Soualiga Newsday Top Stories


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Soualiga Newsday Top Stories (3242)

Tourist Bureau calls on community to share their stories and experiences about working in the hospitality sector

PHILIPSBURG – The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau is calling on the community to share their stories and experiences about working in the hospitality sector in connection with World Tourism Day (WTD) which is observed globally every September 27.

The theme for 2014 WTD is “Tourism & Community Development.” 

Workers in the tourism sector can share their stories and experiences by going to the World Tourism Day Facebook Page and also join the #WTD2014 conversation on Twitter to share thoughts with the global tourism community.

The theme selected is for the tourism sectors around the globe to place emphasis and focus on the ability of tourism to empower people and provide them with the skills to achieve change in their local communities.

The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau falls under the Ministry of Tourism and Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT).


NAGICO launches Caribbean Wide Lend-a-Hand Food Drive

PHILIPSBURG/CARIBBEAN - NAGICO Insurances in collaboration with their Agents/Brokers have taken the initiative in helping the less fortunate by launching the NAGICO Lend-a-Hand Food Drive project region wide.

On St. Maarten, this project was implemented as of Friday September 19th and will continue until Friday December 19th 2014. Those interested in making donations of canned food and non-perishable items can do so at any NAGICO location or at NAGICO Agent/Broker offices. Simply look for the green containers marked with NAGICO Lend a Hand artwork.

“As good corporate citizens it is our responsibility to continuously give back to the communities in which we work in the 19 territories we serve around the Caribbean. That is ‘The NAGICO Way’. We opted to go beyond a traditional donation or sponsorship and strive to make it a real community effort to help the less fortunate. Together, many ripples can make a huge wave”, said NAGICO Executive Marketing Manager, Paul Dijkhoffz.

NAGICO welcomes donations from everyone in the St. Maarten/St. Martin community, including: staff, Agents/Brokers, customers and non-customers.

All items collected from the food drive will be distributed to organizations in the community that actively help those in need in time just before the Christmas holiday period.


Ministry VROMI and Nature Foundation working together on removal of seaweed

POINT BLANCHE - Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake stated on Tuesday that Ministry VROMI is working closely with Nature Foundation regarding the removal of Sargasso seaweed on certain beaches.

A backhoe has been in operation at a beach in Point Blanche which has seen a large amount of Sargasso seaweed come ashore.

Residents have been complaining about the smell and burning eyes that live at Ground Dove Apartments which is right next to the beach.

“I’ve had a very good working relationship with Nature Foundation.  The organization works in a very professional manner. 

“They sought the assistance of my ministry with respect to large amounts of seaweed that has been washing up on certain beaches and we are more than happy to assist.

“We all have to work together to keep our environment clean.  I commend all the volunteers who came out over the past weekend to clean-up a beach at Nettle Bay as part of the Inter Coastal Clean-up,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Tuesday.  


21-Year Old Arrested on Suspicion of Murder of 20-Year Old Woman in 2010

SIMPSON BAY - On September 12, 2014 a 21-year-old man, A.R.S.R. was arrested in Sint Maarten on suspicion of murder/manslaughter and/or rape. The arrest took place in the investigation "Iron” that started in 2010 after the death of the then 20-year old woman Clemencia Julot.

Clemencia Julot was found on Thursday, July 22, 2010 in the bushes along the Oyster Pond Road between Border Bar and Casablanca. She was missing since July 20, 2010 and was killed by violence.

The investigation was conducted by a partnership of the Police Force Sint Maarten (KPSM), Kingdom Detective Cooperation Team (RST) and the French Gendarmerie.

In 2013 the investigation was restarted, which led to the arrest of the suspect. The suspect was brought before the judge of instruction who ordered his further pre-trial detention.

Given the current on-going investigation, the public prosecution service will not give any further comments. (Contributed by the Public Prosecution Service Sint Maarten)


SIDS Conference in Samoa Outcome to be presented to Inter Ministerial Workgroup

GREAT BAY – Sint Maarten’s participation in the United Nations (UN) 3rd Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) that took place early September in the South Pacific Ocean island nation of Samoa, will be presented in a meeting on Tuesday to the Inter-Ministerial Working Group. 

The workgroup consist of senior representatives from all the departments. The objective of the meeting is to see which areas each of the responsible ministries/departments can be prioritized for action that has been identified.

The ministries involved are Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour, Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunications, Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports, and Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure. Private sector stakeholders and Non-Governmental Organizations will also be involved in the process at a later stage.

At the conference, Sint Maarten was lauded for its National Development Planning (NDP) process as a best practice. The NDP process has been guided by the Department of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK), of the Ministry of General Affairs.

The Kingdom delegation also included representatives from Curacao, Aruba and the Netherlands.

The three Dutch Caribbean SIDS, Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten, made a joint presentation which was organized by the Government of Sint Maarten. The presentation was given by Epke Brook, Senior Policy Advisor at Sint Maarten’s BAK (link to the presentation:,php?menu=1566).

Epke Brook who did the Sint Maarten presentation in Samoa focused on the progress made with regards to acceleration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the planning for the NDP, efforts towards regional and international integration and building strategic regional and international partnerships.  Six themes were highlighted for partnership dialogues including in Sustainable Economic Development; Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management; Social Development in SIDS, Health and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs); Youth and Women; Renewable Energy and Ocean, seas and biodiversity.

Experiences were shared about some of the existing initiatives in Sint Maarten such as the Sint Maarten Public Private Partnership for sustainable tourism is taking place for the organization of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s 10th conference in October 2014.

The successful implementation of the Regional Risk Reduction Initiative for disaster risk preparedness and response continues with the establishment of the Sint Maarten Disaster Management Organization (SDMO) under the office of the Prime Minister.

The SDMO is responsible for legislation, management system, coordination, construction, drainage and infrastructure improvements, curfew system and public awareness. Expansions will be made in cooperation with the French side on information procedures on other possible threats (besides hurricanes), effective, efficient inter-ministerial coordination and establishment of a national security platform.

The continuing implementation of the HIV-AIDS program, The Girl Power Initiative, and the Prime Minister’s Healthy Living Program are noteworthy. With the emergence of Chikungunya and Dengue Fever in the Caribbean, Sint Maarten’s efforts through an awareness raising partnership with the French Saint Martin.

Joint awareness campaigns were created while dialogue continues on establishing a long term joint research, coordination and data inventorying. The observation and response to the Ebola virus is a current area of focus as Sint Maarten plays a regional hub role for the region.

The government approved legislation to tackle more structurally the addressing of sustainable energy solutions with foresight to explore future options for Liquid Petroleum Gas. A potential partnership with the World LPG Gas Association with the Carbon War Room and Aruba are possibilities.

Efforts are also ongoing between Sint Maarten and Saint Martin to continue working together to conduct environmental impact assessments for the protection of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, coastal waters, and Marine Park. A Taskforce for climate change adaptation was recently established whose role will be to guide and implement relevant programs and projects.

The presentation ended with a note that the approval of the UN SIDS Conference Outcome Document will provide the necessary framework for the Sint Maarten NDP to incorporate a well-defined 10 years SIDS mandate.

The SIDS Outcome Document will be incorporated into the Sustainable Development Goals priorities and enable the quicker adoption into the Sint Maarten NDP implementation strategies. 

The presentation ended with a recommendation for Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten to form a SIDS Dutch Caribbean Taskforce to take forward the implementation.

A partnership with existing and new United Nations agencies as well as other potential partners will be critical.

A SIDS presentation will be organized for policy and program officers in Sint Maarten to strengthen understanding on how to make this opportunity work for the country.  

2014 is the International Year of SIDS.  Its importance is expressed by the Secretary General of the UN as follows: “The International Year is an opportunity to appreciate the extraordinary resiliency and rich cultural heritage of the people of small island developing states.”


Sheryl Peterson Sworn in as a Member of the High Council of State General Audit Chamber

PHILIPSBURG – On Friday, September 19th 2014, His Excellency Governor, Hon. E. B. Holiday administered the oath of office to Ms. Sheryl Peterson as a deputy member of the board of the General Audit Chamber. The ceremony was held at the Cabinet of the Governor.

Mr. Ronald Halman, Chairman of the Board of the General Audit Chamber, was present at the ceremony as were the partner of Ms. Peterson, Mr. Aaron Rufus Thompson and the director of the Governor’s Cabinet, Mr. Andre Hoeneveld.

After the resignation of Mr. Hyden Gittens, a replacement was sought to fill the position of deputy board member in accordance with the stipulations of the National Ordinance General Audit Chamber. The board consist of three members, among which the Chairman.

In addition to the members, a maximum of three deputy members may serve on the board. At present the members of the Board are Mr. Ronald Halman (Chairman), Mr. Mark Kortenoever and Mr. Alphons Gumbs. Ms. Peterson takes her place as the second deputy member, joining Mr. Daniel Hassell who also serves in the capacity of deputy member. The term of office for the board members is seven (7) years.

Ms. Peterson is the managing director of a local accounting services company and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge as an accounting professional to the board of the General Audit Chamber.

The General Audit Chamber was established on October 10, 2010 and is charged with investigating the effectiveness and compliance of the Country’s income and expenditure.

To date the General Audit Chamber has issued several reports based on investigations on a number of topics including the annual financial statements of Sint Maarten, Personnel Expenditures, Pensions, the financial statement 2011 of the General Pension Fund, and the Baseline study on Institutional Integrity Management.

These reports are available online at


Minister Lake happy Rotary Club of Sint Maarten to beautify and maintain Simpson Bay Village Round-a-bout

PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake, on Friday morning was thanked by President of Rotary Club Sint Maarten Danny Ramchandani for his role in allowing the service club to have the responsibility of beautifying and maintaining the Simpson Bay Village Round-a-bout.

On Friday, Rotarian Ramchandani said: "On behalf of the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten I want to thank the ‘back to basics’ Honorable Minister Lake for believing in the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten and the service projects that Rotarians do on behalf of the community.  

“We are very proud to display the Rotary International marquee on the roundabout. We look forward to displaying the Rotary 4 Way Test and to further beautifying the roundabout. Thank you."

Minister Lake said that it was part of his back to basics approach where well-grounded Sint Maarten community organizations can assist with maintaining some of the public infrastructure. 

“Service clubs are already playing a very important role in our community by organizing various activities in order to donate to different causes.

“I commend the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten for wanting to adopt the Simpson Bay Village Round-a-bout where the service club would be able to beautify and maintain the area around it.  It is in key location where tourists who arrive by plane will see it on their way to their hotel. 

“Cruise passengers also pass there as well during their tour, so beautification and keeping it well maintained will further add to the improvement in our tourism product,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Friday.

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten was chartered on March 17, 1972 as result of a September 1970 meeting to form a club on the island.  

Since its formation, the Rotary Club of St. Maarten has grown in membership and has assisted in the formation of new clubs in the District, including Anguilla (1978), St. Martin Nord (1988), St. Martin Mid-Isle (1997) and St. Martin Sunrise (2004).  For more information, visit the club website


Justice Academy Commemorates 2nd Anniversary

PHILIPSBURG – On Monday September 15, 2014, the Minister of Justice the Honorable Dennis Richardson attended a ceremony commemorating the 2nd Anniversary of the existence of the Justice Academy and its achievements to date.

The Minister spoke about the Justice Academy being a continuation of a project initiative of the previous Minister of Justice Mr. Roland Duncan and it being a positive institution with great challenges, but that it offered at same time the opportunity for it to become a center of excellence for education and training in the Justice sector. He also congratulated the staff for their hard work and efforts.

Also present at the ceremony were amongst others, invited guests such as; Mr. Peter de Witte Chief of Police, Chairman of the Board of the Justice Academy, Member of the board Mr. Miguel de Weever, Mrs. Richelda Emmanuel Director of the Court of Guardianship, Mr. G. Julliet and Mr. E. Hoeve of the Immigration.

Certificates were presented to the graduation cadets and the ceremony was concluded by a reception. 


Ladies Basketball Championship Team & Player Registration Now Open

SUCKER GARDEN - Registration is now open for teams and individual players in the upcoming Walichi Basketball Association's Ladies Basketball Championship (LBC) inaugural 2014-2015 basketball season which kicks off with the grand opening scheduled for Sunday October 5th, 2014 at the Melford Hazel Sports Complex in Sucker Garden at 3:30pm sharp.

All team and player registrations forms, FIBA & house rules may be obtained via the association's email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.visiting it's Facebook Page or facebook group "Ladies Basketball Championship" and leaving your team contact details and information in order for the association to email all forms to you. Deadline for complete team and player registration is Friday September 26th, 2014.

Completed registration forms along with fees can be dropped off at Gumbs & Associates located upstairs the Valencia building right above the last bus stop Back Street, Philipsburg during week days from 10am-5pm. Ask for Jenny when you arrive. Doctor Forms will also be made available. 

The first official season games are scheduled to begin Saturday October 11th 2014 unto the finals to be hosted in March 2015. There will be 
three games weekly with one game on Saturday’s beginning at 6:00pm to 7:30 pm and two games on Sundays, game one beginning at 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm and game two at 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm at the Melford Hazel Sports Complex, Sucker Garden. For More information contact secretary Chiaira Bowers at 5818502 or Marit Gumbs at 5549881 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



PHILIPSBURG – Le Grand Marche Managing Director, Anil Sabnani presented a check for 10,000 guilders to the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten for its youth scholarship programs.  Mr. Sabnani said, “We are very pleased to support our youth through the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten.  Our youth are the future and we all need to make sure that all our children receive a proper education.  I want to thank the Rotary Club for working with us and I wish to thank all of customers that purchased a Proctor and Gamble brand during the past month.  It is through your kindness and generosity that we are able to make this donation.”

Several members of the Rotary Club were present to receive the donation and President of the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten, Danny Ramchandani, went on to say, “We are elated with this fantastic donation from Le Grand Marche.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  These funds will go directly to local students who have a genuine financial need to assist with payment of their annual school fees.  We are already working with several local schools to identify students in need.  Thank you Le Grand Marche, thank you to Proctor and Gamble and thank to all of the Le Grand Marche shoppers.  Together, we will make a fantastic difference in the lives of as many young people as possible”.

For more information about the Rotary Club of St. Maarten, please contact the Rotary Club of St. Maarten Press Officer at:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website

About the Rotary Club of St. Maarten: 

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten was chartered on March 17, 1972 as result of a September 1970 meeting to form a club on the island.  Since its formation, the Rotary Club of St. Maarten has grown in membership and has assisted in the formation of new clubs in the District, including Anguilla (1978), St. Martin Nord (1988), St. Martin Mid-Isle (1997) and St. Martin Sunrise (2004).  For more information, visit the club website at

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