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79 Degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas.  Under clear skies.
76% humidity
Barometric pressure is 30.09 inches
Wind is from East at 15 gusting to 30 MPH
No rain in the last 24 hours. 

National Weather Service is saying:  Some clouds early with showers likely this afternoon, and a thunderstorm is possible. High 80F. Winds E at 15 to 25 mph. Mostly fair weather skies are expected to prevail across the region today and for the remainder of the work week. Moderate to strong trade winds will bring passing showers from time to time – 60% Chance of rain.
Seas will reach eight feet and winds will be on the order of 22 knots (25 miles per hour). Small Craft Advisories remain in effect.

Cruise Ship News
Norwegian epic, Royal Princess, Crown Princess are at Havensight Dock - The Eclipse is at anchor
And here at Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal we have Carnival Conquest and Allure of the Seas.  The Yorktown was visiting St. John


At the top of the news on  !!AIR – January 8 Wednesday

Rodney Miller is going to jail.  The former CEO of Schneider hospital was found guilty of failing to report his full income to the internal revenue Bureau.  While there is still a court case over whether the money was stolen or not, it was not reported.  And that's a crime.  Miller will serve twenty-one months in federal prison and has to pay back $86,000 in restitution to the internal revenue Bureau.  Still up ahead is the court case to determine whether he and his colleagues stole money from the hospital.  What's the message to the rest of us?  Better report all your income to the IRB.

Sad news  Sapphire Beach resort as the Seagrape building got boarded up. The facility has had a number of owners, some neglected the building. Some boarded up portions. On Monday, the last of the seagrape building at Sapphire Beach was closed up.  The dive shop is closed concierge desk is closed. So is budget rent-a-car’s indoor office. No word when it will reopen.  Meanwhile, there are no public bathrooms, and people are being directed to the marina’s restrooms, which were not intended for public use.  It's still a beautiful beach.  The seagrape building may reopen one day with new facilities.

GERS had a plan to make it easier for retirees to refinance their loans.  The idea was to make it possible to refinance a loan even if the retiree hadn't paid down fifty percent of the original loan.  But due to a problem with the software they can't implement that plan.  As it stands, if you've never had a loan, or paid off your prior loan or have paid down fifty percent of your current loan, then you can refinance.

Yesterday we told you that Crowley Maritime was expanding their operations in Puerto Rico.  And building two new 200 million dollar container ships.  Mark Miller at Crowley thinks there may have been errors in the report. He assures us they are totally committed to serving customers in our region with the best and most reliable shipping services.  Their new ships will have no negative impact on our island service whatsoever. They are growing their business in the Caribbean and they will particularly focus on businesses with needs for smaller shipments that don't fill whole containers. No plans to change the transshipment here either

Senator Chucky Hansen is proposing legislation to prohibit all government entities from spending any further funds would seaborne airlines.  She so mad about their move to Puerto Rico that she says we should stop using seaborne services altogether.  She says their growth and expansion was built on our dollars- “we have spent countless dollars moving government officials one way and the other on Seaborne.  That must stop immediately.”

The Department of Education is accepting proposals from V.I. government agencies and non-government organizations to fund 21st Century Community Learning Centers in both Districts. This grant competition seeks to award applications that will establish or expand out-of-school time community learning centers that assist with learning and development of school-age children.
A copy of the proposal can be found on the Department's website at www.vide.vi.
The application deadline is February 17th, 2014.

The National Park Service on St. Croix has a lecture Thursday evening by Jen Travis of the friends of the East End Marine Park.  She's going to be talking about sustainable boating in protected waters.  That will be Thursday at 5:30 PM at the Danish Guinea West in the company warehouse and slave market building in the Christiansted National Historic Site.  Thursday at 5:30 PM.

Over at the University – they have Spring Semester Orientation Week. Spring Semester classes at the University begin NEXT Monday, January 13th. Online registration for continuing UVI students is now available, through the University’s BanWeb  site. Late registration  is on Thursday and Friday January 9 and 10. You can get the class scheculed at the UVI website www.uvi.edu. 

Adult continuing education reminds you that registration for their second semester evening classes begins Tuesday, February 18 through February 27.  Classes begin March 3.  While right now they're seeking certified teachers in English and speech for the evening program.  Call Cheryl at 774-8399.

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