July 16, 2003 – Although medical authorities said on Monday in announcing that Gov. Charles W. Turnbull was being treated for a bleeding ulcer at Roy L. Schneider Hospital that he was expected to remain hospitalized for 24 to 48 hours, there was no indication as of Wednesday afternoon as to when he might be released.
Dr. Thelma Ruth Watson, hospital medical director and one of the governor's attending physicians, said he was "resting comfortably with stable vital signs" on Wednesday, according to a Government House release. The statement attributed to Watson the information that he "will remain in the hospital for further observation and additional rest."
The release modified its description of the governor's condition in recent days, saying that he had been hospitalized since Monday morning "with symptoms attributed to a bleeding ulcer." Earlier releases had stated that he was being treated for such a condition.
No details have been released as to whether Turnbull is suffering from an ulcer of the stomach or of the duodenum, or small intestine, or what the nature of his treatment is.
On Wednesday, the governor received visits in his hospital suite from Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards, Police Commissioner Elton Lewis and "other senior staff" and "conducted routine discussions and signed several documents," the release stated.
It noted that Turnbull was on the radio in the morning "to commend those members of the Legislature who voted to approve Bill No. 25-0052, which provides for the issuance of bonds to finance short-term borrowing and capital development projects."
In a statement issued separately by Government House, Turnbull said the bill's passage "prevented the layoff of a substantial number of government workers, a process that was in [the] initial stage."
He thanked those who supported the bill, saying the bond issue will provide the government with "$100 million in badly needed working capital and another $135 million to finance on a long-term basis certain economic development projects." The Senate specified that the $100 million is to be used exclusively for two purposes — income-tax refunds and vendor payments.
Turnbull said his administration will use the bond proceeds earmarked for capital projects "expeditiously, aggressively and creatively … to fuel economic growth and stimulate the long-term expansion of the territory's economy, particularly on the island of St. Croix, which is in need of significant and immediate attention."
The vote was 9-6 for the bill, with favorable votes from Senate President David Jones; his Democratic majority colleagues Douglas Canton Jr., Roosevelt David, Emmett Hansen II, Louis Hill, Shawn-Michael Malone and Luther Renee; and minority Sens. Carlton Dowe and Almando "Rocky" Liburd.
Voting against the measure were Democratic majority Sens. Lorraine Berry, Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg and Ronald Russell and minority Sens. Norman Jn Baptiste, Usie R. Richards and Celestino White.
Turnbull said those voting for the bill "should be commended for their courage to cross political, philosophical and partisan lines to put the best interest of the people of the territory first and foremost." He said the vote enables the government to "move forward with obtaining the critical financing that will allow the government to meet its obligations to vendors and taxpayers, thereby circulating badly needed dollars throughout the economy and providing essential services."
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