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From left, Gary Halyard, Nesha Christian-Hendrickson, Gary Molloy, commissioner, and Elston George provide testimony to the senate about Department of Labor matters. (Photo by Barry Leerdam for the V.I. Legislature)

Legislature Marking Unemployment Tax to Payroll to Comply with Fed Law

The 33rd Legislature Finance Committee approved bills dealing with the gas excise tax, unemployment tax, a tax commission and the territory’s insurance division Tuesday.
Gov. Albert Bryan speaks at Monday's news conference. (Image captured from the V.I. Government's livestream of the press conference)

Governor Lifts STX Curfew Immediately; STT Curfew Until Morning

Gov. Albert Bryan lifted the curfew for St. Croix and said the St. Thomas-St. John curfew would be lifted at 8 a.m., during a post-storm press briefing 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

V.I. Electricity Returning, Seemingly Mostly Minor Damage As Dorian Moves Away

Dorian, the fast-moving Category 1 hurricane, was some 45 miles to the northwest of St. Thomas by Wednesday evening, having brought hurricane force winds and as much as five inches of rain to portions of the Virgin Islands Wednesday afternoon.

Dorian Now a Hurricane As It Crosses USVI *Update*

Dorian has been upgraded to a Category One Hurricane as it nears St. Thomas with top winds of 75 miles per hour. St. Thomas' Cyril E. King Airport has been closed for the day due to the storm. Hurricane Dorian is tracking to the northwest at 13 miles per hour, and a Hurricane Warning remains posted for the Virgin Islands. There have been numerous reports of hurricane-force winds on St. Thomas over the past couple of hours. A weather station just south of St. Thomas recently reported sustained winds of 82 miles per hour, with a gust to 111 miles per hour Conditions on St. Thomas’s northside began to deteriorate rapidly just after noontime. High winds and horizontal rain whipped at trees and bush flattening the front-yard purple Mexican petunias and turning roadways into rivers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppZpd2YqgWY At 2:45 an alert announced sustained winds on St. Thomas of 82 mph with gusts to 111, suggesting that Dorian became a hurricane as it moved over the island. Large tree branches had begun to accumulate in roadways blocking passage and the heavy gusting rains showed no signs of diminishing at of 3 p.m. On the present track, Dorian should continue to move over the U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday afternoon, and then over the open Atlantic waters later Wednesday night. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 20 miles to the north and east of the center, while tropical storm force winds extend up to 80 miles east of the center. Dorian has the potential to produce 4-6 inches of rain across the Virgin Islands. Such volumes of rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods. Additionally, swells will increase across the Virgin Islands causing life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. St. Croix is already being impacted by tropical storm force winds which should last until late Wednesday afternoon. Tropical storm force winds will begin to affect St. Thomas & St. John within the hour and continue through Wednesday night. Seaports are closed until further notice. Vitran bus service is cancelled until further notice. A curfew is in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday
Richard Motta, director of communications for Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. Bryan, addresses the media at Government House, St. Croix. (Source photo by Susan Ellis)

News Conference: Governor Continuing to Press HUD on Disaster Funds

The governor is continuing to press FEMA to release desperately needed hurricane recovery funds, Richard Motta, director of communications for Gov. Albert Bryan Jr., reported Monday during a news conference at Government House on St. Croix.
Crowds gather at Vendors Plaza on St. Thomas. (File photo by the USVI Legislature)

STT Vendors Plaza Upgrades on the Way, V.I. Officials Say

Licensing and Consumer Affairs officials met with St. Thomas' Vendors Plaza merchants at a town hall Tuesday to talk about the run-down state of the major tourism site.
Sen. Dwayne DeGraff (D-STT) speaks at Friday's session. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, V.I. Legislature)

Senators Looking for Who to Blame for Horse Racing Halt

Horse racing in the Virgin Islands is not starting up soon. As a matter of fact, the starting gate for the St. Thomas racetrack isn't even in the territory. And senators from the Committee on Youth, Sports, Parks and Recreation don’t know who to blame.
Albert Bryan

Gov. Bryan: One-Time Medicaid Windfall Should Not Go to Raises

Gov. Albert Bryan urged the Legislature in a statement Thursday not to spend any of a one-time $39 million Medicaid reimbursement windfall on recurring expenses like pay raises but instead use it for the hospitals' utility bills.

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