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Prosecutor request 15 years for Diamond Hill stabbing suspects.

PHILIPSBURG:---- Public Prosecutor requested a lengthy prison sentence of 15 years for A.L. (21), suspected of stabbing to death Garibaldi Zorilla during a heated brawl on Diamond Hill in Cole Bay in July 2017.

The Public Prosecutor has charged A.L. with the manslaughter of Zorilla, causing severe bodily injury to two other young men involved in the fight and public violence. The Public Prosecutor deemed these acts pointless acts of violence, in which a young man lost his life.

The Public Prosecutor found it proven that A.L. was the main aggressor and that he was the one in possession of the weapon used to stab Zorilla 7 times causing his death. A.L.’s DNA was found under the nails of Zorilla.

The Public Prosecutor pointed out that in spite of having two prior convictions and serving jail time, A.L. had not changed his behavior pattern and showed no remorse for his actions.

The Public Prosecutor requested a conditional prison term of 1 month and 100 hours community service for I.W. (25) and J.S (24), who was part of A.L.’s circle and were involved in public violence. The Public Prosecutor found that there was not enough evidence linking I.W. and J.S. to the manslaughter of Zorillla nor to the bodily injuries suffered by the two other victims.

Prosecutor's Office Press Release

SZV informs full house on employer obligations for construction sector. .

willemsberg19042018PHILIPSBURG:--- Social & Health Insurances SZV hosted well over 100 guests at its offices on Tuesday (April 17th) evening for the first of a series of ‘Employer Obligations’ information sessions as part of the SZV compliance awareness campaign launched earlier this month. The information session was specifically for the construction sector and guests included employers, main contractors, sub-contractors, administrative personnel, lawyers, and accountants. General SZV employer obligations were highlighted such as registration, mutations, declaration, and payment. SZV, however, paid special focus to the explanation of the ‘chain of liability’ law. SZV stressed the importance of companies understanding their obligations and the liability risks of non-compliance to the SZV laws.
“With the post-Irma status of the country, there is an undeniable spike in the construction sector, which is a logical result; however, this spike is not reflected in the administration of SZV. The compliance awareness campaign is not only for the construction sector but for all employers in all sectors, new and old. SZV will be intensifying its controls, and supplement to this, the awareness campaign offers employers the opportunity to gain the necessary information to better understand and adhere to the stipulated procedures. It is also a welcomed opportunity for employers to connect with SZV and come to solutions for those facing difficulties in complying with their obligations.” – SZV Management
The session lasted for an additional hour, ending at 9 pm, as guests posed relatable questions regarding the registration requirements of their employees, procedures for mutations and responded critically to the explanation of the ‘chain of liability’ law. Many sought to better understand how to improve their contracts and negotiations, due to the risk of additional liability to SZV. Representatives of SZV confirmed during the session that a specific follow-up session solely on the topic of the ‘chain of liability’ law would take place in the month of May. Contractors will also be contacted directly by SZV to schedule individual support sessions with account managers. Those interested were able to schedule their appointments with the SZV Employer Desk directly after the session.

The session was a welcomed opportunity to highlight the Employer Desk services, which was launched last year, including the new online services such as the Online Employer Portal. The portal enables online declaration and payment of SZV premiums. In addition to online declaration and payment, many employers present expressed the need for online submission of mutations as well. SZV was pleased to announce that this request is well known and currently being worked on. The option to submit mutations online is expected to go into pilot phase later this year within Online Employer Portal, which is accessible via the website of SZV
Follow-up workshop sessions for Employers will commence in the month of May and focus on the topics of Chain of Liability law, Submitting mutations, Declaration of Premiums and Online Employer Portal access and use. Interested persons will have to register for participation, as these sessions will be hands-on, hosted in small-groups or on an individual basis. SZV encourages attendance of Managing Directors to these sessions as well, as the administrative responsibility and thus liability ultimately falls on these persons. Registration will be possible via the website of SZV and dates will communicated in May.
The presentation slides of Tuesday’s session are now available on the website Video footage of the session will be made available on SZV’s YouTube channel on a later date. Additional requested information such as wage limits and premiums, employer premium payment percentages, declaration forms and requirement lists are also available on the website. Questions or contact with the Employer Desk can be made via +1721 546-6782, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or SZV’s Facebook Page: SZV Social & Health Insurances.

Sint Maarten Nature Foundation Launches Reduce and Reuse Sint Maarten Project Aiming to Reduce the Island’s Single-Use Plastic Consumption.

beachcleanup19042018PHILIPSBURG:--- The Nature Foundation organized a beach cleanup at Mullet Bay Beach on the 18th of April in order to kick off their new project to encourage residents and visitors to ‘Reduce and Reuse’ their plastic output. About 15 volunteers removed 294 pounds of trash from the beach, using the Trash Tracker method developed by Ocean Cleanup Organization 4Oceans by weighing all the collected trash and using reusable bags and gloves. Waste collected during the cleanup has been documented and will be used as research information to encourage local restaurants, residents, and visitors to go plastic-free.
St Maarten has major waste problems due to poor waste management, frequent toxic landfill fires, no waste separation and no recycling. The ineffective disposal of waste causes grave concerns regarding public health, air pollution, and water and soil contamination. Research has also shown that St Maarten has the highest municipal solid waste of the Caribbean at 9.7 kg per capita per day, compared to Curacao's waste generation of 0.44 kg. Littering and the use of single-use plastics is widely accepted on the island, causing garbage to lay around and plastic trash to end up in our oceans, impacting and affecting our environment, corals, fish, birds, and wildlife. As a nonprofit and non-governmental organization focused on protecting nature and environment on St Maarten, the Nature Foundation wants to take steps to reduce single-use plastics and littering and promote biodegradable and reusable products to address the waste problem.

The ‘Reduce & Reuse St Maarten’ project is designed to teach and encourage residents, children and establishments to reduce their waste output and clean-up the environment. The use of Styrofoam, plastic cups and cutlery, plastic straws and single-use plastic bags is very common and is handed out without discouragement or a fee: this project will try to change that and stimulate a switch to biodegradable and reusable products. The new project will be also pushing for the plastic bag ban, something the Nature Foundation has been requesting for a long period. The need of more garbage bins around the island, beaches and during events will be addressed as well, at the moment the shortage of bins provides excuses to litter and leave your trash behind.
There is a renewed momentum on the island concerning not using single-use plastics anymore. Various establishments are going plastic free, including many restaurants and bars including Buccaneer Beach Bar, The Dinghy Dock, and Karakter Beach Bar. We even now have one of the largest hotels, Divi Little Bay, going completely straw free when they reopen. All of these developments are awesome and we support and encourage them and more businesses to recognize how dangerous plastics are to our health and environment. Hopefully, through this new project, we can give the necessary support and feedback to make single plastics a thing of the past on the island,” according to the Nature Foundation.
St. Maarten is a beautiful island that attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. The Nature Foundation wants to keep it that way, your help in cleaning up and reducing your plastic waste will go a long way in ensuring the preservation of the beauty we are all so proud of!

Low Ticket Price for Hit Makers Show Ends Sunday.

MIDDLE REGION:--- With one week to go before one of the biggest shows this Carnival season, TelCell’s Night of the Hit Makers, patrons are being urged to get their tickets before prices go up on Monday.

All the post hurricane relief specials will end on Sunday and come Monday tickets will be sold for the regular price of $40, says producer, Bertaux ‘Mr. Rude’ Fleming. Tickets for the April 28 show in the Festival Village have been going fast with deals such as ’25-25-25’ and the ‘Irma Relief’, both of which saw tickets prices dropping as low as $25 and $30 despite the astronomical cost to bring hit makers such as Haitian Kompa band T-Vice out of Miami and Grammy-nominated Reggae artiste Jah Cure.

But Fleming, a veteran record producer and manager of Xtratight Entertainment Company, maintained that this is his way of doing something for his fans who have supported him over the years. He said in the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Irma last year, people still need some form of stress relief and there is no better way than to let loose with positive vibes next Saturday night. It is also a night to rock to the music of St. Maarten's own Control Band and the original Burning Flames now known as Fantastic Four out of Antigua.

This is the sixth year of the highly-acclaimed show and Fleming promises that people will leave less frustrated, less stressed, and less depressed.

Speaking at a press conference at the show’s launch earlier this year, Fleming said he will not be compromising on the quality of the show, since his goal is always to please the people in this country. He always thinks which artistes they would love to see and the ones he selects must have hits and be able to entertain the crowd since performance is number one. His goal is to keep a dance floor full on the ‘Night of the Hit Makers’.

He is urging fans who missed his ‘relief’ special to get their tickets now and avoid paying a higher price after April 22. Sunday is the last day for $30 tickets. The remaining tickets for St. Maarten’s carnival flagship show and premier dance experience will be sold for $40 starting Monday and on the night of the show, the price will increase.

Tickets are available at SOS Radio, Van Dorp, Domino's on Bush Road, Abu Ghazi in Madame Estate, and Adolphus Office Supplies, Fleming’s Café at Raoul Illidge Sports Complex.

SHTA sends letter to the King regarding Dump fires.

dumpfires19042018April 18, 2018

Dear His Majesty King Willem Alexander, His Excellency the Governor Eugene Holiday, Council of Ministers, Honorable Members of Parliament, State Secretary of Kingdom Affair Raymond Knops, Head of Dutch Recovery Programme Hans Leijtens, Representative of the Netherlands in St. Maarten Chris Johnson, Head of World Bank Mission to St. Maarten Doekle Wielinga,

To anybody familiar with Sint Maarten, it is obvious that just like hurricane Irma, the dump affects all the citizens of the island - regardless where you might reside or work.
Although most probably we will only know the real human cost of inhaling fumes from the dump on a daily basis in the future, we need immediate short term action now while a long term plan hopefully is being conceived.

For several decades now, many talks have been spent on this topic – whereas the problem only seems to become worse. Time has come to acknowledge that those many years of talking has shown we do not have the capacity to remove the dump ourselves but that we need outside help to solve this problem.

Therefore, it is by this means that we demand for an immediate short term solution to put a stop to the fires and gases killing our society.

This undoubtedly is our number one problem and should be handled with such urgency. We ask from the World Bank and the Kingdom to tap into their human and technical resources and take direct control over our sanitary landfill for the good of our people.
We do not have the luxury of long term planning and endless meetings, we need ACTION.


SHTA on behalf of its members and the residents of St. Maarten

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