ST. THOMAS - Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty had some good news about increased airlift to the territory, including that Delta Air Lines has decided to return to St. Croix next season with a regular weekly flight.
"They reconfirmed with us that they would be returning the flight to St. Croix for the winter 2015-2016 season," she said.
The V.I. government had taken a big risk last year, entering into a special agreement with Delta Air Lines to put up cash if the flight lost money over a six-month period.
ST. THOMAS - A spokeswoman for American Airlines said flights leaving St. Thomas may be facing weather delays, slowdowns and the chance of being diverted due to high travel volume in the near future.
The comments came after flight 808 of the combined American Airlines-U.S. Airways left St. Thomas on Wednesday afternoon but almost immediately was diverted to Puerto Rico for refueling.
"This is a short-term issue. It has to do with weather in route and weather at the final destination," said Victoria Lupica, an American Airlines spokeswoman in Philadelphia. "They're very well aware of it. It's air traffic and weather," causing the aircraft to have to divert.
A car barge collided with a charter vessel just off Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda early Thursday morning, although details still are sketchy.
Royal Virgin Islands Police Force spokeswoman Diane Drayton said the barge ran into the passenger vessel Talofa and the accident is under investigation.
"Six passengers and two crew members were on board the vessel. No injuries were reported on either vessel. Police are presently investigating the cause of the collision," Drayton said.
In a regular meeting Thursday, the V.I. Water and Power Authority board approved a couple of contracts that will give their staff critical safety training on the propane gas turbines and get the utility on a better maintenance schedule.
The board approved a $462,000 contract to implement a safety-based training program for employees and visitors at the WAPA power plants on St. Croix and St. Thomas ahead of the switch from oil-fired generators to those that burn propane.
ST. THOMAS - The spoils from the East Gregerie Channel dredging project will be used to extend the cruise ship pier at the Monsanto Marine Terminal in Crown Bay.
The V.I. Port Authority project to dredge the channel and the area near the cruise ship pier began in March, almost a year after the authority wanted to begin.
The dredging was held up for months while the Port Authority waited for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to grant the final permit required to start.
ST. THOMAS - In a rancorous public hearing Thursday night at the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, zoning consultant Brian Turnbull made the case that the government should allow his client to construct a tourist shop next to the Mafolie Hotel at the edge of the hill overlooking Charlotte Amalie.
St. Thomas property owner Lionel Warrell wants to construct a food and retail shop on a piece of residential land overlooking Charlotte Amalie, near where safari taxi drivers park, frequently blocking the road, to let tourists take pictures.