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The Virgin Islands Supreme Court, from left, Chief Justice Rhys S. Hodge, Associate Justice Ive Arrington Swan and Associate Justice Maria M. Cabret. (Government House photo)

Lolo Willis Loses Appeal on Balbo Construction Tax Case

Former USVI tax director Louis 'Lolo' Willis – who is wrapping up a five-year federal prison term for bribery and extortion – has more worries ahead, now that the V.I. Supreme Court struck down his appeal on a separate criminal case.

More Cruise Ships Likely to be Turned Away In Coming Year

During a meeting of WICO’s board of directors, Director of Marine and Cruise Operations Mark Sabino said things like berth size, Port Authority contracts, and scheduling conflicts create a perfect storm for losing tourism revenue.
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.
Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte defends his department's budget before the Senate Finance Committee Thursday. (Photo from USVI Legislature)

Lack of Berths Holds Down Cruise Ship Numbers, Boschulte Tells Senators

The U.S. Virgin Islands is making slow but steady recovery from the 2017 storms, according to Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte, with strong cruise ship activity and new direct flight services offsetting the impact of hotels under renovation.
Attorney General Denise George-Counts delivers testimony during Wednesday's meeting of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Justice and Public Safety. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)

Senate Panel Debates Loitering Bill

A proposed increase in fines and imprisonment for loitering in the Virgin Islands could be excessive or infringe on the constitutional rights of residents, senators were told Wednesday.
IRB Director Joel Lee testifies before the Senate Finance Committee about his department's budget Tuesday. (Photo by Barry Leerman for the V.I. Legislature)

Bureau of Internal Revenue Says There’s No Plan B if Excise Tax Appeal Loses

Internal Revenue Bureau Director Joel Lee told lawmakers Tuesday that if the District Court rules against the government’s appeal to reinstate excise taxes, the bureau has no backup plan in the face of roughly $45 million in tax collection losses each year.
Director of Health Justa Encarnacion takes questions from the Senate Finance Committee. (Photo by Barry Leerdam for the USVI Legislature)

Lawmakers Criticize Health Officials Over Mental Health, Federal Grants

Lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction Monday over the Department of Health’s handling of the mental health crisis in the territory and some at-risk federal grants aimed at shoring up the Virgin Islands’ behavioral health support system.
Assata Afua, director Black Power Theater, relates her experience of Ghana. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)Assata Afua, director Black Power Theater, relates her experience of Ghana. (Photo by Barry Leerdam, Legislature of the Virgin Islands)

Senators Open the Floor to Culture

Song, dance and poetry are naturally focused on by the Senate Committee on Culture, Historic Preservation and Aging. But under the chairmanship of Sen. Myron Jackson the committee has done more than analyze the arts; it has brought them alive in Senate chamber.
Juan F. Luis Hospital in pre-hurricane file photo. JFL was badly damaged by Hurricane Maria.

JFL Execs Say Crime, Abandoned Patients Cost Hospital

Tens of millions of dollars in uncompensated care continues to strain the budget of St. Croix's Juan F. Luis Hospital, JFL officials told lawmakers Tuesday, with violent crime-related injuries and long-term boarders incurring some of the higher-cost, unpaid medical services.
The sign at the Joseph Stadium site proclaims 'And Now the Building Begins,' but that was two years ago and little has work has been seen on the site. (Source photo by Linda Morland)

Half the Stadium Appropriation Spent and Site Is Still Mostly Dirt

Five years after Gov. John deJongh signed a measure laying out funding for the Paul Joseph Stadium in Frederiksted, and more than half the money has been spent. While officials say it could be completed by the end of next year – if an additional $7 million is appropriated.

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