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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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*Update* Power Restored to STT Feeders, One STX Feeder Still Out

Tropical Storm Laura's winds caused electrical outages on a handful of St. Thomas feeders and one St. Croix feeder. The St. Thomas feeders have been restored but the St. Croix feeder remains out, according to an operational update issued by the V.I. Water and Power Authority at noon on Saturday.
Sen, Keith Vialet 08042020

V.I. Officials Revisiting Internet Gambling

Walking into the casino in Christiansted on St. Croix or the Parrot Club in Cruz Bay, it would not be odd to see most of the gambling done by locals instead of tourists.
Committee of the Whole Chairman Sen. Novelle Francis Jr. asks for an open and honest conversation with WAPA during Friday’s hearing. (“Photos by Chaunte Herbert, Legislature of the Virgin Islands.)

Legislature Grilling of WAPA Devolves into “Melee”

Tension ran high Friday as Senators, meeting as the Committee of the Whole, grilled officials of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority devolved into chaos and decorum was relegated to the background.

Bright Beach Lights Pose Hazard for Sea Turtle Hatchlings

Baby sea turtles face many obstacles to their survival, and it was no different for the 50 leatherback hatchlings that emerged from a nest on July 1 at Hull Bay beach on St. Thomas.

PSC Says WAPA Rate Decrease Not Likely

Public Services Commission Executive Director Donald Cole informed Senate Finance Committee members that even after WAPA’s conversion to propane is complete on St. Thomas, ratepayers are not likely to see the large immediate rate savings they were promised.
WAPA CEO Lawrence Kupfer testifies before the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday.

CEO Says Kragel ‘No Longer Employed’ at WAPA

Following an internal review completed after its board met in executive session Monday, the V.I. Water and Power Authority confirmed Tuesday night that deputy legal counsel, Mark Kragel is no longer employed by the utility.
Protesters demonstrate in front of the V.I. Water and Power Authority office in Sunny Isle on St. Croix. (Source photo by Elisa McKay)

Protestors Call for Ouster of WAPA Official Who Posted Racially Charged Social Media Message

A group of angry Virgin Islanders staged a demonstration Tuesday at the St. Croix office of the Water and Power Authority to protest racially charged statements made on social media by Mark Kragel.
Property and Procurement Commissioner Anthony Thomas is peppered by questions from the Senate Finance Committee Friday. (Photo by Barry Leerdam for the V.I. Legislature)

WAPA Investigates Racist FB Post by Deputy Legal Counsel

Denouncing statements made on social media by its deputy legal counsel, WAPA officials determined Monday that the power to fire him lays in the hands of the utility’s executive director.

Ratings Agencies Predict WAPA Default But WAPA Says Unlikely

Both the Moody's and the Fitch bond ratings agencies are concerned WAPA might default on $49 million in bonds on July 1, but WAPA spokesman Jean Greaux said Friday “we do not expect a default.
Electrical power grid in silhouette. (Shutterstock image)

Lower Electric Rates Take Effect In July

The Virgin Islands Public Services Commission has approved a reduction in electric rates, which represents an approximate 1.5 cents drop in the per kilowatt-hour rate for both residential and commercial customers.

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