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Energy Savings coming to 11 schools

It's 78° Fahrenheit  23.9 Centigrade in Crown Bay St. Thomas,
69% humidity. Clear Skies
Wind out of the East North East at 15 mph.
Barometric pressure is 30.03
Water temp: 77° in Charlotte Amalie  St. Thomas
Doppler radar shows: lots of small showers in the area  
Satellite Photo Shows: Clear Skies
Variably cloudy in the morning then clearing. Isolated showers. Highs 84. Breezy Northeast winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.

Cruise Ship News
At Havensight  Dock – Solstice, Emerald Princess
At Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal: Ruby Princess

At the top of the news on February 3 Thursday Groundhog day Second Day  
Parents of school children are reminded that the Public Schools will be closed Today and Friday - the school professionals to participate in two days of professional development.

Governor John DeJongh met with Union leaders yesterday to discuss the fiscal problems of the government and answer their questions. At the Senate hearings, they couldn’t get answers from the financial team.  Yesterday, the Union leaders got to ask questions and get answers.  The leaders said the Governor was open and frank and the whole process was transparent allowing them to examine all aspects of the government’s finances. We had a shortfall of 259 million in 2010. the Governor’s team expects a 75 million dollar shortfall in this fiscal year and 131 million in fiscal year 2012.  Union leaders were there from the Central labor council, Law Enforcement Supervisory Union, United Steelworkers Union, American Federation of Teachers, International Association of Firefighters, Seafarers International Union and Our Virgin Islands Labor Union. The Gov said the government’s books are open, the problem is obvious, either we have to make some painful choices now or face more dire choices later. The Governor  has a number of cost cutting measures on the table and an increase in the hotel tax, Gross Receipts Tax among other revenue enhancements.

Here comes Good News for Frank Powel Bandstand. As Governor John DeJongh signed a contract with $336,000 with Apex Construction to do landscaping, build new benches, add underground lighting and revitalize Frank Powel Bandstand. In Cruz Bay St. John. Due to the construction, the St. John Arts Festival February 19 to 25 will move to the Baseball field next to the National Park Building.

More face-lifting as Marriott's Frenchman's Reef plans to close a portion of the hotel for a 50 million dollar renovation over the next 5 months. 186 of the 478 rooms will remain open during the renovations. Here comes rebuilt balconies, replacing copper water pipes with PVC, central air conditioning. During the work there will be layoffs and the staff will get retraining and they rehired in September.

And Commissioner of Agriculture, Louis Petersen announced a groundbreaking tomorrow at 10:00 AM in Bordeaux on an innovative plan to revitalize the farmers market to improve its aesthetics, quality, value and utility. The idea is to make a multipurpose venue for events like the farmers markets and other community activities.

Good News for some of our schools.  a 6.9 million dollar federal grant will help 11 schools with energy efficient lighting, and water saving systems that will save the territory some 11 million dollars over the next ten years.  The oldest schools on St. Thomas and St. Croix are the targets of the upgrades. What’s coming are new toilets that use less water, new 28 watt bulbs to replace 40 watt bulbs, and occupancy sensors that turn off lights when no one is in a room.

Meanwhile Senate President Ronald Russell is in Washington DC today meeting with federal officials about the Federal Energy Bail Out Program. On the table is changing the way the federal government handles the gasoline tax. Russell is hopeful that the government will use gasoline excise tax revenue to help reduce the LEAC and help virgin islanders reduce the outrageous energy bills we pay.  

Inner wheel is meeting at Thursday at noon at Bolongo Bay Beach resort

Golden Grove Prison is suspending all deliveries, appointments and other activities at the Correctional Facility for three days, starting this morning, while the prison conducts a security drill. From now through 6:00 AM Sunday all programs, services, appointments, deliveries and activities will be suspended. Appologies to anyone who had plans to visit.

Julius E. Sprauve School and the Guy Benjamin Elementary School remind parents and guardians of the scheduled joint PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) Meeting for the month of February this evening at 5:30 p.m., in the Sprauve School cafeteria. Parents are asked to make every effort to be present. Scheduled is an interesting and exciting evening with a special guest speaker. As is customary, a light dinner and child care service will be provided.

The St. Thomas-St. John School District core of School Nurses will sponsor an Elementary Student Health Expo on Friday, for students in kindergarten through the sixth grades.  The Expo is at Tutu Park Mall Center Court from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.    The idea is to educate students and parents on various health topics and on community resources. Among the services are free screenings for vision, hearing and blood pressure and quick classes on Asthma, Obesity and Good Touch/Bad Touch. The Department of Health’s Immunization Program will have an information table and check immunization records.  Height, weight, vision, dental, blood pressure, and hearing screenings will also be offered during the Expo.  For more information contact Ms. Lewis at 774-4399, extension 2265. Friday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Tutu Park Mall.

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