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Weather in the World : 19 degrees in Philadelphia with clouds, Boston has 15 clouds in Washington 25 degrees and clouds, Chicago nine degrees and clouds, Montréal 10 degrees and snow and a Bismarck North Dakota -10.

78 Degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas.  Under clear skies.
74 %  humidity
Barometric pressure is 29.99 inches
Wind is from East at 15 MPH
Trace of rain at WSTA in the last 24 hours. 

National Weather Service says :  A patch of moisture will move across the local area today increasing the potential for shower activity this morning and into the afternoon hours. An upper level ridge will then build across the Virgin Islands late today into Friday which will lead to a drier and more stable weather pattern.  Relatively tranquil marine conditions are forecast through early next week. Winds on the average of 17 knots and seas to five feet – forecast: Partly cloudy. High 79F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph.

Cruise Ship News : Norwegian Sun is at Havensight Dock

Headlines :  does tax amnesty work? The governor has 12 areas of concern with the federal government, DPW making choices for new busses and time to say goodbye to the old paper and pencil VITAL tests. 

At the top of the news on  !!AIR – February 27 Thursday

Those tax amnesty work? Some of our senators think so. The office of tax assessor received more than $6 million during a 90 day tax amnesty. You may remember the Senate passed a tax amnesty, the governor vetoed it back in July and then the legislature overrode the veto in August allowing a waiver of interest penalties and fees for tax years 2008 through 2011. That $6 million we didn't have before. But the message is sent to every delinquent taxpayer that if you just wait around long enough sooner or later you will have to pay the fees and interest and penalties.

The governor was in Washington and while he couldn't attend the interagency group on insular affairs meeting, he did issue a statement on 12 areas of critical importance to the economic development of fiscal independence of the Virgin Islands. Under tax issues, the rum tax cover-over rate extension tops the list. Under healthcare the governor wants an extension of Medicare waivers for our territory and an extension of federal medical assistance and improvements to Medicare reimbursement. Under homeland security the governor asked for special visa waivers for hosting international special events and an expansion of the Caribbean basin security initiative to include our islands among the 12 points under early education the governor asked for the territories to be included in the president's plan for early education for all Americans and under transportation the governor asked for a restoration of the funding cut for our highways program.

Commissioner of Public Works Darrell Smalls was in Ontario California meeting with the contractors building new busses for VITRAN. Smalls had to insure that each bus will accommodate wheelchairs and they discussed warranty, engine, seats, color, wheelchair lifts and other technical details area. The buses should be delivered by August of this year. Meanwhile our new ferries for the St. Thomas St. John route are still tied up at the dock in Crown Bay.

Remember your paper and pencil tests in school? Now our Department of Education is getting ready to jump from paper testing to online assessments. They are planning to replace the old VITAL– S with more modern interactive exams offered by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. The new assessments are aligned to the Common Core State Standards, which the Department adopted in 2010 and continues to be integrated into the school curriculum. The adoption of the Common Core State Standards in English, Language Arts and Math set high goals for students. The switch to the new online assessment system will help our students prepare for college and the workforce, and give our schools and parents more timely feedback about the students’ performance. The official transition will begin in March of 2015, but first a field test in May to see what needs to be done for a full roll out.

How come when WAPA wants to fix boilers or switch to propane the contracts happen in a hurry? But the contracts to complete $65 million and solar projects are hung up and coming apart at the seams. 18 megawatts was supposed to be finished back in December. Still nothing. Sun Edison had four contracts. Two were terminated, two are in dispute. Plans to use the roof on Tutu Park Mall for solar panels fell apart. Nine megawatts on East End St. Croix - not happening. WAPA estimates the cost to produce solar power at around 14 to 24 cents per kilowatt hour while we are paying $.51 per kilowatt hour for fossil fuel power. We have the highest electricity costs in the United States and nearly infinite sunshine. Why is this so hard to get solar power going?

You're listening to Good News Headlines on WSTA. More news, first this
Tomorrow, Friday, a Virgin Islands next-generation network contractor will be installing aerial fiber and hardware on Kongen’s Gade near the public finance authority and government house. The road past Government House be closed from 8:00 AM  to noon Friday morning,

Veterans of all armed forces living on all islands the Veterans councilor is in the Virgin Islands. All veterans with claims pending or who wish to file claim meet with the councilors from the Veterans Administration's. They are on St. Thomas today and Friday February 27 and 28th

Innovative wireless is opening a new retail store in Lockhart Gardens shopping center in St. Thomas. They will be offering inTing prepaid service and long-term and short-term contracts for wireless service. A grand opening party will come later

The  Hotel and Tourism Association and the University have a Hospitality Forum today at Frenchman's Reef from 9:30 til lunch. The forum features a panels of hospitality experts  sharing their knowledge, goals, and insights with students from the high schools, the Raphael Wheatley Skill Center,  and with students from the University hospitality program. This is time for the students to talk with key players in the industry and get answers to questions.

Over at the University of the Virgin Islands there will be a ribbon-cutting today. The Social Sciences Department Building on the St. Thomas Campus has undergone a major remodeling job, both inside and outside. There are new offices for all the staff more interior windows to let light in and the outside of the building has been redone to make it more ADA compliant. The ribbon-cutting is from 10 to noon today, and you can hear the ceremony live on WUVI am 1090.

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