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West Tech Shipping Extends Gratitude to Customers for Toy Drive Donations.

westtechdonations14012021West Tech Shipping is expressing a heartfelt “Thank You” to its employees and customers who partnered with the shipping company for its Christmas Toy Drive.

The Toy Drive which was themed “Getting Christmas To You” saw at least one Children’s Home in each of West Tech’s six territories, receive toys and games for the Christmas Season.

Facilitators of the homes were grateful for the donations and are welcoming donations from other corporate citizens.

“We were not expecting many donations for 2020 due to the current situation with COVID and with people limiting their spending. I am happy that West Tech and its customers remembered the children and made such an important gesture.” One Children’s Home Facilitator expresses.

“We are very grateful for these donations. We cannot do everything on our own and donations from companies, organizations and even individuals go a long way in helping. Thank you, West Tech, your employees and customers.” Another Facilitator comments.

West Tech Shipping says it believes in giving back to the community in whatever little way that it can. Apart from the Christmas Toy Drive, West Tech Saint Lucia’s employees donated food and other necessities to underserved families on the island. The Company’s Regional Marketing Manager states that giving back has always been at the core of West Tech’s values.

“The number of donations received from both our employees and customers were very heartwarming. Once we added the donations to West Tech’s contribution, we were able to comfortably reach our goal of “giving the gift of a smile to children for the season.”

“We are very grateful for the contributions from our employees and customers. One customer in St. Maarten donated an entire box of toys. To receive these donations, when everyone has been affected by the pandemic, speaks volumes.” Expresses West Tech’s Regional Marketing Manager- Delia Louis

West Tech says it looks forward to many similar partnerships with customers and other stakeholders. At the same time, the regional shipping company would like to encourage corporate entities to continue to support community development no matter how small, as every little goes a long way, especially now.

Collective Prevention Services detects COVID-19 among its staff.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Collective Prevention Services (CPS) would like to inform the general public that after almost one year of being on the COVID-19 forefront, there have been no cases in-house. However, on January 13, CPS detected COVID-19 among its staff. The department immediately enacted its plan to deal with any positive cases, including immediate testing of staff.

Staff members that have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus will remain in isolation. CPS will continue to monitor and test all staff over the next two weeks to limit further transmission. Furthermore, CPS has activated their contingency plan to ensure that all COVID-19 related tasks and public health-related services, including the baby clinic and vector control, continue as normal.

“I’d like to remind the public that COVID-19 can affect anyone at any time. CPS would like to reassure our clients that all efforts are in place to safeguard the health of our staff and the public. Please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and maintain a 2-meter distance from others,” stated Department Head Eva Lista- de Weever.

Persons experiencing signs and symptoms which may be related to COVID-19, and persons who have been in close contact with a confirmed case are encouraged to make use of CPS’ free COVID-19 testing drive-thru from 9:30 am - 11:30 am in Point Blanche at the lot before the harbor. Any weekend testing will remain by appointment only.

Vaccination strategy on Saint Martin.

vaccinationcovid13012020MARIGOT:--- The first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination started on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.
In accordance with the national strategy of the COVID-19 virus vaccination campaign, the prefecture of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Maarten informs the population of the beginning of the first phase, Wednesday, January 13, 2021, for Saint-Martin and starting Monday, January 18, 2021, for Saint-Barthélemy.
Vaccination of volunteers will be done by a doctor or nurse supervised by a doctor. It will be done in two injections, 21 days apart. Every person vaccinated will be subject to enhanced pharmacovigilance.
Vaccination of the elderly:
As part of this, the first vaccines were administered in Saint-Martin from 13 pm today, for EHPAD residents located in Galisbay. Immunization also covers staff of the establishment over the age of 50 and/or having pathologies.
Indeed, people residing in institutions are at the highest risk of serious forms and these structures are known to be places where the virus is circulating rapidly. Professionals practicing in these structures are also particularly exposed.
Vaccination of health professionals:
Healthcare professionals, including liberals, firefighters, and carers over 50 and/or with comorbidities, have access to the vaccine, if they wish, starting at 14 this Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at Louis Constant Fleming Hospital Center (after expressing interest).
People over the age of 75 living at home will then be able to get vaccinated by showing up through a dedicated contact to be communicated very soon.
The modalities for developing the second phase of the vaccination campaign for a wider audience will be communicated later.

A victim with a gunshot wound driven to the hospital by friends.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The KPSM detectives are investigating a shooting that took place on Blyden’s Drive on Tuesday evening January 12th, 2021 around 09.30 pm, whereby a young man received gunshot wounds to his upper body.
Members of the Detective and Forensics Department were summoned to the Sint Maarten Medical Center after receiving information from the hospital personnel that a victim, with the initials J.S. who was brought by friends, seeking urgent medical care from a gunshot wound that he sustained in the area of Blyden’s Drive.
Once given medical attention to the victim, who was in serious but stable condition, he was able to provide his statement to the detectives.
Officers investigated a location on the Blyden’s drive and indeed found indications that several shots were fired. There was blood found at the scene and the personnel of the Forensic Department took samples. A search was done in the area, but the perpetrator was not encountered.
So far, the police have no clear picture of what had taken place up to now. If you or anyone you know may have information as to what took place do not hesitate to contact the Police Detective Department at +1 721 54 22222 or the anonymous tip line on 9300 (free of charge).
You can also visit the website at to report crime anonymously via the tip contact form, or you can leave a Private Message via our Facebook page (Police Force of Sint Maarten - Korps Politie Sint Maarten) if you know or suspect something.
This investigation is currently ongoing, more details into what took place will be provided as soon as they become available.


KPSM Press Release.

Residency permits policy was not changed or amended.

~ Minister getting rid of foreigners thru backdoor says attorneys.~

PHILIPSBURG:--- In response to queries regarding the residency permit policy that is being executed by the IND at the Ministry of Justice, Minister of Justice Anna Richardson said on Wednesday at the Council of Ministers press briefing that the policy that was established in 2012 has not changed or amended.
Minister Richardson said the policy was not properly enforced in the past and that it is her responsibility as the current Minister of Justice to ensure that the policies in place are fully enforced.
Asked for further clarity as to who exactly was not fully enforcing the policy, the Minister said that she did not take the time to look-into who was not enforcing the policy but in fact has decided the letter of the law must be followed under her watch.
As for the policy, the Minister said that applicants who applied for residency whether it is a renewal or first-time applicant must be able to prove that they are self-sufficient by earning NAF2.000.00 monthly.
Research conducted by SMN News shows that there is no written policy in place but in fact, the former Ministers have a list of guidelines that were put in place by former Minister of Justice Roland Duncan in 2012. So far, there is no published policy that would allow the Minister or IND to deny permits for the lack of sufficient income from a spouse or even if the application was submitted while the applicant was residing on the island illegally.
Several persons including attorneys on the island have reported that the Ministry of Justice namely IND has been requesting additional documents and information from applicants and then these requests are being denied. One such document is a bank account showing the exact amount of funds the applicant or his or her spouse has saved. An attorney said that persons who applied for their wife or husband are being denied because the Minister feels they do not have enough money to support each other. “This was never the case in the past, these applicants did not have to have a specific amount of money saved to be qualified. The additional questions and or demands were never requested when St. Maarten was part of the Netherlands Antilles neither since the island became a country.”
According to information provided states that the Minister recently established a compliance committee that has been calling in applicants despite the COVID 19 and has been interrogating them about their financial status after which their requests are being denied. There are a number of court cases that have been filed and there are a number of decisions against the Minister simply because there is no written policy in place that was published.
Persons that applied for directors’ license or permanent residency are the ones that are being victimized after being interrogated by the committee. The attorneys said that the Minister made certain comments when she first took office about “getting rid” of foreigners and she received a backlash from the community. They said the Minister is using IND to get rid of these foreigners through the back door and this they said is illegal and against human rights.
Several business owners obtained loans to open their business and despite the terrible economic activity these entrepreneurs are doing their best to survive in St. Maarten, to repay their loans but the Minister of Justice has chosen to jeopardize the country because without the directors’ license or residency permits these persons would have to file for bankruptcy. They have since issued a call on parliament and the coalition government to look into the “illegal activities taking place at the Ministry of Justice especially at immigration.

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