ST. THOMAS - Fort Christian made a fitting backdrop for a unique culinary competition Wednesday that celebrated the Caribbean tradition of cooking with coal pots.
Hot coals in an iron stand, atop which sits a pot - traditionally a clay pot - was the traditional way of cooking long before electric or gas stoves came on the scene.
The Coal Pot Cook-off Wednesday afternoon was organized by the St. Thomas Historical Trust as a fundraiser. Seven chefs served up their tasty dishes in small sample cups, and the public voted by tipping their favorites. At the end of the day, the tips were counted and the proceeds split between the chef and the trust.
ST. CROIX - A medical doctor voiced concerns at a Senate committee hearing Wednesday about a bill that would expand the scope of practice for chiropractors in the territory, while local chiropractors testified in support of the measure.
The Senate Committee on Health, Hospitals, Human Services and Veterans Affairs listened to the testimony and ultimately voted to forward the bill to the Rules Committee for further consideration.
ST. THOMAS - Following the arrest and suspension of DPNR's Chief Enforcement Officer Roberto Tapia, Gov. John deJongh Jr. approved the promotion of two enforcement officers to administrative positions within the Enforcement Division on Wednesday.
Howard Forbes Sr. of St. Croix will function as acting director of the Division of Environmental Enforcement and will oversee the division's day-to-day operations.
ST. CROIX - More than 200 of the island's public school student displayed their skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics on Thursday as the district hosted its annual STEM fair.
District Mathematics coordinator Juanita Boneque said the fair was organized to display the students' expertise and help them develop their skills in all aspects of project-based learning.
"In the school systems, we have tried to get the students more into doing projects, learning the process and being able to appreciate and explain the end products," she said. "Today what you have here is the end product that they have researched and worked on developing."
ST. THOMAS - District Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller set restrictive bail conditions Wednesday for two men from Puerto Rico accused of being co-conspirators with DPNR Enforcement Chief Roberto Tapia in a drug trafficking organization.
Stephen Torres and Eddie Lopez-Lopez, who worked as fishermen and were taken off a red boat Saturday that federal agents had under aerial surveillance, will be allowed to return to their homes in Puerto Rico after posting $50,000 in cash or property.
ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Water and Power Authority board approved a $2.4 million, three-year contract Thursday to bring the utility into compliance with federal air emission standards.
In March, the federal government filed a complaint against WAPA for violations of the Clean Air Act, threatening to fine the utility millions of dollars.
To help address the long-standing problems, WAPA will hire Rockwell Automation to install, certify and perform maintenance and repair on an environmental reporting system for air emissions at the St. Thomas and St. Croix power plants. Rockwell also will train WAPA employees on the system, so that after the three-year contract ends, WAPA employees can operate, maintain and repair it themselves.