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News from USVI:




US Virgin Islands

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Potential buyer found for USVI oil refinery

September 17, 2014
Potential buyer found for USVI oil refinery ST THOMAS, USVI -- US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh met on Sunday with 11 members of the 30th Legislature to provide an update on the HOVENSA oil refinery sales process. “Today’s meeting provided the opportunity for me to update our senators on what progress has been made...

Fogging has negligible impact on spread of chikungunya virus, says USVI health official

September 17, 2014
Fogging has negligible impact on spread of chikungunya virus, says USVI health official ST THOMAS, USVI -- US Virgin Islands Health Commissioner Darice Plaskett said on Monday that there has been an outcry for the Department of Health to conduct truck mounted fogging to control adult mosquitoes and to end the spread of the chikungunya virus in the territory.

USVI to receive close to $3 million in federal grants for capital improvement projects

September 15, 2014
USVI to receive close to $3 million in federal grants for capital improvement projects ST THOMAS, USVI -- Last week, Governor John de Jongh was notified that the US Virgin Islands would receive nearly $3 million in federal grant assistance for specific capital improvement projects to hospitals and clinics, schools, and other government facilities. The notification was made by...

USVI declares war on disease-carrying mosquitoes

September 11, 2014
USVI declares war on disease-carrying mosquitoes ST THOMAS, USVI -- US Virgin Islands Commissioner of Health, Darice Plaskett, recently concluded a multiagency task force conference call to organize and align the department’s efforts to support and protect the community against the spread of chikungunya and other harmful mosquito-borne...

Marijuana tourism debate at state of the industry conference in USVI

September 10, 2014
Marijuana tourism debate at state of the industry conference in USVI BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- The notion or reality of marijuana tourism will be discussed at the upcoming State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in the US Virgin Islands next week. Expert presenters will debate issues related to the subject as part of a broader discussion on medical, health...

Delta Air Lines increases planned USVI service

September 10, 2014
Delta Air Lines increases planned USVI service ST CROIX, USVI -- The US Virgin Islands economy will receive a greater boost now that the new Delta Air Lines service between Atlanta and St Croix will run longer than originally planned.  The USVI Department of Tourism confirmed that the weekly service, scheduled to return to the territory on...

USVI to receive $165 million for FY 2015 rum cover-over revenue

September 9, 2014
USVI to receive $165 million for FY 2015 rum cover-over revenue ST THOMAS, USVI -- On Friday, Governor John de Jongh received notification from the Office of Insular Areas of the Department of the Interior that the government of the US Virgin Islands would shortly receive $165 million for estimated rum excise tax cover-over for fiscal year 2015.

Number of chikungunya cases increases in USVI

September 8, 2014
Number of chikungunya cases increases in USVI ST THOMAS, USVI -- Health Commissioner Darice Plaskett has reported that the Department of Health is monitoring a recent uptick in the number of confirmed/probable cases of chikungunya in the US Virgin Islands. As of Friday, there have been a total of 30 confirmed/probable cases in the territory.

USVI governor pardons convicted former senator

September 5, 2014
USVI governor pardons convicted former senator ST THOMAS, USVI -- The governor of the US Virgin Islands, John de Jongh, said on Wednesday that he is pardoning a former senator, who was convicted of failure to file income tax returns, so she can again run for public office. In 2009, Alicia ‘Chucky’ Hansen received a three-year suspended sentence.

Letter: USVI needs long term master plan to achieve economic growth and sustainability

August 21, 2014
The St Croix Strategic Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) will submit proposed legislation to create a local Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic (CEDS) Master Plan, in order for the US Virgin Islands (USVI) to achieve long term (10-20 year plan) economic growth.

USVI joins Caribbean Challenge Initiative to conserve coastal areas

August 20, 2014
USVI joins Caribbean Challenge Initiative to conserve coastal areas ST THOMAS, USVI -- Governor John de Jongh has informed the prime minister of Grenada, Dr Keith Mitchell, "with great pride" that the United States Virgin Islands has endorsed the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) and is prepared to sign the CCI Leaders Declaration. The CCI was launched in 2008.

$3 million boost for USVI small businesses

August 16, 2014
ST THOMAS, USVI -- The VI Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) has approved 24 loan guarantee support applications in the amount of $3 million to help local small businesses through local banks that are participants of the state small business credit initiative.

Commentary: No Caribbean appetite for a rum fight

August 8, 2014
Commentary: No Caribbean appetite for a rum fight It is alarming that Barbados’ Ambassador to the United States, John Beale, has publicly stated that CARICOM (the 15-nation Caribbean Community) is “inactive” and needs to take a position on the issue of Caribbean rums being wiped-out of the US market. Inactivity is not in the interest of CARICOM...

USVI's Julius Jackson wins title bout in Argentina

August 4, 2014
CORDOBA, Argentina -- The US Virgin Islands’ 340 Boxing champ Julius Jackson has won his title bout against Crispulo Javier Andino in Argentina. When Jackson returned to the territory on Saturday, he brought back the same World Boxing Association (WBA) Fedebol title belt...

Tropical Storm Bertha passes just south of Puerto Rico

August 2, 2014
Tropical Storm Bertha passes just south of Puerto Rico MIAMI, USA -- The centre of Tropical Storm Bertha was passing just south of Puerto Rico on Saturday morning, moving toward the west-northwest near 22 mph. A turn toward the northwest is expected by Saturday night, with this motion continuing through Sunday night.

Tropical Storm Bertha moves into northeast Caribbean

August 2, 2014
Tropical Storm Bertha moves into northeast Caribbean MIAMI, USA -- At 5:00 pm EDT on Friday, the centre of Tropical Storm Bertha was located 20 miles northwest of Fort de France, Martinique, and about 405 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, as the system moved into the northeastern Caribbean Sea. According to the National Hurricane Center...

Tropical Storm Bertha forms, warnings in effect for Caribbean

August 1, 2014
Tropical Storm Bertha forms, warnings in effect for Caribbean MIAMI, USA -- Tropical storm Bertha formed in the western Atlantic on Thursday night and a tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbados, St Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. A tropical storm watch is in effect for St Vincent.

Exhibitors sought for USVI small business expo

July 31, 2014
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, USVI -- The VI Economic Development Authority's (VIEDA) State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program is seeking exhibitors in the industries of food, gift and arts, beauty and wellness, music, jewelry, fashion, building and industrial materials.

USVI historian to deliver keynote lecture at upcoming slavery conference in Norway

July 25, 2014
USVI historian to deliver keynote lecture at upcoming slavery conference in Norway ST THOMAS, USVI -- Wayne James, fashion designer, lawyer, former US Virgin Islands senator, historian, and author of the soon-to-be released book on men's manners, Manly Manners: Lifestyle and Etiquette for the Young Man of the 21st Century, has been invited to deliver the keynote address at...

Fewer cruise ship calls mean over $18 million in lost economic activity for USVI

July 24, 2014
Fewer cruise ship calls mean over $18 million in lost economic activity for USVI ST THOMAS, USVI -- On the eve of a special session of the legislature called by Governor John de Jongh to address a critically-needed major coastal permit for the US Virgin Islands, the government’s Bureau of Economic Research released results of an impact analysis conducted over the last few days.

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.

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