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TelCell announces Sept. 1 launch party for high-speed 4G LTE mobile network.

telcell4g16082017Pond Island:---  It’s official. Premium mobile provider TelCell, will be launching it’s brand new, super-fast 4G LTE mobile network on September 1 in a blaze of excitement in front of hundreds of invited guests at the St. Rose Arcade, on the Boardwalk.

TelCell says St. Maarten’s newest data network has been through a series of configurations and tests to prepare it for the Sept. 1 launch and as of this week, technicians and engineers are confident it will perform optimally once customers begin populating and using the network.

In order to enjoy all the features and speed of the TelCell 4G+LTE network mobile data, customers must have a TelCell 4G/LTE Sim card in their smartphone and 4G LTE enabled mobile devices. The Sim card is available as a free swap from TelEm Group locations until the official launch date - when the free offer date expires.

TelCell says current Sim cards can be swapped for FREE only until August 31, after which customers will have to pay for their own 4G+LTE sim card.

“Anyone who has not yet swapped their current Sim card to the new 4G+LTE sim card should do so right away while the free offer is available to avoid paying for the fantastic user experience everyone will be speaking about once they check out our service,” said TelEm Group Manager, Marketing and Sales, Grisha Marten.

She said after months of work behind the scenes and in the field, Telcel's brand new mobile network is ready to make its appearance on the local telecommunication stage in a loud and colorful launch party to mark the occasion.

The launch party will feature high-end mobile phone giveaways such as iPhone 7s and Samsung 8s on the hour and a “Midnight Special” that will be sent guests wild.

“Bands and DJs, including SMS Entertainment Band, Musicologist Band, Control Band, The Cut Creator Outkast, Mix Master Pauly and various Soca Rumble artist will be joining the party to keep the tempo up and our guests entertained for the entire night and into the early hour of the morning,” said Grisha.

The Manager, Marketing, and Sales are especially pleased with the number of customers who have already called in at TelEm Group locations to swap in their Sim card for their FREE new 4G+LTE sim card in anticipation of the Sept. 1 network launch.

“So many of our TelCell customers have been extremely loyal and have patiently waited to be officially informed via an SMS message that they can activate their new Sim card and begin using the enhanced features. That wait will soon be over,” said Grisha.

She says as an additional gesture to other loyal customers, FREE sim card swaps will also be offered during the September 1st launch party even though the date for swapping will have officially expired.

“It’s all part of what we continue to do for TelCell’s amazing customer base – give them MORE whenever possible,” Grisha added.

Labor and Justice Ministers warns employers to regulate their employee’s legal status.

leeboasman16082017Justice Minister plans to enforce the law and fine employers.

PHILIPSBURG:--- In reaction to the recent incident where an unregistered employee got injured while trying to escape from immigration offers, Minister of Labor Emil Lee announced on Wednesday that he has been following the comments and concerns shared on social media about the incident. Minister Lee said he is actually supportive of the views given by members of the community one being that government should be more lenient with hard working people are victims of the system. The Minister further explained that whether or not persons are legally registered they are entitled to healthcare and pay-slips. Lee said that employers are obligated to ensure that their workers are legalized and that they must pay taxes and healthcare premiums for these employees.
The Minister said he considers the actions of the employers to be abusive without access to healthcare and having them living in constant fear. He also called on employees to ensure to get what they are entitled to. Lee said that since January 2016 to present some 81 applications were submitted for working permits for construction workers. He said of that amount only 8 applicants were rejected simply because their requests were filed by a job placement agency and the companies were not updated with their taxes. He made clear that the reason for the denial was based on the fact that the employer did not meet the requirements such as paying their taxes.
Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman also shared his sentiments on the matter at hand. Minister Boasman said that very often he is asked to sign off on deportation order and each time he has to do that he also has to think about the consequences employers must face. Boasman said that he has no intention of penalizing the unregistered workers alone and not the real culprits which are employers that are hiring undocumented workers and not living up to their responsibilities.

Ministry of Finance has to ensure ‘creditors’ are not scamming government. CFT gave positive response on semi-annual report.

richardgibson16082017PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Finance Richard Gibson Sr. announced on Wednesday that the CFT gave a positive response to the semi-annual report on the 2017 budget that was sent to them. Gibson said that in that report which was approved by the Council of Ministers it clearly outlined the possible risks involved and the amendments that would have to go to Parliament to sustain the 2017 budget. The Minister said that the CFT applauded government for being open and transparent and they also believe that St. Maarten government acknowledges the risks then they are better to equip to make budget amendments in a timely manner to accommodate the budget. The Minister said that due to the internet issues government faced over the past months has delayed the quarterly financial reports.
Asked by SMN News how is government fearing with paying its creditors based on the 2017 budget. The Minister said that the country settled its debts up 2014. However, government has problems with persons that provided services to government. The Minister said that there are people that are billing government for services they render in 2014. He said his first question was why the companies and or persons did not invoice government before now and the responses he is getting is not at all acceptable. He said he was told that invoices were sent but it went into the “junk mail”. He said that he already indicated to the companies and persons that they may well have to approach the court and prove that the government of St. Maarten owes them. Gibson said one of the things that have to be established is if people are trying to scam the government of St. Maarten. The Minister explained that even Ministers that hired the services of persons or company have to spend legally. He said a Minister must get the approval from the Council of Ministers to spend more than NAF. 50,000.00 before hiring people besides that he said Ministers also have to ensure the money they spent is budgeted. Gibson said that is an aura of suspicion on some of the bills that have surfaced.

Garbage collectors asked to take warning and do their jobs.

chrisemmanuel16082017Heavy Equipment owners also advised not to litter streets.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of VROMI Christopher Emmanuel has issued a call to all garbage collectors to ensure they pick up garbage island wide as he noticed that the garbage collectors are lagging behind. Emmanuel said he has been receiving a number of telephone calls regarding the piling of up of garage in several areas. He said he also notice the amount of garbage alongside the roads and this reminds him of what transpired with garbage collection last December. The Minister said he calling on garbage collectors to ‘pull up their socks’ if not he would have to pull up his and put pen to paper. Emmanuel also called on the drivers of heavy equipment’s to follow the rule of law since he noticed that the drivers of trucks do not cover the materials they are transporting and as such is littering the roads. He said he has been discussing this matter with the Minister of Justice so that appropriate actions be taken on the way truck drivers are littering the country’s roadways.
The Minister also called on motorists to desist from parking on Front and Back Street. He said that persons who find themselves parking on those two main streets will have to face the consequences. Emmanuel said that the billiards were removed in order to allow pedestrians and visitors especially those in wheel chairs along with children to walk freely on the two main streets.

St. Maarten is not a “Third World” Country --- Issues at GEBE will be fixed sooner rather than later --- Emmanuel.

chrisemmanuel16082017PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of VROMI and shareholder representative of the utility company GEBE Christopher Emmanuel apologized to the people of St. Maarten on Wednesday for the recent spate of power outages (load shedding) caused by GEBE. The Minister in his apology message to the people said that government along with the Supervisory Board of GEBE is working on resolving the issues at GEBE which would lead to better consumer services rendered by GEBE. The Minister said that St. Maarten is not a ‘third world country’ and as such the people of St. Maarten should not have to deal with issues that people in ‘third world’ country are dealing with. He assured the community while asking for their patience that the issues at GEBE will be dealt with in the very near future. The Minister did not say exactly how much longer the community of St. Maarten will be plagued with the constant power outages.
SMN News reported in the past that the engines at the power plant including engine 20 that was mounted in December 2016 are not being serviced in a timely manner which has led to several engines shutting down. SMN News learned from well-placed sources that GEBE has a number of mechanics that are not fully equipped and or qualified working at the power plant. These mechanics it is understood are foreign workers that are working through job placement agencies. According to information provided to SMN News, the said mechanics damaged the crank shaft on engine 19 which had to be sent to the manufacturer for repairs.
During the past week's residents and the business community of St. Maarten is suffering heavily due to the constant load shedding. Some business persons told SMN News that the country is losing millions of dollars daily because of the constant power outages.
While management of GEBE has been informing the community of the load shedding they are yet to inform the people of the causes of the constant power outages.



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