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Soualiga Newsday Top Stories (3016)

Wageningen steps up surveillance after attacks on female students

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Student housing complexes in Wageningen are under extra surveillance and students have been warned not to go out alone at night following three attacks on young women in the last two weeks, broadcaster NOS reports.

On Saturday evening a 22-year-old student was attacked by three men who jumped from the bushes and threatened her with a weapon. She managed to make her escape but was slightly wounded.

A week earlier a 21-year-old woman was robbed of her bag in the same spot while on the previous Wednesday a woman was attacked near the university campus by a man wearing a balaclava.

Police are looking for witnesses and said the men are between 25 and 30, wore hoodies, dark clothing and spoke English with a Dutch accent. A university spokesman said surveillance around the university buildings will be increased and student accommodation provider Idealis said it will also step up surveillance around student digs.

‘Two out of the three women were students, which may mean students are being targeted. But let us hope it is a coincidence,’ the spokesman told NOS. Student organisations have warned their members not to go out alone at night.



Kidz at Sea celebrates graduation of new Boat Captains

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - On Tuesday August 20th, the Kidz At Sea Foundation organized a Graduation Ceremony for the third ‘Zero to Hero’ class. Participants that graduated from this three-month full-time course earned the title Boat Captain, with the entry-level St. Maarten Commercial Captains qualification under their belt.

The qualifications earned allow them to seek employment in any aspect of the Maritime field, propelling them into a promising career path.

This ceremony also presented skill certificates to the students of the Maritime Program at NIPA who followed the ‘Zero to Hero’ crew courses and passed their Basic Keelboat and STCW Certifications.

Garth Steyn and Lorraine Talmi, founders of the Kidz At Sea Foundation, gave an encouraging speech to the students and their supporters. Tony Burn and Jon Westmoreland, the main instructors of the courses, choose Davess Mc Lean-Ogle as the best academic student and Alexander Rogers as the best sailor over all. All certificate earners can start working immediately.  

The ‘Zero to Hero’ program is funded by the ‘Nationaal Rampenfonds’ in the Netherlands and aims to reduce youth unemployment on St. Maarten by promoting viable trade opportunities.


EOC Meets to Review National Preparations and Discuss Tropical Storm Dorian

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – On Sunday afternoon the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) met under the chairlady-ship of Prime Minister Hon. Leona Romeo Marlin.

Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) from the country’s national disaster emergency system met at the Government Administration Building and were briefed by the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) about Tropical Storm Dorian that is located several hundred miles out in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Windward Islands.

The Prime Minister also received a preliminary update regarding national preparations for the hurricane season from some of the ESFs. A meeting of the EOC will convene on Tuesday afternoon where another statement will be released with respect to the status of Dorian.

The community should continue to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Dorian.

Dorian, the fourth named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, at this point in time does not pose a direct threat to the country.

According to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS) Special Weather Bulletin on Sunday afternoon, Dorian is projected to pass approximately 217 miles south of Sint Maarten early Wednesday.

The community and new residents are urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) reminds residents and business owners to have plans in place for quick action when the need arises – storm ready!

The remaining storm names for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season are: Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imedla, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS):

Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!


Food Safety Tips that Minimizes Potential for Foodborne Illnesses

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Are You Ready? The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) which falls under the Fire Department is advising residents to review their hurricane emergency supply kit to make sure they have enough non-perishable food items to keep them going for up to a minimum of seven days.

ODM adds that the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season has been quiet so far, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t have things in place to avoid a rush in the event there is a hurricane threat to the country. Residents must be ready!

Residents are going to need supplies not just to get through the storm/hurricane, but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath depending on the amount of damage that has been left behind by the passing of a hurricane.

Every household must have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family for a minimum of seven days. Electricity and water could be out for at least that long.

The objective is also to minimize the potential for foodborne illnesses in the event of power outages associated with the passing of a hurricane.

Hurricanes not only pose dangers to people’s physical safety, but also power outages can affect the safety of the food people may depend on after a hurricane has hit the island.

Steps to be taken before the arrival of a hurricane: Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer. An appliance thermometer will indicate the temperature inside the refrigerator and freezer in case of a power outage and help determine the safety of the food.

Make sure the freezer is at 0°F or below and the refrigerator is at 40°F or below. Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator or coolers after the power is out.

Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately — this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer. Plan and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.

Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four (4) hours. Purchase or make ice and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.

Group food together in the freezer — this helps the food stay cold longer. Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.

Steps to follow after the hurricane has passed are: Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four (4) hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) and the door remains closed.

Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after four hours without power.

Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40°F or below when checked with a food thermometer. Never taste a food to determine its safety!

When buying prepared food from restaurants after the passing of a storm or hurricane, ask critical questions about the food preparation and always use your senses: smell and taste; and if you suspect or doubt the quality of the food, throw it out!!

The community and new residents are urged to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike by visiting the Government website: where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”

In addition, you can also download the ‘Disaster Prep Sint Maarten’ app for Android phones at this point in time:

The app for Apple phones is not yet available at the Apple Store.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.

For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS):

ODM: Remember, it only takes one to make it a bad hurricane season. Make sure your prepared. Are You Ready?


SLS Lab extend courtesies to Act. Minister of Public Health Romeo Marlin

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) – On Monday August 18th, Sint Maarten Laboratory Services (SLS) welcomed Leona Romeo Marlin, Acting Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labor Affairs (VSA) to their main branch in Cay Hill and the Environmental Lab in Simpson Bay for an orientation visit.

While at the SLS main branch, Acting Minister of VSA Romeo Marlin was given an introductory presentation by the SLS Management Team led by Interim Director / Clinical Chemist Dr. Chérina Fleming.

Sint Maarten Laboratory Services (SLS) which has been established since 2005 has been providing a number of key laboratory services for the community of Sint Maarten. The most visible service to the community is its Phlebotomy Centers.

Phlebotomy is the practice of drawing blood from a blood vessel. SLS N.V. has five phlebotomy centers on the island, with the Cay Hill location being the “main location”. All samples collected at the remote phlebotomy centers are transported within a defined time and under appropriate conditions to the laboratory (main location).

In total, there are 16 certified phlebotomists with vast experience employed at SLS N.V. A selected few of these phlebotomists are also qualified to draw blood from babies and children.

Some of the other services the SLS provide include Clinical Chemistry & Hematology, Microbiology & Parasitology, Pathology and Cytology, DNA/Paternity Testing, Non-invasive Prenatal Testing and Environmental and Water Testing.

In the area of Environmental and Water Testing, Minister Romeo Marlin visited Environmental Lab located in Simpson Bay that is specifically geared towards carrying out tests on drinking water that is produced at local reverse osmosis water plants.

In addition, tests are also carried out on the drinking water distributed by GEBE the utility company, imported drinking water, cubed ice, and effluent waters.

Important to note, SLS Labs operate under the standards established in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and as such provides many of their services to the BES islands and Dutch Caribbean countries where possible.


Prime Minister & Acting Minister VSA Leona Romeo Marlin, Supervisor of SLS Environmental Lab Raymond Peterson & SLS Environmental Lab Staff.







Main suspect of several armed robberies of businesses and people arrested

SINT MAARTEN (SINT PETERS) - In connection with several ongoing investigations of armed robberies at different Chinese establishments in Sint Peters and surrounding areas, also of Venezuelan nationals living in the area of Sint Peters, police have arrested one of the main suspects identified with initials R.R.R.C, police announced on Wednesday.

The suspect was arrested on Tuesday August 20th on Sint Peters road and brought to the Police Headquarters in Philipsburg where he remains in custody for questioning and further investigation. The investigations also include a shooting that took place in the Sint Peters area.

Detectives from the Special Unit Robbery are in charge of these investigations and are requesting anyone who may have additional information which can help in these investigations to get in contact with the department to share this information. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


Four off to Turkey for Erasmus+ Youth Exchange

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG)/TURKEY - On Thursday August 15, four young Sint Maarteners departed for Turkey to participate in an Erasmus+ Youth Exchange.

The exchange entitled ‘Entrepreneurship v Orphans 2.0: Youth Drama’ is underway in Tokat, Turkey, from August 17 – 25, 2019. The program brings together youth from Turkey, North Macedonia, Romania and Sint Maarten to discuss and raise awareness about difficulties that orphans face in their daily lives including hate speech and orphan phobia, share information about orphanage systems in partner countries, talk about types of entrepreneurship, and discuss a particular youth group who grew up in orphanages and their way towards entrepreneurship.

Representing Sint Maarten are Sint Maarten Youth Parliament Alumni Rochana Richardson, Astra White and Jemila Holaman, along with 1st St. Maarten Boys’ Brigade Corporal Elias Jones.

The Sint Maarten delegation is accompanied by Caribbean Education and Culture Foundation President, Mesut Bayezit. While in Turkey, the participants will also have the opportunity to share our rich culture and history with their fellow participants.

In preparation for the trip, the participants were required to do some research on our local foster care and support systems. They are grateful for the Court of Guardianship and the Family Guardian, Ms. Meredith Concincion for their invaluable information and assistance.

The delegation will return to Sint Maarten on Monday August 26. The Caribbean Education and Culture Foundation continue to collaborate with the St. Maarten Youth Council Association to provide Erasmus+ Youth programs for youth, youth leaders and youth workers on St. Maarten.

The organizations are currently seeking participants to participate in programs to be held in Slovenia, Bulgaria and Sint Maarten in October and November.

Interested parties can visit the Caribbean Education and Culture Foundation Facebook page; the SXM Youth Council Facebook page; send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 550 8971 for further information.

sxm youth council ins1








SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - More than 100 family, friends, well-wishers and literary lovers attended the recent book launch of Love is Forever… the true tale of love and romance shared between 100-year-old Carmen Eleanore Hodge Carrington and Mr. Ralph Gordon Carrington.

Love is Forever… written by #1 Bestselling author Dr. N. Erna Mae Francis Cotton, is a labour of love and respect to her dear friend of over 25 years, Mrs. Carmen C. as she’s affectionately called. The enthralled and inspired guests were treated to a literary evening filled with love, laughter, music and the warmth of friends, and loved ones.           

St. Martin’s King of Sax, Connis Vanterpool opened the evening as he serenaded the audience with his beautiful renditions of love songs which soothed and relaxed them. Well known candy lady Candy, confessed that she came to get her book and leave, but was so inspired by the ambience and captivated by the music, that she decided to stay.           

MC Rosa Richardson had the audience in stitches with her witty punch lines; and captivated them with her reading of choice passages of Love is Forever… which motivated them to get the book. Mrs. Carmen C. at 100 years was alert, fully switched on and visibly enjoyed the evening’s proceedings. She was seen laughing, blushing and simply in the moment as her story was colourfully read by MC Rosa Richardson. Mrs. C. even signed a few books during the book signing.           

One of the highlights of the evening was Don Froston’s rendition of “When I Fall in Love,” by Nat King Cole, played masterfully on the bottle neck trumpet; the instrument on which he first learned how to play the trumpet. The audience was mesmerized by his rendition.           

Mrs. Carrington’s daughter, Iona Carrington and great granddaughter Jeanee Stuart, accompanied by Jenessa M. Cunningham, Mrs. C’s great-great granddaughter travelled from the United States for this memorable occasion. Both shared their gratitude in having their mother and great grandmother still alive at 100.           

Author Mr. Gerard Van Veen shared some of Mrs. Carmen C.’s rich family history, especially of her father, Joseph Emanuel Richardson Baley, of St. Martin, known in his day as “The Father of the people.” He was chosen at 18 to work in the Mairie. At age 22 he was promoted as the Municipal Secretary and served the community in this capacity for fifteen years; while still farming and advancing husbandry on St. Martin. The grandmother of Mrs. C., Carmen Richardson, was a talented and artistic person, born in Rambaud in 1845 and was famous for her dancing and interest in music. She also taught young girls how to dance the ponum.           

Lady Ruby Bute, Poet, Artist, local cultural icon and cousin of Mrs. C. brought the house down with a phenomenal reading of her poem, Love is Forever… inspired by the book.           

Francis Cotton, ended the evening by taking the audience on a personal journey within to imagine their lives, relationships and the world where we truly love and respect each other. She thanked all who contributed to making the evening a memorable one, especially Mrs. C. for sharing her story and legacy of love. She presented Mrs. C. with a beautiful edible bouquet by Kyla Marrishaw. Edible bouquets were also presented to her parents Oswald and Kathleen Francis, for their seeds of love over the years; MC Rosa Richardson, also her mother-in-law, and her loving husband Roy Cotton, Jr. for his support and being her # 1 cheer leader.

Motor World’s General Manager Melvin Abreu extended well wishes to Mrs. C. and Francis Cotton on the launching of Love is Forever… Francis Cotton thanks Motor World’s management for contributing the venue and support in helping to make the launch a success.             

Love is Forever… is sold out and a new order will be made on August 26th. Persons interested in ordering their copies may do so by calling 1-721-524-8731; or visiting

VICMinister of Culture Youth and Sports Mr Wycliffe Smith greeting Mrs C ins1

Minister of Culture Youth and Sports Mr Wycliffe Smith greeting Mrs C.

VICMrs C holds book next to author Erna Mae Francis Cotton with her daughter Iona Carrington and neice Bernadine Van Veen standing INS3

Mrs C. holds book next to author Erna Mae Francis Cotton with her daughter Iona Carrington and neice Bernadine Van Veen standing.

VICAuthor Erna Mae Francis Cotton signs book of former Lieutenant Governor of St. Maarten Ralph Richardson ins2

Author Erna Mae Francis Cotton signs book of former Lieutenant Governor of St. Maarten Ralph Richardson.




Well-known repeat offender arrested for stealing personal items from a car

COLE BAY - On Friday August 16th at approximately 11.45 p.m. a well-known repeat offender identified with initials A.R. was caught in the act by police while he was breaking into a private vehicle with license plate M-2994 and stealing items from that vehicle, police said on Monday.

The incident took place on the Wellington road in the vicinity of Lagoonies in Cole bay. The suspect tried to flee from the officers but was quickly caught up with.

The suspect was immediately arrested, and the personal items stolen from the vehicle were confiscated for further investigation. A.R. was taken to Police Headquarters in Philipsburg where he remains in custody for questioning and further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


Clock Ticking Down to Increase in Hurricane Season Activity

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – It’s now two and half months into the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, and only two named storms have formed this year, and Meteorologist at the Colorado State University says that this is making the season the slowest year since 1999.

The first system was a sub-tropical storm named Andrea that formed in May (20th) before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season of June 1st (ending November 30th) east of the U.S. East Coast and south of Bermuda. Andrea marked the record fifth year in a row where a tropical storm (sub) developed before the official start of the season.

No storms formed in the month of June.

The second storm Barry formed on July 11 in the Gulf of Mexico and later strengthened into the first hurricane of the season (Category 1).    

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is now the second latest-starting season of the 21st century.

Weather watchers are saying that the window for increased hurricane activity is slowly nearing as wind shear, dry air and Sahara dust – inhibitors of tropical storm development – diminish opening the door for tropical development after August 18/20.

Weather watchers added that a big change in the pattern over the Atlantic will go from a quiet weather pattern to a much more active one, pointing out that the season could be an extended one up to the end of October.

Last year there were 15 named storms and the National Hurricane Center forecast up to 17 named storms for 2019.


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