GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

Temporary Office Closures of VI SHIP/Medicare Scheduled

There will be a temporary office closure of the VI SHIP/Medicare St. Croix and St. Thomas offices from July 6…

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Half a dozen young people, local artists and music producers have created a peace song for Carnival 2014. To read more about the song, click here.
 

 
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Summer Camps and Programs for St. Thomas and St. John Youth

Here is a list of summer camps and organized activities available for children or young people. Please send information on your camps and activities to offer parents a variety of choices. Please e-mail information to visource@gmail.com

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2015-07-04 15:26:00
U.S. Marshals Put St. Croix Man on Most Wanted List

The U.S. Marshals Service has J’Wa Charlery, 19, of St. Croix to its "15 Most Wanted Fugitives" list as a suspect in a murder that took place in November in Richmond, Va.

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2015-07-03 00:30:04
Pre-kindergarteners Introduced to Festival

A group of pre-kindergarteners from the 21st Century Community Learning Center summer program took a field trip Thursday to the Festival’s Children’s Village to learn about the traditions of Carnival.

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2015-07-03 00:13:42
Local news — St. John
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Coral Reefs Faring Better Than Expected This Year

This year’s spate of coral bleaching wasn’t as bad as scientists originally feared, said fisheries biologist Jeff Miller.
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” said Miller, who works with the National Park Service’s Inventory and Monitoring program assigned to the Virgin Islands and based on St. John.
By early November 2005, the year that saw the territory’s corals decimated by bleaching, the corals across the territory were in very bad shape. Ultimately, 90 percent of the corals at study sites suffered bleaching, and 60 percent ultimately died.
This year, about 50 to 55 percent of the corals at three study sites are discolored but not bleached white or dead, Miller said.
“There is less coral bleached than 2005, and the severity is less,” he said.

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The bleaching problem occurs when unusually warm water causes the algae that live in the corals to be expelled or die. This leaves the corals with a bleached look because the colorful algae is gone, Miller has said.
According to Miller, two factors contributed to the improved coral condition. He said that water temperatures probably weren’t as warm as they were in 2005, and when they were warm, they weren’t as warm as long.
He said the average water temperature for October was 84.5 degrees. Bleaching occurs when temperatures rise over 85 degrees.
As water temperatures began to rise this summer, Miller and other scientists feared that this year would be a repeat of 2005.
While the early October rains and those that fell Sunday and Monday lowered the water temperature, Miller said they were a double-edged sword because the rain caused dirt to flow downhill onto the coral reefs.
“Sedimentation stresses the reefs,” Miller said.
This sedimentation on top of this year’s bleaching means that boaters, swimmers, divers, and snorkelers have to be careful not to further impact the reefs.
“It’s like kicking a person when they’re down,” he said.
He urged boaters to take care when anchoring, and for swimmers, divers and snorkelers to not stand on the reefs or kick up sand that will smother them.
Miller is also concerned about disease hitting the stressed coral reefs. This is what happened in 2005 and caused them to die.

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