Saturday, August 08, 2020

July 24, 2020   Great Bay –Former prison guard and current President of the St. Maarten Sports and Olympic Federation (SMSOF) Aartwicht Bell is now the acting director of the Pointe Blanche prison, taking over from acting director Rikson Martina. Bell has more than 20 years of experience in the Justice Ministry.

He was a prison guard for many years until he was moved to become a prison guard instructor at the St. Maarten Justice Academy. He was in this position until Hurricane Irma destroyed the complex, and the institution was subsequently closed.

Bell is also active in the country’s sports domain. He is the current SMSOF President and an accomplished Judoka. He received certifications in coaching as well, including the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Programme (ICECP) in judo.

The ICECP is delivered by the United States Olympic Committee in partnership with Olympic Solidarity and the University of Delaware and aims to equip national-level coaches with skills in sport sciences, talent identification, athlete development, coaching education, coaching management, grass roots sport development and coaching ethics.

Bell takes over control of the prison from Martina, who was acting director for about four months. Martina took over the prison after then-acting director Alwin Keli was ousted by then-Justice Minister Egbert Doran in late February. Keli had been acting director for 11 months.

“Mr. Bell’s predecessor, Rikson Martina will soon be taking up another managerial position within the prison sector. In April of this year, Mr. Martina celebrated over 30 years in service at the prison and to the government of St. Maarten. Minister Richardson thanked Mr. Martina for his best efforts while he held the position of interim director at the Pointe Blanche prison. Mr. Martina has maintained a high level of professionalism and is enthusiastic to serve at a high level within the prison system,” said the Justice Ministry in a press release on Thursday.

Bell is joined on the prison’s managerial team by former Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Irania Arrindell and long-time prison guard Humphrey Concincion.

Arrindell served as TEATT Minister from November 2015 to December 2016 under then-Prime Minister William Marlin. Coming from a background in business and human resource management, she has also been a civil servant for more than 10 years and has held posts within the Justice Ministry.

Concincion has more than 25 years of service within the country’s prison system. “He has an extensive array of diplomas and certificates that range from handling firearms to advanced coaching and supervision, rehabilitation, treatment and social skills training, extraordinary police officer, and life skills courses for offenders,” said the Justice Ministry. He is also a driving instructor with an office located on W.J.A. Nisbeth Road (Pondfill).

According to the Justice Ministry, Bell and his team will roll out a six-month plan of action that will be “geared to improve various sectors of the prison and its operation.”

“Mr. Bell – with his certified instructor’s background – will personally guide some [prison – Ed.] staff members through the final levels of their certification and provide others with refresher courses.

“The Volunteers Corps of St. Maarten VKS has been assisting at the prison for some time, for which Minister Richardson is highly appreciative. To strengthen their knowledge, skills and overall support to the prison guards, Mr. Bell will also be including the VKS members in the trainings … and aims to develop a stronger working relationship between the guards and VKS members,” said the Justice Ministry.

Daily Herald

August 2, 2020   LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wilford Brimley, who worked his way up from movie stunt rider to an indelible character actor who brought gruff charm, and sometimes menace, to a range of films that included “Cocoon,” “The Natural” and “The Firm,” has died. He was 85. Brimley’s manager Lynda Bensky said the actor died Saturday morning in a Utah hospital. He was on dialysis and had several medical ailments, she said. The mustached Brimley was a familiar face for a number of roles, often playing characters like his grizzled baseball manager in “The Natural” opposite Robert Redford’s bad-luck phenomenon. He also worked with Redford in “Brubaker” and “The Electric Horseman.” Brimley’s best-known work was in “Cocoon,” in which he was part of a group of seniors who discover an alien pod that rejuvenates them. The 1985 Ron Howard film won two Oscars, including a supporting actor honor for Don Ameche.

July 31, 2020  LONDON (AP) — Alan Parker, a successful and sometimes surprising filmmaker whose diverse output includes “Bugsy Malone,” “Midnight Express,” and “Evita,” has died at 76, his family said. A Briton who became a Hollywood heavyweight, Parker also directed “Fame,” “The Commitments and “Mississippi Burning.” Together his movies won 10 Academy Awards and 19 British Academy Film Awards. The director’s family said he died Friday in London after a long illness. Parker was born in London on Feb. 14, 1944, and, like many other aspiring British directors of his generation, including Ridley Scott and Adrian Lyne, began his career in advertising as a copywriter and director of commercials.

NEW YORK (AP) — When historians look back on the top films at the box office in the summer of 2020, they may feel like they’ve slipped into a time warp, or maybe “Back to the Future.” Over the second weekend in July, “Empire Strikes Back” — 40 years after it was first released — was again No. 1. “Ghostbusters” claimed the July 4th weekend, 36 years after opening. Over the June 19-21 weekend and 27 years after it last led the box office, “Jurassic Park” again ruled theaters. In a pandemic that has resurrected all kinds of vintage pastimes, from puzzles to drive-ins, even the blockbusters are retro. That is much out of necessity. About 1,000 theaters in the U.S. are currently open, just about a sixth of the nation’s cinemas. That includes the approximately 300 drive-ins that have, since the multiplexes shuttered in March, hosted the majority of moviegoing.

July 29, 2020  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tracy Morgan and his wife of five years are ending their marriage The actor-comedian’s representative said in an emailed statement Wednesday that Morgan and Megan Wollover have filed for divorce. “This is a challenging time for all involved, so I ask that you please respect our privacy,” Morgan said in a statement. Morgan and Wollover married after the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member recovered from a 2014 highway crash. One man was killed in the crash that left Morgan and two friends seriously injured. The crash happened when a Wal-Mart truck slammed into the back of a limo Morgan was riding in.