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84 Degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas
75% humidity.
30.04  Barometric Pressure – rising
Mostly East Wind at 20 MPH.   Under mostly clear skies.

National Weather Service says: Mostly cloudy with rain showers in the morning, then partly cloudy with rain showers. High of 88F. Breezy. Winds from the North at 10 to 20 mph shifting to the East in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20%. A tropical wave located just west of the Lesser Antilles will continue to move west and pass mainly south of the local area today.

Cruise Ship News Today: Carnival Liberty at Havensight Dock

The Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee on Monday forwarded several measures on to the full Senate for consideration. Among the bills that moved forward was a measure that would require the Virgin Islands Bureau of Motor Vehicle to issue disabled person identification cards to qualifying persons with disabilities who apply for the cards. Other measures the Rules Committee forwarded Monday included; a bill that updates and strengthens the laws regarding underage drinking. Another bill that was addressed was “The Virgin Islands Government Transparency Act,” which would require the government to set up a public website containing a comprehensive database of recipients and expenditures of the territory’s funds. The Senate members also voted to hold a number of bills in committee for more work and fine-tuning.

It’s up to the members of the 5th Constitutional Convention to finish what it started, the six people who testified at the Monday meeting of the Legislature’s Committee of the Whole on St. John said. A bill sponsored by Senate President Ronald Russell would give the territory’s 15 senators the power to make changes to the constitution as the Constitutional Revision Commission. The 5th Constitutional Convention already spent several years working on it. However, it was returned to the territory in 2010 by President Obama and the U.S. Congress because nine provisions failed to meet constitutional standards. At issue Monday was the provision that gives rights to native-born residents that others living in the territory wouldn’t have. The Committee of the Whole will hold meetings on the same issue Wednesday at the Ottley Legislative Hall on St. Thomas, and on Friday at the Fritz Lawaetz Conference Room on St. Croix. Both begin at 6 p.m.

The wholesale price of gas from Hovensa's rack went up by one cent, to $2.99 per gallon for regular, while premium declined by five cents to $3.34 per gallon for the week of July 23, according to Hovensa. A week earlier, Hovensa ended several months of weekly price reductions, increasing the price of regular by 11 cents and premium by 15 cents per gallon. Prices do not include the territory's fuel tax, which was recently increased to 14 cents per gallon, with a portion set aside for new generating equipment for the V.I. Water and Power Authority.

With the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year fast approaching, Deputy Commissioner for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Sarah Mahurt, is reminding all non-public schools to obtain a certificate of operation, or renew their current certificate, by October 5, 2012. All applications will be reviewed by the Department of Education and certificates of operation will be issued if the school satisfies all applicable rules and regulations of the Virgin Islands Board of Education. Failure to comply with this request may lead to a nonpublic school being placed on probation pursuant to the Virgin Islands Code, Title 17, Chapter 17, Section 194(b), and will affect the receipt of federal funds. A checklist is available to guide schools in completing the work for the Certificate of Operation and can be obtained at the VIDE offices on St. Thomas at 1834 Kongens Gade and on St. Croix at 2133 Hospital Street, Christiansted. For more information call 774-0100, extension 8010

In accordance with proclamation issued by The White House, Governor John de Jongh, Jr. this weekend ordered flags on all Virgin Islands public buildings and grounds at half-staff until tomorrow July 25th. Presidential proclamation was issued by President Obama to honor the victims of the tradegy in Aurora, Colorado.

Students participating in UVI’s annual Summer Music Camp will perform six free concerts in July and August on St. Thomas. The concerts – which are open to the public – will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., primarily on Wednesdays in Emancipation Garden. The camp, under the direction of UVI Music Professor Austin A. Venzen, has drawn students from junior and senior high schools on St. Thomas and Anguilla. Prof. Venzen encourages members of the community to show support for the budding musicians and to be treated to wonderful music by attending the free concerts. For more information call (340) 693-1057

The Planning and Natural Resources Department plans to increase boating fees but first wants to know what the public thinks about it. With that goal in mind, the department plans a series of public meetings. The meetings kick off Wednesday at Planning’s conference room at Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas. The St. John hearing is Thursday at the Westin Resort and Villas. The St. Croix hearing is Friday, July 27 at the Port Authority conference room on the second floor of the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport. All begin at 6 p.m.

You could be Taino and not even know it, Maekiaphan Phillips told an audience of about 50 people Saturday afternoon at the Opi’a Taino exhibit at the Virgin Islands Humanities Council's center. The crowd immersed itself in Taino food, traditional clothing, artifacts and culture. At the exhibit, titled “A Walk in My Moccasins,” guests flipped through pages of stories, pictures and educational material. Besides its educational value, the exhibit is designed to preserve and promote Virgin Islands culture, and to bring attention to the Tainos’ effort to rebury remains found in Tutu in 1990 during construction of the mall. Phillips makes presentations at schools and sells Taino-inspired items such as spices and handmade crafts in an effort to interest the community. Even if you’re not Taino, she said, it’s essential to learn about your ancestors and your heritage.

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