ST. THOMAS - A man was hospitalized Monday afternoon after he was shot while driving up Raphune Hill in Estate Thomas.
V.I. Police responded to the shooting about 2:30 p.m., according to the police blotter - a listing of calls made to emergency dispatchers and the times they were made.
The shooting and subsequent police investigation snarled traffic for about a mile in each direction - up Raphune Hill to Fort Mylner, as well as on Centerline Road and Alton Adams Sr. Drive at the bottom of Raphune Hill - as police directed traffic around what appeared to be a small pile of clothes in the middle of the roadway. No other evidence was visible to bystanders, several of whom said they had heard several gunshots at the time of the incident.
The V.I. Public Works Department, in conjunction with the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division, is holding an information session related to upcoming design-build projects in the territory, to address the procedures and requirements associated with the design-build process for federal aid projects.
The information session, for contractors interested in bidding Federal Aid Design-Build projects, is scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. March 18 at UVICELL, No. 2 John Brewers Bay on St. Thomas.
ST. CROIX - A group of 12 University of South Carolina students who are members of the USC Lutheran Campus Ministry - or Gamecock Lutherans - paint a building that is part of the PINNACLE program - Parenting Institution where Nature and Nurture Attend and Children Learn Effectively - a St. Croix non-profit for youth that is part of Lutheran Social Services.
The students, accompanied by Pastor Frank Anderson and Andrew Tucker, are spending an alternative spring break on the island to do service projects and are being hosted by Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands.
Food Pavilion winners
Farmers Market Winners
Agrifest Hat Winner
ST. THOMAS - The man who police said stabbed a St. Thomas woman and left her body in a wrecked car made his initial appearance in court on Monday.
Adisa Bertrand, 33, appeared before V.I. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay to be advised of his rights on first-degree murder and other charges. A butcher knife was among the items found in the vehicle containing the body of 24-year-old Shantee Seivewright on Friday night.
ST. THOMAS - The man accused of shooting two security guards in an attempt to rob the Kmart in Lockhart Gardens of $33,550 is now facing charges in federal court.
Richard Antonio Hodge Jr. appeared in court Monday morning to face new charges in connection with the Dec. 3 robbery that left two security guards shot, one critically at the time.
The money from the robbery still has not been found, according to court documents.
ST. CROIX - Jury selection and a trial Monday was abruptly halted by a last-minute plea deal in the V.I. Superior Court case of a Castle Burke man with an extensive history of violent crimes who was facing rape and related charges.
Neil Durant, 33, was arrested in August 2012 and charged with first-degree rape and second-degree assault in connection with an incident police said happened during the early morning hours of July 31.
ST. CROIX - An Estate Work and Rest couple are back behind bars, following their re-arrest on rape and related charges in a sexual assault reported during the early morning hours of Feb. 3.
Jeury-Jordany Bridge, 31, and his girlfriend, Glay Mejia, 24, both of Work and Rest once again appeared before Magistrate Miguel Camacho on Monday morning, to be advised of their rights on charges of first-degree rape; unlawful sexual contact; third-degree assault; kidnap for rape; grand larceny; and aggravated assault and battery.
Elwin Paul Feb. 26, 2014 March 18 Hurley-Davis
Edith Qualey Feb. 20, 2014 Friday Hurley-Davis
Leal Stridiron Sr. Feb. 22, 2014 Friday Hurley-Davis
Blondell Aubrey March 1, 2014 Pending Hurley-Davis
Delrise Berry Pending Turnbull's
Nannette Marie Bryan March 1, 2014 Pending John Thomas
Darrell Carty Feb. 17, 2014 Pending Hurley-Davis
Kenneth Christopher March 8, 2014 Pending Hurley-Davis
ST. CROIX - The Celtic Crucians will be celebrating the little bit of Irish in everyone on Saturday, as the 45th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade gets under way in downtown Christiansted.
"It's a fun day for everybody who wants to come down. It's the best day, the best parade on the island," said Lou Stefani, treasurer of the Celtic Crucians Committee, which puts on the parade. "It's one of our best traditions too."
ST. THOMAS - The legal battle going on in the territory's high court may delay a federally funded project to rehabilitate Main Street in downtown Charlotte Amalie.
The Main Street Enhancement Project is managed by the Public Works Department, which, in conjunction with the V.I. Water and Power Authority's downtown Hazard Mitigation Project, will widen and beautify Main Street from Post Office Square to the Enid Baa Library by placing above-ground power lines underground.
ST. CROIX - Contending that the territory is responding far too slowly to crisis conditions at Golden Grove prison, the U.S. Justice Department has asked the court to enforce orders for the territory to bring conditions at the prison up to constitutional standards.
Federal civil rights lawyers contend in their motion, filed last week, that prisoners are suffering serious, ongoing harm because the territory has again failed to take the steps it agreed to at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility.
St. Thomas - A teenage girl was hospitalized after she was hit by a speed boat Sunday evening at the University of Virgin Islands MacLean Marine Science Center near Brewers Beach.
The V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources is investigating the incident, which occurred at about 5:20 p.m., according to Christine Lett, spokeswoman for the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency.
The girl, 17, suffered both a broken tibia and femur, Lett said.
ST. THOMAS - Police on St. Thomas arrested a man early Saturday morning and charged him with first-degree murder after they found the unresponsive body of a St. Thomas woman in a car that had been in a one-car collision late Friday night.
Police arrested Adisa Bertrand, 34, of Chocolate Hole, St. John, about 1:30 a.m. at a bar where patrons said a man was talking about killing himself. Bertrand has been charged with first-degree murder; second-degree murder; first-degree assault; third-degree assault; and four counts of possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence in connection with the murder of 24-year-old Shantee Seivewright, police said.
ST. THOMAS - The University of the Virgin Islands board discussed Saturday how to lower the number of students who have to take basic skills courses freshman year.
The topic came up in the mid-year key indicators report, presented to the board Saturday.
Interim Provost Camille McKayle said that the mid-year report showed good progress in the university's efforts to prepare incoming students.
In the fall of the 2011-2012 school year, 85 percent of the freshmen class was enrolled in a skills course. This fall, that number dropped to 77 percent.
ST. CROIX - The wholesale price for regular gasoline inched downward today, while the wholesale rate for premium went up as HOVENSA adjusted its rack rates.
The changes will lower the rack rate - the price of fuel purchased wholesale at the HOVENSA truck-loading station on St. Croix - for regular gasoline by a penny per gallon and will raise the rack rate for premium gasoline by 7 cents per gallon. The wholesale price of diesel fuel did not change.
Services will be held today for Magarbi Matthew, of the U.S. Navy.
A tribute is set for 10:30 a.m. today at the National Park ballpark, which is across from Mongoose Junction in Cruz Bay, St. John, with the service at noon at the same location. Burial is in Cruz Bay.
He was preceded in death by a grandparent, Aurelie Matthew.
He is survived by his parents, Thomas and Karen Matthew, owners of Our Market Smoothies Shop and Hospitality Rent-a-Car in St. John; mother, Selina Ligens; sisters, Bianca Matthew, Brianna Matthew, Shekela Ligens-Wilson, Raqweda Jones; brother, Rashedi Jones; grandparents, Dorcus Griffin, Vincent Griffin, Debra Felix, Walter Levi Ligens; grand-aunts, Flora Girard, Lea Hippolyte, Clover Bankhead-Williams; grand-uncles, Henry Hippolyte, Cyril Matthew, George Scott Sr., Alfred Scott; aunts, Fabiana C. Padilla, Perpetua Delia Matthew, Bridget Griffin, Hesbon Collins, Andrita Griffin, Alisha Griffin, Dawn Moses, Cheryl Ayala Griffin, Stacy Steely, De Ann Ligens-Faulknen, Diane Benjamin; uncles, Julian P. Matthew, Dewrance R. Matthew, Reuel Griffin, Vincent Griffin Jr., Samuel Griffin, Victor F. Padilla; niece, Destiny Wilson; nephew, Ja'kobe Wilson; cousins, Teron Lindsey, Tenae Lindsey, Tenaya, Jamal Maduro, Tia Maduro, Tiana Maduro, Raven Griffin, Cameron Griffin, Geeci Collins, Marc Collins, Kenneth Collins, Abigail Matthew, Averyn Matthew, Anali Matthew, Julian Matt, Justin Matthew, Natalia Matthew, Victor M. Padilla, Isabella Griffin, Meshak Price, Natalie Griffin, George Scott Jr., Avena Benjamin, Ray Anthony Chesterfield III; childhood friends, Zaid Sewer, Chade Edwards, Gregory Edwards Jr., Herbert Frett Jr.; special friends, Maria Jackson of the Navy, Chris Scott, Romney Fraiser, Tyrell James, Aleisha Taylor, Tynisha Urquhart, Brittanni Richardson, Shauntelle Rhanes; and the SPPS Class of 2009.
Grants available for programs aiding female crime victims
The Law Enforcement Planning Commission, through the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Violence Against Women, has federal funds available for private non-profit organizations and V.I. government agencies (law enforcement, prosecution and local court) that administer programs providing direct services to female victims of violent crime, including domestic violence, sexual abuse, stalking and dating violence.
ST. THOMAS - The two new passenger ferries still are awaiting a final Coast Guard inspection before they begin to take passengers to and from Red Hook and St. John.
The vessels, named Red Hook I and Cruz Bay I, were delivered to the territory in November and were supposed to be in operation by the end of 2013.
At first, a problem with insurance policies delayed the start of operations, but now the only thing holding up the boats is the final coast guard inspection, Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said.
Millions of Americans will lose an hour's sleep tonight - but not in the Virgin Islands.
Daylight saving time begins this weekend - at 2 a.m. Sunday - and most people in the mainland U.S. will set their clocks forward one hour.
The Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Marianas and most of Arizona - excluding the Navajo Indian territories - do not observe daylight saving time.
ST. CROIX - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, again are visiting St. Croix.
Information from the White House Office of the Vice President indicates that the Bidens are visiting the territory Friday through Sunday, with no public events scheduled.
It is their second visit to the St. Croix in just more than two months. The Bidens last visited the island for a holiday vacation from Dec. 27 through Jan. 1.
The Senate Committee of the Whole met on St. Croix on Friday to hear testimony on a number of zoning requests from applicants on that island.
Stuart Smith, Zoning Division director for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, appeared on behalf of the department.
According to Smith, DPNR staff recommended that all applicants' requests be granted.
Senators said they would look favorably upon the zoning requests as an economic boost to the St. Croix District, according to a statement issued Friday by the V.I. Legislature staff.
ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Public Finance Authority approved another $1.3 million Friday to complete the last phase of the Turnbull Library project.
The $1,365,602.10 comes from the $2 million earmarked for the library in a 2012 bond issuance and will be used to purchase and install solar panels and landscape the property.
"The library has been substantially completed," Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said Friday.
ST. CROIX - It is still a mystery of what caused dozens of teachers at Central High School to sign out sick on Friday, citing illness brought on by a foul odor in the air, although officials said they could not detect anything.
V.I. Education spokeswoman Ananta Pancham said Friday that Education officials were notified of a foul odor at the school within the first few hours of classes. Several students and staff at the school complained about the smell and reported symptoms of nausea to the school's main office, Pancham said.
ST. CROIX - Two V.I. Police Department sergeants were taken into custody early Thursday morning on charges that they, along with another woman, embezzled more than $17,000 from a police supervisors union's bank account.
Sgt. Lesley Hatchett, 48, of Work and Rest; Sgt. Freddie Ortiz, 43, of Constitution Hill; and Hatchett's daughter, Elisa Carmona, 26, of Estate Sion Farm all appeared before Magistrate Jessica Gallivan on Friday morning, after turning themselves in to police upon learning a warrant had been issued for their arrest.
ST. THOMAS - Though his crew is small, the territory's new chief federal public defender has big plans for his office.
Omodare Jupiter, 49, has been in the Virgin Islands for more than three months, though it was only late last month that he was sworn in at the federal court on St. Thomas.
Jupiter, who had only visited the territory a handful of times before moving here in December, always knew that he liked the idea of living in the Caribbean.
ST. THOMAS - Manav Thadani had never been so ecstatic to hear the word "commensurate."
"I knew it," said the 13-year-old eighth-grader from Antilles School, who became a two-time, consecutive territorial champion on Friday at Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School on St. Thomas and will represent the Virgin Islands in the National Spelling Bee at the end of May in Washington, D.C.
Manav was shaking at the microphone, and uttered a quiet but joyful "yes," when he heard the familiar four-syllable winning word.
ST. THOMAS - According to court documents, V.I. Police officers let a high-ranking government official go home after she caused a collision Tuesday night near Frenchtown on St. Thomas and fled the scene of the accident while heavily intoxicated.
After initially saying Wednesday that information was unavailable about what transpired, police on Thursday gave little explanation why they did not jail Property and Procurement Commissioner Lynn Millin Maduro after an officer determined that she ran a red light and then hit another vehicle on Veterans Drive near the Frenchtown post office about 6 p.m. Tuesday.
ST. THOMAS - The territory's water quality standards are changing, becoming a little tougher and more expansive.
In a public hearing Thursday on St. Thomas, Anita Nibbs, environmental program manager for the water quality management program at the Department of Planning and Natural Resources' Division of Environmental Protection, went through the proposed changes.
Water quality standards in the territory are reviewed - and revised if needed - every three years. The standards are required as part of the federal Clean Water Act.
ST. CROIX - Just more than a month since 34-year-old Wellington Pennyfeather was gunned down in the streets of Fredriksted, one of the men police believe is responsible for his death made his initial appearance in court Thursday, charged with murder and myriad other counts.
Ronald "Indu" Bogan, 19, of William's Delight was arrested and extradited from Puerto Rico on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, Bogan appeared before V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks and was advised of his rights on charges of first-degree murder; first-degree assault; third-degree assault; unauthorized possession of a firearm; carrying a dangerous weapon during the commission of a violent crime; failure to report a firearm brought into the territory; possession of ammunition; first-degree reckless endangerment; and unauthorized possession of a firearm within 100 feet of a school, namely the St. Patrick's School.
ST. CROIX - Two of St. Croix's budding culinary artists say they are living the experience of a lifetime, as they wrap up a two-week internship at Facebook's headquarters in Silicon Valley, Calif.
Denika Boyd, 20, and Aaron Tutein, 21, have spent the last two weeks teamed with chefs in the company's corporate headquarters.
Tonight, they will get to try their wings, applying what they've learned so far as they implement a Caribbean happy hour menu they developed and created, which will be served to Facebook staffers at one of the eateries there. They are scheduled to return to the territory this weekend.
ST. CROIX - Police said Thursday that a homeless man arrested Monday after police said they found him driving a stolen minivan has now been charged in connection with a rash of burglaries at Christiansted businesses in the last two weeks.
Frank Coleman, 46, was arrested and charged in connection with several burglaries, including break-ins at Subway and McDonald's restaurants in Golden Rock and at the Purple Papaya on Strand Street in Christiansted.
ST. CROIX - Two men, one a resident of St. Croix and another from Jamaica, will make their second court appearance in Magistrate Court on Puerto Rico this afternoon. Both men were arrested by agents of a joint federal agency task force that seized a go-fast vessel and 30 bales of marijuana valued at $1.8 million during an at-sea interdiction.
Nazeem Javed Omarr Forde, of St. Croix, and Ezra Powell, a Jamaican national, made their initial court appearance before Federal Magistrate Judge Camille Velez-Rive on Puerto Rico on Monday. They were advised of their rights on charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana onboard a vessel and aiding and abetting each other in failure to stop for law enforcement.
ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Water and Power Authority's project to use propane to make electricity now has received two thumbs up.
WAPA received its first go-ahead on a major permit from the St. Croix District's Coastal Zone Management Committee on Tuesday night, and its second go-ahead from the St. Thomas District's CZM Committee on Wednesday night.
"This is another big step in the process," WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. said Wednesday evening after the brief committee vote.
ST. THOMAS - The Wednesday sentencing of Roberto Tapia, the former chief of Enforcement for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources who pleaded guilty to running a drug ring, was delayed once again.
Tapia now is scheduled to be sentenced alongside Angelo Hill, a former V.I. Police sergeant, at 9:30 a.m. on April 17.
Tapia, the first to be arrested among the defendants, was caught in Red Hook by federal agents carrying 7.72 kilos of cocaine in a backpack on May 17.
ST. CROIX - Motorists on St. Croix may have gotten sticker shock on Monday when they rolled into their favorite gas stations to fill up.
The retail price of gasoline, which at most stations had stayed steady in the $3.97 to $3.99 per gallon range for some time, had skyrocketed at some stations by 30 cents or more in less than 24 hours.
By Monday evening, many - if not most - stations across the island had raised their retail prices to $4.29 per gallon for regular gasoline. The price for premium had also shot up.
ST. THOMAS - V.I. Property and Procurement Commissioner Lynn Millin-Maduro left the scene of a car accident that she caused Tuesday evening, according to government officials.
No injuries were reported, and it is unclear whether V.I. Police officers gave Millin-Maduro a sobriety test.
Millin-Maduro was driving her own vehicle about 6 p.m. Tuesday when she hit another vehicle while going through the Frenchtown intersection near the Arturo Watlington Sr. Post Office, Government House spokesman Jean Greaux Jr. said Wednesday.
ST. THOMAS - A private company will conduct a feasibility study at its own expense to see whether the territory can sustain a power plant that uses the temperature fluctuations of the ocean to generate energy.
The Senate and Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday for the company to conduct a study to evaluate the feasibility of installing ocean thermal power plants and seawater air conditioning facilities in the territory.
ST. CROIX - When the St. Croix Board of Elections met in its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, discussion was rife with explosive arguments that ultimately resulted in board member Lisa Moorhead walking out of the meeting and breaking the quorum.
Discussion arose with an agenda item about a candidate questionnaire and candidate information sheet that was developed primarily by Deputy Supervisor Genevieve Whitaker and presented to the board for approval Wednesday.
ST. THOMAS - The Senate Committee of the Whole met Wednesday to consider multiple zoning change and use variance proposals, including one to allow the V.I. Housing Authority to build a senior living facility in Sugar Estate on St. Thomas.
The Housing Authority purchased the land on the hillside above the Island Periodicals building and east of the Foothills Medical Building in 2012 from Lockhart Realty for about $1.3 million.
ST. THOMAS - A St. Thomas man is facing up to life in prison after a federal jury found him guilty of child pornography production and coercion and enticement of a minor.
After a two-day trial, Tony Jefferson Browne, 31, of Estate Lovenlund, was convicted Tuesday night of four counts of producing child pornography, one count of coercing and enticing a minor, four counts of receiving of child pornography and three counts of transferring obscene material to a minor, U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Joycelyn Hewlett said Wednesday.
ST. CROIX - The St. Croix Coastal Zone Management Committee on Tuesday approved a major CZM permit, with some conditions, for the construction of facilities that will enable the V.I. Water and Power Authority to convert to using propane to fuel operations.
The conversion to propane, once completed, is expected to save ratepayers about 30 percent.
After Tuesday's vote, WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. thanked the committee. WAPA officials said they intend to start construction as soon as possible.
ST. THOMAS - Felisa Wiley, a 19-year-old model from St. Thomas, is competing on season two of "The Face," premiering tonight on the Oxygen Network.
Wiley was chosen out of hundreds of applicants to compete as one of 12 aspiring models seeking to represent Frédéric Fekkai, a hair care line.
Wiley, a graduate of Antilles School, has been modeling for about four years, on breaks from school.
"School is the number one priority," she said.
ST. THOMAS - Police are investigating an armed robbery at El Tipico Bar and Restaurant in Contant this weekend.
Witnesses said two men, at least one carrying a handgun, threatened those at the hole-in-the-wall restaurant just before midnight Saturday and took about $500 in cash, as well as two ladies handbags.
According to V.I. Police Department spokeswoman Melody Rames, witnesses told police that one of the men entered the establishment through the kitchen door, and the second man may have entered through the front door.
ST. THOMAS - V.I. Police arrested a man after he pushed an officer and threatened to kill patrons at Hull Bay Hideaway on St. Thomas, according to police.
Police arrested Phillip Johnson, 35, of Lindbergh Bay at 3:30 p.m. Monday and charged him with aggravated assault and battery, along with disturbing the peace and resisting arrest, according to V.I. Police Department spokeswoman Melody Rames.
Employees at Hull Bay Hideaway called police and complained that he was intoxicated and harassing customers.
ST. CROIX - Post-conviction motions have been filed for the two people convicted for killing Police Cpl. Wendell Williams in June 2001.
Jose Ventura and Jose Rivera Jr. were both convicted on Feb. 6 of a single charge of first-degree murder following a day and a half of deliberations by a V.I. Superior Court jury.
Their attorneys have now filed motions asking the court for dismissals in the case, while Assistant Attorney General Joseph Ponteen has stepped in for the sole prosecutor in the case, Kip Roberson, who took leave from his duties shortly after the trial concluded.
ST. CROIX - Police have arrested a 46-year-old man and recovered the stolen minivan he was driving Monday afternoon.
Stephen Coleman, of no fixed address was arrested just before 7 p.m. Monday and was advised of his rights Tuesday morning on the charges of possession of stolen property, unauthorized use of a vehicle and operating a vehicle without a valid driver's license.
According to the affidavit filed by Police Officer Rolando Huertas, a couple reported their 2002 silver Honda Odyssey minivan was stolen last Thursday.
ST. CROIX - The mastermind of a drug ring that was broken up by police in March 2010 has been sentenced in District Court.
Stephen Garvey was sentenced by Senior Sitting District Judge Raymond Finch last week to almost four years in federal prison for his role in the distribution ring. Garvey was charged along with Malik Garvey, Orlando Carino, Christopher Jacobs, Daren Henry, David Roldan, Alphonso Garvey and Edwardo Gomez. The men faced charges of conspiracy to possess and distribute a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, carrying a firearm in relations to a crime of violence and using a telecommunication facility to further drug operations.