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RBTT Bank hosts sixth annual Christmas in Philipsburg Parade

Page1A176PHILIPSBURG--RBTT Bank's sixth annual Christmas in Philipsburg Parade saw hundreds line both Back and Front Streets with the little ones collecting goodies from Santa Claus' helpers as he made his way to Cyrus Wathey Square.

The parade toned down this year – Santa made the trip on a decorative sleigh, rather than as a grand spectacle atop a fire truck. There was much zest from the three drum bands and Ebony Steel Pan Orchestra leading the parade of teen girls of the various high schools, stepping in as Santa's helpers.

Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer, Elmo, Mini and Mickey Mouse, Mrs. Claus and local promotional character Mr. Friendly were also a part of the parade. Youngsters on walking sticks amused onlookers as well.

Meanwhile, on the Great Bay promenade, many tuned into several performances of music and song by local youngsters and lounged about, waiting for Santa's arrival. An attractive stage was set up on the square for the performances and as a resting spot for Santa.

Once settled on stage, Santa took the opportunity to encourage all the young patrons to be diligent in their school work and to be respectful of their parents. He encouraged good manners.

Airport scales shut down due to faulty readings

page3c175AIRPORT--Seven luggage scales at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) were taken out of service by inspectors from government's Control and Inspection Department on Wednesday after the scales were found to be registering higher weight amounts than the luggage actually weighed.

Some of the faulty scales had readings of 4.5 kilos higher than the accepted range. In other words, if the actual weight of luggage placed on the scale was 25 kilos, the faulty scale would read 29.5 kilos.

For the airport scales, government has a positive and negative accepted range of 0.2. A scale could read a 25-kilo piece of luggage at 25.2 maximum or 24.8 minimum to be in the acceptable range. Anything outside of the range calls for immediate shut down until the scale can be recalibrated and/or repaired if necessary.

Management at PJIA could not be reached before press time on Thursday. It therefore could not be determined if PJIA knew the scales were not showing the correct weight amounts before the inspectors had to shut them down.

However, a source at PJIA indicated that the scales lack maintenance and would sometimes just go "on the blitz." As a result, large numbers of travellers could have been unfairly charged excess fees for luggage items that may have otherwise been underweight.

Airport weighing scales are subject to a lot of use and often require regular scale calibration. When checking in baggage at airports, it is also advisable that passengers make sure that scales are on zero before the baggage weighing begins. It was not disclosed which airlines used the faulty scales.

Besides PJIA, the inspectors were also busy with clearing Great Bay Beach and the promenade of illegal vendors, who have been coming out in force again as the high season gets underway. Controls of the promenade, with police assistance, are expected to be executed on a near-daily basis for the rest of the season.

Inspectors have also started to carry out price comparisons at local supermarkets. This exercise entails comparing what supermarkets advertise as "specials" to what actually shows up when an item is scanned at the cashier. Thus far, no major infractions have been found, but the public is urged to be vigilant in this regard.

Customs tight-lipped about drugs on plane

SIMPSON BAY- Reports about a drugs find at Princess Juliana International Airport were confirmed Thursday by head of Customs Anthony Doran.

"I can confirm that there was a find of almost four kilos of cocaine on a Continental flight to Philadelphia. We are conducting an investigation and no arrests have yet been made. Apart from that, we need to stay tight-lipped about this matter until we are ready to give any more information," Doran told The Daily Herald Thursday.

Asked whether his remarks meant that the drugs were not found on an individual but actually on the plane itself, he replied: "Correct."

Customs are investigating how the drugs came to be on the aircraft and by whom the illegal substance was placed there.

Holiday Lights

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Christmas is very much in the air and this is especially evident in Philipsburg at night when the lights are turned on at Windward Islands Bank (seen here), the Government Administration Building and the TelEm building.  (John Halley photo)

"year of gifts"

page5a174Sister Borgia Elementary School pupils were recipients this year's "year of gifts" sponsored by Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association through a joint initiative with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. The event was a part of the cruise association's annual Holiday Gift Programme. In photo: Pupils react as Disney characters Stitch, the Chipmunks, Goofy, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse graced them with their presence as they came along to assist Disney Magic cruise ship crew members with the distribution of the gifts.

 

Sister Borgia Elementary School pupils were recipients this year’s “year of gifts” sponsored by Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association through a joint initiative with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. The event was a part of the cruise association’s annual Holiday Gift Programme. In photo: Pupils react as Disney characters Stitch, the Chipmunks, Goofy, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse graced them with their presence as they came along to assist Disney Magic cruise ship crew members with the distribution of the gifts.

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