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Crucian Christmas Festival Village opening tonight.

It's 76° Fahrenheit  23.9 Centigrade in Crown Bay St. Thomas,
69% humidity. Overcast skies   
Wind out of the East North East at 10 mph.
Water temp: 79° in Charlotte Amalie  St. Thomas
We had Point 09 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.
Doppler radar shows: Clear Skies
Satellite Photo Shows: No storms on the horizon.

The national weather forecast calls Mostly cloudy early in the morning then becoming variably cloudy. Isolated showers. Highs around 82. Breezy. Northeast winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent. High surf advisory in effect to late today

Cruise Ship News
At Havensight  Dock Mercury
At Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal: Ruby Princess and Grand Princess
The Oceania Regatta will arrive at 4:30 p.m. today in Frederiksted - one day earlier than her scheduled time of arrival.  The Oceania Regatta has changed its itinerary due to inclement weather at other scheduled ports of calls.  Instead, the ship will arrive a day early bringing with her 684 passengers and 400 crew members for an overnight stay on the island of St. Croix.  The ship will depart tomorrow at 5 p.m. as scheduled.

At the top of the news on Thursday December 30

Good News from the Dept. of Labor as the tax cut bill that passed Congress includes a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits that will pay out for some 1,700 Virgin Islanders.  The local unemployment rate is only 8.2 percent – that is below the national average of 9.6 percent. But we still have lots  of unemployed people and the financial benefits will keep many homes financially afloat.

Virgin Islands Lottery has news of then next lottery drawing – this time involving pets.  For Valentine’s Day they will be selling a Love your Pets ticket series with a Grand Prize of $175,000 and a total of $330,000 in prizes. And you get to vote for the pets that will be featured on the tickets.  Top 20 pets we choose will be printed on the tickets.

A Prosperous New Year greeting from the Board of Governors, management, staff and member agencies of the United Way.  This holiday season, it is important to continue giving and supporting United Way.  Their member agencies provide essential services to thousands of people in our community.  We would like to remind individuals and corporations - in order to receive a tax credit for the 2010 tax year and obtain a tax-deductible letter from United Way, you have until December 31, 2010 to make such donation(s). Remember it is extremely important to Give, Advocate, Volunteer, and most importantly, LIVE UNITED!

We are in Kwanza – today is about  Nia – that means Purpose – and there is an  Ancestral Remembrance Drum Circle  at Sunset at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Virgin Islands Veterans Park

St. Lucia Caribbean Harmony. WSTA

Dept. of Labor says their St. Croix offices will be closed all day today. They have annual staff meetings. and professional development workshops.

Department of Public Works says they are closing a section of Weymouth Rhymer Highway on Saturday and Sun January 1 and 2 to connect the 15 inch gravity fed sewer line. Work has gotten to the stage that the main road has to be closed to complete the work. Traffic in the area of O’Henry’s Cleaners will be affected and reduced to a single lane. On Saturday from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM and on Sunday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Motorists are urged to avoid the area.

On St. Croix Department of Public Works is doing road work on Bennie Benjamin Memorial Drive Route 79 near Sunny Isles Shopping Center and Juan Luis Hospital.  They will be working through January.

Last chance - E. Benjamin Oliver School Band Boosters have their annual Community Birthday calendar for sale.  Most of the calendars were sold on Tuesday and Wednesday – just a few left today at FirstBank waterfront, FirstBank Port of Sale Shopping Center. and FirstBank tutu. $5. For more information call 775-2000.

The Governor has issued administrative leave on the following schedule:
Dec.  31, 2010: territory-wide administrative leave noon to 5 p.m.
Government offices and semi-autonomous offices like WAPA will close at noon on Friday.  
Jan. 3, 2011: territory-wide administrative leave 8 am to 5 pm
Jan. 4, 2011: St. Croix only administrative leave 8 am to 5 pm
Jan. 5, 2011: St. Croix and St. John only administrative leave 8 am to 5 pm
Jan. 7, 2011:territory-wide administrative leave 8 am to 5 pm

The Crucian Christmas Festival village opens this evening at 6:00 PM. There is an opening tramp from Frederiksted Post Office to the village at 7:00 PM this evening.  Party Monarch and Band-o-Rama competitions are this evening in festival village. Culture night is January 2. The Calypso monarch finals are on January 4 at Island Center for the Performing Arts.  J’Ouvert is January 5 at 5 am, and the Food Fair Arts and Crafts air is January 5 at the McBean Clock Tower. Children’s parade is January 7 from 1:00 PM from Claude O. Markoe School and the Adult Parade is 10:00 AM January 8 from Claude O. Markoe School.

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