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Emergency responders manage pretend disasters

It's 77° Fahrenheit  27.7 Centigrade in Crown Bay St. Thomas,
88% humidity. Clear Skies
Wind out of the South East at 14 mph.
Water temp: 79° in Charlotte Amalie  St. Thomas
We had POINT 2 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.
Doppler radar shows: Scattered showers
Satellite Photo Shows: No storms on the horizon.

The national weather forecast calls for Mostly cloudy early in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Isolated showers. Highs around 83. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.


No Ships today - Paradise is just for us.

At the top of the news on December 10, Friday

Emergency responders had their hands full on Thursday as they staged a number of incidents to test their ability to respond to a set of disasters. They had to contend with a bomb at WAPA, a bomb lab at UVI,  an airplane crash at Rohlsen Airport and terrorists on Water Island.  Staff from Stateside Homeland Security were on hand to take the pulse of our emergency responders and evaluate their response time  and how long it took to activate the National Guard among other measures.  It was all a test.  

But in the midst of testing using pretend problems, HOVENSA had a real problem. A malfunctioning valve allowed a release of hydrocarbons including liquefied petroleum, naphtha, diesel and gas oil into the atmosphere.  The toxic mix left hundreds sickened, particularly at Central High School where more than 200 students complained of nausea, vomiting, skin irritation and respiratory issues.  Twelve students went to Juan Luis Hospital for treatment where 16 others from the affected communities were undergoing treatment..  HOVENSA called it an unfortunate accident and promised to prevent future discharges. Delegate Dr. Donna Christensen and other government leaders called for tighter controls over HOVENSA and more air monitoring. The delegate said she is working on this with the Environmental Protection Agency right now. St. Croix Central High School will be open today on a normal schedule.

How will Charlotte Amalie look in the future?  A group of architects met with citizen volunteers to listen to ideas and develop new design rules for construction in Charlotte Amalie.  Town Planner Victor Dover of the design firm Dover, Kohn and Partners were working on a town blueprint and solicited all kinds of public input.  What are the big ideas? Reaffirm and protect the traditional way of building, transform the waterfront into the finest public space in the Caribbean .  Connect the different parts of town to make getting around easy and make walk ability a top priority.  The design calls for small sale design and bringing new life to the city at night.  Next they will to put together a “form based building code” for Charlotte Amalie to show how form based  code works.  The idea is a zoning code that serves the residents and supports the best of the present designs in use with any new building.

Big news from ICC – they have completed the installation of the G-3 wireless network in the Virgin Islands.  The new service supports high speed internet connections for Blackberry phones, Samsung, Motorola and Google Android phones with talk, text, photos and web browsing. ICC reminds you that you can get a new G3 phone at their new office in Nisky Center As well as their offices in Tutu, St. Thomas and Estate Diamond, St. Croix.


The University of the Virgin Islands will host a seminar on the impact of climate change on ciguatera fish poisoning today at 10:30 at the Administration and Conference Center on the St. Thomas campus. Everyone is welcome to come. The seminar will focus on preliminary findings that suggest ocean temperature increases trigger an increase in harmful algal blooms that correlate to an increase in the poisoning of people who eat fish from the coral reefs where toxins are highest.

Miracle on Main Street is looking for help! Chamber of Commerce has 'Miracle on Main Street' on Friday, December 17 – Next Friday. They need all Chamber of Commerce members to lend assistance at the event. If you can volunteer please contact Lucy Cerge at the Chamber  call 776-0100.

When does Public School close for Christmas break?  The official calendar says that Thursday December 23 is the last full day of classes. School will be closed starting Friday December 24 and remain closed through Monday January 10.

Lost and Found - A wallet was found near Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church – Michelet Raymond of Hull Bay, you can claim your wallet at WSTA.   A set of keys was lost Wednesday night in the area of Fireburn Hill – if you found them call WSTA.  George Cumberbatch lost his license somewhere between Subbase and Lockhart Mall – if you found it call WSTA.  

Today is Godparents Day and Godparents are invited to schools today. The role of Godparent has expanded over the years and nowadays a godparents is a parent support person who helps to raise a child in all areas of social and moral responsibility.  It takes a village to raise a child.  Today is Godparents day and invite Godparents to come to their godchild’s school.

Coming Up This Weekend – Dancing Classrooms has been teaching students at Bertha C. Boschulte School, Lockhart Elementary School, Julius Sprauve, Giftt Hill and Guy Benjamin about ballroom dancing.  Now here comes a ballroom dancing competition Saturday the 11th at 5:00 PM at the Winston Wells Ball Park on St. John. All of the schools will field teams to demonstrate their skills. No cost to attend. Bring the family. 5:00 PM at Winston Wells Ball Park. While we are talking about dance, the St. John School of the Arts is hosting a tap dance class starting January 12 for 10 weeks call 779-4322.

Police Commissioner Novella  Francis reminds the community to be safe during the holiday season. Criminals use the hustle and bustle of the holiday season to prey on individuals who are distracted and preoccupied with shopping.  Here are some tips - Park your vehicle in well lit areas. Make sure the area will have enough light during evening hours. Lock your car doors while shopping. Place your purchases in your trunk or under the seat, never in plain sight since visible packages invites theft.  Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, use credit cards, debit cards or checks. Be careful with your purse – don’ t let it swing or dangle from your shoulder – that makes an easy target  for a crook. Be safe this season and we will all have a happy holiday.

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