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Hello Jan and Kitty: Dutch join British and Irish in naming storms

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Weather bureau KNMI is joining forces with British and Irish meteorological agencies to name storms which sweep across the three countries.

The three bureaus have drawn up a list of names for storms for the next year after receiving thousands of suggestions from the public. The next storm to merit a code amber or red weather warning will be named Atiyah, and the one after that will be Brendan.

‘Storms don’t limit themselves to national borders and so it is logical to give names to such extreme weather conditions,’ said KNMI director Gerard van der Steenhoven.

Storms are named alternately after women and men and the letters Q,U,X,Y and Z are excluded from the list in line with US hurricane conventions.

The Netherlands has contributed several names to the list, including Jan, after Jan Pelleboer, the first Dutch tv and radio weatherman, and Kitty, after Kittie Koperberg, a Jewish librarian who worked for the KNMI who was murdered in the Sobibor death camp in 1943.

Piet will feature later in the line-up. The names were submitted by members of the public and chosen to reflect their popularity as suggestions and the ‘culture and ethnicity of the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands,’ Britain’s Met Office said.

Officials say naming storms should aid the communication about approaching severe weather so that the public are better placed to keep themselves, their property and businesses safe.



NIPA celebrates the second cohort of 94 newly trained Construction Professionals

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - On Thursday, September 5, 2019, the NIPA Technical vocational institute graduated 94 inspiring students in the construction field. In the presence of parents, partners,family members, peers and high ranking officials representing all stakeholders in this project , graduates received certification in areas ranging from Electrical Installation, Plumbing, Carpentry, General Property Maintenance, and Masonry.

The program, which commenced in August 2018, is an initiative birthed by the AVE Board, and partially supported under the umbrella of the Early Recovery Income Support Program of the Trust Fund, funded by the Dutch Government and managed by the World Bank. Speakers on this joyous and celebratory occasion all joined and echoed sentiments of encouragement and perseverance to the graduates and challenged them to pursue even higher goals.

In his welcome speech Mr. Blomont ,General Director of NIPA, highlighted that the devastation caused by hurricane Irma two years ago, also created opportuinities where NIPA has become the center of technical and other vocational programs being now the institute that SXM aimed for since its inception in 2013, namely training skilled professionals for the local industries.

This construction training initiative has now seen over 200 graduates in total, with an intent to continue this program , where the 3rd cohort is slated to commence on September 16, 2019.

The Government of Sint Maarten, in the words of the Deputy Prime Minister Honorable Wycliffe Smith, and Steering Committee member of the Trust Fund also speaking on behalf of NRPB, Mr. Marcel Gumbs, both affirmed long-term financial commitment to this initiative, ensuring its sustainability.

Together with other speakers, Mr. Chris Johnson on behalf of the Dutch Government, and President of the MIC-IT Institute Professor Dr. Ir. Clement Imbert, the training provider in this Construction program, emphasized the importance of building and investing in people besides the physical construction of buildings.  

Valedictorian Shannon Bell was the living example of these sentiments, highlighting achievements and thanking all who made this possible giving special thanks to the instructors, her peers, and family.  

The ceremony was closed off with a construction helmet drumming session, symbolically ‘throwing the graduation hat’.

Pictures of the graduation can be viewed on Nipa’s Facebook page:










UPDATE: WIB ATM and Credit Card Services Restored

PHILIPSBURG – On Saturday evening, WIBs ATM and Credit Card Services were restored.

ARCHIVE - The Windward Islands Bank (WIB) issued a notice on Saturday with respect to challenges it is having with its ATM and Credit Card Services. Technicians are busy working to resolve the technical issues.


Man arrested for taking cash out of cash register

SIMPSON BAY - On Wednesday September 4th, 2019 the police patrol of Simpson Bay arrested a man with the initials L.J.A for theft of cash out of a cash register from one of the establishments in the area, police said on Thursday in a statement.

A complaint was made by the management of the business. The suspect who was still in the vicinity was quickly apprehended, taken into custody and brought over to the police station for further questioning.

The suspect was later handed over to the detective department for further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)    


SHTA calls for donations to Samaritan’s Purse and Rotary Club International for the Bahamas

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Reflecting on September of 2017, as the news of the level of destruction in the Bahamas comes in, the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) calls for all entities and individuals willing to offer relief to the Bahamas in the wake of hurricane Dorian, to make donations to Samaritan’s Purse and the Rotary of Sint Maarten.

The Association believes that by focused national action, via monetary donations to entities that have proven effective in our own time of need can achieve more than by separate actions.  

Samaritan’s Purse was the first non-military aid to land in St. Maarten post Irma. Their sense of urgency and selfless acts of assistance throughout the island touched many of us directly.  

The Rotary of Sint Maarten in conjunction with Rotary International will support Rotary Bahamas to come in with those local members on the ground to help in areas that may be overlooked by larger international aid agencies that don’t have firsthand insight into the community. 

SHTA believes these two entities can provide similar assistance to the Bahamas as they did for St. Maarten; and by supporting their efforts in other devastated areas it also can be a symbolic acts of gratitude.

Rotary is already coordinating fund raising and has raised a significant amount amongst its members; by joining forces with other Sint Maarten service clubs and the community at large we can have a larger impact.  

SHTA stresses that especially funding will be more useful, contrary to goods sourced here and then transshipped—especially as the Bahamian infrastructure is so badly damaged. This will allow Samaritan’s Purse and Rotary to be flexible in providing the most needed goods on the various Bahamian islands and also to replenish their resources for the next disaster.

Online donations to Samaritan’s purse can be made at . For support to Rotary, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call +17215866634.  Donations can also be made to SHTA ACC. 1015922 Scotia Bank earmarked for Dorian Relief and we will combine all donations to send.


Minister of VROMI Wever tackling beach cleaning one at a time

SINT MAARTEN (MULLET BAY) - Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (VROMI), the Honorable Christopher Wever says, "there is no time to joke about the environment especially considering the monstrous storms the region has seen in recent years."

Wever visited the Mullet Bay Beach on Wednesday afternoon following complaints levied on Social Media regarding the mounting garbage on the island's most famous beach. Despite it being low season over 300 people are believed to visit the Mullet Bay Beach daily many of them tourists. But the garbage situation has caused vendors to take to social media to voice their concern and Wever quickly responded.

"I wanted to see firsthand what is taking place where garbage disposal on our busiest beach is concerned," he told vendors. He said, "This is our largest beach and the visitors who come here expect to see clear, clean water and beautiful sand. Every beach is important. And, if we have to take it one beach at a time, we will do our part to make sure St. Maarten's beaches are clean for residents and visitors alike."

According to the vendors for Daleo's Snack, and SXM Crazy Beach Chairs, "the Government normally does an excellent job cleaning the side road but since the first week in August this has not been done.”

“When they cleaned, they even cleaned around the airport down to Mullet Bay, and they raked the garbage up from the beach at least three times per week. Now we have to do it ourselves, and it is quite a lot of garbage that is left behind."

The vendors were happy to see the minister's swift response to their online post. They told him that the challenge for them is running their operation and cleaning the beach at the same time daily. "Whenever there are holiday weekends or even on Sundays when beaches are crowded, those visiting the beach tend not to take their garbage with them.

So, we come in early before seven to clean the beaches because we do not want the guests to come and see it like that," the vendors explained. Wever walked with the vendors and inspected the beaches witnessing several large piles of garbage, which were left behind by persons who visited the beach

Wever ensured the vendors that he would have the beach cleaned and also pointed out that there aren't enough garbage bins on the beaches, which is something his Ministry will address.

Additionally, he would sit with Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication, (TEATT), Stuart Johnson, to discuss ways in which the two ministries can work together to clean up the beaches and put proper signage to guide visitors on garbage disposal.

The Ministry of VROMI is presently finalizing agreements and will soon resume the neighborhood cleaning. Wever said this is one of the few beaches that still have greenery and care must be taken in ensuring it is preserved.

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Man arrested for break-in and threats at Philipsburg restaurant

PHILIPSBURG - On Monday September 2nd, 2019 at 17.00 hrs. the police patrol arrested a man with the initials A.R.S.

The suspect, for who a warrant had been signed by the Public Prosecutor was arrested for breaking and entering a restaurant located in Philipsburg and threats with bodily harm.

He was brought over to the police station and handed over to the detective department for further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


Man Arrested for ill-treatment

COLE BAY - The detective department is investigating the man with the initials L.B for an ill-treatment that took place on Sunday September 1st, 2019, police said in a statement on Wednesday.

The female victim launched an official complaint shortly after the incident. On Monday September 2nd, 2019 during a routine patrol the suspect was encountered in the area of Cole-Bay.

The suspect was detained and was brought over to the police station in Philipsburg. He was later handed over to the detective department for further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


MP Richardson: Fully intends to fight for his freedom and innocence

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Member of Parliament (MP) Frans Richardson, through his attorney Sjamira Roseburg on Wednesday said that he definitely feels targeted and fully intends to fight for his freedom and innocence, according to a statement released on Wednesday afternoon to the media from the MPs legal counsel.

“Richardson is in restrictive custody and cannot have any contact with anyone other than his lawyer and law enforcement. Richardson still has faith to have a fair trial. His first case has been indefinitely postponed.

“This second case feels like a targeted attempt. The hardest part, however, is not being able to have contact with or see his family. His two young children, his wife, his mother all have to once again go through this traumatic event. More information will be shared with the public when possible by law.”


SMMC moves certain administrative services to Madame Estate

SINT MAARTEN (MADAME ESTATE) - Recently, the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) temporarily relocated several administrative services due to a lack of space at the current location in Cay Hill. The SMMC Support Center is now located on Van Gogh Street, Madame Estate in the former KPMG building.

SMMC has grown with the addition of several new medical specialties and new administrative departments and as such needed to find work space for its administrative support staff. SMMC found a solution in Madame Estate and this location is called the ‘SMMC Support Center’. Currently, SMMC’s Human Resources, Finance and Medical Archives departments have been temporarily relocated to this new location.

Head Maintenance and Facilities, Michael Sargeant states: “As the current SMMC building is lacking the proper space to house all of our administrative staff members as we continue to grow, we needed to look for a solution. We have done so with creating the SMMC Support Center in Madame Estate and will remain there until the new hospital project is completed, after which all staff will move to the new building”.

Persons who wish to contact the SMMC Support Center can do so via telephone +(721) 543-3154. All staff members remain available via their regular assigned email address. Accounts Payable, which is part of the Finance department, has also relocated to the SMMC Support Center and vendors needing to pick up payment can visit the SMMC Support Center from 8 am - 5 pm from Monday – Friday. The Medical Archives department is also open during these days/times for persons requesting a copy of their medical files.

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