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Mr. G. and Ms. Joseph Take St. Maarten’s Lucky Pick Jackpot Hit to Eight with the Caribbean Lottery.

lotterywinner04082022PHILIPSBURG:---  August 04, 2022: Caribbean Lottery enthusiasts Govinda Lalchand “Mr. G” and Ms. Kanna Joseph have happily hit the Lucky Pick Jackpot, taking the number of Jackpot wins in St. Maarten to eight since the start of the year.

The two walked away with their huge wins of US$33,500 and US$33,000 respectively and have already made sound plans for their hefty haul.

Mr. G, who was playing Lucky Pick for the very first time, struck double streaks of gold when he became a two-time consecutive winner within two weeks of playing the game. After barely getting over the excitement of winning his first Lucky Pick Jackpot split of $20,750 from the allotted top prize of $41,500, he realized two weeks later that he had become St. Maarten’s seventh Lucky Pick jackpot winner for 2022 to claim the US$33,500 top prize.

While purchasing some seeds for his mother, Mr. G contemplated purchasing tickets for the night’s draw. The representative at Healthy Upkeep 2, where he eventually purchased his ticket reminded him that he needed to be in the game for a chance to win. He then used a $20 tip he got earlier from a customer to purchase his ticket.

“What a joyous feeling!” Mr. G exclaimed, also adding that he felt, happy, nervous and excited all over again since his split win.

Mr. G has decided to bank his winnings until further notice and encourages players to continue playing.

“I am living proof,” said the overjoyed winner. “If you’re not in it, you cannot win it!”

Ms. Joseph, who, on the other hand, is an avid daily player of the Caribbean Lottery Lucky Pick game, was overjoyed when she found out that she was St. Maarten’s latest and eighth Jackpot winner for this year.

Ms. Joseph, who enjoys playing the Caribbean Lottery games given the ease of winning, would purchase her numbers daily at the Peli Deli Retail agent. After almost winning the jackpot a week prior to her huge hit of US$33,000 she became more persistent and dedicated to the Lucky Pick game as she felt that her time was coming.

“I would have been satisfied winning a Pick 4 first prize game,” said Ms. Joseph. She continued, “Imagine the joy felt when I found out that I was the lucky winner of US$33,000!”

Ms. Joseph is thankful and happy for her Lucky Pick victory as she noted that it will allow her to become financially stable and give her the ability to fund her son’s education.

Paula Williams, Site Manager for the Caribbean Lottery in St. Maarten, expressed her pleasure at the series of wins.

“The Caribbean Lottery Team is happy to hand over these jackpot cheques to these two players,” she said. “It is so delightful to see our customers win and in such a short span of time – one after the other. We wish them all the very best with their winnings.”


Breast Abnormalities Screening Project to be held September 17th 2022.

breastscreening04082022PHILIPSBURG:--- The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor in collaboration with the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) and the Positive Foundation is pleased to announce the return of our breast abnormalities screening program for women.

This initiative started in 2017, to educate the community about breast abnormalities while empowering women to use key strategies to proactively monitor their health. The program experienced great success prior to COVID-19 and the organizers are excited to relaunch these health screenings with the community’s support. The first event is scheduled to be held on September 17th, plus multiple events will follow in October and November of this year.

The program will provide free health screenings along with educational information about the symptoms of breast cancer and risk factors that may cause the development of breast cancer. Screenings also include a clinical breast examination by Dr. Naira Chobanyan, Professor of Clinical Medicine at AUC, and a clinical oncology expert.

“I would like to encourage the women in our community to come out to the breast abnormalities screening program, as screening is done to detect breast cancer early. Breast cancer affects millions of people and their loved ones yearly and is the second most common type of cancer in women. Breast cancer does not discriminate, know your status and learn what signs to look for, it can save your life”. Said Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley.

Innovative Techniques could be key for Sea Urchin Recovery.

seaorchins04082022PHILIPSBURG:--- Researchers from Van Hall Larenstein, Wageningen University, and Wageningen Marine Research have developed a new approach to assist Diadema sea urchins’ natural recovery.  In collaboration with the Saba Conservation Foundation, researchers provided the additional substrate for settlement on the reef, increasing sea urchin recruitment and thereby demonstrating the importance of suitable settlement substrate for recovery processes.

Deterioration of Caribbean coral reefs began in the 1970s when diseases devastated the most important reef-building corals in the region.  These issues were then accelerated, when the most abundant herbivore, the long-spined sea urchins (Diadema antillarum), suffered massive die-offs in the 1980s. Within days after the Diadema die-off, macroalgae started to dominate Caribbean coral reefs.  This shift from coral dominated to macroalgae-dominated reefs have had devastating effects on biodiversity and overall reef health.

Assisted Natural Recovery

The natural recovery of the long-spined sea urchin has been slow.  A new method for sea urchin restoration coined Assisted Natural Recovery (ANR), employs similar techniques as those used in terrestrial reforestation. The concept is centered around the idea that by removing barriers to natural recovery, succession can be accelerated. Earlier studies suggested that the recovery of Diadema sea urchins might be limited by a lack of suitable settlement substrate for their larvae. With the reefs overgrown with algae, a clean substrate with a fresh biofilm, which is thought to be the main cue for settlement, is lacking.

Bio Ball Streamers

With ANR the researchers provided a new settlement substrate in the form of streamers attached to the reef.  In total, nine streamers, made up of 30 bio ball tied on fishing line, were attached to the reef.  Bio balls are normally used in aquarium filters and have a large surface area. A previous study, conducted in the same project, showed that this material is very effective to monitor sea urchin settlements. These streamers provided areas for sea urchin larvae to settle, protecting them until they grew large enough to migrate to the reef. In April 2021, six patch reefs were selected off the coast of Saba, of which 3 were provided with bio ball streamers and 3 were left untouched and served as control.

At the end of the study, it was demonstrated that reefs with bio ball streamers had significantly higher Diadema urchin recruit densities than those without, highlighting the importance of settlement substrate in natural recovery.  Unfortunately, the improved recruitment rate did not equate to a recovered population.  The recruits rarely grew larger than 20mm, suggesting that predation on recruits is also limiting natural recovery.  Once a recruit becomes larger than 5mm they outgrow the bio ball and need to move to the reef, where they are vulnerable to predation.

Implications

With the latest news of massive Diadema, die offs, park authority managers are desperately looking for ways to protect the future of sea urchin populations in the region.  The new approach of ANR might be one of the ways to assist Diadema sea urchin recovery in the future. Researchers from the RAAK PRO Diadema project are now working on the optimization of the method. However, the future recovery of this sea urchin species will mostly be dependent on the scale and lethality of a new die-off that is currently happening in the Caribbean. Already accounts of these die-offs have been recorded on Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Curacao.  Threatened reefs are struggling to combat the spread of macroalgae, and the continued loss of herbivores would only exacerbate these issues.

You can help authorities track sea urchin health in the Caribbean by adding your observations of healthy, sick or dead urchins by visiting the AGRRA website (https://www.agrra.org/sea-urchin-die-off/).  To read more about the latest in sea urchin recovery methods, you can find the full article on the DCBD using the link below or follow along with the RAAK PRO Diadema project online.

 https://www.dcbd.nl/document/assisted-natural-recovery-novel-approach-enhance-diadema-antillarum-recruitment

 

Police investigating shooting and meat cleaver incidents.

vests04082022PHILIPSBURG:--- The Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM is investigating two serious, but unrelated incidents that occurred on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

The first incident concerns a shooting in the vicinity of El General on Soualiga Road, Philipsburg. Central Dispatch received notification of the shooting around 8:45 pm. Indications were that a number of unknown people fired shots in the area.

Several valuable clues were recovered from the scene by police. A bulletproof vest and a firearm were found in a nearby yard and confiscated by police.

Two suspects, initials C.C and E.J. respectively, were arrested in connection with the incident and transported to Philipsburg police station for further questioning.

The reason for this shooting incident is still unclear. The investigation is ongoing.

 

KPSM Press Release.

One step closer to improved living conditions in Belvedere Towers.

belvederetowers0382022PHILIPSBURG:--- The Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure (VROMI), the Honorable Egbert Doran, along with the Technical Director of St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation Mr. Telson Bell, and Project Managers of the towers, toured the towers in Belvedere which are currently being repaired.

The objective of the tour was to assess the progress of the renovations. During the tour, the minister expressed his satisfaction with the progress thus far. “I must say it is progressing well and I hope we continue down this positive path of improved living conditions for the Belvedere community,” said Minister Doran.

Of the towers that are currently being renovated, (2) two towers consisting of sixteen (16) one-bedroom units, will be ready for the tenants to occupy as of September 1, 2022.

The renovations were prioritized by the Government of Sint Maarten and are a part of the Emergency Recovery Project (ERP-1) of the Sint Maarten Trust Fund, which is financed by the Government of the Netherlands, and managed by the World Bank, and implemented by the NRPB.

Renovations completed for the units included Installation of windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, full-scale replacements of the kitchens, and bathrooms, apartment electrical panels as well as new indoor tiles for the living room, and bedrooms. Indoor and outdoor painting has been completed as well as the removal of debris from the units.

This is the first time in history that such major renovations have taken place in the Belvedere community and it is great to see the towers back to proper living standards.

Minister Doran ended by thanking everyone involved in making the renovations a reality thus far and looks forward to the keys being handed over to the tenants.

 


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