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Burning of King Momo marks end of Carnival

page6b288CARNIVAL VILLAGE--The 2015 Carnival season officially came to an end last night with the burning of King Momo in Carnival Village at midnight.

King Momo was set alight by fire-dancer Jason Carter after revellers enjoyed one last jump-up to Carnival Village starting near Le Grand Marché, and listened to closing words by St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) President Michael Granger, Marketing Director Rolando Brison and Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication Claret Connor.

Granger called it "the night we all dread," but said there would be many changes coming for next year's Carnival season, which he called "an infusion of culture," including bringing back a number of elements. He announced that the 2016 season would run April 14 to May 3.

The speakers thanked all sponsors, including title sponsor TelEm and others too numerous to list, as well as the hard-working volunteers, booth-holders, and all stakeholders that had made Carnival possible.

A number of prizes were given out by Granger, the Heineken girls and newly crowned Senior Queen Phausha Winklaar, courtesy of various sponsors. Adeline Gumbs, Leena Gumbs and Betty Peterson each won a season pass for next year's Carnival from Smirnoff, Black Label and Captain Morgan.

Anique Arrindell's booth 51 was named most creatively decorated booth and she was awarded NAf. 1,000 and a Heineken gift package.

The Jouvert Warriors were named the best Jouvert troupe and danced onto the stage in their Native American-themed costumes to collect their trophy. The same group also won last year.

For the biggest prize of the evening, Henry Job was picked at random through a raffle and won a new Hyundai I-30, courtesy of Fantasy Lottery.

One in four babies on islands has single mom

THE HAGUE--Almost one in every four children born in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in 2012 ended up in a single-parent family, mostly a single mother. This was recently concluded by Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics CBS.

Thirty-eight per cent of the babies in 2012 in the Caribbean Netherlands were born to a single mother, which is almost the same (37 per cent) as the babies, who were born in the Netherlands of a mother of Dutch Caribbean descent that same year. In the Netherlands, less than one in every ten babies born in 2012 had a single mother.

An equal percentage, also 38 per cent, of babies in the Caribbean Netherlands were born to married parents in 2012, whereas 15 per cent of the newborns on the three islands had unmarried parents.

Thirty-two per cent of the babies born in the Netherlands to a Dutch Caribbean mother in 2012, had parents that were not married. Twenty-four per cent of the babies born in the Netherlands of a Dutch Caribbean mother had married parents in that same year.

Women in the Caribbean Netherlands and women of Dutch Caribbean descent living in the Netherlands relatively often, in respectively 9 and 7 per cent of the cases, bore a child in a "different kind of household," often the family of the mother. In these cases, the mother lives with her baby at her parents.

Police need help to identify body found in Dawn Beach

DAWN BEACH--Police spokesperson Inspector Ricardo Henson says police still need the public's help to identify the body of the unknown person found in the Dawn Beach area on Wednesday, April 29.

Henson said the gender of the body and the cause of death could not be determined due to the advanced state of decomposition. An autopsy has not yet been performed.

Prosecutor Martin Noordzij told The Daily Herald last week that the badly decomposed body was found "a few yards" from the road in the bushes in Dawn Beach.

Someone who went wandering in the area stumbled upon the body and contacted the police. Due to the advanced stage of decomposition, the ethnicity of the body could not be immediately ascertained. Noordzij said the body had been lying at the location for a lengthy period. He declined to give an indication as to what clothing the individual was wearing, so as to not compromise the investigation.

Foul play is suspected, but authorities are still looking into the matter to determine the exact cause of death. An autopsy will be performed as soon as the pathologist can come to St. Maarten.

Henson said anyone having information that can lead to the identity of the person should contact the police department. They can also call the police tip line tel. 9300.

Gumbs apologises for landfill fire nuisance

PHILIPSBURG--Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs in his capacity as Acting Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI issued an apology to residents of Philipsburg and surrounding areas for the intermittent landfill fires that have blanketed the sky with smoke.

The most recent fire was on Saturday, May 2. Eye-witnesses reported seeing multiple flares in the air on Saturday night. Apparently one flare ended up on the landfill and caused the fire.

"Government is working diligently to solve the problem related to the landfill. Once again, my apologies to the residents on the Pondfill, and surrounding environs in the Philipsburg area for this inconvenience," Gumbs said in a press statement.

According to the statement, there is still a high risk of the fire flaring back up at the location of areas that are not covered, but all concerned are working to make sure that this does not happen.

Windward Roads Infrastructure N.V., charged with managing the landfill, received a report on Saturday around 9:00pm about the fire.

VROMI notified the Fire Department. Fire personnel were on scene until the fire was contained with the use of heavy equipment and dirt around 5:00am on Sunday.

The Fire Department also worked to prevent the fire from spreading too fast and keeping flames low to ensure the safety of Windward Roads personnel.

Windward Roads continued to get rid of small hotspots at the Landfill on Monday.

Agreement on Aruba financial supervision

THE HAGUE/ORANJESTAD--The Governments of Aruba and the Netherlands reached an agreement on Saturday to institute independent financial supervision for Aruba. The accord has stopped the process to invoke a so-called General Measure of the Kingdom Government ("Algemene Maatregel van Rijksbestuur" AMvRB).

A specific Financial Supervision Committee will be established for Aruba, the College Aruba Financieel Toezicht AFT per July 1. The committee will exercise independent financial supervision based on norms that were approved and established between the two countries at an earlier date. The AFT will assist in the drafting and monitoring of Aruba's budget.

The committee will consist of one member representing the Kingdom, one from the Netherlands and one from Aruba. The AFT will be the Aruba version of the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT for the countries Curaçao and St. Maarten and the public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

The multi-annual calculations of the Aruba Government and the balanced budget principle will be an important focus of the committee. Once Aruba has achieved a balanced budget, which is expected to be in 2018, the committee will be replaced by a Budget Chamber in cooperation with the Netherlands.

The Aruba Government will be submitting a draft national ordinance to the Aruba Parliament shortly, which will secure the structural independent supervision. The agreement has put an end to lengthy negotiations between Aruba and the Netherlands on the format of supervision aimed at achieving sustainable government finances in Aruba. The Dutch Caribbean country has a huge national debt and a large budget deficit.

Aruba's Prime Minister Mike Eman, Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk and Aruba's Finance Minister Angel Bermudez signed the agreement in Oranjestad on Saturday, following talks that lasted close to two days. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem still has to sign the agreement.

The talks between Eman and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the Summit of the Americas in Panama last month on this issue laid a solid basis to achieve this result; it was stated in a joint press release of the Dutch and Aruba Governments that was issued on Monday.

Talks continued after the April 24 meeting of the Kingdom Council of Ministers, and on Saturday the two countries agreed on an alternative proposal. Eman and Plasterk stated they were very pleased with the results. Both will inform their Parliaments about the agreement during the course of this week.

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