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First the weather:
78 degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas
77% humidity.
30.05 29.98 Barometric Pressure – rising
Wind from East at 10 mph – Under crystal Clear Skies
No rain in the last 24 hours – 2.04 inches so far this year.  Point 29 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. 

National weather service says: Partly cloudy with possible rain showers this morning, then clear in the afternoon. High of 79F. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph shifting to the East in the afternoon. Chance of rain 30%.

Surface high pressure extending southwards across the region from the northeast Atlantic will maintain easterly trade winds across the Virgin islands at least through Friday. This will result in periods of passing clouds and mostly isolated showers across the local area during the early morning and late afternoon hours.

Cruise Ship News
Norwegian Sun at Havensight Dock
Ruby Princess  at Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal:

At the top of the news on Thursday  February 14

Happy Valentines Day  please say I love you to the one you love.  And to my wife – Happy Valentines. I love you.

Good News for the proponents, bad news for the opponents.  The Coastal Zone Management Commission approved plans for Coral World to build a 5 acre dolphin pen and exhibit in Water Bay St. Thomas. There were dissenting votes and it only passed when requirements were added that Coral World must join the Alliance of Marine Parks and Aquariums within six months and adhere to their standards. Coral World will invest 5.2 million dollars to build a 70,000 square foot dolphin facility in the open water of the bay. The facility is supposed to attract new visitors and generate more jobs and revenue. They plan to house six dolphins initially and perhaps grow to 10, but the permit limits them no more than 15 total. The committee also approved plans by the Magen's Bay Beach Authority to develop Smith Bay Park with a bathhouse, gate house, botanical garden, two sheds and parking. There will also be upgrades to the roads and later on a concession stand, restaurant building and a dumpster.

The Federal Affordable Care Act says that by January 2014, the territory must have a health insurance exchange where residents can shop policies online That’s a tall order.  The territory may need to piggyback on a state exchange. The territory has $24.9 million in federal assistance to subsidize insurance premiums on a local health insurance exchange. Building an exchange from scratch is typically costing states between $30 and $50 million, Consultants said the best way to implement an exchange would be to partner with a fully formed, federally approved exchange system from another state and to upgrade the territory's IT infrastructure to be able to provide that system with local data.
About 27.8 percent of Virgin Islanders – some 33,000 individuals – are uninsured, according to Government House.

There is an archeological site in downtown Charlotte Amalie that is more than 2,000 years old – As Dept. Public Works worked in Market Sqyare they uncovered a 2,000-year-old Pre-Columbian site
on Krondprindsens Gade between Strande and General Gades. Darryl Smalls said the exact location of the site will not be revealed until it is properly studied and preserved.  They found “hundreds of whelk shells, hundreds of pottery fragments and some bone.” Archeologists call this a “midden,” which means the bones, shells and other artifacts all point to a human settlement. This village may be as complex as the village they found under Tutu Park Mall. Excavation will begin once a team of archaeologists arrive in the territory.

Good News from Seaborne Airlines they have a new “interline arrangement” with American Airlines that will improve operations for connecting flights from St. Thomas and St. Croix to the mainland through Puerto Rico. This looks like a new American Eagle. Beginning Wednesday, baggage will transfer between carriers not rechecked and soon Seaborne will be issuing boarding passes on American flights. Seaborne recently relocated its operations in the Puerto Rico airport to be close to American in Concourse D. Soon Seaborne flights will be displayed on logo.

New judges on St Croix as Judge Douglas Brady and Family Court Judge Denise Hinds Roach were sworn into their places in the judicial bench. Judge Darryl Donohue administered the oath of offices.

Lieutenant Governor Gregory Francis appointed Ira Mills as tax assessor of the Virgin Islands. Mills joined the Lt. Governor’s Office in January 2011 and served as the director of business and financial management prior to his appointment as tax assessor. Previously Mills was chief financial officer at the V.I. Housing Authority and director of the V.I. Office of Management & Budget.

Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson Doty says tourism to the Caribbean region is up.  Overall up 5% - at a rate of growth that is larger than anywhere else in the world.  The region had the largest number of stayover visitors in five years.  That’s the region – here in the USVI – the numbers are up 7% over the last 5 years.

Our Department of Tourism is telling the world to come to St Croix. They are promoting two concerts that coincide with our Agriculture Fair. "Food for Your Soul Music Fest", presents Kassav on Friday, Reggae Rhythms on Saturday. This is the first time the concerts have come on the same weekend as the 42nd annual Agriculture and Food Fair of the US Virgin Islands. AGRIFEST, will run all of this holiday weekend featuring

Office of veterans affairs reminds vets they will be at the Agriculture and Food Fair on St Croix over this weekend, if you have documents to process, bring them to the fair. Veterans are also invited to stop by to inquire about our various programs and services.”

The Department of Health will be at the fair offering  free health screenings under the DOH Big Tent at the Agricultural and Food Fair. Free screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels will be offered.  HIV tests and flu vaccines will also be offered. Screenings will begin after Opening Ceremony on Saturday. The HIV tests can be taken discreetly and have the results five minutes. Look for the puppet show on dental hygiene.

Pastor Oral Hazell, Global Life Church, will conduct free marriage ceremonies on Valentine's Day, for unmarried couples who are living together. The church is located at 5-2 Estate Raphune on Weymouth Rhymer Highway call 774-5400.

Twenty Two schools are girding for the 2013 District Intermediate Spelling Bee Coming Up Friday, February 15 at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School Auditorium at 9:00 a.m.   Participating students are reminded to wear their full school uniforms and to report at the venue for 8:30 a.m.  Spelling Bee officials are also asked to arrive at 8:30 a.m.  The public is invited to attend.
Cheryl Jeremiah-Ambrose, St. Croix Coordinator of Language Arts, announces that the District Spelling Bee will be held on Friday, February 15, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. at the Juanita Gardine Elementary School auditorium.  Virgin Islands schools will be celebrating 40 years of successful Spelling Bees this year, according to Jeremiah-Ambrose.

Happy Birthday to the League of Women Voters making 93 years old today.  The League was founded in 1920 during the last meeting of the National American Women’s Sufferage Association just as the constitutional amendment giving women the vote was approved.  They have 800 chapters all over America and our local chapter date from 1968. Happy Birthday

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