PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - On September 25th and 26th a conference on elderly care was held for medical professionals. The conference was organized by a collaboration platform of the Ministry, Health Care institutions, the AUC and the NASKHO and hosted by the AUC in Cupecoy.

With an attendance of about 150 health care professionals, including participants from Statia and Saba, the conference was very successful. Subjects as challenges faced by the elderly, how we can age actively, the possibilities of palliative care in the elderly, optimizing nutrition and exercise in the elderly, dealing with dementia in the elderly and special caution when prescribing medication in the elderly were very interesting and provided good interaction with the participants.

The need for reliable data on matters concerning the elderly on Sint Maarten such as disease prevalence and socio-economic status became apparent.

Medicine is an ever evolving science due to new and updated treatment modalities and strategies, new diagnostic possibilities and advancements in technology.

The collaboration platform is looking forward into joining forces with the Windward Island Medical Association (WIMA) and aims at organizing four accredited continuous medical education (CME) events annually in order to continue promote and optimize quality of care. Sint Maarten, Statia and Saba medical professionals will be able to update their knowledge and skills locally, obtain necessary CME credits and stay in compliance with (future) legal professional requirements.

The conference was funded through sponsoring by AUC, Sint Maarten Laboratory Services, Rotary Sint Maarten, The Guardian Group, Sint Maarten Medical Center, White Yellow Cross Foundation, Boehringer, The Indian Merchant Association, the Pharmacy Association Sint Maarten, SZV, Blue Point and Nature Discount. A word of gratitude to all of them.

It is hoped these sponsors and more will continue to contribute to these efforts in optimizing and improving quality of health care on Sint Maarten, Statia and Saba.


BES Islands - There was a small party at the building site of the new Kolegio Strea Briante location (formerly the Watapana School). During a brief ceremony those present celebrated the reaching of the highest point.

School Director Jubella Balentin and Ronald Haafkes from the firm BonNed threw champagne over the highest point of an aerial work platform.

Among those present were Commissioner Gerald Silberie, responsible for Urban Development, representatives of the public entities Bonaire, Kolegio Strea Briante, BonNed, Jakobs Architekten, RCN/OCW and the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, which guides the construction in assignment of the Ministry of OCW (Education, Culture and Science) and the public entity.

The new Strea Briante Complex includes two school buildings with in total twelve classrooms and one building with auxiliary spaces like a teachers’ room, a meeting room and an ICT- and office space.

According to plan, the new accommodation of Kolegio Strea Briante will be delivered half December 2015. This construction project is part of the education accommodation plans.

The education accommodation plans have been developed for each of the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands by the public entities and the Ministry of OCW.

They contain the blueprint for improvement of the education accommodation in the whole of the Caribbean Netherlands, between 2012 and 2017.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Leona Marlin-Romeo, has notified the current President of Parliament Hon. Dr. Lloyd Richardson and Secretary Generals, that effective immediately, the position held as Vice Chair is made available.

MP Marlin-Romeo duly notes that there is a new majority in Parliament and therefore, the appointment of the new chairmanship must transpire. 

In order to facilitate the process, notice was given to the respective persons in order for the new appointment to continue.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, headed the Council of Ministers delegation that attended an Ecumenical Church Service in commemoration of Constitution Day, 12 October, which took place at St. Simon & St. Jude Anglican Church on Back Street, Philipsburg, on Monday.

Also in attendance was His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday and Mrs. Holiday.

Members of the Council of Ministers present were: Minister Claret Connor, Minister Rafael Boasman, Minister Martin Hassink, Minister Ernest Sams, and Minister Rita Bourne-Gumbs, who was the host of the church service.

The sermon was delivered by Father Terrence Rawlins.

Also in attendance were Members of Parliament, Collectivite of St. Martin Vice President Rosette Lake Gumbs, High Council of State representatives, high ranking civil servants and members of the congregation.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Another young man could be seen Friday night lying in a pool of what is presumed to be his own blood after a violent shooting.

The fatal shooting of a man said to be from the island of Curacao, Shafien Mauricia born on July 30 1987 (28 years old) is said to have taken place just before 10pm at a Bar and Restaurant located at the beginning of Welgelegen Road in Cayhill and consisted of two sets of shots.

According to one resident of the area, she was startled to hear at least five shots fired in the vicinity of the bar which was at the time, occupied with a number of patrons and blaring dancing music.

The music in the bar did not stop playing the resident told us as the first five shots rang out, however soon after another set of shots rang out and that this time the music stopped and all the patrons could be seen scattering from the crime scene.

When the police arrived on the scene of the crime shortly after, they found an empty bar with the body of a man lying in a pool of blood, face down with his head twisted to his left.

The victim was seemingly wearing a jeans pants and a red shirt, dressed as though he was a patron of the bar at the time of his demise. It is not clear if a robbery was involved in this latest fatal shooting crime.

 Persons looking on to the crime scene indicated that the body of the man resembled a known national of Curacao however no further details was seemingly known.IMG 20151010 WA000

We later learnt that the victim was detained as a suspect in a fatal shooting case in the district of Cole Bay on the 27 October 2014. {Click the link} His release came after a discrepancy took place with the timing of his detention.

Initially the crime scene was limited to the Bar and Restaurant however it was later extended to include the parking lot of Builders' Paradise.

It is now believed that the initial set of shots may have come from the parking lot and that the second set of shots were fired in bar which would explain the abrupt stop to the music that was playing and the scattering of the patrons.

It is not expected that the public will be given information on the specifics of the investigation however just what transpired between the time of the first set of shots and the second is expected to form a major part of this investigation.

This fatal incident brings the body count for the week to 3.

The police force of St. Maarten is now conducting an investigation.

A report from the police was issued Saturday afternoon in which they confirmed that the suspected shooter is believed to have escaped in a car.

The full report compiled by the police Inspector Ricardo Henson can be read below.

The Police Department is presently investigating the fatal shooting of a twenty-eight year old male, which took place on Friday evening October 9th 2015 between 09.30 and 10.30 p.m. The shooting took place at the former Teke Teke snack bar located at the Welgelegen road in Cay Hill. According to information received, a gunman entered the premises and started firing several shots and fatally injuring one man. After committing this act he fled in an unknown vehicle. Police, Detectives and Forensic department arrived shortly after the incident to conduct an investigation. Police closed off the area and diverted traffic to allow the forensic department to collect evidence while the detectives spoke to witnesses. Dr. Mercuur pronounced the death of the victim and the body was confiscated for further investigation. It is still unclear what exactly happened on the scene and who is responsible for this criminal act. The investigation is in its preliminary stages and additional information will be provided to the media as is becomes available.

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