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Weather in the World :  11° in Philadelphia, 12° in New York City Boston has 8° and 11° in Washington DC. Upstate New York 3° with snow, in Chicago it's just around zero. Montréal minus 9 with clouds and even balmy Houston has only 30° with rain.

79 Degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas.  Under clear skies.
77  %  humidity
Barometric pressure is 30.05 inches
Wind is from East at 10 MPH
Point 09 inches of rain at WSTA in the last 24 hours. 

National Weather Service says : partly cloudy this morning. More clouds and showers this afternoon. High 79F. Winds E at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

A generally fair and stable weather pattern is expected to prevail across the Virgin Islands for the next few days. However, with the prevailing easterly flow, periods of early morning and late evening passing showers are expected.  Across the coastal waters, expect seas to build to seven feet across the offshore Atlantic waters later today and winds that will average 17 knots Small Craft Advisories in for the offshore Atlantic waters.

Cruise Ship News : Summit is at Havensight Dock and the Yorktown is visiting St. John

Headlines : New Judges are sworn in, Commissioner of Education Sworn in, Budget is expected to be 70 million short and we have another local in the Winter Olympics.

At the top of the news on  !!AIR – January 24 Friday

70 million dollars short. The Governor’s financial team provided an update at the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2014. $70 million short. That's the projections based upon current expenditures and current revenues. The Commissioner of Finance, Director of Office of Management and Budget and Director of the Bureau of Internal Revenue reported on our fiscal health. Revenue collection is 13.8 million less than the same quarter of last fiscal year. Meanwhile expenditures are up in large part due to the restoration of the 8% payroll restoration. Health insurance costs are also up. With no change, we will be $70 million behind by the end of the fiscal year. One key factor is the rum cover over. The Department of Interior made their advance payment based upon the old rate, not the new rate. Congress has yet to restore our higher rate and that means were short. It is up to the legislature to address the revenue and expenditure gap, we need new sources of revenue or cuts to expenditures. Meanwhile the Office of Management and Budget is preparing to reduce allotments to government agencies. What options are on the table? Possibly changing the health insurance cost share, or an income tax surcharge, or reduction of unpaid holidays and furlough days, or reinstalling the 8% salary cuts, or reducing the gross receipts tax exemption, or eliminate the excise tax on certain products, or increase real property taxes. Obviously none of this would be popular.

The Superior Court held and investiture ceremony yesterday for the honorable Judge Denise Françoise and the Honorable magistrates Henry Carr and Carolyn Purcell. On St. Croix the investiture ceremony for the honorable Judge Robert Malloy is today at 10 a.m. at Justice Complex on St Croix.

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. hosted a swearing-in ceremony yesterday  for Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory. The oath was administered by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Ive Swan. The ceremony was witnessed by family, friends, and the leadership team of the Department of Education along with well-wishers at Government House, St. Thomas.

Good news from the water and power authority as they make plans to overhaul generating unit number 17 on St. Croix. The governing board approved the purchase of replacement parts and the gas turbine is ready for scheduled maintenance. Oh and they will do the switchover to propane at the same time.  Meanwhile chief executive Hugo Hodge says our propane project is the talk of the region. We are charting new territory to get true relief from the volatile fuel oil prices. He's gotten calls from people in Africa, from the Dominican Republic and Panama want to visit and witness our propane conversion.

The Senate committee on Homeland security will take up a bill today to clarify the definition of self-defense. Senator Samuel Sannes says the existing language in the law is vague and outdated. He drew on laws from other jurisdictions to draft our legislation. If a violent action is considered self-defense, then it is not a crime. Senators will decide how to strengthen the territories good Samaritan law to ensure that people will come to assist when they see someone else in danger.

Good news from the Coast Guard. The ribbon is being cut today to inaugurate the new facilities will serve as the operating location for the Coast Guard resident inspectors office and boat forces in Christiansted St. Croix. Delegate Christensen is there today to participate as the Coast Guard opens their new facilities in Estate Solitude Christiansted. 

You're listening to Good News Headlines on WSTA. More news, first this

The St. Thomas prison Warden, Gilbert David, announced that Detainee, Raheem Creque had escaped from the Bureau of Corrections’ Criminal Justice Complex. Raheem Creque, is a 36-year old black male,
6’1” and weighs 220 lbs. He has a dark complexion, black hair worn cropped and brown eyes.  He is a resident of Hospital Ground. The Bureau of Corrections, VI Police Department and other law enforcement entities are actively seeking to apprehend Mr. Creque. If you know his whereabouts contact the police department or call the tips Hotline one 800-222-TIPS

The Governor and Department of Education want local teachers to apply for the 2014 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators.  The Environmental Protection Agency's says , "The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students."   The award contest is open to teachers from K to 12, who hold a current teaching license; have five years of teaching experience, of which three years are teaching environmental curriculum; and be a citizen of the United States, its territories or possessions.  Winner gets $2,000. For more information www2.epa.gov/education

Bureau of Internal Revenue, reminds all Virgin Islands employers that they are required to submit Form W-2VI which is the Virgin Islands Wage and Tax Statement for employment in 2013 to every employee by January 31 of this year.  One week left. The correct forms are available at the Bureau’s offices on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.

Attention St. Thomas Bonus USDA commodities will be distributed to the needy on:
ST. THOMAS on Saturday, January 25 (that’s tomorrow) from 8:00 a.m. at the Lockhart Elementary School cafeteria;
Commodities will be distributed until supplies are depleted. Distribution packages will be limited to one per household and provided to only persons who are on:
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Or Medical Assistance Program (MAP)
Or A tenant of subsidized public housing.
And have gross family income within the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Bring Proper identification and income information and sturdy boxes or bags to carry the food packages.
For more information call Correy Lettsome at 774-0100 ext. 2818.
ST. JOHN will have USDA commodities on Saturday, February 1, and the ST. CROIX date is Saturday, February 8.

The Virgin Islands carnival committee is looking for interested persons to be parade marshals for the 2014 Carnival parade. If you can volunteer call Carnival headquarters at 776-3112. The carnival committee is also calling Calypsonians  interested in competing in the Calypso Monarch competition to contact the Calypso tent chairperson, Dionne Donadell at 690-7484.

The Virgin Islands Olympic Committee is proud to announce that Jasmine Campbell, formerly from St. John, VI was nominated to represent the U.S. Virgin Islands at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.  The British Virgin Islands has a winter Olympics entrant – Peter Adam Cook from Tortola will compete in the freestyle skiing.


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