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Right now it is:
84 degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas
76% humidity
Barometric pressure is 29.99 inches
Wind is from East at 11 MPH.
No rain in the last 24 hours. So far this year: 17.18 inches.

National Weather service says: 
A relatively dry and stable air mass will continue to prevail over the local area today. A surface trough will move over the local area on Friday increasing the potential for shower activity.
Seas to five feet and winds to 20 knots are forecast across the local waters today

The National Hurricane Center has initiated advisories on a tropical storm Erin located southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Near Latitude 14.5 NORTH...longitude 25.6 west. Erin is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph... The storm grew out of a weather system that quickly organized Wednesday over the far eastern Atlantic.  Rich, humid air ahead and weak winds aloft will provide an environment for strengthening. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa but otherwise the system is no immediate threat to land. It is still far too early for tracking map to be of any value, however computer the forecast models that put the storm far north of our area. But we must be vigilant and watch the storm. We are approaching the peak of the storm season

Cruise Ship News: No Ships Today

At the top of the news on AUGUST 15 Thursday

When will St. Croix run out of gasoline? HOVENSA says they plan to shut down the fuel rack as soon as current supplies run out. The oil company says they're under no obligation to provide gasoline on St. Croix. Meanwhile gasoline suppliers who used the wholesale rack are suddenly investigating how to roll trucks on and off barges from other suppliers. Fuel storage facilities on St. Croix are also a question. No one has had to store fuel as long as HOVENSA was operating.

The governors asked all of his cabinet members to update the status of resources and facilities to manage fuel on St. Croix. The governor also wants to know that all alternative facilities and suppliers are fully licensed, permitted and compliant with the environmental and safety regulations that apply to their operations, according to Government House.

HOVENSA said no other Caribbean island charge duties on stored petroleum, so it cannot compete and no one will use the facility if the 6 percent duty is collected. They say the Virgin Islands does not create enough business demand on its own to economically justify continued operation of the storage facility and fuel rack. At issue - is the question whether the government can force a business to conduct business that chooses not to conduct.

V.I. Education officials announced a new $2.6 grant from the Institute of Education Sciences to support the design and implementation of a territory-wide longitudinal data system that would allow for real time access to a range of departmental and student statistics. U.S. Department of Education, is helping help the Virgin Islands create systems to better manage, analyze and use their educational data.  The 2012 grants will also focus on the development of a supplemental early childhood data system that will tie into the Department’s K-12 system. “The Virgin Islands was the only applicant to be funded in the area of development of early childhood and K-12 data integration.

Another outage due to someone stealing copper wire.  Innovative Communication Corporation says
copper wire theft to the company’s outside plant on St. Croix. 4 times in the last 6 weeks someone has cut down the phone company wires to sell the copper.  Last night, two spans of 400 pair cable were stolen near Morning Star, Salt River Marina and Gentle Winds Condos – no wires, no phones. The company is asking residents to be very vigilant. Purposeful disruption of telecommunication services is a federal crime.

The University of the Virgin Islands is among several of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities featured in the August issue of the U.S. Airways in-flight magazine. The magazine features profiles Tuskeegee University, Alabama State, Fisk University, Hampton University, Howard, Stillman, Savannah State and UVI. The article title is “HBCU Spells Success.” On our page, there are dramatic photos of the Reichhold Center, scuba diving and a campus overview. The article quotes Dr. David Hall saying, “There is no University in the world that has its own beach, a world-renowned Aquaponics program, outstanding faculty and students, where 42% of the alumni contribute to the University. UVI not only sits on a mountain but consistently rises to new heights each year.” The article includes ways for people to contact University and ends with the words “sign us up.”  An online version of the magazine is available from this link

The public services commission will meet this evening at 5 PM in Barbell Plaza. On the agenda - an application from the waste management authority for approval of environmental user fee and wastewater user fee. Also about transportation services St. John and Varlack ventures petition for a rate increase.

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor informs the community of upcoming schedule changes for the St. John Passport Office.  The office will be closed on Thursday, August 22nd.  If you need passport service – visit today or visit the St. Thomas Passport Office in Nisky Center or wait for the St. John Passport Office to resume regular service on Thursday August 29 For more information call 774-4024.

Here comes and all-new, hour-long episode in the Travel Channel series “Bizarre Foods America” This one is focusing on St. Croix. The show called “St. Croix, USVI: Bull's Feet in Paradise” will air nationally on Monday, August 19, at 9 pm – They are calling St. Croix, one of the world’s premier cultural and culinary escapes. They shot the story back in January and they offer profiles of St Croix cuisine, culture and personalities.  The show is estimated to reach more than 3 million potential travelers as it re-airs multiple times on Travel Channel. Host Andrew Zimmern discovers a melting pot of surprises when he visits St. Croix  and he talks about our cattle, land crabs,  and shell fish. On the menu are: bull foot soup, shellfish liver, conch roti and breadfruit tostones.” The show airs on the travel Channel on Monday at 9 PM

The American Red Cross USVI Chapter thanks Fire Chief, Angel Torres and firefighters Peter Austin, Raydell Robinson, Michael Wilkenson, and Ronald O’Bryan of the Virgin Islands Fire Services for their support this past weekend at the Pass The Boot campaign. You can help the American Red Cross USVI Chapter call 778-5104

Good news maker of the day today is Esonica Veira. She is moving today to go to Minsk, Belarus where she will be a participant in the Miss supranational grand slam pageant -  She will face 94 contestants from all over the world. The competition finale is on 6 September

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