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Man stabbed outside GEBE, bystanders provide first aid

page1b094PHILIPSBURG--A man was taken to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) in critical condition after having been stabbed repeatedly on Walter Nisbeth Road, commonly known as the Pond Fill, outside the GEBE building. The incident happened shortly before 4:00pm.

Bystanders saved the victim's life by applying a tourniquet to stem what was believed to be an arterial bleed, possibly of the femoral artery.

People had been waiting near GEBE when they heard someone say that a fight was ongoing. The man who helped the victim said that he walked past and saw a number of men. One of the men was bleeding, and he wondered why the other men did not help him. He then saw a small knife and realised what had happened. As he approached the group, the man with the knife ran off.

The man saw that the victim was bleeding heavily and had multiple stab wounds on the legs, with blood spurting out of one of the wounds. Aided by another bystander, a woman, he used both his own belt as well as hers to place tourniquets on both of the man's legs.

The police were called and they, in turn, called an ambulance. "The ambulance would have been faster if people would have dialled 912, the dedicated ambulance number, rather than the police number, 911," a woman in the crowd said.

When asked how he knew what to do, the 41-year-old man who had placed the tourniquet stated that he had been in the army for six years. He did not want to have his photograph taken or give his name.

The incident left the Good Samaritan covered in blood, and someone fetched him a bucket of water to clean his hands. His white trainers were also covered in blood. Paramedics told the man that he had saved the victim's life.

Detectives, uniformed officers and the Forensics Department were at the scene and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

A police report about the incident stated that "on the scene, the investigating officers encountered a man with the initials R.D.C. (38) lying on the ground and who was bleeding from several stab wounds to his back and lower right leg. The victim was treated on the scene by paramedics and then transported to the St. Maarten Medical Center for further treatment. The victim was stabilised, but could not give a statement due to his condition." The statement further mentioned that "the suspect in the case still remains unknown and has not yet been arrested."

After initial treatment on the scene, the victim was taken to SMMC by paramedics and by a Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS) Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). After completing their EMT course, certified people have to complete a minimum of 40 hours as a trainee on an ambulance, giving them hands-on experience.

At the time of press, the victim was at SMMC in a stable condition and detectives are expecting to be able to speak to the man today, Saturday.

Anyone with any information about the incident is requested to contact the Detectives Department at Philipsburg Police Station or call the anonymous tip line at tel. 9300.

Leona dispels rumours, committed to US Party

page4a094PHILIPSBURG--"I am still a candidate...I am a member of the United St. Maarten (US) Party and there I shall stay. There is where the people asked me to be and that's where I am at." This was the firm statement from Member of Parliament (MP)-Elect Leona Marlin-Romeo at a press conference with her party leader, MP Frans Richardson, on Friday in Parliament House.

The press conference was held to curb "the innuendos and stories" being circulated from "living a life of their own" in the community, said Richardson. Those "rumours" about Marlin-Romeo leaving the party were widely circulated in the blogosphere and shared on Facebook throughout Thursday.

"The point is I have not jumped ship. The point is I am standing next to Frans Richardson...I am not going anywhere," Marlin-Romeo said.

She added: "I am a woman of my word. The people supported me to stay where I am and I respect that. There is no need for Leona Marlin to cross over to any other political lines. I gave my word to Frans Richardson. There is assurance there. I don't have to doubt myself. I am a person of integrity and I am not going anywhere after USP. You will see me here in 2018 as well."

She, however, pointed out "there is not a government as yet" as the pending National Alliance (NA)/US Party/Democratic Party (DP) coalition government only becomes official on October 10, when the MPs are sworn in and the ministers take office as of October 11.

To the 245 people who voted for her, Marlin-Romeo said it was her "responsibility" to assure them that the talks "about the jumping and about the money-taking, that was not true.

"I find it unfortunate that people would try to slander my name in public," she said, adding that the comments on social media are "not going to break me."

In Parliament, her stance will not change and she will represent not only those who voted for her, but the entire St. Maarten. "If something is not right in my opinion, I am going to voice my opinion...I am not going to [leave it alone – Ed.] because of party lines. If it is good for the country, the country will get my support at the end of the day...I gave my word to the people to represent them and give them proper representation, that is exactly my intention."

Marlin-Romeo said she was not personally approached "by any other party to run with them or to jump over." "Absolutely not, none of them came to me in person, because I would not entertain such."

She did confirm that her team members were "addressed by other team members." That, however, "does not make it that Leona is going to!"

The MP-Elect said she did raise concerns with Richardson and party President Cecil Nicholas about the division of portfolios allocated to the party in the governing accord. She and Richardson declined to make public the content of those discussions.

Answering the question directed to Marlin-Romeo about the concerns, Richardson said, "As leader of the political party, I would not want to go into details. I think those details should remain within the party and the negotiation teams. Those are internal issues we want to keep internal."

When the question from the broadcast journalist was redirected to Marlin-Romeo, Richardson reaffirmed that "as leader of the political party, I will be the one taking that responsibility."

Marlin-Romeo: "And I respect his decision."

At the opening of the press conference, Richardson said the party remained "committed to doing what is right for the people." That commitment was formalised in the two agreements he signed with NA and DP.

"Nothing has changed so far as Frans Richardson is concerned," he said about his commitment to the agreements.

"Governance is serious for the US Party. We do not take it lightly and [will – Ed.] give content to in the coming four years...I have the support of the party board and candidates. As far as we are concerned, there is simply no room for any manoeuvring that will endanger us from moving forward," Richardson said.

Commenting to the feeling of US Party's coalition partners, Richardson said, in any coalition, there would be feelings of uneasiness if anything like what US Party is dealing with comes out.

"We have assured our coalition partners that we are here to stay. We have signed an agreement and we are going to work it out and we are going to make sure we have a government for the people of St. Maarten," he said.

Netherlands Royal Marines

page1a094The Netherlands Royal Marines recently carried out their mid-term deployment tradition of cutting in half a wooden pole which symbolises having reached midway in their deployment in Sint Maarten. The two Marines were Commander of the Netherlands Royal Marines in Sint Maarten Major Patrick Wokke and Marine First Class Pieter Lammerse. The current crop of Marines is the second rotational detachment, which is on the island for a period of four months. The Marines operate from Marine Base Pointe Blanche which is located in Port St. Maarten.

Lourens presents illustrative book on UNESCO meeting

page6b093PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs Patricia Lourens-Philip formally presented a specially-made illustrative book entitled "Capacity Building Workshop on Heritage Conservation in Caribbean Small Island Developing States" to key professional culture stakeholders in late August.

The book, produced by the Culture Department, shares the outcomes of a The United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) meeting called by the same name, held in May. It contains the meeting's proceedings and includes photos, speeches, presentation excerpts and recommendations, as well as the Philipsburg Declaration and Action Plan.

The book was presented to those who made the meeting a success. The meeting had been fully financed by the Ministry, a first in the region.

Head of the Culture Department Neville York said that Minister Lourens' vision had been put in motion and taken root in the soil of St. Maarten "after her passionate address at the UNESCO General Conference in Paris in November 2013, in which she made the proposition publicly to collaborate with other member States in the Caribbean for St. Maarten to serve as the portal for the Tangible project 'The Eastern Caribbean Coastal Fortifications'".

He added that six months after her open invitation, the first concrete step was made to fulfil what had been proposed. An invitation was sent out to all regional member states to take part in the capacity building workshops in St. Maarten. Some 97 per cent accepted.

York also highlighted a need to "establish a foundation that will serve as a world renowned professional institute for Intangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage," which would fulfil the vision and obtain a UNESCO Category II Center title, based in St. Maarten.

St. Eustatius mourns former senator and council member

page13c093ST. EUSTATIUS--Kenneth "Wompie" van Putten passed away unexpectedly in St. Eustatius on Thursday. He was 77 years old. Residents had heard the wailing of sirens in the lower part of Oranjestad as the ambulance came through, but it was too late for Van Putten.

Van Putten was a Democratic Party member and leader for many years. He worked on the island- and central level of government. He was also one of the founders of St. Eustatius Historical Foundation more than forty years ago.

Van Putten was born on St. Eustatius on January 29, 1937, and was very knowledgeable about the island. People could call on him for anything pertaining to Statia or its history. He would tell people old-time Statia stories in such a way that they became more knowledgeable, yet they would end up laughing.

His last recording was done by Walter Hellebrand for the Historical Foundation's exhibition "Days of Slavery" that is still running in Statia Museum.

Island council members were seen paying their respects to his sister, who is also well known in the community of Statia.

Van Putten leaves to mourn his sister Louise van Putten, his son and further family, the DP on Statia, many friends and relatives, both locally and worldwide, too numerous to mention. He will be greatly missed.

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