and installation of new water coolers where necessary. In addition, as an extra precaution water filter installations will be mounted to treat the drinking water prior to distribution to the water cooler systems.

The ‘Water for Schools’ project was officially launched on Monday March 20th at the Marie Genevieve de Weever School, in Hope Estate, whereby a new water filter installation was installed under the supervision of Rotarian Tony da Cunha.

During 2017 Mid Isle will be Celebrating the Rotary Foundation turning 100 years old. That’s a century of Rotary members changing lives and improving communities all over the world.

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.


Princess Heights Hotel nominated again as St. Maarten’s Leading Resort by the World Travel Awards 2017

DAWN BEACH - For the 5th year in a row, Princess Heights Luxury Boutique Condo hotel has been nominated as St. Maarten’s Leading Resort by the World Travel Awards.

Celebrating its 24th anniversary in 2017, the World Travel Awards is one of the most prestigious and comprehensive annual programmes in the global travel industry, covering all kinds of categories all over the globe.

Their awards are acknowledged as the ultimate hallmark of the industry excellence for accommodations, airlines, activities, service providers and more.

Princess Heights has already been awarded with three out of the last four nominations in the category for Dutch St. Maarten. The management and staff of the property are all looking forward to receiving once again this prestigious award in its 2017 Edition.

Saskia de la Fuente, Office Manager of the property, commented: "It is very fulfilling to be part of a hotel that provides such quality of service to guests and still strives for excellence as time passes by. I've been working at Princess Heights for 18 years now and still feel privileged and honored every time the work of our whole team for our property and guests is considered and appreciated in such a way."

The hotel is kindly inviting all its loyal guests, partners and corporate clients to visit and vote for Princess Heights at Also, local guests can take advantage of the SXM Local and Caribbean last minute promotion with preferred rates by visiting and entering promo code: 721SXM.

Princess Heights is located in on a hillside overlooking Dawn Beach, right in the border of the Dutch and French sides of the island and offers magnificent ocean view studios, one bedroom and two bedroom suites.

Besides the three World Travel Awards and its latest nomination, it is also part of TripAdvisor's "Hall of Fame" with 6 consecutive Excellence awards since 2010. It is the only hotel in St. Maarten/St. Martin awarded with the Green Key certificate for eco-friendly practices for three consecutive years in a row.


Visit WIB Philipsburg on Friday for Your 2017 Nissan Kicks

PHILIPSBURG – The new 2017 Nissan Kicks from SXM Cars as well as Fun Miles, will be on display at the Windward Islands Bank (WIB) Philipsburg branch where you can inquire and secure a loan for a Nissan on Friday, March 24 between 8.30am and 3.30pm.  WIB has introduced “Great Rates” with one hundred percent financing.

Over the past 50 years, WIB has been an instrumental part of the development of St. Maarten. True to its slogan "Your Partner in Progress", WIB has, is and will continue to grow as the island develops.


Nissan Team 2.0 athlete Renato Rezende visits the Industrial Complex of Resende and learns about the line where the Nissan Kicks will be produced

The BMX competitor is part of a new brand ambassadors team in Brazil

RESENDE, Brazil – BMX athlete Renato Rezende, a member of the just launched Team Nissan 2.0, visited the Nissan Industrial Complex in Resende, Brazil, in the south of Rio de Janeiro. While there, he toured the production line where the Nissan Kicks will be produced in the coming months, visited with employees and rode the BMX bicycle on the test track of the factory, one of the most modern and sustainable in Latin America. His first time in an automobile factory, Renato was impressed by what he saw.

"The activities do not stop," said Rezende. "Everything is very organized and the spaces delimited. My impression is that every employee is very important to the process, and if someone fails, everything stops. I was impressed with teamwork."

The young athlete just joined the Team Nissan 2.0, along with 10 other athletes and team mentor, the multi-champion Clodoaldo Silva. Team Nissan 2.0 members will be ambassadors of the brand and will receive a Nissan Kicks, the global crossover that was first launched worldwide in Latin America and is already a success with a striking design and innovative equipment. The model follows Nissan's Intelligent Mobility concept, which seeks to provide a safer, smarter and more enjoyable transportation experience.

"I feel special for being part of this team," said Rezende. "This relationship with Nissan is an exchange. The company believes in me and I believe in it. I had a bit of luck in the last competitions, with a fall and injury, but I want to complete the next cycle because I believe there is something good saved for me."

Anxious to receive his Nissan Kicks, Rezende saw closely the preparations of the Industrial Complex of Resende to start the production of the Brazilian model that will be sold in Brazil and exported to other countries of Latin America. The production of Nissan Kicks in Brazil is scheduled to start in the coming months.

About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2015, the company sold more than 5.4 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of 12.2 trillion yen.

Nissan engineers, manufactures and markets the world's best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan manages operations in six regions: ASEAN & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America and North America. Nissan has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault since 1999 and Mitsubishi Motors since 2016 under the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at You can also follow @NissanMotor on Twitter.

 Nissan kicks



Costa Deliziosa makes Inaugural Call. Captain Palomba says Sint Maarten is a port of class and elegance

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Costa Deliziosa made its inaugural call on Thursday, March 23 to the destination, prior to making its Atlantic Ocean in a few days.  To greet the vessel and exchange the customary plaque and welcome pleasantries were representatives from Port St. Maarten Management, the Cabinet of the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Telecommunications and Transport (Ministry TEATT), the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, and the ship’s agent S.E.L. Maduro & Sons.

Captain Severino Palomba welcomed the delegation onboard.  Palomba said he was very pleased with the destination, especially Philipsburg where passengers can find everything in close proximity of each other such as duty-free shopping, restaurants, the beach, and watersport activities.

Captain Palomba added that Sint Maarten is a port of class and elegance.  He was also very pleased with the port facilities which allowed for seamless docking on Thursday morning.

The destination delegation included Port St. Maarten Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Mingo along with senior members of staff, representing the Acting Minister of Tourism Rafael Boasman was Julian Lake, Senior Policy Advisor at Cabinet Ministry TEATT, and Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau Rolando Brison along with a staff member of the bureau.

Mingo welcomed Captain Palomba, his crew and passengers, and wished them an enjoyable time on the island as they explore what the destination has to offer. The port’s CEO informed Captain Palomba that the port will be carrying out its own cruise passenger surveys in order to further develop the destination experience.

Mingo also pointed out that he appreciated the support given by the Cabinet Ministry TEATT and the Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau Rolando Brison.

Costa Crociere SpA, an Italian company based in Genoa, comprises the brands Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises. It boasts the largest fleet among all European operators, with a total of 25 ships in service.  It is part of the group Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise operator.

Costa Deliziosa carries mainly European passengers on European itineraries from Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom, and about 10 per cent from North America.  On Caribbean cruises, the demographics are still geared strongly toward European travelers along with North Americans. Costa's ships also appeal to a wide range of ages, from 20-something first-time cruisers to retirees, but it’s fun, active vibe attracts a strong family audience as well as 40-something (and younger) couples.

Costa Deliziosa was ordered in 2007 from Italian company Fincantieri. The keel was laid down at the company's shipyard in Ancona. In July 2008, after the keel and first section were completed, they were towed to the Marghera shipyard for further work.

The Deliziosa was launched on 12 March 2009, when water was admitted to the dry dock in which she was built. The ship was handed over to Costa Cruises on 31 January 2010 at the Venice Passenger Terminal.

Costa Deliziosa is the third ship to be delivered by Fincantieri to Costa Cruises in a nine-month period, and one of five new ships to be in service with the company by 2012; a 50 percent expansion in the fleet's passenger capacity at that time.

The cruise ship is a hybrid design: taking the best elements from the Vista and Spirit class cruise ships. Costa Deliziosa is 292 metres (958 ft) long, with a beam of 32.3 metres (106 ft).

The ship has a gross tonnage of 92,700 and carries up to 2,828 passengers staying in 1,130 cabins. The ship has a cruising speed of 21.6 knots (40.0 km/h), and a top speed of 23.6 knots (43.7 km/h). Around 3,000 people worked on the construction of Costa Deliziosa which cost more than €450 million.

Costa Deliziosa next port of call is Antigua & Barbuda prior to making the Atlantic Ocean crossing to Tenerife, Canary Islands and then on to mainland Europe.

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