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News from USVI:




US Virgin Islands

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Emergency passports no longer available locally for USVI residents

July 19, 2014
Emergency passports no longer available locally for USVI residents WASHINGTON, USA -- USVI Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen said on Thursday her district office staff received e-mail correspondence from the US Department of State’s Miami passport agency that, effective July 11, 2014, US citizens from the US Virgin Islands who need to obtain...

USVI governor joins 30 other chief executives in urging Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank

July 17, 2014
USVI governor joins 30 other chief executives in urging Congress to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank ST THOMAS, USVI -- On Tuesday, US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh joined with a bipartisan group of governors in sending a letter to congressional leaders urging swift action to reauthorize the US Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, whose charter expires in September.

Economic census shows USVI generated $6.8 billion in sales in 2012

July 16, 2014
WASHINGTON, USA -- The 2,414 business establishments in the US Virgin Islands generated $6.8 billion in sales, employed 32,465 people and paid $1.1 billion in annual payroll, according to the US Census Bureau's 2012 Economic Census of Island Areas: Geographic Area Series.

USVI governor calls legislature into special session to address critical financial needs

July 15, 2014
USVI governor calls legislature into special session to address critical financial needs ST THOMAS, USVI -- On Monday, Governor John de Jongh called the US Virgin Islands legislature into special session on Wednesday to address critical financial needs of the government, including an infusion of working capital to the two territorial hospitals. The proposed legislation also seeks to amend...

Coast Guard investigates grounding of 190-foot cargo ship off USVI

July 14, 2014
Coast Guard investigates grounding of 190-foot cargo ship off USVI ST THOMAS, USVI -- The Coast Guard is investigating the grounding of the Sabre Spirit, a 190-foot Panamanian flag roll-on/roll-off cargo ship, after the vessel ran aground on Friday morning off Current Cut, between the islands of St Thomas and Great St James, in the US Virgin Islands.

USVI governor urges Congress to extend federal transportation funding

July 11, 2014
USVI governor urges Congress to extend federal transportation funding ST THOMAS, USVI -- US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh has called on the US Congress to replenish the Highway Trust Fund to avoid significant cuts to highway and transit funding that are scheduled to be imposed in the USVI and across the country starting August 1, and to extend the...

The Caribbean Writer announces Volume 27 prize winners

July 8, 2014
ST CROIX, USVI -- The Caribbean Writer has announced its annual prize winners from Volume 27, which highlights music and visual arts. Topping the list is a new annual prize: The Cecile deJongh Literary Prize ($500) awarded to an author whose work best expresses the spirit of the Caribbean.

Eighteen Caribbean hotels among the Top 100 List in 2014

July 3, 2014
BELLEVUE, USA -- On Tuesday, Expedia.com, one of the world’s largest full-service online travel sites, announced the Expedia 2014 Insiders’ Select rankings, an annual crowd-sourced list of the world’s best-reviewed hotels. The Insiders’ Select list recognizes the top-ranked hotels...

Delta Air Lines to resume St Croix USVI service

June 21, 2014
ST CROIX USVI -- St Croix in the US Virgin Islands will welcome the return of Delta Air Lines this winter with nonstop air service from Atlanta. The USVI Department of Tourism announced that Delta Air Lines has strengthened its commitment to the territory.

Weapons found in mail sent to USVI

June 20, 2014
ST THOMAS, USVI -- US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Charlotte Amalie Post Office in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands, have discovered several pistols as part of a routine inspection of packages arriving from the continental United States.

USVI governor welcomes cruise industry executives to St Croix

June 20, 2014
USVI governor welcomes cruise industry executives to St Croix ST CROIX, USVI -- A high-level team of cruise industry executives assembled this week in the US Virgin Islands to discuss the myriad opportunities that exist on St Croix for enhancing the Caribbean cruising experience for its millions of customers. The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA)...

USVI governor submits 2015 spending plan

June 18, 2014
USVI governor submits 2015 spending plan ST THOMAS, USVI -- Governor John de Jongh on Monday submitted his administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 operating budget for the government of the US Virgin Islands. In a three-page transmittal letter that accompanied de Jongh’s financial blueprint for the operations of the government...

USVI reports first locally acquired case of chikungunya

June 13, 2014
ST CROIX, USVI -- On Tuesday, the US Virgin Islands Department of Health confirmed two new cases of chikungunya virus. The first case has been confirmed as locally acquired; the second case is an imported case with the patient having recent travel history outside of the territory.

Expedia reports increase in travel demand for US Virgin Islands

June 13, 2014
BELLEVUE, USA -- Expedia., Inc., one of the world's largest online travel companies, has reported that travel demand garnered via Expedia.com and Hotels.com points of sale for US Virgin Islands hotels grew 23 percent in the first quarter of 2014 when compared to the same time period in 2013.

Former USVI senator to release book on 'Manly Manners'

June 11, 2014
Former USVI senator to release book on 'Manly Manners' “Move over, 'Miss Manners' -- please! Manners is a man's job. And there is now a man reporting for duty,” says Wayne James, former US Virgin Islands senator and author of Manly Manners: Lifestyle & Etiquette for the Young Man of the 21st Century. The book is elegant and sophisticated, but edgy.

British and US Virgin Islands discuss laws regulating local bands

June 7, 2014
British and US Virgin Islands discuss laws regulating local bands ST THOMAS, USVI -- The governments of the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands have begun candid discussions to clarify the laws governing the musical exchange between the two territories. On Thursday morning, BVI minister for education and culture Myron Walwyn led a delegation...

USVI hospital cash seized to pay outstanding taxes

May 19, 2014
ST THOMAS, USVI -- While the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital (JFLH) in the US Virgin Islands continues to grapple with serious financial challenges, the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue took action against the hospital’s cash assets as part of an ongoing effort to collect outstanding taxes.

USVI reports first confirmed travel-associated case of chikungunya

May 15, 2014
ST THOMAS, USVI -- Health Commissioner Darice Plaskett reported on Monday that US Virgin Islands health officials investigated the first confirmed imported case of chikungunya in a return traveler to St Thomas that was associated with a recent cruise to the Caribbean.

San Juan, Puerto Rico reports 2.9 percent employment loss from 2012 to 2013

May 13, 2014
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico’s only large county, the municipio of San Juan, reported an employment loss of 2.9 percent from September 2012 to September 2013, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Monday. Chief regional economist Martin Kohli noted that...

Former executive director of USVI legislature charged with bribery and extortion

May 10, 2014
ST THOMAS, USVI -- The former executive director of the Legislature of the US Virgin Islands has been indicted by a federal grand jury in the USVI for accepting bribes and engaging in extortion in the award of contracts with the Legislature. The indictment charges Louis “Lolo” Willis...

Inter-Virgin Islands Council meets to strengthen BVI-USVI ties

May 9, 2014
Inter-Virgin Islands Council meets to strengthen BVI-USVI ties ROAD TOWN, BVI -- The British Virgin Islands (BVI) and United States Virgin Islands (USVI) continued to strengthen ties as senior government officials met and reported on areas of shared interests during the sixth Inter-Virgin Islands Council (IVIC) on Thursday. Executive director in the International Affairs...

USVI wants to keep more of its own customs duties

May 6, 2014
USVI wants to keep more of its own customs duties ST THOMAS, USVI -- US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh submitted on Friday written testimony to a US Senate Committee urging Congress to intervene in the long-simmering dispute between the government and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) over the responsibility for financing...

USVI to receive federal funding for Medicaid expansion

April 28, 2014
ST THOMAS, USVI -- Governor John de Jongh said on Friday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has notified the Department of Human Services that the US Virgin Islands is eligible to receive a 2.2 percent funding increase to further expand the...

USVI radio station owner arrested for failure to file and pay taxes

April 24, 2014
ST CROIX, USVI -- US Virgin Islands Attorney General Vincent Frazer and Director Claudette Watson Anderson, of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, on Wednesday announced the arrest of Jonathan Cohen, sole owner of JKC Communications (parent company of Isle 95...

USVI governor welcomes US senate extension of rum cover-over for two years

April 5, 2014
USVI governor welcomes US senate extension of rum cover-over for two years ST THOMAS, USVI -- US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh has hailed the action taken by the US Senate Finance Committee to extend the rum cover-over rate for two years without limitations or restrictions. The bill makes the extension retroactive to January 1 of this year.

USVI author releases new book on Christian living nationwide

March 26, 2014
USVI author releases new book on Christian living nationwide CHRISTIANSTED, USVI -- This week, US Virgin Islands author Rev. Seaton D. Wilson celebrates the nationwide release of his new book on Christian living, “Soar Like an Eagle, Reign Like a King,” where he uses analogies from the life of the golden eagle to reveal amazing truths about the human and Christian life.

Jewish communities of the Caribbean documented in pictures

March 6, 2014
Jewish communities of the Caribbean documented in pictures NEW YORK, USA -- Now facing extinction, the Sephardic Jewish communities of the Caribbean were once so strong and influential that they helped fuel the success of the American Revolution, and finance the first synagogues in the United States, located in New York City and Rhode Island.

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