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First the weather:
81 degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas
72% humidity.
29.91 Barometric Pressure – rising
Wind from East at 17 MPH – Mostly Clear Skies
Point 03 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.  35.28” so far this year.

National Weather Service says Partly cloudy with 40% Chance of rain showers. High of 84F . Breezy east northeast wind at 15 to 20 mph.  Showers this morning. A surface high pressure will provide a low level northeasterly wind flow of 15-20 miles per hour today, with occasional higher gusts in quick moving showers. Dry and stable weather is expected tonight and Friday.

Cruise Ship News
Carnival Freedom,  at Havensight Dock
Ruby Princess, at Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal:
St John has Seabourn Legend

At the top of the news on Thursday December 6
UVI is just like the high schools- they have to be re-accredited. The University submitted its periodic review report to middle states commission back in June.  The Commission reaffirmed the universities accreditation. Especially good news – no monitoring or progress reports are required. And no recommendations!  This is an impressive! By comparison, of the 51 universities that submitted similar Periodic Review, 30 of them got a warning, probation, postponement, or have to submit monitoring reports.

Board of Elections on St Croix said no to a vote recount. Three of the candidate who lost their election asked for a recount. The Board said their petitions fail to meet the minimum legal threshold for actions. As to the spoiled ballots chairperson Rupert Ross distributed a report that said, "even if any one of the candidates got all the votes on the spoiled ballots, none of the challengers would have gotten more votes than the person ahead of them."  The St. Thomas St. John Board of Elections will meet at 3 pm today to examine the challenges from other losing candidates.

Delegate to Congress Dr. Donna Christensen introduced a bill to give more than $100 million in federal funds to WAPA. The Virgin Islands Energy Crisis Relief Act does three things:
• It would turn the 100 million dollar loan from the Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities into a grant for WAPA to subsidize fuel costs. It would authorize the Commerce Department to make $15 million in grants available to help WAPA convert from burning oil to liquid natural gas. It would allow for more assistance  from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The grants are short-term relief while WAPA and the government work on longer-term solutions. No one other members of Congress have signed on to the bill as yet, but she expects to reintroduce it with more support in the 113th Congress.

First Lady Cecile de Jongh cut the ribbon opening the new home of My Brother’s Workshop in Tutu Park Mall. Some 150 supporters came out to mark a new beginning for the non-profit organization. My Brother’s Workshop provides mentorship, guidance and life coaching for young males who are facing serious life challenges, including involvement in gangs, drugs, or violence in the home.  They have graduated 187 young men – many of whom dropped out of high school, are at-risk and struggling to find a job. My Brother’s Workshop founder Scott Bradley said, “Eight out of ten have turned their lives around, with just a little bit of effort. We provide the guidance, the hope and the promise of a brighter future.” You can hire My Brother’s Workshop for small construction projects, furniture repair, flower planters and painting.

The St. Croix taxicab commission is moving. Their new offices are in the Department of Property and Procurement office building at 3274 Richmond – just east of the Charles Harwood Hospital. The new telephone number is 773-1561 ext. 5235.  

Never underestimate would bad people will do. Commissioner of Agriculture Louis Petersen reminds consumers to only buy local meat from known livestock farmers. He says during the holiday season some animals are stolen, slaughtered and sold.  The department urges consumers to buy ONLY from known meat purveyors. For more information or to report stolen meat call 778-0998 on St. Croix and on St. Thomas call 774-5182.

Love City Car Ferries says the Capt. Vic is down for maintenance and will not be available for it regularly scheduled departures until Monday of next week. 

Independent Citizen Movement Political Party is having a meeting at 6:00 PM at Aryans Bar and Restaurant and everyone is invited.

There is a public meeting this evening about chemical contaminants in the waters of east end of St. Thomas.  The contamination impact water quality and the health of coral reefs and fisheries within the East End Reserves.  The meeting is this evening from 5:30-7:30pm at the Kean School library.  Results include the presence of marine and sediment contaminants within Mangrove Lagoon and Benner Bay. This contamination impacts fish and queen conch. Residents and business owners can ask questions, discuss feasible strategies and guide the next steps at the meeting – 5:30 PM at Kean School Library.

Health Commissioner Darice Plaskett said that outpatient psychiatric services are available on St. Croix at the Charles Harwood Complex in Christiansted and the Mental Health Clinic located at the Frederiksted Health Center.  Individuals in need of mental health services or follow up care can contact the Mental Health Division at 773-1311, Ext. 3202 for mental health information and appointments. 

Saturday – American Cancer Society has a special fund raising event on Water Island.  You are invited to an evening of caring on Saturday December 8 from 6 to 9:00 PM. There is a wonderful dinner at Heidi’s Honeymoon Restaurant on Honeymoon Beach featuring Chicken, steak or seafood and complimentary glass of wine - It is all under the stars. They are honoring all who are fighting cancer and remembering those who have passed on.  For more information call 777-4257 or call American Cancer Society.

Also  Saturday – Austin Venzen’s last concert with the University music department Austin Venzen has been teaching at UVI for years and the community has been entertained by so many concerts and events under the direction of Austin Venzen. The era is coming to a close and the finale is Saturday night at the Reichhold Center. A Golden Christmas Jubilee is Saturday December 8 at 8 PM. Come out and laud the work of Austin Venzen at his final concert at UVI. Tickets are available from the Reichhold Center and the Dept. of Humanities.

Hearty Congratulations to Donald C. Francois. Ahe Water and Power Authority renamed the substation in the Havensight in honor of Françoise. Françoise has been the guiding force behind the territories environmental engineering technology over the last 40 years. Françoise was surrounded by family and friends as the governor lauded his work. Pozens of people who had been many toward by Francsois came out to thank him.

Here’s some good news from the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association and Disney Cruise line. More than 200 children from the Department of Special Education and Department of Human Services’ programs received an early dose of holiday cheer at the Disney Holiday Gift Project at Frenchman’s Reef. This annual holiday event is organized by Tourism for less fortunate children.  Each child received gifts and nutritional snacks. They were entertained by the Disney characters along with party professionals and there was face painting and balloon artistry.   FCCA Cruise Lines provide gifts to more than 6,000 children in 28 different destinations throughout the region, including our islands.

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