PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On Friday November 20, 2015, the University of St. Martin (USM) was awarded a Crystal Pineapple Award in the category “Outstanding Community Service Achievement”.

This award adds to the rebirth that the institution on the Pond Island is undergoing. On August 26, 2015, USM already received the QCF Accreditation of the United Kingdom to offer Level 5 programs in Hospitality and Business. This year USM also became the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) only center for the North Eastern Caribbean.

With programs such as the Pre-USM, GED Tutorial class and Senior Citizen courses in Computer Literacy and engaging Public Lectures and Discussions, the USM is also engaged in Community wide education.

The Board of Directors, Management, Staff, Faculty and Students of the USM would like to thank all those persons who voted for the institution. USM is grateful to accept the prestigious award.

The President of the Board of Directors, Mrs. Valerie Giterson-Pantophlet would like to emphasize that the renewed trust in the institution will be reciprocated with Quality Tertiary Education and Adult Enrichment programs to St. Maarteners of all social economic classes. At the award ceremony the USM has begun to make good on the promise by granting two nominees, via the SCELL, free AHLEI courses including the coveted Certified Guest Service Professional certificate (CGSP)”.

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is calling on the community as well as visitors to wear light colored clothing at dusk; long sleeve shirts and pants; and use mosquito repellent to prevent being bitten by a mosquito that could possibly be carrying dengue, zika or chikungunya. 

Visitors and residents who go out during the evening hours to various venues, are advised to take preventative measures to prevent one from getting dengue, zika or chikungunya. 

Dengue fever, zika and chikungunya are transmitted by the female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is distinguished by its markings. The body of the mosquito has alternate black and white horizontal stripes. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to adult mosquito.

Persons are also requested to keep their homes, yards, neighborhoods and work environment free from potential mosquito breeding sites.

Actively destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase or in pet dishes for more than two days.  Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water. 

Clean debris from rain gutters and remove any standing water under or around structures, or on flat roofs. Check around faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or eliminate puddles that remain for several days.

Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, plastic bags, foam dishes or even plastic cups strewn on the road side. 

Clean the dead leaves from banana and coconut trees.  Adult mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation.  Homeowners can reduce the number of areas where adult mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation.  Trim overgrown vegetation.

Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading is realized to prevent drainage problems which can be a source for standing water.  Empty all construction containers such as blue tanks, buckets, paint cans etc.

Mosquitoes can be kept out of the home by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened (16-18 mesh). Those insects that do get into structures can be eliminated with a fly swatter or an aerosol space spray containing synergized pyrethrum.

Adult mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation. Homeowners can reduce the number of areas where adult mosquitoes can find shelter by cutting down weeds adjacent to the house foundation and in their yards, and mowing the lawn regularly. To further reduce adult mosquitoes harboring in vegetation, insecticides may be applied to the lower limbs of shade trees, shrubs and other vegetation. Lot owners should also manage overgrown vegetation and litter on the respective lots. Screen off cistern outlets, cover and screen septic tanks properly.

The aforementioned measures should also be taken in and around the workplace, social gatherings and living quarters to eliminate mosquito breeding sources. 

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents at risk. For information about dengue fever, zika and chikungunya prevention measures, you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003.

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao – With the support of the former opposition party PAR, there is a new coalition based on the support of twelve seats in parliament. This government will finish the 4 year term until next election 10 months from now.

Yesterday the leaders of the various parliamentary factions signed the coalition agreement to form the Cabinet Whiteman 2.

“My work as the ‘formateur’ of the new government is over,” said Prime Minister Ben Whiteman, visibly relieved that the leaders of the Pueblo Soberano (PS), PAIS, PNP, PAR and Independent MP Glenn Sulvaran have come reached an agreement.

At the beginning of this month, the negotiations between the parties came to a halt because of PAR’s demand for the Minister Plenipotentiary in The Hague, Marvelyne Wiels to be replaced. The ruling party PS did not agree with this and instructed their Prime Minister to present his resignation and that of his government to the Governor.

PAR then agreed to appoint their candidate as Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary, therefore sacrificing PNP’s appointee Robert Candelaria.

WILLEMSTAD, CuracaoSanta Clause arrived on Curacao on this past Saturday.

However, his arrival was not welcomed by many persons, who staged a manifestation on that island.

Gonzalo Cuales of Z-86 radio in Willemstad has been following that story and filed this report via PodCast.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago - They come from all walks of life, united by religion.

A scholar, a lifeguard, a boxer, a doctor, an engineer, a lawyer.

These are some of the jobs that Trinidadian Muslims held before joining the cause of the Islamic State.

Continuing investigations by the Sunday Express into what prompted an emigration of about 100 Muslims from Trinidad to Syria and Iraq to support a jihad being waged by the Islamic State (ISIS) reveal contrary profiles of the men who left this country.

The Sunday Express has already reported that two men detained during the state of emergency (SoE) in October 2011—Shane Crawford and Milton John Algernon, also known as Fareed Mustapha—are in Syria.

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In Photo Above; left with his family: Local Islamic scholar Ashmead Choate closed his school in Freeport and has journeyed to Sy­ria.

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