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At the top of the news on !! AIR – June 2 Monday

The hotspot last night was on St. John where the Senate committee heard about the status of the St. John Capital Improvement Fund. According to the Senators, the St. John Capital Improvement Fund should have a balance of $5 million. Should! But Post Auditor Jose George told the senators it's more like 4 million and the hole with 9 million of encumbrances – that’s like negative 13 million dollars. Senators were irate! Who is raiding the St. John capital improvement fund? The money comes from property taxes. It's supposed to be used for St. John capital improvements.

The Senators appropriated $300,000 from that fund to build a vendors plaza in Cruz Bay St John. But the funds were never allocated. Nothing was built. Residents spoke in favor of a vendor’s plaza hoping for a place to sell local food, arts and crafts. It would be a valued asset. Good for locals; good for visitors. But if the capital improvement fund is tapped out and overcommitted, there's no money for vendors plaza.

Same problem with a purchase agreement to buy 170 acres Estate Carolina in Coral Bay. The legislature appropriated $4 million to be paid over 4 years to buy the Marsh Estate from the Egbert Marsh Trust. But nothing has been done. Buying the 170 acres would preserve the site of the 1733 revolt, sugar mill ruins, and on flat land the Government could construct facilities for waste management, public works, and even a new fire station. No money, not happening.

Same meeting, different topic; Oppenheimer Beach. The government owns the land. Covenants in the deed prohibit business on the property and restrict its uses but the beach is one of the last accessible public beaches and local people like Oppenheimer for parties and events. Neighboring residents who used to own the land and sold it with restrictions say it's not the music, but the volume of the music. 400 people, loud music, alcohol, gunfire, crime, police being called. Neighbors think it is too much. Many residents want Oppenheimer Beach to be available for public events others called for respect for the neighbors and restricting the volume of music.

May 30 is due date for the 2015 fiscal year budget. Governor John DeJongh sent a letter to the legislature saying the budget would be last – he says June 16. It was delayed last year. At issue is the projected cash shortfall of $40 million. So far the legislature has not come up with new funds. Without a plan to raise that money, the budget may be out of balance.

Great news about our Housing Authority. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington is preparing to transfer control of our local housing authority back to the Virgin Islands government.  The Governor will host a ceremony today to formally take control of the Housing Authority from the federal government.  The VIHA has been in federal receivership since 2003. 
 The ceremony will begin at 2 pm.

Hearty Congratulations to the graduates of Sts Peter and Paul School who held graduation last evening at the UVI Sports and Fitness center. 25 High School  Seniors earned their diplomas.  All going to college with more than a million dollars of scholarship support.  The Valedictorian was Rodney Querrard Jr. and the Salutatorian was Maribel Okiye. Bon Voyage graduates.

You're listening to Good News Headlines on WSTA. More news, first this
Are you a loser? Do you want to be the Biggest Loser? The Division of Personnel and the Government Employee Health Insurance Board want you to lose weight. Here comes a 12 week summer challenge to empower government employees to lose weight - - the healthy way!  The Biggest Loser competition is open to all government employees in the group health insurance plan. The first fitness assessment is on Sunday, June 1 at 5:00 PM and the launch date is June 9. Register with the Division Personnel TODAY to participate in the Biggest Loser competition. Call Ms. Jervan Ottley at 774-8588 extension 5114.

11 The waste management Authority reminds Cruz Bay community to Susannaberg transfer station will close of 11 a.m. today  for the staff to participate in a training session they will reopen on Saturday morning at seven a.m.

Impacting Your World Christian Ministries has the Ninth Annual Sister To Sister Conference, today through Sunday June 1 at MCM Center, at Antilles School.  It's a chance to “Dream Bigger” this evening at 6pm. On Saturday the Youth Track workshops is Saturday 9:00am – 3:00pm.  Saturday night features the Praise Explosion Concert at 7:00pm; and Sunday mornings there is a worship service at 930 in the morning. The registration is $35.00 For more information call 715-2482.

Gubernatorial Candidate G. Luz James 2nd is coming to St. Thomas for a political meeting on Friday at 6:00 PM in the building opposite Memorial Moravian Church on Norre Gade. Friday at 6:00 PM

Four service members will be honored by Virgin Islands Missions, Inc. for their commitment to the nation and their communities this evening at 7 p.m. at Palm Courts Harbour View on St. Thomas. Virgin Islands Missions 2014 Community Recognition Awards is honoring Captain Nichole M. Payne, retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Gregory R. Francis, retired Master Sergeant Omodoso A. Muhammad and retired Sergeant Beverlie E. Smith Baron. For more information, contact Kathy Ritter at 513-0994

Retired firefighters are meeting on Saturday, May 31 at 330 at kilo Company in Bournefield

A town hall meeting aimed at bringing together all youth leaders, mentors and advisors is scheduled for Friday, May 30, at 9:00 am at the Department of Education Curriculum Centers on St. Thomas and St. CroixThe meeting, is hosted by the Governor’s Children and Families Council Youth Development Group. For additional information, please call 693-4316.

The fifth graders at the Yvonne Bowsky Elementary School have an Entrepreneurial Fair today until 1:30  -  21 students are taking on the business world with Fresh Out de Island Drinks; Precious Pins; homemade, organic  Kale chips and cakes  from Harmonie’s Sugar Cakes,. Rubbermania Palace has one-of-a-kind rubber band bracelets; there is Manning’s Plant Shop, Phillips Candy Dandy Shop, and Phoenix’s Veggiemart. Entrepreneurial Fair today until 1:30  at Yvonne Bowsky Elementary School.  

Our good news maker of the day is Lily Mae Durante of the University.  She is retiring after 34 years of service to the University.  She has held many posts in the administration and over her 34 years seen 8 generations of students come and go.  Faculty come and go, even President’s come and go.  Lily Mae Durante is one of the constants at UVI, part of the team of people who have devoted a whole career to the University.  Enjoy your retirement Lily Mae Durante.  You made good news 34 years in a row.

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