Island Notices

Island Notices (2294)

FRENCH QUARTER, Sint Martin - Local gospel artist, The Apostle, has been nominated for the annual Rhythm of Gospel Music Awards.
The Apostle, known as Andre “Avelin” Webster is well known within the gospel community as an Apostle and Pastor of Love & Grace Fellowship church; vocalist and instrumentalist. The Apostle began his music career at a very young age and hails from a family that has a music background. His hit single “Thank Him in everything” became quickly popular and paved the path for his debut album “Kingdom Day” which was launched in November, 2015. The “Kingdom Day” album launching event was hailed a huge success giving the Apostle a major boost in his music career.
As a result, the Apostle is nominated in four (4) categories, namely Alternative Christian Gospel CD of the year, Rhythm and Praise CD of the Year, Urban Contemporary Male Vocalist, and International Artist of the Year representing St. Martin.

BONAIRE, Caribbean Netherlands - In a letter to the Joint Court of Aruba, Curacao, and St. Maarten and Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, dated Wednesday July 5th, the lawyer of Julian Woodley in his capacity as act. Island Governor of St. Eustatius has informed that their client will appeal the verdict handed down by the Judge in First Instance on June 15th.

POND ISLAND, St. Maarten – Assuring a fair return for millions of dollars of investment into a brand new island-wide fiber optic network for St. Maarten and the possible sharing of that network with competing carriers was a hot talking point at the opening of the Caribbean Peering & Interconnection Forum (CarPIF) Conference at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, Wednesday.

Keynote speaker, Bill Woodcock, from the USA, had suggested in his opening remarks that a good model for St. Maarten would be allowing government a 20% share of the newly built fibre infrastructure that government can then sell at a more affordable price than if the prices were left to the incumbent operator alone to determine.

The comment did not sit well with TelEm Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Kendall Dupersoy, who questioned why anyone, government included, would be entitled to a free ride on the new network and as a money-making venture, without making a cent of an investment into that network.

“The same way government or anyone else can sell the bandwidth given to them for free, so can TelEm sell and obtain revenues for a proper return on its investment,” said Mr. Dupersoy.

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten – The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), said goodbye to Dr. Virginia Asin, head of Collective Preventive Services (CPS)/Chief Medical Officer, a department within the Ministry VSA last week Friday.

Both the Minister of Public Health Emil Lee and the Secretary General of Ministry VSA Joy Arnell, thanked Dr. Virginia Asin, for her tenure as civil servant at the department, on behalf of the ministry and civil service corps.

Dr. Virginia Asin started working as head of the CPS in January 2012.  Prior to filling the aforementioned position, Dr. Asin was Deputy Director of the Ministry of Health of Suriname as well as Head of the Planning Department. 

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Parliament invites the public to send in nominations for the Annual President of Parliament Award.  

The application documents are on the Parliament’s website.  Persons have until August 15, 2017 to submit their nominations.

The website address is: and can be found under the documents section of the site.  Select the link and you will be able to download the application form. 

The purpose of the award is to honour young persons on Sint Maarten that are a great example to the youth and who have contributed positively to the community and the country. 

Nominations can be submitted by any citizen of Sint Maarten who believes that the individual that he/she is nominating meets the criteria. 

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten Cargo Division has seen growth of two per cent from January 2017 to June 2017 in full imports versus the same period of 2016.  This shows a positive temperature and can be associated to some positive movements within the economy of the country.

Port St. Maarten transshipment cargo continues to show robust double-digit growth numbers showing an increase of 17% compared to same period last year.

Overall total cargo throughput stands at eight per cent increase from January 2017 to June 2017 of 53,609 containers compared to same period last year of 49,420.

Predictions are that further growth is expected on the import full and steady very robust double-digit growth as it relates to transshipment in closing the year 2017 if trends remain the same.

The port was represented in May at the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) 16th CSA Executives Conference (CSEC) conference hosted by the Curacao Ports Authority in Curacao.

The conference featured some key presentations on the latest developments and plans affecting shipping and logistics in the Caribbean. Key topics such as cybersecurity, maritime security, and logistics were discussed.

Topics ranged from: Cyber security; Latest development on Maritime Security at the International Maritime Organization (IMO); Ocean shipping – asking the very sought out question is there finally some growth out there? Inspections and Compliance, Marine Transportation systems and commercial regulations; Shipping alliances; and US trade policies.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The competition is open to legal residents of St. Maarten who are 18 years or older. The principal business operations of the business must be located in St. Maarten. Entries can consist of any business or innovative concept that is not currently in operation or has begun operation. Submissions can range from small home-based business operations including store fronts, restaurants, or technology facilities.

COCI in collaboration with EU-COSME will provide a professional training and after completing the training, participants will receive a certificate.

POND ISLAND, St. MaartenThe top students of the Foundation Based Exit (FBE) Exams were honored with a ceremony at the New Government Building on Monday, July 3rd, 2017. The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS), ensured that the tradition of honoring the top elementary students continued. The students were invited to a ceremony, whereby they were either nominated for the overall nationwide top students, or top student(s) in a subject. The students were awarded HP laptops, Samsung tablets, as well as gift vouchers from Office World, BluePoint and VanDorp.

The Minister ECYS, Ms. Silveria Jacobs, encouraged the students to continue striving to be the best in their academics, but also be the best person they can be. “Strive to be the best in your academics, sports, swimming dance, and anything else that you consider your passion, or dream, but remember, to have the best characters. People will remember you for who you are, and not what you’ve done or accomplished.” The top students as well as the valedictorians of the various elementary schools were highlighted at the ceremony, as the valedictorians were not honored by the Minister during the school leaving ceremonies.

The students will also receive a lunch date with the Minister in groups of five. Each month, a group of five students will have a contact session lunch date with the Minister, where the students will be able to have discussions with the Minister as well as update her on their academic and social status.

The Top 5 Nationwide Overall students – these students performed the best nationwide were:

Akarsh Bhatia with a score of 90% - St. Joseph Primary School

Saheli Kirpalani with a score of 88% - St. Joseph Primary School

Nysette Gomes with a score of 88% - Sr. Magda Primary School

Diya Agnani with a score of 86%   - St. Dominic Primary School

Jayleen Javier-Fana with a score of 86%   Helmich Snijders - CHS

CUBA - The president of the Traveling Caribbean Film Showcase Mr. Rigoberto Lopez Pego extended an invitation to the honorable Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sport Ms. Silveria Jacobs during her visit to Cuba in March 2017 to send two representatives to the meeting of Caribbean countries to exchange experiences about the Showcase development in the region.

WILLEMSTAD - Orlando Balentina, the 54-year old pastor from the Rains of Blessing Church was sentenced today to 9 years in prison for raping 10 girls. His youngest victim was 11 years old.

On Wednesday, June 14 of this year, the Public Prosecutor demanded 18 years in prison against him, and that he be banned from leading any church for 20 years. The Judge indicated that all the accusations were proved beyond any reasonable doubt and the pastor was sentenced to 9 years in prison and he was also banned from leading any church for 14 years.

The allegations of sexual abuse refer to incidents dating back to 2003. Late in 2015 one girl was brave enough to report what happened. After that, reports started streaming in. More than 20 cases came in, with victims from Curaçao and the Netherlands - the church also has branches in Tilburg, The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

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