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Weather in the World : 13 degrees in Philadelphia, 15 in New York and Boston has 12 degrees in Washington it's 15 degrees Chicago has 15 and snow, zero degrees in Montréal and in Paradise Michigan two degrees with snow


76 Degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas.  Under clear skies.
80 %  humidity
Barometric pressure is 30.01 inches
Wind is from East North East at 11 MPH
Trace of rain at WSTA in the last 24 hours. 

National Weather Service says : 

Partly cloudy. High 76F. Winds E at 10 to 20 mph

Cruise Ship News the Reflection and the Carnival liberty are at Havensight Dock

Headlines :  Senators approve GERS refunds. Tibber energy is making national news.  Free SAT prep class for High School  students and the First Lady and her friends went reading in the schools.

At the top of the news on  !!AIR – March 4 Tuesday
The Almeric Christian Federal Building in St. Croix is set to become one of the first federal buildings to achieve zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, got a contract from the U.S. General Services Administration for $6.4 million dollars for an Energy Savings Performance Contract (for the Federal Building on St. Croix. The project will install energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems at the site making it one of the first federal buildings to achieve 100 percent Net Zero Energy through an Energy Savings Performance Contract. The three-story, 57,872 square foot Federal Building guarantees a total of over $13 million in energy savings. Savings in the first year of the 19-year contract will amount to over $500,000.

Senators had a special session yesterday to address the problems with the payment of retro wages and the money withheld from GERS contributions.  They approved a bill about refunds owed to retirees by the Government Employees Retirement System. 14 in favor, one absent. The GERS will be responsible for reimbursing contributions deducted from the retroactive wages paid to retirees. Gotta pay by June 3rd of this year. Administrator Austin Nibbs said, “Of the total retro contributions of $7 million dollars that were received by the GERS, $1.5 million was identified as retro contributions deducted for some 4,600 retirees.” He sent legislation up three years ago to address the problem, but no action was taken.  Now retirees will get refunds – the smallest is about $0.30 and the highest is $2,581 dollars. An average retiree will get about $328.31. Senators wanted to know if retirees will get interest on the repayment then approved paying 9% interest on the refunds. Nibbs said GERS doesn’t have a fund to pay 9% interest and they were not earning that much interest in the bank.

The Senate committee on education met yesterday on St. Croix addressing “festering concerns” over the new school calendar. Legislation requires the school year of no less than 1080 hours which means less vacation time, fewer workshops and loss of days for election day and Carnival. Meanwhile school psychologists and social workers say they aren’t getting paid for the additional two hours of work a day they have done since 2012. Teachers said their bargaining agreement included daily trash clearing and regular rodents and pest eradication. Not happening. The kitchen managers complain the cleaning supplies are nonexistent. They buy their own dishwashing liquid and cleaning supplies. After hearing the complaints,  Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory said she was pleased - many of the comments had not previously been communicated to her. She said these problems are wrong and wrong for the children of the Virgin Islands.

Governor John DeJongh re-nominated Violet Anne Golden to a second term on the Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission and as Chairman of the three-member commission. Golden was first appointed to a five year term in April 2009.  She was elected Vice Chairman at the 2013 and she has served as Acting Chairman since January 2013.

Good news from the First Lady's desk. Cecile de Jongh along with members of the Governor's cabinet, members of the clergy, the Children's Family Council and community movers and shakers today took part in Read Across America yesterday.  Read Across America promotes reading, for children and young adults. The day coincides with the birthday Theodore Seuss Geisel – known as Dr.Seuss.
Cecile de Jongh -- Antilles School
Debra Gottlieb (Director, OMB) -- Sts. Peter and Paul School
Chris Finch (Commissioner, DHS) -- Head Start Center
Dodson James (Administrator, St. Croix) -- Juanita Gardine Elementary School
Barbara Petersen (Administrator, St. Thomas-Water Island) -- Joseph Gomez Elementary School
Victor Browne (Director, LEPC) -- Ricardo Richards
Nicole Wheatley -- E. Benjamin Oliver School
Alice Krall -- Guy Benjamin and Julius Sprauve Schools
Karl Knight -- Director, VI Energy Office -- Claude O. Markoe School
Wharton Berger -- Director, BER -- Lockhart Elementary School

You're listening to Good News Headlines on WSTA. More news, first this
Due to construction on Kronprindsens Gade, the northern entrance of the Department of Finance on lower Main Street is closed.  If you need to transact business with the Commissioner's Office go to the southwestern entrance across from the USO building on the waterfront. 

All Saints Cathedral has  Shrove Dinner this evening at 6:00 PM at the Parish Hall.


Charlotte Amalie High School PTA Meeting this evening at 5:30pm at the Ruth E. Thomas Auditorium.

This is the week of prayer. And on St. Croix, On Tuesday March fourth the prayers are at Zion AME Church at7p. Tomorrow - Wednesday - is Ash Wednesday and many will go to church services to mark the beginning of Lent. On Wednesday March 5 at New Testament church in Wim and on March 6 at Ebenezer Methodist Church. On Friday, March 7 the world Day of prayer services will be at the Lord God of Sabbath Lutherans in Christiansted. All services are at seven p.m.

Friday, March 7 is World Day of Prayer and there is an Ecumenical Service on St. Thomas sponsored by the Methodist Church. This year’s host is Holy Family Catholic Church in Tutu. Guest speaker is Rev. Agnola Martin. World Day of Prayer is Friday at Holy Family Catholic Church..  Women are asked to wear white.

UVICELL Center has a free SAT Prep class for high-school students every Saturday beginning March 15.  At UVI on the St. Croix and St. Thomas campuses.  If your students is in 10th or 11th graders in public school with a GPA above 2.0 this is the class for them. The UVICELL SAT Prep uses assessments and practice exams to help students in improving their SAT scores.  They get pointers in time management, anxiety relief, scoring, and test-taking tips. Funding is from Dale LeFebvre, of Oson Inc, an investment advisory firm. Students must submit an application to UVICELL by Friday of this week. Friday March 7th.  Space is limited. First-come, first-serve basis. For more information call 693-1106 or visit http://cell.uvi.edu.

Tibbar Energy is in the Wall street journal with news about their 7MW Biogas Project on St Croix – they were requested a Coastal Zone Management Commission Permit at a CZM hearing last Thursday. Tania Tomyn said "The public support was overwhelming from local residents and businesses. St. Croix is about to see the first project of its kind with Tibbar's anaerobic digestion facility. Tibbar will produce lower cost, clean renewable power, create jobs, and develop a local organic fertilizer for farmers. They plan a 1,600 acre farm growing Giant King Grass and native local grasses using treated effluent from Waste Management Authority. Instead of being sent out to sea, it will water plants for energy. Tibbar will also donate bales of hay to the Department of Agriculture for livestock. They said Giant King Grass has grown extremely well on St. Croix since they planted the first nursery 19 months ago. Last July Tibbar executed a 25 year Power Purchase Agreement with WAPA to sell WAPA electricity at 24 cents per kilowatt hour – less than half of what WAPA charges for electricity. The entire project is carbon neutral and will be the first fossil fuel independent power project on St. Croix. Tibbar making national news.

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