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Soualiga News (4392)

One Man Killed Saturday Morning

A.T. ILLIDGE ROAD – Police Forensics are investigating a shooting that took place on the A.T. Illidge road early Saturday morning, August 16 at an entertainment establishment.

It has been reported that the person killed is a resident of the French side.

Apparently the get-away vehicle used in the shooting was discovered abandoned in the district of Madame Estate.

No official Police report has been issued as yet with respect to the shooting.

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Telcell to restore full service by midnight Friday

GREAT BAY - Telcell has performed a network upgrade which is causing some congestion problems in the Philipsburg area such as busy calls, slow data and calls not being received, resulting in voicemail.

The technical team is working together with Nokia-Siemens (NSN) to activate features to restore the performance of the mobile network.

The service is expected to be fully restored by midnight Friday, August 15.

Telcell sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience caused. 

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Safety at WINAIR and PJIA Airport

SIMPSON BAY, Airport Road - During annual routine inspection of WINAIR equipment PJIAE inspectors were impressed with safety bars WINAIR had installed on all golf carts, which afford passengers additional safety to riders.

PJIAE has asked all golf carts operating within PJIAE to be retrofitted with these safety bars. This additional safety feature was created and implemented by Manager Automotive Diniskoemar Soedban.

“A job well done by Dinis and demonstrating that we all have significant role to play when it comes to safety of all personnel operating at PJIAE”, says M. Cleaver President and CEO of WINAIR.

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Ministry of Labor Closed on Friday

GREAT BAY - The Departments of Labor and Social Affairs will be closed to the general public on Friday, August 15, 2014 due to the funeral of their colleague Patricia Pantophlet. The departments will resume normal working hours on Monday, August 18, 2014. The department apologizes for any inconvenience caused.

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Cft: “Saba is ahead with improvements of financial management”

SABA – The three public entities of the Caribbean Netherlands all have finalized the year 2013 with a budgetary surplus. But in the area of financial management their effort needs to be intensified. Saba is showing improvement, however Sint Eustatius and Bonaire do not have their financial management sufficiently under control. This is one of the main conclusions in the semi-annual report of Cft for the period of January–June 2014 regarding the three public entities.

Saba is on track with all reports. The first budget amendment for 2014 and the annual report over 2013 has been adopted by the island council and submitted to the minister of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK). The annual report for 2013 received a declaration of approval from the accountant for a correct reflection and a declaration with limitation regarding the legitimacy. In the event Saba has developed a framework of standards by next year, there is good reason to expect a declaration with a full approval.

Last year Sint Eustatius made a big step in the improvement of its financial management. The administration was cleaned up, which for the first time created insight in the real financial position of the public entity. Sint Eustatius has not yet submitted its annual report for 2013. In the semi-annual report Cft has made some remarks on the legitimacy of some expenditures, which will have to be addressed. Seeing the pressure on the viability of the 2014 budget, Sint Eustatius has already taken some measures to prevent a possible deficit.

Cft has made agreements with Bonaire about the improvement of the financial management. The public entity, the external accountant and the Board are working together to realize the necessary improvements and prevent an instruction. This collaboration was necessary because at the end of last year it became apparent that there was insufficient insight in the financial situation. Bonaire was not in control. There are improvements indeed, but at the same time there are also delays in other areas. For example, Bonaire does not dispose of adopted 2003 financial statements yet.

The three public entities all have realized a budgetary surplus in 2013, which they need to pay off interest free loans and to finance investments. 

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Burglary at Port under Investigation

POINT BLANCHE - Management of Port St. Maarten have taken additional temporary measures to enhance security at the Port after a recent burglary.

The burglary took place during the night of Sunday, August 10.  The security system at a Jewellery Store at the cruise facility alerted Checkmate Security that something was amiss. 

An investigation is currently underway by the detective department, and therefore no further information can be released in order not to jeopardise the aforementioned.

A Port Management Security Meeting took place on Monday, August 11 to assess the situation.

It was concluded that the following temporary measures would be implemented immediately pending the conclusion of the current on-going investigation: security has been increased in the commercial area; additional cameras will be added in the aforementioned area.

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Martis-Romou International Youth Day Message

PHILIPSBURG - Angelique Martis-Romou, The #16 candidate on the United People (UP) Party would like to take this opportunity to wish all young persons, a happy and blessed International Youth Day.

Martis-Romou, is a staunch youth advocate, who supports, promotes and motivates the youth. She stated that the theme of International Youth Day 2014 is "Youth and Mental Health."

Martis-Romou explained that it was 15 years ago on the 17th of December 1999, when  the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

Martis-Romou indicated that there is no irony in the fact that this years' "international day of the youth" theme deals with youth and mental health as this is definitely a worldwide dilemma which has recently been coming to light here on our island and is taking a toll on our youth in St. Maarten as well. Mental health is a situation which has her attention and that of the United People's party as their future plans do not only include building a mental health facility but providing the adequate services at the facility which is of vital importance.

She also stated that International reports indicate that One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14 and three-quarters by the age 24 and that despite effective treatment, there are long delays sometimes decades between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.                                                                                                 Our Mental health foundation indicated that due to lack of funding there is no official report on the numbers of youth affected by mental illnesses on St. Maarten. Martis-Romou  also explained that reports indicated that youth with mental health conditions can often experience stigma and discrimination, which in turn can lead to exclusion and/or discourage people from seeking help for fear of being negatively ‘labeled’ and that the mental health foundation also indicated the same .

The 2014 observance of International Youth Day will raise awareness on this important topic, as well as highlight the experiences of brave, young individuals who have chosen to speak out about these issues with the objective of overcoming stigma and discrimination to ensure that young people with mental health conditions can lead full and healthy lives free from isolation and unnecessary shame, and openly seek the services and support they need.Young adults have a higher risk of mental health problems and many of these problems are often tied into substance abuse, which in turn have a negative effect on the brain.

Reports also indicate that early intervention is key and it is said that across a lifespan, people with mental illness can experience an array of challenges—from family difficulties (such as violent arguments and financial worries) and academic problems to an increased risk for physical illness and shorter life expectancy. Some of these issues can be prevented by early intervention. Empowering youth, educators and health professionals with a better understanding of mental health can help alleviate the social and economic impact of some mental health disorders. Programs that provide youth and their families with the much-needed opportunity to discuss and address issues affecting mental health—before they become a problem—can help to ensure healthy development.

Martis-Romou applauds the work of the UN, which in 1995 the General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth, setting a policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people.

She said that there are 15 Priority Areas adopted by the General Assembly namely:

  •  Education
  • Employment
  • Hunger and poverty
  • Health
  • Environment
  • Drug abuse
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Leisure-time activities
  • Girls and young women
  • Participation
  • Globalization
  • Information and communication technologies
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Youth and conflict
  • Intergenerational relations

She also indicated that all of these points as indicated as priorities by the UN are also priorities for the UP party, Education leading the band wagon as a priority for the United People's party as well, especially knowing that education helps to facilitate and alleviate many of the other priorities on this list.

A. Martis-Romou also said that as president of the St. Martin Promoting Young Ambassadors (SMPYA) foundation she works tirelessly to bring about awareness on issues which affect and are of importance to the youth and applaud all organizations which do the same. "It is imperative that we as adults lead by example and motivate our youth to achieve excellence and to be all that they can be "no matter their situation or circumstance." (Contributed by UP Candidate Angelique Martis-Romou) 

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