The crown for Miss Venus Model Caribbean goes to Sidneila Richardson

sidneila richardson-today-ilandvibez

TSXM – St. Maarten – Sometimes stepping outside the box can pay huge dividends for first timers, 18- year-old Sidneila Richardson was suitably rewarded after winning the swim suit segment in Miss Venus Model Caribbean which was held in Anguilla last weekend.

Richardson, a former student of the St Dominic High School was the youngest participant in the pageant and only representative from St Maarten but standing between her dreams and the prestigious prize were two participants from Anguilla and three from St Kitts.

“I was a little frustrated going into the pageant, but I was not nervous because I had my family sitting in the front row and my mother was my biggest fan but I was very hungry and tired,” Richardson said during an exclusive interview.

After three intense rounds of competition Richardson who said that she was extremely tired and hungry was not exactly optimistic about her chances and it came as a total shock when her name was called.

According to Richardson who also won the title for Miss Congeniality, Patricia Clark from St Kitts secured the 1st runner up position and the second runner up spot and Miss Photogenic title went to Amelia Brown, also from St Kitts. “I thought that the crown would end up in St Kitts this time,” she stated.  But little did she realize that her life was about to change for the best after competing in her first pageant.

“When they said that our Miss Venus is Sidneila Richardson, I was standing in the back row and my jaw dropped, I almost had a heart attack on stage, it was not until the outgoing queen called me that I started to cry, but I did not want my make up to run and I had to suck up my tears, but my mother went crazy and she was also my biggest motivation,” Richardson added. In addition to the coveted crown.

“We did not participate in the fashion fare this year said Alida Brown, the local pageant coordinator. “We had a last minute problem with sponsors and two of the girls who were fully prepared to go had to pull out,” Brown added.

According to Brown, for the swim suit competition, Richardson was required to wear two outfits that was provided by the organizers and the third one designed by the participant. “Miss Venus is all about cancer awareness and the specific colors had to be incorporated into the third swim suit. They also had to deliver a speech about the island they represented and talk about themselves during an interview segment,” Brown said.

The Miss Venus Model Caribbean has been staged in Anguilla for the past 12 years, in 2012, Caroline Paredes brought the title to St Maarten for the first time and Richardson was instrumental in keeping the short tradition alive.

Richardson who insists that her education comes first has already been approached by an organization in Curacao to participate in a pageant and I am thinking about it, the offers are flowing in already, but for now, I have to relax, but I would encourage other girls to compete, I had fun,” she concluded.

Richardson took the opportunity to thank Ahmar Gumbs, Janay, Ruiz Thomas, Sameila Connors and the photographer who turned her from an ordinary young lady into an aspiring model, Milton Pieters.

With less than a year before the next pageant, Brown has extended an open invitation for prospective contestants to contact her via facebook. Training will start as early as November.

No trace on island of escapees


 Sobiesky Manuel Parrondo

GREAT BAY – There is no trace of the three inmates that escaped from the prison section of the police station in Philipsburg on Sunday June 23. “They are still escaped,” Solicitor-General Taco Stein told this newspaper by phone from the Netherlands yesterday. “They are internationally wanted, but our feeling is that they have all left the island. We’ll have to wait and see if they will show themselves again here in the future.”

The investigation into the escape is still ongoing, Stein said, adding that he had no details about the state of this investigation.

Shortly after the three men escaped, the prosecutor’s office put up a $5,000 reward for information about their whereabouts, but until now, nobody has come forward.

The three escapees are Sobiesky Manuel Parrondo (age 25), Carlos Miquel Olivier-Ruiz (29) and Marco David Santana-Guerero (29).

Parrondo was sentenced in absentia on July 24 to 14 years for the November 10, 2012 murder of Gaston Gumbs. Another suspect in that case, Stevenson Pinder is currently detained and he  was also sentenced to 14 years. The Gaston Gumbs murder had to do with a 25 kilo cocaine deal.

The two other escapees, Olivier-Ruiz and Santana-Guerero were in pretrial detention on drugs charges.

Parrondo is listed as a wanted man on the Interpol website. He speaks three languages – French, English and Spanish – and has dual nationality (from the Dominican Republic and France). Interpol lists Parrondo as wanted for murder, firearm and drugs violations.

Olivier-Ruiz and Santana-Guerero are also listed on the Interpol wanted list for drugs-related crimes.


Man shot during house robbery


Not actual Photo

TDH – POINTE BLANCHE–A 36-year-old man is now nursing gunshot wounds at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) after he was attacked and shot in his home in Pointe Blanche during an attempted robbery after midday on Tuesday.

The man K.H. told police that he was attacked by three unknown masked men, one of whom was

armed with a gun inside his home. He was threatened by the young men who demanded that he give them everything he had.

At one point during the incident, the victim was shot. The robbers then fled the scene on foot and did not succeed in stealing anything, police spokesperson Inspector Ricardo Henson said in a press release.

The victim jumped into his pick-up and drove to the parking lot behind the police headquarters near the Richardson building in Philipsburg.

Henson said several police patrol, detectives and ambulance were directed to the parking lot around 1:40pm, where they found the victim conscious and sitting in his pick-up bleeding from a gunshot wound to the right side of his body.

The paramedics administered first aid and then transported him to SMMC for further treatment. The Special Robbery Unit and the Forensic Department are investigating this case.

OPINION: I’m feeling something


TDH – Dear Editor, The final year of the parliament of country St. Maarten was ushered in with much pomp and passion. The march pass with the different civil and military groups displayed the resources available to government to protect or oppress the people, depending on what or whose political interest is being served. None the less, it was a great show of democracy and the tools at its disposal. What happened on the outside was quite impressive. I was, however, somewhat amused if not amazed about what came from within the house of parliament.

For the first time in three years I’ve heard members of the various factions, especially the one-man factions, mention words like “our people and local people.” It made me wonder where they were for the last 1,085 days, nine hours and counting. What they recognize now as the plight of the people was the same three years ago and they did absolutely nothing to alleviate or give relief to the suffering masses.

In any proper functioning democracy an unemployment rate of above ten percent is reason for concern and when unemployment among our youth reaches twenty-six percent and up it is certainly an emergency. But as it seems some of my honourable friends were and still are too occupied with the self-enrichment programme for which they erroneously believe government or elected office is designed.

As I write, I am getting information of an MP applying for a water taxi license and an auto inspection facility, following examples which abound. It looks like we intend to over saturate these two services like we did with public transportation (taxies and busses) and the overrun of jewel stores on Front Street that sell everything else and operates as a mini bar.

It was also encouraging to hear the minister of education sound the alarm for more and better controls at ports of entry, but just so she may know everything is being overwhelmed by the uncontrolled influx, not just education. As I have written before in our enthusiasm

to impress, we implemented a complementary education system without any control or restrictions, making it possible for St. Maarten to educate the drop-outs and illiterates from around the Caribbean. How they must be laughing at us! I was told by an immigration officer that there are people in this society who are making money signing for people to bring their children from wide and far, guarantying them they will get into school on St. Maarten.

As for the utterances of walking up and down the corridors of the council of ministers, it proves that after three years we still don’t understand our responsibility or the functioning of the dualistic system in which we operate. But it is very amusing that today they are ready to turn a new page and build a highway to heaven for the local people and that the local people will benefit from one fourth of their time doing nothing but collecting high salaries and building up advantage miles on American and others. That’s why I am feeling something and I know election is coming, so welcome to the contenders and pretenders. Elton Jones

16 year old Boy in jail for for stabbing one of his mothers attackers


TDH -DUTCH QUARTER–The parents of a 16-year-old student are calling on police to take action against a group of boys who hang around Madrid Drive in Dutch Quarter and wreak havoc in the area.

Parents, Julien Grell and Joselin Vincente, made the call after their son, Milton Peters College (MPC) TKL 3 student Joceidy Grell, was arrested for stabbing one of the boys in what the parents said was self-defense after the group of boys tried to attack his older brother, pelted his mother with a large stone and one of them attempted to shock him on his neck with a taser gun twice.

The parents believe the police are doing nothing to find the culprit although they arrested their son.

In an invited comment police spokesperson Inspector Ricardo Henson said that while he had no knowledge of this particular case, once an official complaint was filed the detectives did their jobs. He said he would look into the matter and get back to The Daily Herald.

Joselin said she had been home Friday, September 6, when she opened the door around 7:30pm to see why the dogs were barking. She said a young man from the area, whose alias starts with the initial C, told her that she should “go up the street to check on her older son because he was in trouble.”

When she went, her older son denied that there was a problem. The older son then asked C., who had two rocks in his hand, why he had told his mother that he was in trouble and asked him if he wanted to fight.

Vincente said an argument had ensued and about eight or nine other young men armed with machetes and knives surrounded them. Vincente said she and another parent had attempted to separate the boys so that they would not fight. She said someone threw a stone in her back during the fracas and showed this newspaper the fresh injury that she received from the stone. Vincente said her younger son Joceidy, who is now incarcerated, had showed up and rushed to her aid.

During the fracas C. attempted to shock her son with a taser gun. The son knocked away the taser gun, ran to his home and returned with a knife. When C. tried to put the taser gun to Joceidy’s neck again he reacted by stabbing C. in the side of his stomach. Vincente said her vehicle had been stoned later and the front glass as well as several other parts of the vehicle damaged.

When the police arrived on the scene all the boys who had machetes and knives ran away and only C. remained on the scene. Even with the police present C. wanted to fight and was aggressive towards the police, Vincente said. The police detained Joceidy.

The parents said they had not had a chance to see their son since he had been detained. They were also upset that his detention had been extended by eight days earlier this week even though he has to go to school.

Henson said the extension of someone’s detention was the job of the prosecutor.

The parents said that although their son had been detained for several days, the police said they had to look for C. The parents said that while they did not condone what their son had done it appears as though the police were not pursuing the aggressor in the incident.

The parents said their younger son was a good child who never had been involved in a fight or negative incident. They said he was a quiet boy who stayed at home and did not trouble anyone. They said the group of boys constantly caused trouble in that area, broke into people’s homes, stole, sold drugs, and if anyone complained about it they were beaten up and the police did nothing about it.

Vincente said police were called to the area weekly to deal with these boys and nothing ever happened, as they were left to continue tormenting residents.

She said she had no peace since her son had been in jail, and claimed that the boys had been laughing at her. She said her son could have been killed or seriously hurt by the taser gun. “My son is a quiet boy. I think they [the group of boys from the area] had a plan to fight my kids for no reason,” Vincente said.

She said her younger son had said he became angry when the boys pelted his mother with a rock. “I don’t want my son’s name to get dirty because of these boys.”

No pay for the month of august, Boss abandoned employees


TDH – CAY HILL–About sixteen workers of cleaning company Brenrick Services are up in arms that their employer has not paid them for August and seems to have abandoned them, as he reportedly has left the island and there is no indication whether he will be returning.

The company had the cleaning contract for St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), where the workers had been working.

One worker who has been with the company for some 16 years told The Daily Herald on Thursday that employees usually were paid on the fourth or fifth day of the following month. The employee said everyone had been working normally and when their pay date came and they had not received their salaries they started inquiring what the problem was. The employees learnt only then that their boss was not on-island.

The worker told this newspaper they also had learnt that their employer had been encountering financial difficulties and that an attachment reportedly had been placed on his assets.

Many of the workers had been working for the company for many years and were shocked and dismayed that their employer had done this to them. “My 14 years just gone,” one frustrated employee said.

The worker said SMMC had ended the contract with Brenrick Services because of this issue. The workers, who were gathered at SMMC yesterday, said the hospital had tried to assist them by calling in another cleaning company and requesting that that company assist them by hiring them in exchange for the SMMC contract.

The new company interviewed employees and informed more than half of them that they would be hired. The workers who were told they would be hired were given the uniforms of the new company and are expected to start work with the new company this week.

The workers are still upset that they will lose their August salaries. This newspaper was told that many of the workers are encountering challenging situations as a result of not being paid. Some have issues with their landlords, as their rent has not been paid, some are without utilities and others are experiencing other financial issues.

Cocaine smuggler will not be extradited to the US


TSXM – St. Maarten – The Common Court of Justice denied an extradition request submitted on behalf of the United States of America’s Attorney-General Erik Holder Jr. The US asked St. Maarten on May 10 to extradite John Henry M. whom it accuses of possession with the intent to distribute 5 kilos of cocaine. The cocaine was found aboard a vessel in the territorial waters of the US Virgin Islands on May 4.

The American authorities submitted a long list of documents to substantiate their extradition request –an arrest warrant, an indictment, pictures and fingerprints among them.

The court ruled however that the US authorities did not submit a single piece of evidence to substantiate the charges. Such documentation is relevant for an extradition to establish a reasonable suspicion of guilt. “The documents are insufficient and the extradition is therefore considered inadmissible,” the court ruled.
The ruling says nothing about what must happen now with the suspect who is currently detained in the Pointe Blanche prison.