Luis board follows up Senate's demands follow Legislature

ST. CROIX - The Luis Hospital board on Wednesday night authorized a separate bank account for public funds earmarked to implement the hospital's Systems Improvement Agreement with federal regulators.

The bank account is a condition attached to an unfunded $7 million appropriation the 31st Legislature approved earlier this month.

Senators approved the appropriation as part of a Hospital Rescue Bill, which also contained a $3.4 million appropriation for Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.

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Luis told to set up account solely for GERS payments

ST. CROIX - The Luis Hospital board on Wednesday authorized a separate bank account to make deposits intended for the Government Employees Retirement System, with the funds designated for that sole purpose.

Under the resolution the board passed, the hospital's chief financial officer also must provide a monthly accounting to the board of the reserve funds paid to the retirement system.

The resolution makes it clear that the account is only for deposits of "current" payments to GERS.

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Timing of latest Estate Longford brush fire is 'suspicious'

ST. CROIX - Firefighters battled brush fires along the island's South Shore for the second night in a row on Wednesday - fires that officials suspect may have been deliberately set.

The first fire started Tuesday night in the Estate Longford area and rekindled Wednesday during the afternoon. That fire claimed approximately 135 acres and was connected to the deaths of two animals, according to St. Croix Fire Chief Larry Johnson. It sent plumes of smoke into the air that could be seen for miles.

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Expert: Schneider missing out on $1 million a month

ST. THOMAS - Schneider Hospital Chief Financial Officer Fred Vitello told board members Wednesday that the hospital could be leaving as much as $1 million in uncollected revenue on the table every month.

The finding came out of a preliminary report from Kreg Information Systems, a consultant that just wrapped up a 10-day site visit and analysis.

Vitello said he had been concerned for some time about the revenue collections consultant the hospital had in place. Last year, the hospital entered into a contract worth approximately $300,000 with The Advisory Board Company to help the institution tighten up collections and processes to bring in more revenue.

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DLCA investigating sale of rotten produce

The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs is investigating recent reports of a St. Croix grocery store selling rotten produce.

DLCA Commissioner designee Devin Carrington said the department is looking into allegations that Cost-U-Less on St. Croix had many items in their produce section that were rotting but had not been removed from the shelves.

While the V.I. Code gives the Health Department jurisdiction over food quality and safety, DLCA can look into matters that impact consumers.

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Jamaica Kincaid, Tiphanie Yanique to headline V.I. Literary Festival

Local and international Caribbean literature will be celebrated at the inaugural Virgin Islands Literary Festival and Book Fair, which begins today and runs through Sunday at the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Croix.

Among the notable authors attending are acclaimed Caribbean writer Jamaica Kincaid, a native of Antigua, and Virgin Islander Tiphanie Yanique, the winner of the 2014 Flaherty-Duncan First Novel Prize for her book "Land of Love and Drowning," which chronicles the saga of a St. Thomas family through three generations.

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Family recovering after poisoning on St. John

The family of four that was poisoned while vacationing on St. John is now receiving medical treatment in the states, and a family spokesman said their conditions are critical but stable and improving.

While the investigation into the chemical that caused the poisoning is ongoing, it seems to have originated with a pesticide used by Terminix in the same building where the family was staying at Sirenusa Condominium Resort in Cruz Bay.

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Griffith gives his take on Luis' GERS debt

ST. CROIX - Officials from the Government Employees Retirement System and Luis Hospital met on Tuesday as the entities try to come to an agreement for the hospital to pay back the retirement system millions of dollars that it owes in employee and employer contributions.

GERS Administrator Austin Nibbs said that on Tuesday, he met with Luis assistant chief financial officer Michael Younger and the hospital's attorney, Richard Evangelista.

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$1M bail set for man held in St. Croix cemetery murder

ST. CROIX - A Superior Court judge on Tuesday set a $1 million cash bail for a man accused of murdering 79-year-old Egbert Thomas Jr. in the Christiansted Cemetery on Sunday morning as Thomas was visiting his wife's grave.

V.I. Superior Court Judge Douglas Brady advised Major Lee Womack, 25, of his rights on robbery and first-degree murder charges on Tuesday, while Thomas' family members watched.

Thomas' son, Egbert Thomas III, said after the hearing that his father faithfully visited the cemetery every Sunday, carefully tending to the graves of his wife and other family members.

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Leonard Garfield Hodge Sr.

We announce the passing of Leonard Garfield Hodge Sr., better known as Hodgie or Lenny, who died March 5, 2015, at the age of 74.

He is survived by his wife, Sandra Hodge; daughters, Letitia, Denisha, Natisha, Makeda and Ayanna Hodge; sons, Arnold, Noel, Leonard Hodge Jr., Benjamin, Keshawn and Simon Hodge; stepson, Darius Smith; grandchildren, Am'Ijah, Janelle, Taja, Nia and Khendi; sisters, Marjorie Hodge Anderson, Judith A. Hodge and Georgia Hodge; brother, Leroy Hodge; nieces, Tisha, Jaclyn, Chareen, Joy, Jestina, Alice, Muriel and Velma; nephews, Yves, Devry, Bryan, Steven, David Jr., Daniel, Anthony, Eric, Julio, Hawthorne and Dean; mother-in-law, Eldrina Williams; sister-in-law, Vanessa Blake; and other relatives and friends too numerous to mention.

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Jamien Antoine Harley

We announce the passing of Jamien Antoine Harley, who died March 9, 2015, at the age of 30 at his home on St. John.

His memory lives on in his parents, Julien and Patrice Harley; siblings, Ali Harley, Julice Harley, and her best friend, Melville Holder, and Jaurel Harley; sister-in-law, Sabrina Harley; great-aunts and uncles, Leona Bryant, Angel Wheatley, Jean Ebbesen, Grace and Ken Haagenson, Elsa O'Bryan and Inex Hart; aunts and uncles, Joyce and Samuel Peters, Jeannette and Leif Johnson, Anne Harley, Hilda Harley, Victor Ebbesen Jr. and Yvonne Heaggans; first cousins, Jennelle Johnson, Monai Johnson, Leif Johnson Jr., Akquami Jarvis, Wellington Philpot Jr., Glenda Williams, Gerrisse Horne, Geron Horne, Cynthia McNeil, Carla Maynard, Antonio Pickering Jr., Kent Frazer, Denise, Raphael Edwards, Rudolph Harley, Gerry Simon and Dwayne Harley; nieces, Calia Harley, Jordyn Powell, Alina Harley; great-nieces, Seniah; and godparents, Regenia and Alexander Williams and Shahla Sewer-Dowe.

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St. Thomas Theodore Bernier March 20, 2015 Friday Hurley Donald A. Blyden March 21, 2015 Monday Hurley

James Allen Blyden March 17, 2015 April 7 Hurley Lennard Louis Brookes Thursday Turnbull's Andrew Bryan March 21, 2015 Thursday Hurley

Alvin Gomez Jr. March 12, 2015 April 1 Hurley Alecia Harrigan-Gumbs March 7, 2015 Saturday Turnbull's

Ena Chesterfield Guzman March 21, 2015 April 1 Hurley

Norman Joseph Hazel March 18, 2015 Monday Turnbull's

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Andrew W. Bryan

Andrew W. Bryan died March 21, 2015, at the age of 55.

He is survived by his sisters, Maria Bryan and Irene Csanyi; brothers, Cyril and Alvin Ledee and Gary Bryan; aunts, Marie and Christine Bryan; uncle, Raymond Questel; nieces, Evelyn Bryan, Maureen Turbe', Bernice Ledee, Sarina Csanyi, Samatha Csanyi, and Teagan Bryan; nephews, Mario, Alan, and Kevin Bryan, and Alvin Ledee Jr.; eight great-nieces; five-great nephews; special friends, Penny Walsh, Leayle Bryan; and other relatives and friends too numerous to mention.

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Alecia Elaine Harrigan-Gumbs

Alecia Elaine Harrigan-Gumbs, formerly of the Quarter, who resided in St. Thomas, died in New York on March 7, 2015.

She was the daughter of the late Flossie Gumbs and Herman Harrigan.

She is survived by her daughter, Karen Gumbs; sisters, Pearl Richardson-Gumbs, Stephanie Thomas, and Erva Vanterpool; brothers, Caswall and Phillip Harrigan, Desmond Gumbs, Melvin Yates, Roy and Cecil Thomas; aunts, Tresilia Richardson, Adora Thomas, Adilina, Harriet and Veronica Gumbs, Venita Adams and Doreen Carty; uncles, Stanley, Manchester, Calvin, Walwyn, and Austin Gumbs, James, Albert, Joseph, Phillip and Sam Carty.

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Woman rams man's car in reverse

ST. CROIX - A woman accused of deliberately ramming her vehicle into a vehicle driven by her child's father in Sunny Isle after seeing him driving with another woman was advised of her rights Tuesday morning.

During an advice-of-rights hearing for 29-year-old Carmiesia Straker, Magistrate Judge Miguel Camacho on Tuesday morning found probable cause for her arrest on charges of first-degree reckless endangerment-domestic violence; third-degree assault; and destruction of property-domestic violence.

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A St. Croix man was arrested Tuesday in connection with a federal warrant charging him with a number of gun crimes.

Gregory Williams Jr. 23, made his initial appearance in District Court before Magistrate Judge George Cannon and was charged with illegal receipt of firearms; possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number; and unauthorized possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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Expect tsunami sirens today

As part of a Caribbean region tsunami exercise, VITEMA will activate and test the tsunami sirens territorywide at 10 a.m. today.

The exercise simulates an 8.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Panama that generates a tsunami and a widespread tsunami warning.

The V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency has notified the West Indian Co. Ltd. and the V.I. Port Authority to alert cruise ships about today's test, according to VITEMA spokeswoman Christine Lett.

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Norman Joseph Hazel

Services will be held on Monday, March 30, for Norman Joseph Hazel, 43, of Nadir, who passed away on March 18.

The viewing will take place at 9 a.m. at Turnbull's Funeral Home, and the service will be held at 10 a.m. at Turnbull's Funeral Home.

The body will be cremated.

He is survived by his father, Joseph Nathaniel Hazel Sr.; his sisters, Lt. Rosalyn Jarvis and Shareefa Hedrington; his brothers, Joseph, Justin and Paul Hazel; his daughters, Norkia and N'Kayla Hazel; his aunts, Maria Petersen and Joyce Jackson; his uncles, Hugo Petersen, Alfredo Dawson and Floyd Hedrington; and other family and friends too numerous to mention.

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Lennard Louis Brookes

A funeral service will be held Thursday for Lennard Louis Brookes.

The first viewing is from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Turnbull's Funeral Home. The second viewing is from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Deeper Life Christian Ministries Church in Contant, with the service at 6 p.m. at the same location.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Brookes; daughters, Chantel Powell and Akeem Williams; sons, Lennard Brookes and Yannick Brookes; daughter-in-law, Diane Brookes; sisters, Margaret Springettte, Sharon Brookes, Yasmine Clarke; brothers, Stephen Springette, Kevin Moore, Jason Moore, Darren Brookes; aunts, Helen Brookes Bradley, Bernice Herbert, Helen Springette; uncle, Kenneth Pencheon; nephews, Gavin Campbell, Jordan Campbell, Shawn Springette, Nathan Moore, Tyler Martin; nieces, Jasmine Springette, Cherelle Moore; cousins, Bernadette Walker, Yvette Taylor, Patricia Williams, Clive Williams, Maurice Williams, Donald Williams, Sheila Springette, Randah Springette, Deloris Brown, Cheryl Flemming, John Brown, Keith Brown, Dwight Springette and Earl Springette; and other special family and friends, Ileta Hanley, Cuthwyn Jones, Sharmane Brookes, and his Innovative family.

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Donald Almando Blyden

We announce the passing of Donald Almando Blyden, who died March 21, 2015, at his residence.

He is survived by his brothers, Vernon and Melvin Blyden; sisters, Beryl Hurdle, Linia Blyden Gomez, Muriel Blyden Lewis and Mary Blyden Hastings; daughter, Cora Blyden Lindquist; son, Brian Blyden; son-in-law, Reginald Lindquist; grandchildren, Malik Blyden, Elijah Blyden and Briana Blyden; ex-wife, Laurel Tyson; uncles, Edward, David and Rufus Dawson; sister-in-law, Mildred Blyden; brothers-in-law, Arthur Hastings and Riel Gomez; nieces, Beverly Wanner, Bianca Wanner-Bell, Ena Hurdle, Verna Gomez Bonelli, Dericka Gomez Page, Trina

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ST. CROIX - A jury on Tuesday found two local men guilty of first-degree murder for the May 2012 slaying of Gilbert Hendricks Jr. near Gold Coast Cabinets and Food Town Supermarket on North Side Road in La Grande Princesse.

The seven-man, five-woman jury in U.S. District Court returned guilty verdicts against Elvin Wrensford and Craig Muller late Tuesday afternoon, after a full day of deliberations.

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Family hospitalized for chemical poisoning

ST. THOMAS - A vacation to St. John turned into a nightmare when a Delaware family of four were poisoned by an unknown chemical.

The family is in the process of being flown to the states for medical treatment. All of them are in critical but stable condition, according to local hospital officials.

The Environmental Protection Agency is working with the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources to investigate the details of how the family was poisoned and what the chemical was that made them so ill.

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Construction boss sentenced in Willis bribery, extortion case

ST. THOMAS - Gerard Castor, president of Balbo Construction, was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison term, a $10,000 fine and 200 community service hours for tax evasion.

He also presented to the court Monday a check for $100,000 that will be turned over to the Internal Revenue Bureau.

Castor was charged with one count of conspiracy to evade or defeat taxes, one count of willful failure to collect or pay over tax and one count of fraud and providing false statements.

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St. Croix cemetery squatter charged in slaying of man visiting wife's grave

ST. CROIX - Police on Monday arrested Major Lee Womack, 25, on first-degree murder and robbery charges, stemming from the slaying of an elderly man at a cemetery on Sunday.

Womack is accused of attacking and killing 79-year-old Egbert Thomas Sr. of Anna's Hope at the Christiansted Cemetery - where police say Thomas had gone to visit the grave of his deceased wife on Sunday morning. In a press release issued Sunday, the V.I. Police Department described Womack, who was not named at that point, as "homeless and mentally ill."

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PFA board approves $300,000 police study

ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Public Finance Authority board approved $300,000 for a police study at Monday's regular board meeting and expanded the size of the V.I. Next Generation Network board to add more appointed members.

The $300,000 police study contract is to T&M Protection Resources LLC, consultants who will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the existing law enforcement agency. The consultants will look at a wide range of functions within the V.I. Police Department, including personnel matters, organizational structure and management, use of technology and crime reduction strategies. They also will assess the department's equipment, facilities and fleet.

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DeJongh hasn't paid tab for security - but vows he will

ST. THOMAS - Three months after leaving office, former Gov. John deJongh Jr. has not yet repaid any of the public money used to install security improvements to his private residence in Estate Mafolie on St. Thomas.

DeJongh told The Daily News on Monday that there have been no new developments in the matter, but he still is committed to repaying the money.

"We submitted something, and we'll do just what we said we would do," he said.

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Jury weighing evidence in 2012 St. Croix slaying

ST. CROIX - Wrapping up a two-week trial in U.S. District Court, attorneys on Monday presented closing arguments in the murder trial of Elvin Wrensford and Craig Muller.

Wrensford and Muller are facing first-degree murder and various weapons charges in connection with the May 2012 slaying of Gilbert Hendricks Jr., 32, near Gold Coast Cabinets and Food Town Supermarket on North Side Road in La Grande Princesse.

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Celebration to honor St. Croix culture bearer

ST. CROIX - Officials will mark the revitalization of a Frederiksted institution on Friday with a posthumous celebration in honor of the 100th birthday of educator, culture bearer and storyteller Delta Dorsch.

Friday's celebration will mark the refurbishment of the Frederick Dorsch Cultural Activities Center in Frederiksted town. Frederick Dorsch was Delta Dorsch's husband. Delta Dorsch died in 2011 at the age of 95.

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Homeless, mentally ill man held in deadly cemetery attack

A homeless, mentally ill man was taken into custody Sunday morning in connection with an attack and assault that killed a man at Christiansted Public Cemetery.

A prepared statement the V.I. Police Department released Sunday afternoon identified the dead man as Egbert Thomas Sr. It did not provide Thomas' age or say how he was assaulted.

It provided few details on the homicide.

According to the statement, at 9 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to a call of an assault in the cemetery.

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ST. CROIX - The wholesale price of gasoline at HOVENSA today took a major plunge, as the company seeks to draw enough interest from local gas station operators to sell off its remaining inventory.

It is not clear whether the lower rates will translate into lower prices at the pumps for local motorists, though - or how long it will be until the cheap fuel runs out.

Under the adjustments that the company made today, the wholesale price of regular gasoline dropped by 72 cents per gallon and the wholesale price of premium gasoline dropped by a dollar. The wholesale price of diesel fuel did not change.

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ST. THOMAS - The U.S. Coast Guard has put out preliminary guidelines for uninspected vessels carrying up to 12 passengers operating in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In December, President Barack Obama signed a wide-ranging Coast Guard bill into law. The comprehensive federal legislation contained one small provision that only affects the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The measure would allow commercial vessels, like term charter boats, carrying up to 12 passengers to be exempt from having to pass stringent U.S. Coast Guard inspections. Instead, the vessels would have to meet inspection standards currently in place in the British Virgin Islands.

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ST. CROIX - They aim to touch the sky.

And come Monday, some members of the Elena Christian Junior High School Rocketry Club may feel like they're there.

Five members of the club are leaving today for Washington, D.C., where they will join other winners from science, technology, engineering and math competitions across the nation to present during the fifth annual White House Science Fair. The local students will be showcasing the rockets they've built for President Barack Obama.

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House engulfed by late-night fire

ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Fire Service put out a house fire in Frenchman's Bay late Thursday night.

A call about a structural fire came in at about 10:24 p.m. Thursday, according to St. Thomas Fire Chief Oral Wheatley.

Two trucks with firefighters responded from Lima Company, the fire station in Tutu.

Firefighters arrived at 10:27 p.m. and found a two-story home engulfed in flames, Wheatley said.

Additional firefighters and apparatus were dispatched from Hotel Company, the station in Fort Christian, to assist.

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The V.I. Elections System state plan will be available for public review and comment until the end of March.

The plan, which is required by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, is the second revision for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Copies of the plan will be available online at and at the following locations: the three Election System offices; the territory's four public libraries; both Veteran Affairs offices; at both University of the Virgin Islands libraries; and on Water Island.

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The Department of Planning and Natural Resources' weekly water quality analysis has found Frederiksted Beach on St. Croix is unsafe for swimming or fishing.

DPNR performed water quality analysis at 32 designated beaches throughout the territory during the week of March 16 to 20.

For more information, call the Division of Environmental Protection at 773-1082.

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Lack of quorum kept Luis board from fixing GERS issue

ST. THOMAS - A day after the Government Employees' Retirement System board voted to collect the approximately $5 million in unpaid contributions from Luis Hospital by "all steps necessary," hospital officials still are silent on the matter.

GERS board members have also requested a criminal investigation into possible embezzlement charges against the hospital.

A Daily News report revealed that the financially strapped hospital handed out more than $1 million in raises and $600,000 in retro pay in the last 16 months.

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123 V.I. government retirees still in limbo as to when they will be paid

ST. THOMAS - The Government Employees' Retirement System has yet to begin paying annuities for 123 retirees who retired at the end of 2014, but money is not the only issue.

GERS Administrator Austin Nibbs said about 75 percent of those still waiting to get their first pension checks do not have their paperwork in order.

"For those that retired in December, it may be a while, because we are still waiting for their final NOPAs," Nibbs said.

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Beryl Fahie

Services will be held Monday, March 23, for Beryl Fahie, who died March 6, 2015.

The first viewing will be Sunday, March 22, 2015, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Turnbull's Funeral Home. The second will be Monday, March 23, 2015, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Wesley Methodist Church, with the funeral service at 11. Interment will follow at Western Cemetery No. 2.

Beryl is survived by her husband, Ebenezer Fahie; sons, Bercheal Fahie, Vern Fahie, Ethien Fahie; stepsons, Elroy Fahie, Prince Fahie, Clifton Fahie, Bernard Fahie, Joel Fahie; daughters, Erminie Fahie, Elma Fahie; stepdaughter, Jemmel Fahie; daughters-in-law, Judith Fahie, Juliet Fahie, Pauline Fahie; aunt, Anesta Capo (Nessie); brothers, Basil Blyden, Rudolph Blyden, Darwin Blyden, Elmo Blyden (New York), Percy Fahie, Boysie Fahie, Alice Fahie; sisters, Mera Lettsome, Una Scattlife (Tortola), Estelle Whealty (Virgin Gorda); grandchildren, Danita Fahie, Kyle Fahie, Nathon and Brandon Fahie, Je'Vaughn and Kyriah Fahie, Shenika, Shermaine and Shakieme Freeman, Loron Henley, Montell Fahie; great-grandchildren, Brooke and Analya Fahie, Reign and Romauni Fleming; brothers-in-law, Glaston, Kiplin, and Odean Fahie; sisters-in-law, Glady Fahie, Ina Blyden, Rose Hedrington, Thelma Blyden, Janet Blyden, Lynette Fahie, Delita Blyden, Mildred Smith, Alfred Phillips; nieces, nephews; and friends and family too numerous to mention.

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The Island Green Living Association has partnered with the St. John Community Foundation to raise funds to purchase an aluminum can crusher.

The can crusher uses 59,000 pounds of compaction force to crush 600 cans at a time and provides a first step in recycling St. John's waste.

In honor of Earth Day, a resident of St. John has pledged $20,000 in matching donations made by April 24 toward preserving St. John, starting with the can crusher. If the $20,000 goal is reached by April 3, the donor will give an additional $5,000.

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ST. CROIX - A brush fire Friday afternoon on Lowry Hill on the island's East End, south of Tide Village, burned an estimated 40 acres, according to a Fire Service official.

The blaze - in a spot where there seems to be a brush fire every year - was reported to emergency dispatchers at 2:19 p.m. Friday.

Flames whipped along the top of a ridge, sending smoke pluming high into the sky.

The fire also was burning lower in that area, down at the bottom of the hill near the road, where the haze and smoke and some flying ash affected visibility for motorists.

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ST. THOMAS - Public Works Commissioner designee Gustav James made good on his word to fix Coki Point Road this week.

The pitted road that has been covered with water for months is now dry, and crews are patching the worst of the crater-like potholes as a temporary fix.

The Public Works Department also has a plan under way for a more permanent solution to the road, which thousands of tourists travel on every season.

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No meetings.


The Homeland Security, Public Safety and Justice Committee will meet at 10 a.m. in the Lawaetz Conference Room on St. Croix to receive updates from the Bureau of Corrections; V.I. Police Department; V.I. Fire Service; Justice Department; Law Enforcement Planning Commission; V.I. National Guard; and V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency.


No meetings.


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GERS to take drastic action to collect Luis debt

The Government Employees' Retirement System board has had enough of Luis Hospital's failure to pay its debt to the pension agency and voted Thursday to use "all steps necessary" to collect more than $5 million the hospital owes the pension system.

Those steps also include GERS requesting a criminal investigation into possible embezzlement charges against the financially strapped hospital that recently revealed it handed out more than $1 million in raises and $600,000 in retro pay in the last 16 months.

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Months later, some retirees begin to receive annuities monthslong wait

The Government Employees' Retirement System has begun paying annuities to almost all of the 210 retirees who have been waiting for their benefits to start despite having retired months - or in some cases years - ago.

GERS Administrator Austin Nibbs said last month that 210 people who retired between May 4, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2014, still were waiting for their first annuity payment because they had missing government contributions that must be reconciled before the system can begin paying.

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V.I. government workers to vie for bragging rights

For the second year, the V.I. Sports, Parks and Recreation Department wants to find out which government agency is the most fit.

This year, the defending champions from the V.I. Superior Court will have a few extra teams to contend with at the St. Thomas "Battle of the Agencies" on Saturday at Emile Griffith Park.

That's because, as of a planning meeting last week, the V.I. Police Department, National Guard, Fire Service, Port Authority and Internal Revenue Bureau will enter teams in the competition the first time. Those teams should bring the total amount of teams to about a dozen participants.

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Fire, smoke heavily damage home

ST. THOMAS - Firefighters battled a house fire in Anna's Retreat on Wednesday night.

The V.I. Fire Service received a 911 call at 10:42 p.m. Wednesday to report a structural fire in Anna's Retreat.

Two units from Lima station responded and were on the scene in a matter of minutes, according to St. Thomas Fire Chief Oral Wheatley. Additional units from Hotel Company were dispatched as well.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, the one-story house was fully engulfed in flames; however, nearby structures did not catch fire, Wheatley said.

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2015 Virgin Islands Carnival schedule

April 12 - Prince and Princess Show, 5 p.m. at Lionel Roberts Stadium.

April 18 - Queen Selection Show, 8 p.m. at Lionel Roberts Stadium.

April 19 - Toddlers Derby/Best Dressed Doll, 4:30 p.m. at Lionel Roberts Stadium.

April 19 - Traditional games -7 p.m. at Lionel Roberts Stadium.

April 21 - Junior Calypso Competition - 8 p.m. at Lionel Roberts.

April 22 - Cultural Night, 8 p.m. at Lionel Roberts Stadium.

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V.I. Guard to hold 'Briefing with the Boss'

V.I. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve will host a "Briefing with the Boss" luncheon from 11:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the 2 Plus 2 restaurant in La Grande Princesse on St. Croix.

The seminar is to brief local government Human Resource representatives, local government officials and Virgin Islands National Guard leadership on the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act; leaves of absence to governmental employees; and the draft military leave policy.

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Weekend exhibits to celebrate historian, St. Croix architecture

ST. CROIX - Saturday will see two receptions at the Christiansted National Historic Site's Steeple Building: one for an exhibit on local architecture and plants and the other for an exhibit on the life of a local historian whose estate donated a collection of rare historic reference materials to the park.

In 2013, the Christiansted National Historic Site received the collection - including maps, paintings and books - from the estate of the Rev. F. Kenneth Barta. The materials, which can be used to conduct primary research on the Danish West Indies and the Virgin Islands, are now part of the public collections that are available to the public by appointment at the park.

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Orchid Society show starts today

The St. Thomas-St. John Orchid Society is holding its 33rd annual orchid show this weekend at Marriott's Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort on St. Thomas.

"Orchids Around the World" will feature displays of orchids as well as plants and supplies for sale.

The show will run from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call Francis Rober

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