Today Newspaper St Maarten

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The daily newspaper for Country St. Maarten
Updated: 6 min 11 sec ago

NAGICO sponsors police brochures

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 04:19

St. Maarten – Nagico sponsored 10,000 brochures to the Community Police Officers of St. Maarten on Thursday morning, to assist with their crime prevention efforts.

CEO of Nagico Insurances Dwayne Elgin made the presentation to representatives of the police force; community police officers; inspectors Steven Carty and Arcella Leonard. “We at Nagico are pleased to be able to assist the Community Police Officers (CPOs) in this initiative and we remain committed to our community as the repercussions and ripple effect from increased crime rate can be severe.”

The ... Read more

Work on flood gates will resume in January

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 04:17

St. Maarten —Work on the flood gates will be suspended today and will resume the second week in January, according to information from the Ministry Vromi..

“The floodgates are due to arrive in January from the Netherlands,” states project leader Raymond Chittick, “and the project is estimated to be completed by the end of March. The works are progressing smoothly and according to schedule despite minor intervention of rain,” he added. The floodgates expansion project commenced in November and the old flood gates were demolished on December 9 which cleared the way for excav ... Read more

Heavy police presence for Ring Road area

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 04:16

St. Maarten —In an effort to alleviate the seasonal traffic congestion the police force and the ministry Vromi took a joint decision to temporarily open the Ring Road to traffic leaving the Philipsburg area, and have cautioned that there will be heavy police presence in these areas and that motorists attempting to use this road to enter Philipsburg stand the risk of being fined.

The parking arrangements that previously existed in that area have also been changed and motorists parking in the areas not designated for such will also be fined. The stated offences carry a Naf 200 penalt ... Read more

Parents urged to caution kids about behavior on school bus

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 04:14

St. Maarten —The school bus inspection section extends Christmas greetings to the parents, school children and school bus driver’s and wish them “Happy Holidays and all the best for the New Year,” and urge parents to caution kids about appropriate behavior on the school bus.

The school year closes today December 19 for the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season and will re-open on Monday, January 5, 2015. “When schools resume in January, parents and guardians are requested to talk with their children with respect to their behavior on the school bus, and to caution them ... Read more

Emil Lee: “Cuba will be an interesting and competitive factor”

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 04:13

GREATBAY—St. Maarten’s tourism product, as well as that of the other Caribbean islands, may be negatively impacted by the new Cuban/American relationship, according to former director of the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association and current president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Emil Lee.

The CHTA president noted that after being closed off to US residents for tourism and business for the last fifty years, Cuba will now be “a competitive and interesting” factor. While pointing out that although Cuba was still opened to tourists from Europe and Canad ... Read more

The road to the Gumbs I cabinet: “Peddling seats to the highest bidder”

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 04:12

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – When Governor Drs. Eugene Holiday administers the oath of office to the five ministers of the Gumbs I cabinet this afternoon, it marks the end of a tedious process that started during the night after the parliamentary elections on August 29. How did we get where we are today? A review.

To avoid any misunderstandings, the governor also administers the oath to the minister plenipotentiary today – but that is not a ‘real’ minister – it is the representative of St. Maarten in The Hague.

When the results of the elections came in in late Au ... Read more

New book to be launched on St. Maarten by Julio Romney

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 04:07

St. Maarten —A new book–St. Maarten: Our Constituent State Constitutional Framework– will be launched shortly by political analyst and science researcher Julio Romney.  Romney, who attended several schools in his early years on St. Maarten, went on to study in Canada where he pursued a double major in economics and political science at the University of Winnipeg.

The content of the publication includes the constitutional framework and elaborates on the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Constitution of St. Maarten, the structure and the functioning of gove ... Read more

Chamber of Commerce elections

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 04:06

St. Maarten —Thirteen persons have been nominated for the three vacancies that exist on the board of the Chamber of Commerce and industry and votes will be cast today to decide the new board members. The election process will begin at 8:00am.

The nomination period ended Tuesday. “For the large business sector, five (5) persons postulated themselves, and for the small business sector, eight (8) persons postulated themselves. For the large business sector, there is one (1) vacancy, and for the small business sector, there are two (2) vacancies on its board of directors,” a press ... Read more

Ill-treated gun-owner gets off with lighter sentence

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 04:04

St. Maarten – Leon Alfred Didder found some reprieve in the Court in First Instance after the prosecution demanded 18 months of imprisonment against him for firearm possession. Judge Rick Smid noted that the standard for this crime is 18-6 (18 months, with 6 months suspended), but he sentenced the defendant to 18 months imprisonment with 12 months suspended and 3 years of probation.

The reason for the lighter sentence is that Didder was so seriously ill-treated after his arrest that the National Detective Agency is looking into the matter.

The 24-year-old was driving a scoo ... Read more

Car thief gets lucky

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 04:03

St. Maarten – Delbert Gary B. escaped a 4-month prison sentence for fencing a stolen car yesterday in the Court in First Instance. The police stopped the 24-year-old on September 29 and found that the car’s ignition was broken, and that de registration plates were incorrect. On the back seat officers found other plates and it became clear that the car had been stolen on the French side on April 21.

  1. told police that he had seen the car with the broken ignition on the French side and that he had driven off with it. The officers arrested the man on the spot, and he was release ... Read more

Court ruling confirms again: Americans citizens do not need residence and work permits

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 03:09

St. Maarten – American citizens are entitled to establish themselves in St. Maarten and they do not need a work permit. That is the conclusion from a ruling by the Common Court of Justice in the case of US-citizen Hillary Grant vs. Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson.

Vivian Choennie, of the law office Fox and Associates, represented Grant in the appeal case.

Similar immigration cases have been in court for years and the courts have consistently ruled in favor of the American citizens who requested admission by law. Among the most recent Americans to be admitted under the ... Read more

Housing foundation board member Elston Fos speaks: “Lake knew what is going on”

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 03:03

St. Maarten – Four candidates for the three vacant positions on the supervisory board of the Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation withdrew their candidacy this weekend “for fear of their lives,” attorney Jairo Bloem stated in a press release issued yesterday on behalf of the foundation.

It is the next step in an ugly situation that developed last week with a report that the managing director of the foundation, Henry Lynch had been suspended. Next thing anyone knew, someone attempted to shoot board member Elston Fos. The attempt on his life failed because the gun malfunct ... Read more

Container fees went up 10 percent this year

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 03:02

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Harbour cargo Facilities NV, a subsidiary of the Harbour Holding Company, increased its container fees in 2014 by 10 percent. This appears from the holding’s 2014 budget. The tax for a 20-foot container went up to $284.16 and for a 40-foot container to $317.87.

The company expected to handle 14,284 full containers this year; the majority – 66 percent – are 40-foot containers. For the 4,915 20-foot containers Cargo Facilities collected close to $1.4 million in taxes; for the 9,369 40-foot containers the projected taxes amounted to almost $ 3 million ... Read more

Court rules against admission by right of Slowakian citizen

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 03:01

Great Bay – St. Maarten does not have to admit Svetlana Kostelnikova by right to its territory. That is the gist of a ruling the Common Court of Justice published on Monday. In March the Court in First Instance ruled that the Slowakian national was entitled to admission, but Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson appealed that decision.

The verdict is a disappointment for Kostelnikova and her attorney Willem Nelissen, who maintains that the court made a mistake. The court based its decision on the – according to Nelissen incorrect – assumption that the woman sought admission as ... Read more

Cornelius De-Weever says: “bring back our professionals”

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 02:57

Great Bay—St. Maarten graduates and professionals in Holland must, according to Minister Cornelius de Weever, be encouraged and motivated to return to the island to use their expertise and knowledge in building their country.

The Social development and labor minister is urging local businesses to participate in Flinx Recruitment Expo Dutch Caribbean (FRED) June 4-June 7, 2015 in the Netherlands, Rotterdam.  “We need to bring our graduating and graduated students back to St. Maarten to build St. Maarten together as well as those who may be working abroad,” de Weever advises.

Read more

Witu wants teachers council established

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 02:54

St. Maarten —A national teacher’s council on St. Maarten would be in the best interest of teachers, according to statements from head of the local teachers union Claire Elshot following the union’s participation in an education conference in Belize. The conference was organized by the Caribbean Union of Teachers, of which the Windward Islands Teachers Union (Witu) is an affiliate. Elshot noted that similar councils have been established on other Caribbean islands and that such councils are in keeping with advise from the Caribbean Secretariat. Elshot stressed that such a council must ... Read more

Extended business hours as of December 17, 2014

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 02:53

St. Maarten – Business hours have been extended to 10:00pm as of December 17 through December 30 for all businesses according to a notice from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

“This is in accordance with Article 5 of the Shop Closure Ordinance, which states that the opening hours for the Christmas holidays are regulated as follows: November 28 through December 4 and December 17 through December 30, closing hours are extended until 10 pm. On the Saturdays and Sundays and the day before Christmas as a Sunday considered day, the extended hours are until 8 pm, but the Mini ... Read more

Final phase Chincactus Drive starts January

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 02:51

St. Maarten – The final phase of the ChinCactus road upgrade is carded to commence on January 5, according to information from Public Works Project Leader, Alfredo Pantophlet,

The recently began drainage project in the Sucker Garden area is currently continuing  but is scheduled to halt temporarily this coming Friday December 19 and resume on December 29 and 30 for continuation of leveling and placing base course. Following these two days of activity, the project will kick off its final stage on January 5.

The developing area, which includes Chincactus Road and Chincac ... Read more

Editorial: Not helpful (vague press statement from Minister Lake)

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:22

Vromi-Minister Maurice Lake is apparently not aware of the finer details of the articles of incorporation that regulate the St. Maarten Housing Foundation. That leads to public statements that are at odds with reality – and nobody stands to benefit from that.

The foundation’s board should have five – not seven, as the minister claims in a press statement – members and as long as there is at least one member left, that board is legal.

Another point is of course that the board should take action without delay (meaning: immediately) once there are fewer than five board me ... Read more

Minister Lake misreads articles of incorporation: Chaos at housing foundation

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:21

St. Maarten – The actions by a lone board member of the St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF) to request the government’s accountants bureau (Soab) to carry out a forensic investigation, and also into the purchase-to-pay process and remuneration process is premature, Vromi-Minister Maurice Lake states in a press release.

“I was not aware of this process. Proper procedure has not been followed, and this is an illegal procedure. An SMHDF board member has taken it upon himself after misleading another board member of the housing foundation who is unwell, and who was ... Read more