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VIPA Director Carlton Dowe in 2016 file photo)

Dowe Officially Returns to V.I. Port Authority

Carlton Dowe will return to the Virgin Islands Port Authority as its executive director after an official vote of approval from the authority’s governing board Wednesday.
Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital in March 2018. (Bill Kossler photo)

JFL Reopening Could Be Delayed Until May 2020

Dyma B. Williams, acting chief executive officer of the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital, and her staff told Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and members of his executive team Wednesday that the projected opening date of the modular replacement for the hurricane-damaged hospital may have to be pushed back to May 2020. Work on the physical structure of the modular hospital to take the place of the facility is progressing, according to a news release from the hospital. But the scheduled opening may be delayed due to the prior hospital administration’s failure to procure the furnishings, fixtures and medical equipment, according to the current hospital administration. The current administration of the hospital has been working since late 2018 to secure those needs JFL has requested Bryan’s assistance in utilizing the territory’s resources to expedite this process. Bryan expressed his support for the hospital's request, the news release said. "We have to move to secure the best healthcare access we can as quickly as we can," Bryan said. "We recognize the importance and value of supporting access to healthcare for all Virgin Islanders. We support ...  Williams in stabilizing the infrastructure of the hospital and completing these projects as soon as possible." Bryan also said his administration is lobbying to address the 100 percent Medicaid funding for the territory, which expires in September. Members of his administration were in Washington D.C. Thursday testifying before Congress for the Medicaid funding. Due to the delays in getting the modular hospital online, JFL staff has executed temporary repairs on the existing hospital to enhance the quality of the patient and employee experience. With the support of the Bryan Administration, JFL intends to utilize Public Finance Authority funds allocated by the Legislature for capital improvements to complete repairs. These include temporary repair or replacement of air handlers damaged in the storm and repairs to the air handler room and the electrical motor control room, which were deferred initially in anticipation of the demolition of the hospital. “The continued collaboration and support of the administration is essential to the success of the hospital during this extended recovery period," Williams said. "We are working diligently to ensure that our current facility meets the healthcare needs of our community, until we transfer to the temporary modular hospital.”
Community members at Tuesday's watershed meeting discuss areas that need remediation.

Meeting Focuses on Watershed Protection

When more than 40 residents of Coral Bay gathered Tuesday night for a meeting hosted by the Coral Bay Community Council, they were given maps of their local area and then asked to break into small groups.
Juanita Gardine School is one of three St. Croix schools adding seventh and eighth grades to become K-8 schools/ (File photo)

St. Croix School District Makes Reconfiguration Official

The Department of Education officially confirmed details of how St. Croix schools will be reconfigured for the fall. The new roster also involves some school uniform changes.

Work Underway at Frenchman’s Reef But No Opening Date Yet

Work on Frenchman's Reef resort, St. Thomas' largest hotel, is well underway, with parent company DiamondRock Hospitality saying they have already spent more than $60 million and plan to spend $200 million on remediation and construction.

VITEMA Nominee Says V.I.’s Disaster Response Warehouses Under-Stocked

In a confirmation hearing Thursday, Daryl Jaschen, nominated to direct the V. I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency, said there are deficiencies in the stocking of FEMA warehouses in the territory.
Blue tarps covering damaged roofs dot the landscape of Estate Tutu on St. Thomas in March 2018. (Bill Kossler photo)

Partnership Forms to Match Nonprofits With Volunteers

Virgin Islands charities and other not-for-profit groups are expected to benefit from the work of a newly formed partnership announced this week. The announcement was made by former U.S. President Bill Clinton on the final day of a two day conference, sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative Action Network.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with St. John artist Kurt Marsh, Jr. about preserving arts and culture post-hurricanes.

Continued Conversation is Key to a Resilient Caribbean, CGI Speakers Say

Two sessions that looked at small business development and climate change continued a conversation on resiliency between regional leaders and potential partners that Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. said may not happen often but which he called critical to each island being able to respond better each time disaster strikes and recover more quickly.
Discussing disaster recovery at the PFA board meeting are Kirk Callwood, Jenifer O’Neal, Keith O’Neale, Gov. Albert Bryan, Nathan Simmonds, Dorothy Isaac and Adrienne Williams-Ocatalien.

PFA Deals with Hurricane Recovery

The board members of the V.I. Public Finance Authority dealt with hurricane recovery Friday – arranging for matching dollars for FEMA projects and discussing how to move the road-renovation project forward last week at the St. Croix PFA office.
SJCF Executive Director Celia Kalousek (2014 file photo)

They Survived the Storm, Now the Struggle is on to Fund Nonprofits

After several months of responding to high demand for services, Virgin Islands charities are facing some more familiar challenges. Some, but not all, say they’re feeling funding pressures and point to a trickle of revenues from the government that help fuel their operations.

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