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Here comes a Winter Escape plan.

It's 78° Fahrenheit  23.9 Centigrade in Crown Bay St. Thomas,
77% humidity. Clear Skies
Wind out of the North East at 7 mph gusting to 28.
Water temp: 77° in Charlotte Amalie  St. Thomas
We had Point 11 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.
Doppler radar shows: Clear Skies  - Satellite Photo Shows: Clear Skies

The national weather forecast calls for isolated showers. Highs 86. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.

Cruise Ship News
At Havensight  Dock Mercury

At the top of the news on Friday January 28  

Senate Committee on Government Operations, Energy and Veterans Affairs Continued their hearings yesterday – they are looking into government employees who work under hazardous conditions. WAPA’s union president made the case that working with hazardous materials should not extend beyond 20 years. But are funds in place for these employees to retire early after 20 years instead of 25 years. Not according to GERS officials, they can’t fund so much early retirement. A lot of debate but no actions were taken.

Dept. of Tourism has a new offer for people who want to visit the Virgin Islands –On February 1, the Department of Tourism will begin offering the USVI Escape package, a bookable offer designed to attract potential visitors to the Territory through the end of May. The Dept. gives travelers an instant  $500 rebate on each booking of five nights at participating hotels. The offer is available from February 1 through March 31, for travel between March 1  and May 31. The idea is to attract visitors after the end of the worst of winter.  and recuperate from what weather forecasters are calling a ‘Wintry Battle Zone.’ More than twenty hotels on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas will participate in the USVI Escape. The package applies to new bookings only and $500 credit is one per reservation. Reservations for this promotion can be made through a number of tour operators including:  Classic Vacations, Expedia, Inter Island Tours, Libgo Travel, The Mark Travel Corporation, MLT Vacations, Travelocity, US Airways Vacations, World Travel Holdings.

Tax Assessor Bernadette Williams,spoke to St. Croix Rotary Club yesterday saying No one likes to pay taxes but it is easier when the system is fair and transparent. With the settlement of the Berne case which has snarkled our tax system since 2000, the government can go forward with land tax bills. The territory will issue tax bills for 2007, 2008 and 2009 at the 1998 rates, and that bills from 2010 forward will be based on new property valuations. Tax bills for 2007 will go out in February, and 2008 bills will go in May or June.

Michael Bolton is coming to the Reichhold Center for the Arts  on Saturday for a one time concert. The musician is known for his emotionally powerful love songs.  The show is called One World, One Love. The man has two Grammy awards and a series of hit songs that reach back to 1987. You know songs like “When a man loves a woman, and How am I supposed to live without you and his version of Sittin On the Dock of the Bay which went platinum.” He plays to sold out theaters all over the world. Tickets are available from the Reichhold Center for the Arts Call 693-1559.

An online registration form is now available for individuals interested in participating in a male empowerment conference at the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas on Feb. 8, and on St. Croix on Feb. 10. The conference, which is designed to help male high school juniors and seniors, and young men who want to return to the academic track realize their potential. The theme is: “Man-Up: Realize your Potential – Tools and Resources for Males on the Journey Toward a Successful Life.” The fundamental message is that there is something very powerful about staying on an academic path and attaining a post-secondary education. The conference keynote speaker will be American businessman and motivational speaker Farrah Gray, a self-made millionaire by the age of 14. The internationally recognized R&B singing, rapping and songwriting duo known as Rock City (V.I. natives and brothers Timothy and Theron Thomas) is slated to perform.

ept. of Tourism is in Baltimore at the DC Dive Show this weekend - the 4th annual consumer dive show to promote the our dive offerings to thousands of dive enthusiasts.  They are also at the Dallas Bridal Show in Dallas, TX - the premier bridal event in Dallas. With more than 350 wedding vendors and exhibitors. And Tourism staff are at the Travel & Adventure Show  in Chicago, Illinois this weekend. They will showcase the unique vacation options and offerings within the USVI to thousands of potential consumers.

The Police Department inform St. Thomas motoring public that the top portion of Raadets Gade, from Back Street to Main Street, is closed through late today as there is work on that road.

St. Croix -  the D.C. Canegata Ball Park staff will close the softball and baseball fields from Monday January 31 to Wednesday February 2 as the staff install an infield stabilizer mix with a blend of sands, silt and clay that will make a firm resilient playing field and reduce dust.

St. Croix –the Waste Management Authority is working on the LBJ Force main through Saturday February 5th. They shut down the pump station to install a new 24 inch force main, and do other work., Meanwhile they are pumping  sewage over long reef.

Make A Wish Foundation is all about giving children with serious illnesses their wish. 4 year old J’Len Ford is the first child who was granted a wish by the new Make-a Wish Foundation.  All J’len wanted was to be a police officer like his father. The boy was diagnosed with Leukemia a year ago and his life is a medical nightmare. So the Foundation make his wish come true, He was deputized, issued a badge and uniform and taken to Yacht Haven Grande where a kid size police cruiser was waiting and a genuine Bad Guy, Attorney Tom Bolt dressed up for the occasion as a terrible Tom bandit.  J’Len made the arrest and told Terrible Tom to stop stealing and be a good Virgin Islander.  A party followed where J’Len got an autographed football from NFL Player Roland Williams and a trip to Government House where Governor John DeJongh had a hero’s welcome for J’Len and and medal for bravery in the line of duty. Big Thank You to southland Gaming who sponsored the event and all the stores in Yacht Haven Grande that helped, and Cost-U-Less and Kokopelli Café for their support.  A special Big Thank You to Rabbi Arthur Starr who helped bring the Make-a-wish foundation to the Virgin Islands and to the volunteers who made it happen. You can help – join the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Contact Wttorney Tom Bolt point man for the Foundation. and isn’t terrible at all.

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