TORTOLA - Just more than an hour after a small band of residents - including BVI Director of Culture Luce Hodge-Smith and Miss BVI 2014 Janeyne Jno Baptiste - entered the Patsy Lake Festiville to complete a torchlight procession from lower Road Town, the official opening ceremony got under way at 10:07 p.m. Monday, opening the 2015 BVI August Festival activities.
It was by far the latest start to the opening of the activities in the 61-year history of the event.
ST. THOMAS - The lieutenant governor has voided the sale of 153 parcels of property that were auctioned off during 12 different property tax auctions in 2012 and 2013.
The auctions and subsequent sales were the focus of a September 2014 V.I. Inspector General's report that has resulted in a criminal investigation into "allegations of questionable bidding practices and a lack of compliance with statutory regulations governing real property auctions conducted by the Lieutenant Governor's Office."
ST. THOMAS - V.I. Education Department officials announced the closing of another St. Croix school during Monday's second annual Legislative Youth Advisory Council meeting at Ottley Legislative Hall.
Charles H. Emanuel Elementary School is being shuttered for the 2015-2016 school year alongside Evelyn Williams Elementary School and Elena Christian Junior High School because of "necessary maintenance not addressed due to lack of funding, which has erupted into critical challenges," said Education Department Chief of Staff Wynant Watty-Benjamin.
ST. THOMAS - Island youth demanded a better education and more opportunities to thrive Monday morning during the second annual Legislative Youth Advisory Council meeting at Ottley Legislative Hall.
"We don't have enough teachers," said Christopher Jamil, a rising senior at Charlotte Amalie High School. "We are living in a society where people no longer want to become a teacher because of the salary they are paid."
ST. THOMAS - As the territory waited for Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter to return to the islands and co-sign the executive order regarding same-sex marriage, a St. Thomas couple decided they had waited long enough.
Rick Weinstein and Tom Eggleston, retirees living in Mahogany Run, tied the knot on July 8 in a private wedding ceremony at Pretty Klip Point. Officiated by Stuart Scott, the two men were the first same-sex marriage in the territory after the ground-breaking ruling in June by the U.S. Supreme Court.
ST. THOMAS - Contrary to V. I. Education Department Chief of Staff Wynant Watty-Benjamin's spoken and written testimony delivered Monday at Ottley Legislative Hall, a third St. Croix school will not be closing.
The department clarified its restructuring plans Tuesday afternoon.
"The Charles H. Emanuel School building will not be closed for repairs during the 2015-16 school year," according to the department. "Elena Christian Jr. High and Evelyn M. Williams Elementary will be closed during the 2015-16 school year to repair longstanding structural and environmental issues."