Today Newspaper St Maarten

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The daily newspaper for Country St. Maarten
Updated: 2 hours 4 min ago

Mega drug smuggler back to court for new hearing: Supreme Court strikes down denied extradition request

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 16:20

St. Maarten – The Common Court of Justice will have to revisit the request from the United States of America to extradite drug smuggler Jhon Henry Medina. On September 11 of last year, the Common Court concluded, based on the extradition treaty that Medina’s extradition was not permissible and it advised to reject the request. The Supreme Court has voided this ruling in cassation and sent the case back to the Common Court for review. In the meantime, the Common Court has sentenced Medina to 7 years and 4 months for his involvement in the shipment of 1,453 kilos of cocaine.

Solic ... Read more

Prosecution UP Candidate Maria Buncamper-Molanus for Eco Green remains possible  

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 16:18

Candidate #23 Silvio Matser and UP-rep Roy Heyliger also in legal trouble

St. Maarten – There is still no decision about the possible criminal prosecution of UP-candidate #21 Maria Buncamper-Molanus, the prosecutor’s office said in answer to a question from this newspaper. The prosecutor’s office maintains that there is no reason not to prosecute the former minister for the Eco Green scandal this newspaper revealed in December 2010.

“Buncamper-Molanus has asked the court for a declaration termination criminal investigation,” prosecutor Tineke Kamps wrote in ... Read more


Wed, 07/23/2014 - 16:17

St. Maarten —All five members of the Central Voting Bureau approved the validity of the political parties contesting the upcoming Parliamentary elections slated for this coming August. Even though several of the political parties had received notifications of their omissions, it was all corrected in the time allotted.

The Chairman of the Central Voting Bureau Jason Rogers in explaining the process said that according to article 20 of the Electoral Ordinance all decisions taken by the Central Voting Bureau are by two thirds majority. He explained that with the endorsement of the po ... Read more

Autism: Something is the matter with my child

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 16:14

By Myriam Haar

“Yes, I noticed there is something not quite right with him but I don’t know what it is or what to do about it.”

In the course of the emotional coaching I’ve been giving since January 2013 to groups of children facing various challenges in their young life, I’ve come to hear this sentence several times; referring to the behavior of children we call ‘on the autism spectrum’.

Out of 18 children I work with each week aged between 9 and 11, 6 are on the spectrum which represents 1/3rd of the group. Yet only 1 child ha ... Read more

Validity campaign-permit uncertain

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 17:56

St. Maarten – It is not entirely certain that the general permit for political parties is already in effect. This is because the permit has not been published yet in the National Gazette. If this is correct, it means that all political parties that have placed campaign material on public roads are in violation of the APH – the Algemene Politie Keur, or general police law.

Justice Minister Dennis Richardson, reacting to questions from this newspaper about the status of the permit, stated that in his opinion it is not necessary to publish the permit in the National Gazette. “How ... Read more

National Alliance holds first meeting: “It is all about proper representation”

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 17:55

St. Maarten - “It is all about proper representation when people vote,” said leader of the National Alliance (NA) William Marlin at the first contact meeting held at the Pantophlet villas in St. Peter’s on Friday evening. “It is not about the replacement of a refrigerator or a new stove or blocks,” he said and explained that he has added to his slogan “St. Maarten first one hundred percent.”

He spoke of some politicians who are known as “Mr. Ten and Twenty percent” and noted that when he is in government he always gives one hundred percent. He spoke of a prior elec ... Read more

Killer Devon Otto transferred to prison in the Netherlands

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 17:55

St. Maarten – In the company of two guards, Stanley Gumbs-killer Devon Otto left St. Maarten on Sunday to spend the rest of his lengthy prison sentence in a prison in the Netherlands. Already in 2012 then Justice Minister Roland Duncan wanted to transfer Otto to the Netherlands because he is considered extremely dangerous. In the end however, the transfer took place at Otto’s own request, because he feels no longer safe in the Pointe Blanche prison.

In February 2010, the Common Court of Justice sentenced Otto on appeal to 30 years imprisonment – 6 more than de sentence from th ... Read more

DP wants dollarization and new Central Bank building

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 17:54

St. Maarten – The Democratic Party is a proponent of dollarization and the construction of a new building for the Central Bank in St. Maarten, the party states in a press release that highlights its stance on the monetary union with Curacao and on local government-owned companies.

It is the first time that the DP takes a position on the choice between a joint Central Bank and a future without one, whereby St. Maarten would dollarize. The discussion about dollarization goes back to at least 2006, but successive governments refrained from taking a decision against the background of ... Read more

Moses-Burton escapes tragedy

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:13

St. Maarten – Suzette Moses-Burton, St. Maarten’s former HIV/Aids program manager and currently the executive director of the Global Network for People living with HIV, escaped tragedy on her way to the twentieth international Aids conference that begins tomorrow in Melbourne, Australia. She flew via Kuala Lumpur to Australia with Malaysian Airlines, just 24 hours before the next flight that was shot down in the air space above the Ukraine.

On board of that plane were among others the Dutch senator Willem Witteveen, Joep Lange and his partner Jacqueline van Tongeren. Lange was t ... Read more

Future keynote speaker in St. Maarten: Leading AIDS expert among dead in flight MH17 crash

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:12

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten AIDS Foundation bemoaned the profound loss for the global AIDS community that resulted from the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The plane was en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Australia, the foundation said in a press release. The conference is a bi-annual event attended by leading AIDS experts around the world. It is believed that more than 100 of the 298 passengers on board were medical researchers, health workers, and activists whose single common aim was to further the cause against HIV/AIDS.

Among those on the plane ... Read more

Maximiliaan Phelipa: In the Garden of Art

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:10

St. Maarten / By Jason Lista – He waits for me patiently by his gate on Front Street. Philipsburg has settled to a quiet stroll in the late afternoon, and local artist Maximilaan Phelipa is standing near the entrance to the garden of his home. He and his wife have converted their backyard into a charming labyrinth of plants and trees – a playground of tropical colors – and it is here that Phelipa does all of his painting. The place is a hidden treasure.

“I don’t feel good if I don’t paint,” Phelipa says passionately. “I love to paint.” He is originally fro ... Read more

National Alliance supports expansion medical center

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 17:56

Manifesto: “State of the art equipment and the best physicians”

St. Maarten – The National Alliance does not support the construction of a new hospital, it appears from the health and wellness chapter of the parties political manifesto. The NA prefers “to collaborate with stakeholders including the board, management and the healthcare professionals at the SMMC to finalize plans to expand the existing medical center to accommodate more patients and provide additional onsite services based on the needs of the community and surrounding islands.”

The party envi ... Read more

Young dance and design talent Deveny Elferink to New York

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 17:56

St. Maarten - Deveny Elferink, one of St Maarten’s top youth dance and design talents flew to New York on Thursday to attend The School of Creative Arts and Performing Arts SOCAPA and the Parson New School of Design.

At just 13 years of age, Deveny’s goal is to become a professional dancer and designer. Nicole de Weever, founder of the Foundation Arts Saves Lives, discovered Deveny’s exceptional dance and creative talents last year. Besides Nicole’s personal guidance, a team of professionals has been formed to assist and guide Deveny to achieve her goals.

To speed-up ... Read more

Two dead in Curacao airport shooting – “This is a serious blow to our tourism”

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 20:49

WILLEMSTAD – Two people were gunned down in a brazen gangland style shooting at Curacao’s Hato International Airport Tuesday evening. And at least six others were wounded, police said. According to reports, a car drove up to the front of the arrival hall; one of the occupants then jumped out and indiscriminately opened fire on a group of people in the arrivals hall. There were a lot of shots fired, the reports said. The shooting naturally caused a lot of commotion at the airport.

The two people killed are from Curacao, one died at the scene, while the other died later in hospit ... Read more

Minister De Weever sticks to expansion plan for hospital

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 20:49

St. Maarten – “Absolutely.” That was Public Health Minister Cornelius de Weever’s response to a question from this newspaper whether the government is looking for the expansion and upgrading of the current medical center, rather than opting for the construction of a new hospital as the united People’s party promotes on election posters.

“We have been working of this for the past three to four years,” the minister said. “Mr. Heyliger is quite aware of the progress with the St. Maarten Medical Center.”

Three years ago, De Weever called a meeting with the forme ... Read more

L’Escargot Restaurant-robber sentenced to 6 years

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 20:47

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Franklyn Emmanuel Lake yesterday to 6 years of imprisonment for his role in an armed robbery on the owners of L’Escargot restaurant on October 26, 2012. At the trial on June 26, the prosecution demanded 10 years.

The court considered in its ruling that Lake, who was addicted to drugs at the time of the robbery, had made great progress in his commitment to strive for a drug free life during treatment at Turning Point. However, Judge Koos van de Ven also took into account that Lake had been sentenced mildly in December of last ye ... Read more

Hype-agenda highlights career choices

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 20:46

St. Maarten – Education Minister Patricia Lourens received the first copy of the Hype-agenda yesterday morning from coordinator Zulayka Peterson during a press conference at the government administration Building. The agenda, produced for students and by students is for the 2014-2015 school year. The government will buy 200 copies and give them to students who are going to further their studies abroad.

Peterson said that students had been actively involved in the production of the agenda. “They determined the information they wanted to see reflected in the publication. They cond ... Read more

D66-MP Wassila Hachchi: “Let Council of State investigate conflict about Aruba’s budget”

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 16:07

THE HAGUE  – The Council of State has to investigate the conflict about Aruba’s budget as soon as possible, D66-parliamentarian Wassila Hachchi said yesterday afternoon also on behalf of the CDA.

According to Hachchi the answers Minister Ronald Plasterk sent to the parliament yesterday leave questions unanswered about the lawfulness of the decision by the Kingdom Council of Ministers. The council instructed Governor Fredis Refunjol on Friday to commission an investigation into the country’s 2014 budget.

Hachchi says that the answers provide insufficient explanation ... Read more

Tax bailiff goes after American University

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 16:06

St. Maarten – The bailiff for the tax inspectorate has served a distress warrant to the American University of the Caribbean NV. This entity, owned by Chinese-born American immigrant Paul Tien, sold the university in 2011 for $200 million to Devry Inc. Tien owed 25 percent in profit taxes from that deal but in reality he settled with the tax-inspectorate for just $7.2 million.

It is unclear whether the current distress warrant applies to this deal or that there are other fiscal debts involved. The tax inspectorate is by law forbidden from revealing information about individual tax ... Read more

Police will discuss campaign advertising with parties

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 16:05

St. Maarten – The police will address the placement of campaign material with the leaders of political parties that so far have ignored the conditions set forth in the general permit that allows parties to advertise along public roads.

Based on the permit, it is prohibited to place campaign material on bridges, on or near roundabouts and on street furniture (like lampposts and traffic signs).

During the past couple of days, the police has made the rounds, snapping pictures of situations that seemed to violate the rules. Yesterday Chief Commissioner Peter de Witte discussed ... Read more