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Right now it is:
84 degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas
79% humidity
Barometric pressure is 29.97 inches
Wind is from East at 14 MPH.
No rain in the last 24 hours. So far this year: 17.18 inches.

National Weather service says: 
Partly cloudy with possible rain showers. High of 86F. Breezy east wind 15 to 20 mph shifting to the North in the afternoon. Chance of rain is 20%. Expect a relatively drier and more stable air mass to move into the region today. The potential for shower activity decreases today into Thursday as drier conditions dominate the local area. Across the coastal waters, seas to five feet and winds to 20 knots

The National Hurricane Center is calling it Invest 93-L – a strong area of disturbed weather off the coast of Africa near the Cape Verde Islands.  Showers and thunderstorms are there now and there is a 60% chance this will develop into a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours. After that time, the
low pressure area will be moving toward a less favorable environment...which could limit development.
We will watch it for you.

Cruise Ship News: Disney Fantasy and Carnival Dream, and Freedom of the Seas  At Havensight Dock

At the top of the news on August 14 Wednesday 

HOVENSA fired back. They sent a letter to the governor announcing they will close the wholesale fuel rack on St. Croix. Gasoline vendors on St. Croix have depended upon the HOVENSA fuel rack for years.  Now they will be scrambling for another source of gasoline. The letter says HOVENSA is under no obligation to operate a refinery and because they are no long refining and exporting fuel - their obligation to store fuel for local consumption is not in effect. Their say St. Croix does not consume enough gasoline to maintain the wholesale rack. It only worked - economically - if they were exporting stored fuel. The governor issued a statement saying that HOVENSA was still under the terms of the original agreement, terms of that agreement say they must maintain of fuel rack and supply fuel to the community.  Lawyer George Dudley, representing HOVENSA and its partners, said the company has no plans to restart the refinery. Dudley says the requirement to supply fuel is in effect only if the refinery is making fuel.  Moreover, Dudley adds that the 6% import duty will almost certainly stop anyone from importing fuel to the HOVENSA storage facility. It is not clear how soon St Croix will run out of gasoline.

Good News from WAPA - they held a grand opening of the new seawater reverse osmosis facility.  In the past, all of our freshwater is been made by making steam by heating water. That calls for a lot of fuel.  The new system uses reverse osmosis – a very fine mesh filter separates the water from the salt.  This uses less energy. They plan to make 2 million gallons per day.  The Water and Power Authority signed a 20 year “build-own-operate” agreement with Seven Seas who will manage all aspects of the project. There is no upfront capital requirements from WAPA.  If we need more water later, Seven Seas can expand 4.4 million gallons per day.  What will this do to the price of water? Seven Seas will sell water to WAPA at about half the cost WAPA was paying to make water.  WAPA says they will pass the saving to customers.

Why would someone steal a manhole cover?  They're worth money at the scrap metal dealers.  The Waste Management Authority on St. Croix says be careful driving on the back roads and in isolated areas.  Some crook is removing manhole covers and selling them.  Any metal dealer violating their  permits will face prosecution.  If you know who is stealing call this number, 517-9110 or call 911.

It seems to me have spent most of my life at the news desk reporting problems at the LBJ force main sewer line on St. Croix.  Now the Waste Management Authority says the force main sewer line rehabilitation project is 85% complete.  The pipeline has been completed and the contractor is conducting pressure tests on the newly lined force main pipe.  While there will still be some road interruptions, the last phase of pipe lining project will be conducted behind the JFK housing and not interfere with traffic.

School starts September 3 and the Department of Education is scrambling to find nurses for 8 schools.  A think-tank of representatives from the Virgin Islands Board of Nurse Licensure, V.I. Department of Education and Health met to put together an action plan for recruiting school nurses.  The salary is around $34,000 a year, well below the average salary for registered nurses.  The problem is most severe on St. Thomas and St. John while on St. Croix the school district recruited nurses dismissed from the Juan Luis Hospital.  According to the law, school nurses must be registered nurses, but licensed practical nurses can be hired to work under a registered nurse’s supervision. Without enough nurses on hand those schools cannot open. 

St. Thomas East End Medical Center Corporation is implementing a new computer system to enhance
Patient care services.  They ask for your patience and understanding as they work to improve your patient care experience.

The Department of Health Immunization and Maternal and Child Health programs will hold special vaccination clinics  St. Thomas - Immunization Clinic at Schneider Hospital is has Vaccination clinic for Back to School  Today- 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday - August 16th - 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
They had some trouble with their facilities over the weekend – we will keep you posted if there are changes.

The Legislature enacted a law waiving penalty and interest fees for property tax years 2008-2011.  The last day to take advantage of the property tax amnesty is November 7.   Payments for the past due years and the 2012 bill can be paid at the Tax Collector’s Offices at the following locations:  on St. John at the Islandia Building, on St. Thomas at the  Builders Emporium, and on St. Croix: Government House, or 1131 King Street, in Christiansted or the Dept. of Finance, Sunny Isles or the Lagoon Street Commercial Building in Frederiksted. Property owners are also reminded that the 5% discount for the 2012 property tax bill has been extended until the bill due date of August 30, 2013. 

Innovative, a telecommunications provider in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has awarded $12,000 to six new and returning University of the Virgin Islands students attending school in fall 2013. Innovative announced the scholarship awards on July 29. Each student will receive $2,000 toward tuition, books and materials at UVI. Innovative awarded three students from each district. The St. Croix scholarship recipients are Patricia Francis, Howard Peters and Julian Scatliffe. Recipients from the St. Thomas-St. John District are Lisa-Marie Hodge, Trevonte LaRose and Marisela Narcisse.
“Access to higher education remains a challenge for many individuals residing throughout our community,” said UVI Director of Major Gifts Mitchell Neaves. “This donation reduces the financial burden of six very deserving students. We look forward to seeing these students embrace academic and social achievement during their tenure at UVI.”

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