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We need the WOW Factor.

18 degrees in Philadelphia, 21 in Toronto, 19 in Boston,  St. Thomas Missouri has 23 degrees and snow, St. Thomas North Dakota has 5 degrees and snow.
It's 79° Fahrenheit  23.9 Centigrade in Crown Bay St. Thomas,
73% humidity. Clear Skies
Wind out of the East at 8 mph.
Water temp: 77° in Charlotte Amalie  St. Thomas
No rain
Doppler radar shows: Mostly Clear Skies
Satellite Photo Shows: No storms on the horizon.

The national weather forecast calls for Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Highs 85. Breezy East winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent
Cruise Ship News
At Havensight  Dock
At Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal: Maasdam and Emerald Princess

At the top of the news on Friday January 14   

Governor John DeJongh and Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty met with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association and the executives of the cruise line industry. What we need is the WOW factor.  More and more cruise passengers are veterans. They have been here before and getting them off the ship means we need to be more creative and more competitive.  New ideas, interactive tours, new projects where our history and culture comes to life.  The cruise executives were impressed with presentations from the Commissioners about infrastructure improvements in St. Thomas and the new Captain Morgan destination on St. Croix and the refurbishing of main Street St. Thomas and new security at Coki Point. Also critical was proof that few crimes are committed against tourists.  But getting people to keep coming to St. Thomas takes more work on our part.  The cruise ships lines still consider St. Thomas a premiere destination, but we are competing with the whole world for ship arrivals and we have to make sure we remain a world class destination.

The Department of Human Services in collaboration with the Virgin Islands Early Childhood Advisory Committee will begin implementing an Early Childcare Quality Rating Improvement System. We’ll be the first US territory to join over 20 states that administers a QRIS. The ‘kick off’ is Friday, January 14th at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort and Spa from 9:30am to 11:30am.    A QRIS is a tool designed to assess and improve the level of quality in early and school age care and education programs. Implementing a QRIS in the territory will work simultaneously to improve professional development for childcare providers and empower parents to select quality early care and education for their children. Friday’s meeting will introduce participants to consultants from Oldham Innovative Research and Anne Mitchell, a QRIS national expert who will help implement the system in the territory. The Governor and First Lady deJongh are expected to  be there too.

Many residents on St. Croix think HOVENSA is a hazard to their health. Senator Louis P. Hill says his new Committee on Planning and Environmental Protection will convene on February 16 to investigate the issue. Hill says this is an urgent issue and he called upon the Environmental Protection Agency to insure that all air quality regulations are enforced. He wants Environmental Protection Agency to begin immediate research and a comprehensive assessment of the repeated release of emissions from HOVENSA. The public is invited to the Public Hearings at Fritz Lawaetz Conference Room on February 16 at 10:00 AM.

Senator Celestino A. White is reminding residents of Hidden Valley and Anna's Retreat Heights that water is coming. Roads will have temporary closures and there will be limited access while water lines are being installed. The bulk of the work will be in April through September. White has a Big Thank You to the hard working crews of WAPA who are installing the water lines.

Dept. of Agriculture St. Croix is closed today as the staff attend a celebration. The St. Thomas and St. John offices are open. St. Croix will reopen on Tuesday after Monday’s holiday.

ICC says they had a cable break on Back street that produced an outage for some 50 businesses in downtown Charlotte Amalie.  They expect to restore service today.

Retired Police Officers Organization will meet on Saturday at 10AM at the Old USO Building on Veterans Drive.
UVI Professor Emeritus Dr. Arnold Highfield and part-time UVI Professor of Anthropology and History Dr. Betsy Rezende will be among the presenters at the 25th Annual Meeting of the Society of Virgin Islands Historians set for Saturday, Jan. 15, at Government House in Christiansted, St. Croix. The meeting’s theme is “Celebrating the 275th Commemoration of Christiansted Town.” Dr. Highfield will provide “An Overview of Christiansted Town.” Dr. Rezende will present  a “Historic Viewing of 20 Rare Photographs: 1860-1917.” Other presenters include George F. Tyson talking about The Contributions of Africans to the Establishment of Christiansted Town), and Bill Cissel (The Military History of Christiansted Town). Among 7 presenters. Saturday at 9:30 AM at Government House St. Croix For more information Dr. Baumann at 692-4178.
Bordeaux Farmers Rastafari Agricultural and Cultural Food Fair is this weekend.  It is the 14th annual food fair in Bordeaux – We Grow Food organizes the event for the Bordeaux farmers and this year they have a bountiful harvest. Last year’s fair was rained out. There's something for everyone: art, jewelry, crafts, the wonderful aromas of freshly cooked food. Farmer of the year Ingrid Powell James will be honored at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the opening ceremonies. The Fair runs from 10 a.m to 10 p.m each day. There is plenty of free parking on the road, which leads to the old Bordeaux Tennis Courts, where the event is traditionally held. Admission is $3 for adults, with children admitted free.

Teacher of the Year will be recognized at a Special Department of Education dinner this evening at Marriott's Frenchman's Reef at 7:00 PM.  Commissioner of Education Dr LaVerne Terry announced that Daniela Roumo will be the focus of attention tonight. If you wish to attend, there is a shuttle from Havensight Mall to the Marriott's Frenchman's Reef starting at 6:15.   

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