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Visiting Rotarians on island for donation of fundus camera to White & Yellow Cross Foundation

PHILIPSBURG - Rotarians from Rotary District 7030 arrived on Sint Maarten to partake in a ceremony for the launch of a screening for the prevention of Retinopathy due to Diabetes Mellitus and the donation of a fundus camera to the White and Yellow Cross Foundation.

The group comprises of the District Secretary from District 7030, Mr Waddy Sowma; the President of Rotary Club Paramaribo Central Mr Rino Tjin Wong Joe; Eye Specialist and Representative of the Rotary Club Paramaribo Residence Dr Jerrel Pawiroredjo and other fellows from the clubs. A technical eye care assistant also traveled with the team for the training of staff at the White and Yellow Cross Foundation. 

The project is a joint venture between the Rotary Clubs of Dutch Sint Maarten, Rotary Clubs of Suriname and the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman of Cayman Islands and was initiated by President Virginia Asin, President of the Rotary Club of St Martin Sunrise. 

In August 2014 in a Rotary Presidents meeting with President Wayne Wilkie of Rotary Club of Sint Maarten Mid Isle and President Danny Ramchandani of Rotary Club Sint Maarten under the leadership of Assistant District Governor Rebecca Low, President Virginia presented the proposal which was immediately accepted. 

The project was then presented to the Minister of Public Health Social Development and Labour, who endorsed and contributed to the project. 

Through email correspondence, the Rotary Clubs of Suriname were approached for their participation because of their prior experience in a similar project and the potential to get support of an Eye Specialist to assist in guiding the project. 

During a meeting with the Rotary clubs in Suriname in December 2014, in the presence of the District 7030 Secretary, President Virginia formally presented the project, which was received with unanimous approval. 

By embracing the project as their International Project, the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman also became a partner in the project.

Important and very dedicated partners in this project are also the American University of the Caribbean and the White and Yellow Cross Foundation. 

The project entails the purchase and the donation of a fundus camera to the WYCF for the screening of the retina in persons that are diagnosed with or suffer from Diabetes Mellitus. Through this screening blindness due to DM can be prevented if diagnosed at an early stage. With this donation the Rotary Clubs and Partners also launch the program for eye screening on Sint Maarten for the prevention of Retinopathy. 

During their stay the visitors will bring a courtesy visit to the Prime Minister, the Hon. Marcel Gumbs and the Minister of Public Health Social Development and Labour, Hon. Ms Rita Bourne-Gumbs On Thursday 16 and Friday 17 April 2015 the training for personnel of the WYCF in the handling and maintenance of the camera will take place and on Friday 17 April, Health Care Providers will be trained in the analysis of the retina image. 

This project would not have been possible without the generous support of numerous donors. "We are forever grateful for their generosity" said President Virginia and we thank them on behalf of the people of Sint Maarten. 

The partners anxiously look forward to the launch that will take place at White and Yellow Cross Foundation on Saturday 18 April 2015 from 11 AM to 2 PM.

           Rotary Sunrise meets at Philipsburg Jubilee Library Conference Room every Tuesday mornings at 7:00am for                fellowship and breakfast.  For more information on the club visit us at sxmsunrise.org or email                                    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., we are also on Facebook: Rotary Club of Saint Martin Sunrise

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Minister of Culture Bourne-Gumbs visits SIMARC and Impressed with Work

PHILIPSBURG - On Thursday, April 9, 2015, Minister Bourne-Gumbs made an official visit to SIMARC, which is the official archaeological collections depository and research facility for government St. Maarten since 2011.

Students of SIMARC created a short film about the Slave Route Heritage on St. Maarten, which was recently launched to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the UNESCO Slave Route Project.  

Minister Bourne-Gumbs wanted to meet the present and past SIMARC students to congratulate them on this great accomplishment.

This project which was the initiative of the Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO will now have these films distributed both international to various UNESCO venues, and locally to schools and community groups.

The Public can also view the short film on the Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO's Facebook page, located at Facebook.com/UNESCOStMaarten.

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TelEm Group networks affected by network failure on Wednesday: landlines, internet and mobile service fail

POND ISLAND - TelEm Group Wednesday apologized to customers for an interruption in service in landline, internet and mobile service following a network failure earlier in the afternoon.

 Technicians were alerted to the failure shortly after 1:00 pm Wednesday and quickly identified issues with the company’s 3G mobile network and telecommunication equipment that provides landline and internet connectivity.

According to TelEm Group, Manager, Network Operations, Julian Lake, the problem with the 3G mobile network was quickly identified with service restored within an hour.

He said however, a second problem, involving loss of connection with another part of the company’s telecommunication network took longer to restore because different components had to be restored separately from various locations.

“We quickly isolated the major problem affecting the voice and internet service, however the process of restoring service was much more complicated than the problem experienced with the mobile network,” said Mr. Lake. He said landline and internet service was fully restored at 5:00 pm Wednesday.

He also said the mobile, landline and internet interruption was not connected to a another report earlier this afternoon concerning an interruption in service in the Mary’s Fancy area.

In that case, a cutover is under way and residents in that area have been told to expect outages during the course of this week.

According to Manager, Outside Plant, Mr. Marco London, the interruption in service in Mary’s Fancy is part of a scheduled upgrade that is being carried out this week on the underground network, aimed at improving service in the vicinity and also in several other areas.

He said due to the cutover, there will be interruptions at different times in the day all week, from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The areas affected by the underground cable works are: Coralita Rd.; Carnation Rd.; Gladiola Rd. Match Me Rd. and Blue Jay Rd.

Both Mr. Lake and Mr. London have apologized to TelEm Group customers for any inconvenience caused by this afternoon’s series of outages. (TelEm)

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23rd ANNUAL ST. MAARTEN OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT Mullet Bay Golf Course April 18 and 19

MULLET BAY - The St Maarten Golf Association SMGA will host its 23rd annual St. Maarten Open Golf Tournament on Saturday and Sunday April 18 and 19, 2015 at the Mullet Bay Golf Course. Net proceeds from the event will benefit multiple pre-selected local community organizations like the:

No Kidding with Our Kids Foundation

  • LAB Sports Academy
  • Junior Golf Foundation of St. Maarten

The festivities will begin with registration on Friday April 17th at the Golf Course followed by an opening reception for all participants, sponsors, media and invited guests from 7:00PM – 10:00PM at MÉLANGE International Grill in Princess Port de Plaisance Resort. At this venue the tournament will be officially opened by a representative of the Ministry of Tourism. Guests will have a chance to mix and mingle and greet many long-time friends from other islands as well as meeting new ones.

So far the SMGA received a total amount of 81 registered golfers and they expect to get to 90 players when the tournament starts. Including a large contingent of local players from St. Maarten and St. Martin, there will be some very talented and highly competitive golfers from our neighboring islands like Anguilla, St. Kitts, Nevis, Curacao and Guadeloupe as well as players from Canada, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

This 36 holes stroke play tournament will kick off with the first round of 18 holes on Saturday morning April 18th at 7:00AM. The second round will be played on Sunday April 19th. Following the tournament, an awards and recognition party will be held at SKY BEACH Rooftop Beach & Lounge in Maho for participants, sponsors, media and invited guests between 6:00PM – 9:00PM.

This two day tournament is made possible due to our year round major contributors Mullet Bay Resort and Golf Course and B&C Beverages, combined with the tremendous annual support and sponsorships the SMGA received from the St. Maarten Tourist Office as well as a huge amount of local and international businesses. 

A special thanks goes out to:

Mullet Bay Golf Course       St. Maarten Tourist Office            Coca-Cola 

Our PLATINUM sponsors:

Anderson Fabrics              Bank of Nova Scotia                    Cariburo / Dauphin Telecom

Caribtrans                        PJIA                                          Sol Antilles

SXM Timeshare Association

Our GOLD sponsors:

Boogaard Insurances         BZSE Law                                  Electec        

Générali Assurance            Global Purchasing                       Holland House Beach Hotel

Intergraph Corporation     Mélange International Grill          Oyster Bay Beach Resort

Pineapple Pete                  Port of St. Maarten                     Prime Distributors

Rendezvous Tour Company SBS Building Supplies                  Sky Beach Rooftop Lounge S.H.T.A.                                      Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort   Starz City Casino

The Daily Herald               Tropics Frozen Mixes                            Winair Airlines

Windward Islands Bank

And a large amount of other sponsors and contributors:

too numerous to mention that contributed in different ways through cash donations, hotel stays, dinner vouchers, gift vouchers, certificates, tickets etc.

During all tournament days great prizes will be raffled and auctioned off with all net proceeds going to the selected community organizations. Next to that all amateur competitors are eligible for the hole in one prize where for the first player that hits an ace on hole number 11can win a Hyundai i30.

The SMGA is a non-profit organization of avid golfers that promotes the practice of the game of golf and to foster community sense. The SMGA organizes golf matches and tournaments for its members and non-members and donates most of its proceeds that are made through membership fees and during these events like the St. Maarten Open to multiple community organizations on the island.

If you like more information about this event or schedule an interview with either the SMGA President Mr. Keith Graham or the SMGA Tournament Director Mr. Rodney Tackling, please call Marc van Iersel at +1721-5202901.

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Minister TEATT Connor Signs-off on Chamber of Commerce & Industry Rules of Procedure. Also receives Chamber’s 2015 1Q Report

PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Hon. Claret Connor and the President of the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peggy-Ann Brandon, accompanied by members of the Chamber Board and the Minister's Chief of Staff Jean James, signed the Chamber Board's Rules of Procedures document indicating that the Board updated the Rules of Order, and has received the Minister's approval. The Chamber President also submitted the Chamber 2015 first quarter President's report to the Minister.

The law that governs the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry indicates that this exercise should be carried out regularly. The Chamber is a public entity that falls under Ministry TEATT and functions as an advisory body to government representing the general interest of the country’s economic development.

Minister Connor congratulated the Chamber Board in completing one of its annual duties by presenting an updated Rules of Order to Ministry TEATT.

“This is a clear indication that the integrity and good corporate requirements are willingly executed by this public institution. I call on all private and public entities to follow these practices.

“As Minister I will be communicating to the large companies on the island to submit annually their approved consolidated financial statements and annual operational reports to the chamber of commerce for public access as prescribed by law.  This is all about transparency and openness and according to the rule of law.

“These systems of reporting are to provide the general public with information on how our large establishments are performing and living up to their corporate and social responsibilities as prescribed by law,”
Minister of TEATT Hon. Claret Connor said on Tuesday.

Minister Connor looks forward to working closely with the Chamber's Board on various programs to move the St. Maarten economy positively forward.  Board members present for the signing and presentation were Nzinga Lake, Charlise Philip, Anuska Friday, and Louis Bute. 

Those requiring information about the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry can visit the following website: http://www.chamberofcommerce.sx/

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Rotary Sunrise closes Rotary has Heart initiative off with Dinner event for Foster Home Kids

CAY HILL - Rotary Sunrise closed off its “Rotary has Heart” initiative by hosting a 3-course dinner event for children from a foster home on Sint Maarten. This event was a collaboration with the National Institute for Professional Advancement, NIPA. The purpose of the event was to offer the children a real life experience dining in a fancy restaurant, served a 3-course meal with aperitif, main course and desert. The aim of this project was twofold: 1) to have the members actively involved throughout the entire process from purchasing of the groceries until the preparation and serving of the meal and cleaning up after; and 2) to do the project in a joint venture with NIPA. 

The purpose for collaborating with NIPA was to promote the educational opportunities they offer to the youth of Sint Maarten to learn a vocation in their home country. The project also offered NIPA an opportunity to teach students service to the community by volunteering in the event.

With the unwavering support from Ms Renata de Weever, Hospitality Coordinator at NIPA, a menu was put together to suit the taste of the children, groceries were purchased and on the day of the event, NIPA opened their fully equipped professional kitchen to volunteering Rotarians to cook. Students from NIPA volunteered their time to assist in the coaching of the Rotarians for the preparation of the recipes.

The funds for the event came from fundraising through selling of Rotary has Heart aprons; all volunteers were asked to put on their apron for the event.

The event also had an educational aspect; before serving the children their meal, Ms Renata de Weever, gave the children instructions on table etiquette for professionals. They learned about how to set the table and how to use spoon, fork and knife during a dinner. Each of the children received a handout with these instructions to take home for future reference.

Twenty children in total ranging in age from 1 – 18 years old came to the dinner accompanied by three caretakers. The dinner was a delicious fun experience for the children that ended with spontaneous karaoke singing from the NIPA students and the children from the home.

During the closing remarks, President Virginia Asin expounded on the potential power of youth for the future of Sint Maarten fitting into the Rotary International’s year theme “Light Up Rotary”, which was derived by a Chinese proverb “it is better to light a single candle than curse the darkness”. She encouraged everyone to be a source of light in the world.

President Asin was very ecstatic about the final activity in the series of events from Rotary Sunrise “Rotary has Heart” initiative and expressed her gratitude and appreciation to NIPA for giving the club to make use of their facilities and students for this project.

The club meets at Philipburg Jubilee Library Conference Room every Tuesday mornings at 7:00am for fellowship and breakfast.  For more information on the club visit us at sxmsunrise.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., we are also on Facebook: Rotary Club of Saint Martin Sunrise

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Police request help in solving possible shooting incident of a 51-year old man

MARIGOT/COLE BAY - On Wednesday April 8th, 2015, at approximately 10.30 p.m. Detectives from the St. Maarten Police Force visited the L.C. Fleming Medical Center in Marigot, to gather information involving a 51-year old man who reported himself to the hospital with gunshot wounds.

The investigation carried out by the Gendarmes indicated that the shooting possibly occurred on the Dutch side of the island at which time the Detectives from the Dutch side also got involved in the investigation.

It is still unclear where the incident actually happened. The Forensic and the Detective Department of the St. Maarten Police Force started their investigation in the vicinity of Port de Plaisance, based on the information they have gathered. The French Forensic Department is also conducting their investigation on the French side of the island.

Both the victim and a 43-year old female witness will be interrogated by the Detective Department of the St. Maarten Police Force. The police are still looking for other witnesses who might have heard or seen anything in relation to this possible shooting. The incident probably took place between Well Road in Cole Bay and Port de Plaisance on April 8th, 2015 just before 10.30 p.m.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please come forward and report this to the Detective Department of the St. Maarten Police Force. You can also call our (anonymous) tip line on #9300. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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911 Dispatch workers attend “Customer Service” workshop

PHILIPSBURG - As part of the ongoing training for the personnel that will be working in the Joint Emergency Central Dispatch, a workshop in “Customer Service” was held on Saturday April 10th and provided and given by NAGICO N.V.

This workshop was held in the Philipsburg Police Head Quarters and presented by Lisa Brown and Terrance Dublin. The workshop entailed many subjects and mainly how to deal the communities, which are the customers, with the highest level of professionalism. 

All participants actively took part in the workshop and gathered and shared as much information possible.

In addition and in order to make the communication between the community and the 911 Emergency Dispatch as pleasant and effective as possible the following tips are provided to the community when and if an emergency call is placed:

When to call 911:

An emergency is a situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance. This emergency can include:

-          A fire

-          A crime, especially in progress

-          A car crash, especially if some one is injured

-          A medical emergency, such as someone is unconscious, gasping for air on not breathing, or any other symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

IMPORTANT: If you are not sure whether the situation is a true emergency, it is recommended to still call 911 and let the dispatch staff member determine whether you need emergency help.

When you call 911, be prepared to answer the call-taker’s questions, which may include:

-          The location of the emergency, including the street address.

-          The phone number you are calling from.

-          The nature of the emergency.

-          Details about the emergency, such as physical description of a person who may have committed a crime, a description of any fire that may be burning, or a description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person.

Remember, the call-taker’s questions are important to get the right kind of help to you quickly. Be prepared to follow all instructions the call-takers gives you. Follow the step by step approach provided.

DO NOT hang up the phone until the call-taker instructs you to. If you dial 911 by mistake when no emergency exists, do no hang up. Instead simply explain the call-taker what happened. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Academy students encouraged to Keep it Clean and Keep it Blue

ST. PETERS - St Maarten Tourist Bureau’s representative, Lisa Noel, made a presentation about Tourism to the St. Maarten Academy 4th formers recently.

This is in keeping with the Bureau’s objective to create greater awareness about the industry and its importance to the economy and the people of this country.

The students were presented with “Keep it Clean, Keep it Blue” T-shirts, which encourages them to protect and preserve our natural environment. (St. Maarten Tourist Bureau)

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The Digikidz Medialab re-opens at the library

PHILIPSBURG—The Philipsburg Jubilee Library will be re-opening the Digikidz Medialab this week. The Media lab was launched in 2014 and since then has hosted courses on a variety of topics in the area of multimedia.

Children and adults alike can come to the Medialab to learn about how to use computers and harness their creativity.

The courses that will be taught in the upcoming months are a basic course on the workings of the computer, a course for beginners on Facebook, programming basics, and many more.

The Medialab sessions are open to people of all ages and will be held twice a month on Friday afternoons in the library from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm. The courses are free for children and teachers.

Persons age 18 and over pay a contribution of $ 5 at the start of the workshop. For more information about the courses and to enroll in any of the classes, visit the medialab website on www.medialabsintmaarten.com or call the library at 542 2970.

The Medialab project is an initiative from Foundation Kultuurkameleon and is a part of the larger Digikidz project of the Foresee Foundation. Digikidz was made possible through funding from the Windsong Foundation and the Kultura fund. 

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