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Soualiga Newsday Top Stories (3368)

Prime Minister Wescot meets with Aruba's PM Eman

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams received a courtesy visit from Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman at her Cabinet at the Government Administration Building on May 22.

Prime Minister Eman was on St. Maarten as part of the Kingdom Youth Parliament where he supported the Aruba delegation. Prime Minister Wescot-Williams and Prime Minister Eman discussed various matters of mutual interest to both countries, including Aruba’s focus on sustainable energy and green economy and St. Maarten’s new Energy Policy and its focus on renewable energy. 

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Former Prime Minister to Learn this week if detention will be prolonged for additional eight days

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – Former Prime Minister of Curacao and current Member of the Parliament G.F. S (39), who was detained by the National Detectives on May 20th, will learn this week whether he will remain in Police custody for an additional eight days.

The judge on May 25 ruled that the continued detention of G.F.S. is according to the laws of the land.

This week the Curacao Public Prosecutors Office will have to present further evidence and a request to detain G.F.S. for an additional eight days.

G.F.S. and his alleged life partner C.R.D. (36) are accused of money laundering and forgery.  C.R.D. was released on May 22, however, remains a suspect in the on-going investigation which has been named Babel.

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Smash and grab armed robbery on Front Street

FRONT STREET, Sint Maarten - On Saturday May 24th at approximately 11.50 a.m. several police patrols were sent to Swiss Time Store on Front Street to investigate an armed robbery. On the scene the investigating officers learnt that two unknown men both wearing motorcycle helmets and dressed in dark clothing had arrived in a white Van with license plate 5638AAA on Front Street and parked in the middle of the street in front of the establishment. Both suspects jumped out of the Van blocking the flow of traffic on Front Street and entered the establishment. One suspect was armed with a gun and the other with a crow bar. The suspect with the gun threatened the workers while the other suspect destroyed several showcases and took out the contents.

After committing this act the suspects left the establishment and fled the scene on two motorcycles that were parked in the area. The Van was confiscated and the Special Unit Robbery is investigating. (Contributed by the Police Force of Sint Maarten.)

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Minister de Weever Commends Youth for great turn out for bike-a-thon

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – In Commemoration of Vaccination Week of the Americas (VWA), the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) Section Youth Health Care of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, organized a bike-a-thon on Saturday, May 24th.

The objective was to bring awareness as it relates to vaccination and health. 

Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever would like to commend the youth for turning out for the bike-a-thon which was part of the Vaccination Week of the Americas program, and he looks forward to their participation on an annual basis.

The bike-a-thon activity is in line with the overall campaign of getting checked of Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour “Get Checked” which promotes good health for all ages.

The bike-a-thon started at 7.00am at the Vineyard Office Park and end at the Baby Wellness Clinic opposite Grand Marche on the Bush Road.

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May 27 Workshop on how to apply for Student US and Canadian Visas

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – May 27th is the new date for the recently postponed workshop entitled, “How to Apply for a U.S. Student Visa or Canadian Study Permit.” The workshop organized by the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs had to be postponed last week due to inclement weather and is now slated to be held at the University of St. Martin from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In this workshop, information will be given on the application process for obtaining an U.S. Student Visa or Canadian Study Permit. Students who have applied to schools in the U.S.A. or Canada or those who have already been accepted to a school in either of these countries can attend the workshop to receive a step by step approach on how to complete the application process. The process can seem overwhelming and confusing; however, SSSD will help students to better understand the process.

Students who do not own a U.S. passport, U.S. Permanent Residence (Green Card), Canadian passport, or Canadian permanent residence are considered international students in the U.S. and Canada respectively. Applying for a student visa ties into immigration matters, therefore, it is essential that students are aware of the procedure and take care in preparing their application. “Improper preparation or incomplete applications can delay the process at the embassy,” Mussington-Service, Head of SSSD, stated.  

SSSD provides many services to students. Some services include: psychological services, counseling services, social work services, educational diagnostic services, career services, and parent education.  

Students and parents are encouraged to contact the career guidance counselors Ms. Manek and Mr. Chance at 543-1235 for more information. They can also visit the SSSD office which is located in the Amigo Building across from the Police Station and next to WIB.

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Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson Meets Dutch Ambassador from Dominica Republic

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – On Friday May 23, a working visit was paid to the Minister of Justice the Honorable Dennis Richardson by the Dutch Ambassador to the Dominican Republic the Honorable Marijke Van Drunen-Little. The Minister was pleased with the visit as he had also paid her a visit during his trip to the Dominican Republic earlier this year.

The following were the topics of consultation; the cooperation between the Ministry of Justice and the Embassy on the matter of child care, detention and immigration, in relation to citizens of the Dominican Republic residing on Sint Maarten. Also present at the meeting were representatives of Justice responsible for the different topics of consultation; Mrs. Richelda Emmanuel (Dir. SJIB), Ms. Kalilah Peters (Dept. of Foreign affairs), Mr. Udo Aron (Dir. Immigration and Border Protection Services).

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Minister Lake finds corporate sponsor for nine-year old school girl to help with recovery

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake on Friday said he has found a corporate sponsor who will provide assistance for the nine-year old victim who suffered a brutal attack a week ago while on her way to school.

“I spoke with the Mother of the nine-year old on Friday to see how the little girl is doing.  I am pleased to announce that a corporate sponsor has come along who will assist with buying school materials and most importantly, covering the costs for professional psychological assistance.

“The most important thing at this point in time is the psychological recovery of the pupil so she can live a normal life without any fear.  This has been a traumatic experience for the child that can cause serious psychological damage if not dealt with properly and quickly.

“It’s all about getting the child back on the road to a happy recovery, and being in high spirits and living a normal life,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Friday.

Minister Lake added that his actions are genuine and should not be construed with the current upcoming election campaign.

“People know me if I see something I will work on getting it done.  I am a people and community oriented person, and solution driven.  Since becoming Minister I have looked at allocating government land to various organizations that serve the community of this country, and the Mental Health Foundation is one of them.

“It’s nothing political behind it; it’s about getting the job done for the people of this country.  I have sought assistance for our youth who want to spread their wings.  We have talented young people in the area of sports for example, and I am proud to say that I was able to assist them to bring them closer to their dreams,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Friday.

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Prime Minister Wescot receives courtesy call from former Barbados PM

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams received a courtesy visit from the Honorable Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados and current Member of Parliament.

Arthur was on St. Maarten at the SER Conference in order to deliver a keynote address at the recently held SER symposium on Inclusive Development. Mr. Arthur and the PM discussed elements of the MP’s address including the capability of Small Island Developing States to ensure that inclusive development is taken into account, in particular through the National Development Plan.

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St. Maarten Drum Band and pre-Book Fair reading for nation's children

GREAT BAY, St. Martin —Chester York is the island’s senior panman and steel pan maker, “Gassy” Richardson was a champion bicycle rider, and “Mr. Bibi” Gumbs designed modern and affordable houses for 25 years.

“These men should be known for their perseverance from a humble start in life, discipline in studying and practicing their fields, excelling in their pioneer work, and contributing to our island,” said Urmain Dormoy, leader of the 30-member Generation New Status St. Maarten drum band (GNSSTM).

The St. Martin Book Fair, scheduled for June 5-7, 2014, recently gave the Generation New Status band 90 booklets, profiling the life and pioneering work of George “Gassy” Gaston Richardson, Chester York, and Alexis “Bibi” Guillaume [Duzant] Gumbs. The current members of Generation New Status range from five to 16 years of age, and make up one of the island’s busiest youth music groups. Each member of GNSSTM will receive one booklet about each pioneer nation-builder, said Dormoy.

The pioneerseries booklets are entitled Gassy York – Champion Cyclist, Chester York – Making of a panman, and Mr. Bibi – Pioneer in House Drawing & Design.

“Getting these booklets in the hands and homes of children and teens is part of HNP’s reading motivation, creative writing, and literacy building activities that involve the St. Martin Book Fair,” said Jacqueline Sample of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP), the book fair co-organizer that published the mini-biographies.

“I’m so happy to receive the booklets for Generation New Status STM members. This is a way for the boys and girls, and for some of their parents, to know more about our island, our people, and our culture, which they are all part of,” said Dormoy.

The pre-Book Fair presentation was made to Dormoy last week by HNP. “Urmain in turn presented GNSSTM’s archival copy of each title to Princess Beatrix on Tuesday during the Dutch royal’s visit to the territory this week,” said Sample.

“I wanted to get these books for the youngsters for about two years but we couldn’t get a sponsor just for that, so I’m happy that the Book Fair is making this contribution,” said Dormoy, himself a well-known musician.

Over the years, Dormoy has brought the VKS to the band’s practice to train the members in forms of marching discipline; he has led the performing group in the Boardwalk Mas, and in the US city of Orlando at Sea World. Last Sunday, Generation New Status was one of the youth groups performing at the St. Louis/Freetown fête, which was made famous island-wide by the late folklorist “Yaya” Richards.

Dormoy said that he and co-principal Jennifer Thomas are always looking out for extra cultural and educational activities to creatively help band members “to know our island better; to do their school work and homework better; to be more helpful to their parents at home; and to take pride in their neighborhoods.” Conscious Lyrics Foundation and HNP are the organizers of the upcoming book Contact Shujah Reiph 590.690.30-7366 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Jacqueline Sample This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. P.O. Box 460 Philipsburg, St. Martin Caribbean Tel (721) 554-7089 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Offshore Editing Services festival, in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin, LCF Foundation, and St. Martin Tourist Office. The SXM Airport and SOS Radio are also sponsors of the St. Martin Book Fair 2014.

Photo caption: Members of Generation New Status St. Maarten drum band and Jennifer Thomas (R), a principal of the foundation, holding up the pioneerseries booklets of “non-traditional” nation-builders. (GNSSTM photo)

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Statia Library prepares for Software Upgrade with the assistance of PJL

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten Philipsburg Jubilee Library’s (PJL) staff members Francia Housen, Circulation Manger/Interim Systems Administrator and Irmin Hughes, Manager Information services travelled to St. Eustatius to conduct two days of introductory workshops for the staff and board members of the Gertrude Judson Bicentennial Public Library (GJBPL), on May 12 to May 13.

The GJBPL is in the process of automating its library services with the KOHA-Liblime software.  PJL will serve as the hosting partner.  Saba’s Queen Wilhelmina’s Library (QWL) recently became fully automated with the KOHA-Liblime software in March of this year. While the PJL library switched over in December of 2013.

Library Director, Monique Alberts stated that, “We are very happy that we are able to support our colleagues from Statia with this project. We have a long standing working relationship with the GJB Public Library. Once the Statia library is automated, it will be able to enhance its level of service to the citizens of the island enormously”.

Staff and board members including Gloria “Patsy” Blijden, Rosabel Blake, Janiska Woodley, President of the board, Inez Shaw-Mars, and Siem Dijkshoorn, Vice President, received and  introduction on computer cataloguing and circulation procedures. Once implemented, this digitalization of inventory will allow library users to access available resources online and place holds on books.

The digitalization upgrade of the three libraries was made possible with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

PJL will be inviting the GJBPL’s staff to St. Maarten soon to get an intensive, hands-on training with the new automated system.

Photo Caption: Rosabel Blake and Gloria Blijden (seated from left to right) and Francia Housen, Inez Shaw-Mars, Janiska Woodley and Irmin Hughes-Richards (standing from left to right).

 

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