Willemstad, Curaçao - Today, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan F. McGowen relinquished command of the United States Forward Operating Locations (USFOL) in Curaçao and Aruba to Lieutenant Colonel James E. Wells. The Change of Command is a time-honored military tradition which symbolizes the continuation of leadership and unit identity despite the change in individual authority. Passing the ceremonial flag from the old commander to the new commander physically represents this transfer.
Present at the ceremony were Colonel Kim Campbell, Commander of the 612th Theater Operations Group and 47th Air Expeditionary Group, Headquarters Twelfth Air Force, Davis Monthan Air Force Base, AZ, Deputy Governor of Curacao Nolda Romer-Kenepa, Commodore Hans Lodder, Prime Minister of Curacao Eugene Rhuggenaath and his cabinet member Ministers Zita Jesus-Leito, Quincy Girigorie, Marilyn Alcala-Walle, and Kenneth Gijsbertha, and other invited guests.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan W. McGowen distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States as Commander, Detachment 2, 6l2th Theater Operations Group, Headquarters Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern), Curaçao and Aruba USFOLs. During this period, Colonel McGowen unified the efforts of 381 military and civilian personnel supporting 274 counterdrug missions leading to 568 arrests and the seizure of illegal narcotics worth 3 billion dollars.
Additionally, Colonel McGowen oversaw the base anti-riot exercise that combined United States Air Force security forces members with 180 personnel from the Dutch military, the Volunteer Corps of Curacao, and the United States Consulate, helping to improve multi- national operations and emergency response.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten — During its first biannual extraordinary meeting with His Excellency Governor E.B. Holiday on June 8th 2017, the Council of Advice launched a new and revamped website for the general public. The Governor is the constitutional chair of the Council of Advice, and in this capacity has an advisory function. In the course of this gathering, not only did His Excellency have the honor of launching the revamped website but in addition, various relevant topics pertaining to Country Sint Maarten were discussed.
The revamped website now boasts an up to date list of draft legislation and other imperative issues that have been submitted to the Council for advice over the years, as well as an overview of the advices rendered by the Council that have been published in accordance with the law.
Visitors to the website can now track advice requests submitted to the Council from the time of arrival up to and until an advice has been rendered. In addition, an English version of the website is now also accessible. While a limited amount of advices have been translated from their original Dutch text, the site does include English summaries.
GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), announces that part of Back Street and certain side streets will be closed on Monday, June 12.
The closure is in connection with the asphalting of the newly repaired section of Back Street. The street will be closed from Gevangenis Street (Angelo’s Boutique) up to Ch. E. W. Voges Street. The works will be carried out from 6.00am to 3.00pm.
The side streets that will be closed on Monday, June 12 are: Gevangenis Street (area of Angelo’s Boutique and the Anglican Church), Wilhelmina Street (House of Parliament), and Hendrick Street (Court House), will be closed off from 6.00am to 3.00pm.
GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – More Movement for the Elderly, will take place on Saturday, June 10.
Senior citizens are invited to the St. Martin’s Home which is located at St. John’s Estate road #6 for More Movement for the Elderly Fitness.
To stay healthy or to improve health, older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.
Older adults aged 60 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily.
The activity has been organized and coordinated over a one-year period by Collective Prevention Services (CPS),
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Thursday June 8th, a search was conducted at the harbor of Sint Maarten. The search was conducted in connection with the ongoing “Emerald” investigation by the special anti-corruption taskforce TBO of the Kingdom Detectives Cooperation Team (RST), under the supervision of the investigating judge.
Prior, several premises were searched and arrests were made.
On Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer at the Harbor Group, Mark Mingo was arrested, and remains in custody. He is still being detained under restrictive measures. For that reason, no further information on his case will be given for the time being.
According to a press release issued Thursday afternoon, the harbor is not a suspect in the “Emerald” investigation at the moment.
The Emerald-investigation started in April 2016 and investigates suspicions that the owner of a security company has committed tax fraud, forgery and money laundering.
In November of 2016 this suspect O’Neal Arrindell Jr. was arrested and several of his properties and possessions were seized.
The investigation is part of a joint intensified fight against international fraud and corruption. Corruption and money laundering threatens the security and economy of the countries in the Caribbean part of the Dutch Kingdom.
The special anti-corruption taskforce, TBO of the RST, together with the National Detectives Agencies (Landsrecherches) of Curaçao and Sint Maarten and the Prosecutor’s Office have joined forces to combat corruption.
PHILIPSBURG, St, Maarten - NV GEBE announced today that 66 of its employees have successfully completed CPR, First Aid, and AED trainings that were conducted by WIEMS. NV GEBE partnered with WIEMS during the month of February to offer these trainings for its employees.
The trainings represented the next step forward in promoting and enhancing the company’s vision and mission statements while the main objective is to improve safety amongst its staff who will be able to assist the community at large. “This training will better enable the staff to assist in the case of emergency situations,” stated the Managing Board. The Managing Board also added that, “the goal of the training was to help GEBE’s staff and ultimately create positive outcomes for person who needs assistance in emergency situations”.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Soualiga Corporate Toastmasters Club facilitated 13 employees of the Court of Guardianship for a six-session speechcraft program which allowed experienced Toastmasters to present the fundamentals of public speaking to non-members.
The program was conducted throughout the month of May and participants were given the unique opportunity to learn public speaking and evaluation skills in a safe and supportive environment. Given the participants’ line of work, the program was geared towards improving their problem solving, impromptu speaking, listening, social and critical thinking skills which promises to help them in their daily work activities.
Participants were able to speak before both small and large audiences, effectively evaluate the meeting and speeches, introduce speakers and gain confidence in public speaking while engaged in team building.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Wednesday congratulated St. Maarten’s “super culinary team” that recently competed in the Taste of the Caribbean showcase.
“We are so very proud of our team of chefs, bartenders, pastry specialists for their tremendous showing at Taste of the Caribbean. They reminded the world once again that St. Maarten is a culinary destination matched by few,” the Minister said.
“They work very hard at what they do and let’s not forget they do it on a daily basis here at home at their specific places of employment or independently.
GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – Everything is in place for the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) second VaccinatioOpen House for this Saturday, June 10. Parents and guardians are reminded to make use of the opportunity to check their child’s vaccination status.
The Open House was held at the Vineyard Office Park in Philipsburg from 9.00am to 4.00pm for children between 0-17 years old.
During the first Open House, 115 young individuals visited the event with their parents/guardians; 15 were between the age 0-3; and 100 were between 4-17 years old.
There will be a presentation at this Open House about Oral Health, Puberty, and Reproductive Health.
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher took part in her first Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) meetings as part of CTO’s Caribbean Week in New York.
As part of the Tourism Ministerial Council, Arrindell-Doncher received her official pin as representative of a CTO country.
The Tourism Ministerial Council is comprised of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism, Secretaries of State for Tourism or others of equivalent rank and represents the highest policy making body in the organization.
The Minister took part in discussions that focused on innovation and the sharing Economy – The Transportation Perspective, A different look at tourism data and the Caribbean tourism sector’s mid- year performance and Taking the Caribbean forward – Key Outcomes of the June 6 Strategic Planning Session among others.
“We are part of this region and can learn from initiatives that are being undertaken for the region as a whole. Likewise, we can retain some valuable information about how to fine-tune our initiatives based on our market specifics. So the discussions are fruitful and in some cases eye-opening,” the Minister said.
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