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Thursday, September 21, 2023
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Government Offers Updates on WAPA Outages, Tropical Weather

After a duct bank and electric cable were punctured Saturday during construction by the V.I. Water and Power Authority, some residents of St. Thomas and St. John are living with rotating power outages and will continue to do so until further notice, according to Richard Motta, Government House communications director.

Taxi Officials Say Licensing Tests Soon to Come

Officials of the Taxicab Commission say applicants waiting to take the test to become licensed taxi operators will soon have a certification course available. The disclosure came during a Sept. 15 commission meeting.

Commentary | State of the Territory: Fulfilling Promises on Cannabis Legalization and Expungement

There is an immediate, pressing need for immediate action to harness the immense potential of the cannabis industry and expunge the records of those with past convictions, writes former Sen. Janelle Sarauw.

Police Seek Help to Identify ‘Person of Interest’ in Bolongo Bay Homicide

Police are seeking the community’s help to identify a man seen at the garbage dumpsters in Bolongo Bay on St. Thomas on the same day that a Waste Management Authority employee was shot and killed in August.

STT-STJ Power Rotations to Continue as WAPA Works on Damaged Feeder

V.I. Water and Power Authority customers on the eastern side of St. Thomas and St. John who endured rotating power outages over the weekend will be enduring them a little longer, the utility said Monday as it updated the community on efforts to fix a damaged feeder that is behind the problem.

Opinion: A Call for Equity: Land, Legacy and Learning on St. John

Say one, say two, the creation of the Virgin Islands National Park has been both harmful and beneficial to the people of the Virgin Islands as expressed by the critics and defenders of the land swap between the National Park Service (NPS) and the Government of the Virgin Islands.

St. John Land Swap Approved in 9-5 Vote

Although another option came to light Friday, and although several legislators vowed to fight on against ever giving any land to the National Park Service, the Senate approved exchanging Whistling Cay — a 17.97-acre island off Mary Point on the north shore of St. John that is owned by the territory — for an 11.3-acre site in Estate Catherineberg owned by the National Park.

Opinion: Hog Plums a Rich Part of Virgin Islands History and Culture

Long ago children knew, especially those who grew up in an agricultural society in the Virgin Islands, that school would open in September due to the arrival of the yellow or orange-yellowish fruits of the hog plum tree.

Cannabis Industry Rising from Stalled Start

Sen. Marvin Blyden called legislation passed in January legalizing recreational marijuana “landmark legislation,” which has been “stuck in start.”

Board Issues Draft Cannabis Rules

The Office of Cannabis Regulations has issued long-awaited suggestions on how the U.S. Virgin Islands should regulate the legal cannabis trade, asking anyone with comments to respond before Oct. 10.

Former Sen. Steven Payne Arrested and Charged in Florida for Sexual Battery

Making an initial court appearance Saturday morning after being arrested in Orlando the day before on charges of sexual battery, bail for former Senator-At-Large Steven Payne has been set at $250,003, which he has been unable to post.

GOP Presidential Candidates Line Up in V.I.

The battle for the Republican nomination for U.S. president has reached the Virgin Islands, where the current two top contenders have paid $20,000 each for a spot on the Republican primary ballot. 

Del Bene Moves in As Acting V.I. National Park Superintendent

Penelope Del Bene began a 120-assignment Wednesday as the V.I. National Park and V.I. Coral Reef National Monument’s acting superintendent, with Scott Simmons returning to his role as deputy.

Interior Advances $212 Million in Rum Cover Over Funds to USVI

The U.S. Virgin Islands has been approved for $212,039,584 in rum cover-over payments — some $14 million less than it received last year — the U.S. Department of the Interior announced Thursday.

Margaret Ellen Labrenz Dies at 85

Margaret “Margie” Ellen Labrenz, former longtime St. John resident, passed away at the age of 85 on Sept. 5.

Senate Approves Agencies’ Money Shuffle

Nine government agencies asked the Virgin Islands Legislature Wednesday to move money around to fund projects not in their original 2023 budgets. The senators unanimously approved all the requests.

Libraries, Archives Getting Make-Overs

St. John is about to get its library back, but St. Thomas will be without one for many months due to ongoing repairs.

Tap Room / St. John Brewers Wins First Place at National Buffalo Wing Festival

Chef Isaac Buckner of the Tap Room / St. John Brewers won the 1st place trophy in the Sriracha category at the 21st Annual National Buffalo Wing Festival that took place over the Labor Day weekend in Orchard Park, New York from Sept. 2 to Sept. 3.

WAPA, Part 4: What Will be the Virgin Islands’ Energy Future?

Two people who know best — Hugo Hodge and Lawrence Kupfer, both former WAPA chief executives — believe the future energy source in the Virgin Islands should be solar, with battery storage and perhaps wind backup.

State of the Territory | Securing the Future of GERS: Challenges and Hope

In her bi-weekly column, "State of the Territory," former Sen. Janelle K. Sarauw delves deeper into issues of concern for V.I. residents. This week focuses on the evolution of legislation to stablize the Government Employees' Retirement System.


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