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First the weather:
83 degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas
79 % humidity.
29.85  Barometric Pressure – rising
Wind from all over the East at 18 MPH.  Under Partly Cloudy Skies.

No rain in the last 24 hours.  4 point 29  so far this month and  30.19” this year.

National Weather Service says: Mostly cloudy with 20% chance of rain showers. High of 86F. Breezy. Winds from the SE at 15 to 20 mph.

Over the next few days, mid and high level clouds associated with Hurricane Sandy will spread across the Virgin Islands limiting the chance for any significant showers. A south to southeast wind flow will also promote warm temperatures.

In cruise ship news: Carnival Miracle, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Gem all at Havensight Dock

At the top of the news on Thursday  October 25

University of the Virgin Islands  unveiled their strategic plan for the next five years in presentations on all islands over the last three days.  University president, Dr. David Hall,  rolled out an ambitious plan to raise the standards at the University, create new programs and focus attention on achieving the “Pathway to Greatness.”  Among the goals – create the first PhD program at the university, examine the possibility of creating a medical school.  The most ambitious goal is to graduate students who are “academically excellent, globally sensitive, entrepreneurially focused, emotionally and spiritually balanced and committed to serving the world” Also on the agenda – addressing compensation, renewing older buildings while building new ones, reversing the brain drain out of the territory and restoring local funding while seeking new sources of revenue for the university. The University President asks that as you go to the polls to vote, you consider which candidates are committed to support the university.

Don’t truck in scrap metal! A multiagency task force completed its first sweep of St. Croix businesses.  The Scrap Metal Task Force was created to stop the theft and illegal sale of scrap metal. The want to end the break in of homes and businesses as vandals steal copper and other metals.  They swept four locations of two St. Croix scrap metal operators and found them in violation of Fire, Health and Waste Management regulations.  Fernando Scrap Metal was completely closed down due to illegal use of electricity and violation of building codes. 

Senate Rules Committee today will take up the nominations of: Jennifer Nugent Hill to serve on the University Board of Trustees; Rueben D. Molly to be director for the Bureau of Information Technology; Darice Plaskett to serve as Commissioner of Health; Douglas Brady and Denise Hinds to also serve as Judges of the Superior Court.

Department of Education’ financial team wrapped up a two-day workshop yesterday that gave approximately 60 principals, program heads and directors a crash course in the effective management of federal funds. The annual conference covers such topics as fiscal monitoring and compliance, grants management, asset management and how to properly document everything from per diems to lost equipment.

This is red ribbon week. Over at the University students are wearing red and pledging their support of the National Red Ribbon Week effort with a series of activities through the end of October. The observance salutes the ongoing fight against drug and substance abuse.

On St. Thomas, there is a large Walk and Rally this evening from 5 pm with the Kean School marching band leading UVI students, faculty and staff on a march from the airport road to the campus. The walk will end at the golf course Club House. Wear Red Day is on Friday and the St. Thomas campus has a Karaoke Competition mid-day Friday at the Dining Pavilion.  This year’s biggest event at UVI takes place on the Albert Sheen St Croix Campus bringing 600 Jr. High School  to the campus for a day of anti-drug activities. That’s next Tuesday.

Over at HOPE Inc, they are focusing the after school kids on drug alternatives Today at 3:30 they have a march around the school neighborhood to big-up red ribbon week.  And today’s snacks are drug alternatives – they have MaryJane candy instead of Marijuana, Coca-cola soda instead of cocaine and they are promoting basketball and texting as alternatives to drugs. Oh and if you happen to be on their parade route – you can get a MaryJane and some coca-cola. The kids already know their alternatives – they are marching to teach the adults.

Time for UVI students to register for Spring and Summer 2013 courses starting today. Students are reminded - meet with their advisors first get your PIN, then access Banweb and register.

This is “National Disability Employment Awareness Month”  - we have Chamber of Commerce  Business After Hours at the Windward Passage Featuring the Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services of the Department of Human Services. This evening at 5:30 PM at Windward Passage.

Independent Citizen Movement Political Party is having a  meet the candidates night tonight at Aryans Bar and Restaurant at 6:00 PM.

The Tax Assessor’s Office says commercial property owners received a mailed notification calling for the collection of property data.  The property data is being collected for the 2011 operating year and not for the 2010 year as previously indicated.  Commercial property owners are advised to submit the requested Income and Expense Survey Form for operating year 2011, - due at the Tax Assessor’s Office by November 30. Confused – call the Tax Assessor at 776-8505.

Dr Alfred O. Heath is working to make some Good News for the children of Haiti. He is sponsoring a toy drive and you can help. Bring toys for children to the Medical Arts Complex Room #8 any week day between 10am and 2 PM – any day now through December 13.  Toys for Haitian children at the Medical Arts Complex any week day 10:00 Am to 2:00 PM and Dr Heath – You are making Good News.

Brian McKnight, one of the top balladeer singers of our time, performs at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, at UVI’s Reichhold Center for the Arts on the St. Thomas campus. The R&B star will deliver an intimate performance on piano, singing from his catalogue of hits. Tickets are available from the Reichhold Box Office – Call 693-1559

Department of Energy reminds everyone that buying appliances that have an Energy Star tag can still save you money. This is what every resident can do to cut down on their electric bill. This is Energy Awareness Month and the Energy Office will be at the Marketplace shopping center on St. John on Friday and at Tutu Park Mall on on Saturday. From 10:00 Am to 4:00 PM.

The Department of Health Immunization Program has their free Seasonal Flu and Pneumonia on St. Thomas TODAY at the Department of Health Immunization Clinic at Schneider Hospital  from 8:00 AM  to 3:30 pm. St Croix has Flu & pneumonia shots FRIDAY at the Charles Harwood Complex from 9:30am to 3:30pm  St. John has Flu & pneumonia shots on November 9  Bring your immunization card, and Seniors bring your Medicare Card.  Get the Flu Shot, Not the Flu

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