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It's 79° Fahrenheit  76% humidity. partly cloudy skies
Wind out of the East at 18 mph  
Barometric pressure is 30.07
Water temp: 79° in Charlotte Amalie  St. Thomas
We had  .08 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.
Doppler radar shows: widely scattered showers.   The Satellite Photo shows: Clear Skies

The national weather forecast calls for Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Highs 86 Breezy. East winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain less than 20 percent.

On this Wednesday April 6 we welcome Cruise Ship News
- - to Havensight  Dock – Solstice, Norwegian Pearl and
- - to Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal – Allure of the Seas

At the top of the news on Wednesday April 6

The Senators took testimony on Act 7240 and they took testimony and more testimony. 14 Hours of it and in the end. They voted to keep the bill in committee. Senators raised many concerns – why was the local share jumping from the 29 million to more than 42.9  million?  Why can’t the Public Finance Authority do this on its own?  What is the upside – lower Internet costs from around 60 per month down to about 20 dollars per month. More training for high paying jobs, new opportunities for entrepreneurship and more internet access for the disadvantaged and for community centers. Experts giving testimony said the plan is a low risk plan and has solid foundations.

The federal government will put up 68 million dollars BUT the local government has to invest 42 million.   The Virgin Islands is the only US jurisdiction to win all four of the possible grants for this project.  Government House issued a statement chiding the senators for inaction and absence of leadership. Delay could cost the Virgin Islands the total federal contribution and leave us in the slow lane for generations. The Governor has other options and will let his plans be known shortly.

Delegate Dr. Donna Christensen says she is working with her colleagues to avert a possible shut down on the federal government. They have to have a budget bill by Friday or some federal agencies will not have any money and start to cut services. Social Security  checks are not expected to be affected.

Good News from Dept. of Health and Human Services in Washington DC – fresh funds – one million dollars - to conduct a rate review of health insurance products being offered in the territory. Governor John DeJongh says the new grant will help the government determine what rates residents should be paying for individual and group health insurance. The grant will be administered by the Lieutenant Governor Division of Banking and Insurance

More health news as the Acting health Commissioner Fern Clarke announced that the new ambulance Boat for St. John is ready for delivery and will be dedicated on Saturday at 11:00 AM at the Morris DeCastro Clinic. The public is invited to come see the new ambulance boat Saturday at 11:00 AM

Sad news from Iraq where St. Croix native Jorge A Scatliffe perished in an accident as part of Operation New Dawn.  Scatliffe was a member of the 27th brigade Support Battalion of the First Calvary Division and held the rank of Sergeant. The Governor, the delegate and many other voices sent condolences to Mrs Sarah Scatliffe and the family of Sgt Jorge A Scatliffe.

The Bureau of Economic Research completed their living wage study that began back in the 27th legislature then Senator Basil Ottley passed a bill to have the Bureau establish what is a living wage in the Virgin Islands?  Food costs are 30% higher in the Virgin Islands than on the continent. Child care costs average $539 per child all the most significant with the number of households with children under 18 headed by a single female, medical insurance, a whopping 29% of our population is uninsured  while only 16% of the continentals are uninsured.  The cost of living is higher here.  The report is supposed to spur our government to enact a minimum wage that will cover the cost of living. Senators will debate raising the minimum wage from 10 to 16 dollars per hour  which would affect 800 to 5,000 workers. Raising 10% of the population out of poverty.  But will they approve that and will business be able to afford it?

The month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the Virgin Islands Governor John DeJongh issued a proclamation an  urges all people in the Virgin Islands to be aware of the impact of sexual assault. Sexual violence has profound consequences over a lifetime. And April 16 the Women’s coalition will hold an event to speak out against sexual violence. at Caribbean Museum Center of the Arts in Frederiksted.

This week is Public Health Week and the Governor urges all residents to focus on healthy living and healthy working environments.  There is an Open House all this week at Charles Harwood Medical Complex 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day. This morning there is a health care display at the Ubaldina Simmonds Post Office is Cruz Bay St. John . Tomorrow on St. Thomas there will be a health fair in Emancipation Garden from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

What’s going up at Mandela Circle?  Fathi Yusuf and Plessen Inc have construction on their minds.  Giant Gas is already there, now they are building a 4,000 square foot convenience store in the next three months.  What’s next? A tunnel car wash, then a they have plans for fast food – maybe Burger King or Taco Bell on the corner of Mandela Circle. Stay tuned. It will not be an empty lot forever.

A warning from the  Taxi Cab Commission Operators of automobiles for hire are reminded to keep your identification badge posted on the passenger side sun visor while operating a vehicle for hire. The identification must be visible to the passengers at all times.

WAPA is working on St. Thomas near Contant Knolls today  until  4:00 PM – the road will be closed during construction hours.

Jason Carroll is remembered as a young man who stepped in to stop violence and was gunned down in crossfire.  The Jason Carroll Memorial Fund and the Mothers against Guns invite the public to participate in the 8th annual Walk-Run against gun violence coming up May 22.  There is a full scholarship available to students who submit an essay to the essay contest – in 1000 words, demonstrate that you are opposed to gun violence and finish the essay by May 13. For more information call 693-1047. Registration for the May 22 walk-run closes on May 20 go to Caribbean Surf shop in Red Hook, Havensight and Waterfront. Call 690-5759.

Tomorrow – Thursday - is Cyril E. King’s Birthday and there will be a commemoration on St. Croix at Kingshill cemetery at the King Mausoleum.

Love peace and hope are the words from Stop the Bleeding Foundation.  They are launching the LIATI (lee-ah-tee) project in a variety of schools – the idea is to have musicians decry the effects of violence.  Pressure, Verse Simmonds, Elijah Vegas, Rena Faith, Mada Nile and Junior P are set to come to schools and talk about stopping violence.  What is LIATI “Love is all there is”

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