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79  Degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas.  Under mostly clear skies
78 % humidity
Barometric pressure is 30.05 inches
Wind is from East at 10 gusting to 17 MPH
Point 06 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.  

National Weather Service : Sunshine and clouds mixed. Already at the high temp - Winds E at 10 to 20 mph.

The area of high pressure currently centered over the north central Atlantic will shift slightly northeastward over the next few days and the steady easterly trade winds will diminish. They will still bring periods of light to moderate showers.  Across the regional waters Small Craft Advisories remain in effect - winds to 20 knots and seven foot seas.

Cruise Ship News – 4 ships in St. Thomas today the Reflection, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Dream at Havensight Dock and the Oasis of the Seas at Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal:

Headlines: Should we change the way we elect the Lieutenant Governor?  The legislative youth advisory council is sworn in, teachers support Christmas trees, and here comes a sure sign of Christmas.

At the top of the news on December 17 Tuesday

The Senate committee on government services met yesterday to consider election bills. One would change the way, we elect the Lieutenant Governor.  Right now candidates for governor select a running mate before the primary.  Senator Clifford Graham wants that choice after the primary. That would allow the victorious candidate in the primary to select from any of the other candidates as a running mate and allow failed candidates to run for senate seats. They also have a bill to allow voters to register on Election Day.  Both were held in committee

The Legislature held a swearing in ceremony for the first Legislative Youth Advisory Council. The council is comprised of 16 young people who will act as a liaison between the community and the legislature to provide input on pending legislation, budget expenditures and policy related to youth. Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone congratulated the students. He quoted Franklin Roosevelt who said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”  Shaulia (Shaw-Lia) Todman, is the chair of the Youth Advisory Council. She told the senators, “I hope that it isn’t easy for policy makers and decision makers to ignore the ideas offered by the next generation who stand to inherit so many unsolved problems of the world,” she said. “We are the next generation and we are concerned.”

Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis is in Washington at the Fall Meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners along with insurance regulators from all states, and  all territories. The Lt. Governor is the territory’s Commissioner of Insurance  and he is participating in sessions on producer licensing, market regulation, antifraud and consumer affairs.

GERS Administrator, Austin Nibbs advises members that the GERS has been working with the Department of Finance to resolve the issue of reconciling and posting of the contributions and loan payments deduction files and missing NOPAS from the Division of Personnel. So far, deduction files through November 28 have been successfully posted.  Members will be advised when subsequent files have been posted. Nibbs said “We are extremely sorry for any inconvenience to our members.

Here comes a sure sign of Christmas, the Christmas serenade with Stanley and 10 sleepless nights traveling the streets of St. Croix playing Christmas carols from midnight through the wee hours of the morning.  Late in the night tonight right after midnight, a truck with the band and speakers will start from WTJX television station and bring the sound of Stanley's and the 10 sleepless nights to La Grand Princess, Estate St. John, Golden rock, Bassin Triangle, Christiansted down, Eliza's retreat, Sunday market square and back to WTJX television station. Here is another sign of Christmas – the lighting of the Christmas tree in Frenchtown. Joseph Aubain Ball Park was alive with the music of Richard Berry’s Scratch band and speeches about the importance of tradition.  Keynote speaker Sophia Aubin gave an impassioned plea for everyone to learn the roots at the genealogy library.  It's Christmas in Frenchtown.   

Public Works worked through the night hours on Veteran’s Drive from the Ron de Lugo Federal Building westward to the Sub Base intersection at the Moravian Highway. They are milling and paving the most damaged areas of the roadway along Veteran’s Drive working near Fort Christian Parking Lot Legislature, USO Building, Seaplane, and Frenchtown. They will continue at night near Cancryn School bridge to the stop light near the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The University of the Virgin Islands latest edition of The Caribbean Writer is out.. Volume 27 highlights music and visual arts. There is poetry, personal essays, short stories, one-act plays and book reviews. The cover art is “Quelbe Dancers” by Madeliene Meehan. The volume features works by Dove, St. Croix's celebrated street artist, Crucian street artist, Albert Simmonds, known as AJ, and work by UVI art instructor Cynthia Hatfield, Kristen Maize of St. John, WB Thompson of St. Thomas more. Lots of material on regional music as well. The Caribbean Writer Volume 27 is out.

The Lew Muckle Elementary School has a special Holiday Season Parent-Teacher’s Association meeting this evening at 5:30 in the cafeteria.  Come learn some holiday safety tips and how to make the Season peaceful and enjoyable. Parents have a chance to win great festive season prizes.  

You already know the VI Montessori school and Peter Gruber international Academy sold Christmas trees this season.  You may not have known that some of the teachers pooled their money and bought trees to donate to nonprofit organizations in nursing homes..  Six trees and stands went to the Lucinda Millin Home, Seaview nursing home, Seaview Adolescent Ctr., Bethlehem house, family resource center, and one family in need.  They still have some trees for sale and they are moving them to Mandela circle where they will be for sale between noon and seven p.m. until they're gone.

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