Mapp returns from hush-hush trip

Gov. Kenneth Mapp was back in the territory Friday after a week-long trip that was only announced at the last minute.

Mapp, who left the territory Sunday, was stateside for "personal appointments" and "to meet with some potential investors in the territory," according to Government House spokeswoman Kim Jones on Thursday.

Asked on multiple occasions, Jones said she had no information about who those "potential investors" might be or what they might be interested in investing in.

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ST. THOMAS - Humphrey has a home and he's happy.

Humphrey the goat - actually a Bahamian sheep - came to the Humane Society of St. Thomas more than six months ago with grievous wounds.

Shelter Manager Rhea Vasconcellos said he had been attacked by a pack of dogs and had his throat ripped.

Emergency treatment stabilized him, and as he healed he gained weight and began scampering around the shelter patios on a leash.

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George-Counts asks judge for sanctions against Griffiths

ST. CROIX - Assistant Attorney General Denise George-Counts has asked the judge in the Jonathan Cohen case for sanctions against Acting V.I. Attorney General Terri Griffiths, alleging professional misconduct.

George-Counts contends in the filing that she had full authority to enter into plea negotiations, extend the plea offer and enter into the plea agreement with Cohen under plea bargain policies and procedures at the V.I. Justice Department.

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Griffiths, assistant AG battle over Cohen case

ST. CROIX - Attorneys testified and tempers flared at a hearing Friday over whether a plea deal in a tax case should stand or not.

Office drama at the V.I. Justice Department, fear of retaliation - and even the different ways an email could be interpreted - all came up during Friday's hearing in the case against St. Croix radio station owner Jonathan Cohen.

Cohen, owner of JKC Communications, is facing 21 counts of willful failure to file tax returns, provide information or pay taxes.

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Non-profit brings voting rights campaign to V.I.

ST. THOMAS - Quirks of federal law and a century-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling about the shipment of oranges keep residents of territories like the U.S. Virgin Islands from having the right to vote in presidential elections.

The We the People Project - a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. - thinks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act is the right time for a legal challenges to change the antiquated rules.

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Memorial Day observances planned across V.I.

The territory will pause Monday to remember and honor Americans who have lost their lives to protect the nation.

In observance of the holiday, all federal and local government offices, post offices, public, private and parochial schools and banks will be closed for the holiday. The University of the Virgin Islands and Innovative Business Centers in each district also will be closed. Most small retail stores will be closed for the observance while larger stores and supermarkets will remain open. Local malls will observe holiday hours.

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UVI to honor 8 high-achieving students

ST. THOMAS - University Bound, the University of the Virgin Islands program that prepares high school students for college and helps them navigate the admissions process, will honor eight high-achieving students from St. Thomas on Sunday afternoon.

The students come from schools across the island and University Bound will provide each of them with a scholarship to pay for books and supplies during their first year of school.

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4,000 left without power on East End

A problem at the East End substation knocked out electrical power to more than 4,000 WAPA customers at 7:24 p.m. Thursday. WAPA spokesman Jean Greaux Jr., said the outage reached "across a large area on St. Thomas, beginning at the top of Cassi Hill, through Smith Bay, around Red Hook, Nazareth, Nadir, Bolongo Bay and a portion of Frenchman's Bay." He said Ridge Road was also hit as well as the V.I. National Guard Armory.

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Richard Joseph Kirst

Richard was a friend to everyone he met. He passed away March 29, 2015, at home surrounded by his loving family.

Richard, born in 1947, died in Nokomis, Fla., where he moved with his beloved wife, Gail, and children, Tracy and William, in 1988 after 20 years on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

Richard was born and raised in Yonkers, New York, as the second son of Wilford and Winifred (nee McLaughlin) Kirst. After his family moved to Shinnecock Hills, Long Island, he attended Nyack Prep School in Southampton, Long Island, N.Y.

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Randolph E. DeWindt

With deep regret we announce the passing of Randolph E. DeWindt, also known as BOOG.

He went on to heaven on May 9, 2015.

DeWindt's first viewing will be held at Turnbull's Funeral Home on Thursday, May 28, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The funeral service for DeWindt will be held Friday, May 29, 2015, at Calvary Baptist Church (Altona) with the second viewing from 9 to 10 a.m. and the service at 10 a.m.

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Griffiths defends move to pull Cohen plea deal

Acting V.I. Attorney General Terri Griffiths on Thursday said that she ordered the withdrawal of a plea offer for St. Croix radio station owner Jonathan Cohen in a tax case because of several concerns she had, including ensuring that the arrearage amounts are accurate.

Cohen, owner of JKC Communications, is facing 21 charges of failure to file tax returns, provide information or pay taxes during the course of seven years from 2004 through 2010. Cohen was arrested in April 2014. An affidavit filed in support of the charges alleges that he owes the V.I. Government more than $888,000 in income tax and gross receipts tax.

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ST. THOMAS - In a town hall style meeting at the Charlotte Amalie High School auditorium Thursday night, V.I. Water and Power Authority Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. and Black & Veatch consultant Roger Schiffman outlined a 20-year strategy to lower energy costs in the territory.

In providing details on the authority's "Integrated Resource Plan," Hodge also addressed concerns about the caps set on net metering in the territory.

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11 Mapp nominees fall

ST. THOMAS - The Senate rejected 11 of Gov. Kenneth Mapp's appointees Thursday and approved one.

After more than an hour of comments, the Senate chose to use their advise and consent authority to tell Mapp that they strongly disagreed with the pay raises handed out to most of the nominees.

On a vote of 10-4 with 1 abstention, the Senate approved Donald Cole as executive director of the V.I. Public Services Commission.

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WAPA board OK's contract changes

ST. THOMAS - The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority board passed a series of motions unanimously Thursday, with the exception of a contract for transporting vehicle fuel, which board member and Public Works Commissioner designee Gustav James voted against on the grounds that the price was too high.

The board approved an addition of $480,810 to a contract with Rockwell Automation, an industrial software company that WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. said will ensure WAPA is in line with the Clean Air Act, as well as an addition of $298,000 to a contract with Black & Veatch, the engineering consulting firm that is drawing up plans for WAPA to expand its alternative energy business.

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Griffiths: deJongh misappropriated funds

ST. THOMAS - Acting Attorney General Terri Griffiths went after former Gov. John deJongh Jr. on Thursday, announcing at a press conference that work done at his private residence in 2007 represented a misappropriation of funds. She said the government has returned a check for $202.831.60 to deJongh that he had said was to resolve questions about the use of the funds.

The announcement came after years of questions by senators, candidates, the public and The Daily News, and a critical 2010 Department of the Interior Inspector General audit that faulted deJongh for using federal highway funds to build security features at his house, including a guard house and fencing.

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Plea deal scrapped for radio station owner

ST. CROIX - Drama this week surrounding a proposed plea deal for radio station owner Jonathan Cohen in a tax case has led his defense attorney to ask the judge to either make the V.I. Attorney General's Office honor its word or to dismiss the case.

That request came after Acting Attorney General Terri Griffiths entered the case, which Assistant Attorney General Denise George-Counts had been prosecuting, and notified the court that she was withdrawing a plea deal George-Counts had offered and Cohen had accepted and signed.

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Potter signs bills, yields vetoes in Mapp's absence

As acting governor while Gov. Kenneth Mapp is out of the territory, Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter signed three bills that were passed out of the last Senate legislative session and vetoed two others.

Mapp is out of the territory until Friday, according to Government House; however, no information about his itinerary or what he is doing is being released.

In a transmittal letter to Senate President Neville James, Potter said he approved "with hesitancy" Bill No. 31-0017 relating to the development of the marine tourism industry.

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EDA keeps list of loans secret

ST. THOMAS - The Economic Development Authority has again denied a request for public records tied to its loan programs, which an April 2013 Inspector General's report characterized as "negligent, insecure lending practices."

In a denial letter dated Wednesday, the agency's legal counsel, attorney Henry Smock, said "that the EDA has already provided The Daily News with complete lists of its delinquent borrowers."

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DLCA: Businesses owe V.I. $8.5M in licensing fees

ST. THOMAS - Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner designee Devin Carrington said Wednesday that as part of an effort to increase enforcement of fee collection from businesses delinquent on renewing their business licenses, he will appeal to Gov. Kenneth Mapp and the Office of Management and Budget for more staff.

In a statement released Monday, the DLCA said that Virgin Islands businesses owed the agency approximately $8.5 million in license renewal fees and late fees.

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Police need help finding 47-year-old St. Croix woman

ST. CROIX - St. Croix police reported Wednesday night that Wanda Rivas, a 47-year-old resident of the island, was missing and asked for the community's assistance to find her.

According to a police statement, Rivas was last seen Monday at The Ice Cream Shoppe, part of The Sunny Isle Shopping Center in Sion Farm. Her family reported her disappearance to law enforcement.

At the time she was last seen, Rivas was wearing a red, white and blue blouse and blue jeans. According to the police description, she is Hispanic, 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes.

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Former Taxi Commission director claims she was wrongfully fired

ST. THOMAS - The former executive director of the V.I. Taxi Commission has sued Gov. Kenneth Mapp and the V.I. government, claiming she was wrongly fired in February.

Judith Wheatley filed suit April 29 in District Court, arguing that her firing was illegal and unconstitutional.

In her lawsuit, Wheatley argues that she was fired because she is a registered Democrat and that the governor wants to employ people who supported his campaign.

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Downtown Revitalization Inc. to elect 5 new officers Saturday

ST. THOMAS - At its annual meeting scheduled for Saturday morning, Downtown Revitalization Inc. will vote on nominations for five expiring director positions on the organization's board.

Five nominees have been put forward:

- Eloi George, who currently is serving as an interim board member, for a two-year term.

- Dorothy Ann Maguire Isaacs for a three-year term.

- Orville Kean for a three-year term.

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Marcia Jacklyn Stephens

We regret to announce the passing of Marcia Jacklyn Stephens affectionately known as Marcie. Marcia passed away on May 17, 2015, in Miami, Fla.

Funeral service will be held on Saturday at the Emanuel Funeral Home in Miami. Burial will be at Fred Hunters Cemetery.

Marcia is survived by her husband, Vincent Stephens Sr., better known as" Leroy"; daughter, Jacklyn Stephens; sons, Renee and Vincent Stephens Jr.; mother, Eulalie Browne; sisters, Eugenia Tyson (N.Y.), Patricia Lewis (STT), Sharon Browne (Va.), and Carol Warner (Fla.); brother, Frankfurt and Terri Procope (Canada); cousins, Livinston, Bucanore, Jamie, Browne, Val Parry, Raphael Thomas, Shirley Kelly, Denise Hodge, Angela Glasford, Debbie Parry, Kevin Thomas, Kenrick Thomas and Alister Thomas; daughter-in-law, Jermicie Stephens; son-in-law, Willie; sister-in-laws, Sylvia, Lillian and Bernadette Stephens; brother-in-law, Steve Lewis and Val Tyson; special niece, Clarisa Browne; eight nieces; six nephews; and many great-nieces and -nephews; great-aunts, Rita Parry (STK), Ismay Thomas (England), Cynthia (MIA); special friends, Catherine Moses, Cletis Hendricks, Shirley, Ingrid, Claudette, Debra Hughes and family, Ward family (St. Kitts), Stephen family, Procope family (St. Kitts) Biowne family, Hendricks family, Philip family, Myrise Guishard and family and the Schneider Hospital Emergency Room staff; and many more relatives and friends too numerous to mention.

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Ina S. Barzey-Johnson

Ina S. Barzey-Johnson died on April 27, 2015, at Schneider Regional Medical Center at the age of 84. She was preceded in death by her husband Ivan A. Johnson, Jr.

She is survived by her daughter, Jacqueline (Jackie) Johnson; grandchildren; Jonathan Johnson, Jackema Frett, Reya Charles, Rosalie Smith, Joshua Bell and Jordan Johnson; 2 great-grandchildren; cousins, Ellen Dianels, Anna Fenton and Leonetta Fergus-Fleming of Maryland; nieces, Octavia Allen and Odelle James of England and CarrieMae Johnson; nephew, Alfred Corbett; special friends, Daisy Vegas, Catherine SaldaƱa, Sarah Bonelli, Dorothy Joseph, June Durrant, Mrs. Esmie Stevens, Rhoda Morton, the Lewis, Callwood, Krigger, Garfield and Emmanuel families; and many other relatives and friends too numerous to mention.

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Benson Hendrickson

We are saddened to announce the passing of Benson Hendrickson at the age of 67 on May 6, 2015, after a 13-year illness in Atlanta, Ga.

Benson was a native of Nevis and a well-known longtime resident of St. Thomas.

Throughout his life Benson also resided on St. John, Tortola and Grenada where h e was well known and loved.

For several years he worked at Coca Cola Bottling Company as a driver until he started his own trucking service, where he was stationed under the tree by Island Block.

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WAPA now eyes September for conversion to propane

ST. THOMAS - The V.I. Water and Power Authority expects that both its Estate Richmond power plant on St. Croix and its Randolph Harley power plant on St. Thomas will be operating entirely with propane-powered electric generators by September.

The new deadline marks another extension of the project's end date, which originally was scheduled for completion in November 2014.

Last year, WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. moved the projected completion date to April and May, and in April, he moved the projected completion date to June for St. Croix and July for St. Thomas.

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Senators hear testimony on St. Croix dredging, port repairs

ST. CROIX - Senators meeting in Committee of the Whole heard testimony about two major Coastal Zone Management permit applications that a V.I. Port Authority official said are "critical to the port infrastructure and future tourism product development on St. Croix."

The applications are for:

- A permit for the Port Authority to dredge approximately 38,800 cubic yards of material from the Schooner Bay Channel in Christiansted Harbor.

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WICO not on hook for Mapp's rent, report says

A federal report suggests that there is no requirement for the West Indian Co. Ltd. to bear responsibility for housing the territory's governor.

Additionally, a letter written in late March in which Joseph Boschulte, the president and chief executive officer of WICO, told a Senate committee that the government is actually leasing Estate Catherineberg, as opposed to WICO being tied "by precedent" to housing the governor.

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Water main breaks cause havoc in Christiansted town

ST. CROIX - V.I Water and Power Authority crews worked into the night Tuesday to repair a broken water main in Christiansted town, the second of the day.

The initial water main break occurred along Company Street about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday, disrupting traffic and drawing WAPA crews to do repair work.

Once they'd done the repair work and began pressurizing the repaired water main, a second rupture occurred a few feet away, WAPA spokesman Jean Greaux Jr. said.

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V.I. Public Television working on deal to bring back NPR

ST. CROIX - National Public Radio could be back on the airwaves in the territory by the end of summer if all goes as planned at the Virgin Islands Public Television System.

"The good news is that my board passed an expenditure for me to go ahead and get the infrastructure in place to get NPR programming," said Tanya Singh, V.I. Public Television System chief executive officer. That infrastructure includes a satellite dish, automation system and audio receivers.

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Errington Felix Rogers

With deep regret we announce the death of Errington Felix Rogers, who passed away May 5, 2015.

He was better known as Suki or Sookie.

The first viewing will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Turnbull's Funeral Home.

The second viewing will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday at Turnbull's Funeral Home, with the service following at 10 a.m.

Interment will follow at Western Cemetery No. 3.

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Shane E. Heyliger

Services for Shane E. Heyliger, who died May 4, 2015, will be held Friday.

The first viewing is Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Turnbull's Funeral Home.

The second viewing is Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. at St. Andrew's Church, with the service at 10 a.m. Interment is at Western Cemetery No. 3.

He is survived by his son, Z'Kai Carter; mother, Greatel Carter; father, Edwin Heyliger; sisters, Marsha Heyliger, Shirleen Heyliger; brothers, Kadell Carter, Kevin Heyliger, Dylan Heyliger; uncles, Campbell Carter, Clement Carter, Carl Carter, Johnny Heyliger; aunts, Cecilia Francis, Dorothy Javois, Stephanie Fleming, Ermine Carter, Nena Carter; niece, Adare Heyliger; nephews, J'alil,Sanderson, Jamili Sanderson, Kai Carter, Kenny Carter; counsins, Shereene Francis, Karen Javois-Gibson, Louis Javois Jr., Karleen Fryer, Kevin Javois, Kerry Fleming, Kimberly Carter-Daniels, Panya Carter; aunt-in-law, Romaine Carter; uncle-in-law, Louis Javois Sr.; a host of relatives from the Baly, Duncan, Gumbs, Heyliger, Lake, Proctor, Richardson, Ruan, Sasso and Wilson families; and friends too numerous to mention.

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St. Thomas

Ina S. Barzey-Johnson April 27, 2015 Friday Hurley

Olga A. Cornelius May 15, 2015 June 1 Hurley

Benson Hendrickson May 6, 2015 Saturday Hurley

Shane Heyliger Friday Turnbull's

Lucretia Morson May 7, 2015 June 6 Hurley

Errington Rogers Thursday Turnbull's

Oswald Venzen May 17, 2015 May 29 Hurley

Dominica

Lin Maurielle Fregiste May 6, 2015 Today North Eastern

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Sharon Burke

"Patty" Sharon Burke passed away on May 11, 2015, after a shockingly abrupt illness.

She was preceded in loss by the death of her husband, Tommy Burke.

Patty grew up in the Garden State of New Jersey and in the late 1960's she moved to St. Thomas.

Various jobs, fine dining involvement and traveling led her to an entrepreneurship in the seafood industry. Her knowledgeable attention to detail, her style and grace endeared her to all she encountered.

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Caribbean Institute to hold free job skills training class

The Caribbean Institute for Training and Development will offer an administrative assistant skills class that is free for those who qualify through the V.I. Labor Department.

The class will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from June 9 through July 30.

The class provides basic training in Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as job skills training in interviewing, resume-writing, customer service, conflict resolution, self-esteem and money management.

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Boy, horse killed in car crash

ST. CROIX - A 14-year-old boy riding a horse was struck by a vehicle and killed Tuesday afternoon near the William's Delight intersection of Melvin Evans Highway.

The crash was reported to emergency 911 dispatchers at 4:45 p.m.

Officers arriving at the scene found the boy, lifeless, in the roadway, according to a statement issued Tuesday night by the V.I. Police Department. Preliminary information indicated that the boy had been riding a horse that was struck by a vehicle while it crossed the road. The horse also was killed, Police spokesman Kevin Jackson said.

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June 5: Festival Food Sale - 1 p.m. at Franklin Powell Sr. Park, Cruz Bay.

June 6: Pan-O-Rama - 4 p.m. at Franklin Powell Sr. Park, Cruz Bay.

June 13: Festival Bike Race - 8 a.m. at Virgin Islands National Park, Welcome Center.

June 14: Princess Pageant - 6 p.m. at Winston E. Wells ball field, Cruz Bay.

June 20: Queen Pageant - 8 p.m. at Winston E, Wells ball field, Cruz Bay.

June 21: Food Fair and Coronation - 1 p.m. at Franklin Powell Sr. Park, Cruz Bay.

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Officials ponder Internet options for territory's first responders

ST. THOMAS - Virgin Islands law enforcement officials met on Tuesday with representatives from FirstNet, a government agency charged with placing first responders on a high-speed Internet and cellular network.

The discussion took place at Government House and included Police Commissioner designee Delroy Richards Sr., St. Thomas-St. John Police Chief Darren Foy, V.I. Fire Service Director Eugene Farrell and Bureau of Information Technology Director Reuben Molloy.

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WAPA public hearing set

The V.I. Water and Power Authority will have a public hearing at 6 a.m. Thursday at Charlotte Amalie High School on St. Thomas to discuss and present an Integrated Resource Plan to determine the best generation strategies for the next 20 years.

The plan looks at the current generation to determine generator sizes; types of renewable energy to have WAPA perform at its optimal efficiency; and reliability, and a study also was conducted for WAPA's transmission and distribution system, according to a statement the utility issued Tuesday.

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Free night at observatory

The University of the Virgin Islands College of Science and Mathematics will host a free public observing session from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Etelman Observatory on St. Thomas.

Anticipated sights include views of Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.

The evening will also feature a video presentation and lecture discussing some of the extraordinary planets that have been discovered orbiting stars outside of our solar system.

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Coral Bay meeting on crime

The Crime Prevention Unit of the V.I. Police Department and the Coral Bay Community Council will co-host a community meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Caribbean Oasis restaurant in Coral Bay, St. John.

This meeting is targeted to local business owners and their concerns, but everyone is welcome.

Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, call the CBCC

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ST. CROIX - Police investigating a shooting early Tuesday in Christiansted that left one man wounded arrested a man in connection with the crime a short time later.

Gregory Barnes, 34, was taken into custody and charged with first-degree assault.

The shooting occurred around 12:37 a.m. Tuesday.

According to a statement police released, officers responding to the call and found the victim, who lives in Christiansted, with a gunshot wound to his right shoulder.

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BVI voters list now available online for public inspection

The preliminary voters list for the British Virgin Islands' upcoming General Election - scheduled for June 8 - is now available online for public inspection.

Residents can log on to www.bvi.gov.vg and locate the "Government" tab on the left side of the screen. In the drop down list, scroll down to the "Elections" tab and select "2015 Preliminary Voter's List."

In accordance with Section 18 (6) of the Elections Act 1994 and Amendments, the Preliminary Voters' List is available for inspection until May 14.

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Atlanta group to clean up Savan

ST. THOMAS - As Savan residents grow increasingly unhappy with the neighborhood's burgeoning trash problem, Community Action NOW, an Atlanta grassroots activist organization, is launching a cleanup effort that will take place this summer. The effort will last from July 13 until July 24 and feature a three-day educational series on the history of the neighborhood, daily volunteer opportunities and a partnership with the UVI Cooperative Extension Service, which is planning a Savan community garden.

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Mapp out of territory

Gov. Kenneth Mapp is out of the territory until Friday.

During Mapp's absence, Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter will be acting governor.

Government House on Monday would not provide more information about where Mapp is going, what his itinerary is or what he is doing on the trip.

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Mapp administration wants house for Potter

ST. THOMAS - The Mapp administration is trying to provide housing for Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter, though there is no law or tradition of providing for the lieutenant governor's housing except making available the historic Sion Farm house on St. Croix.

In April, Gov. Kenneth Mapp brought up the topic when he said that he was "going to present a plan to the community and the Legislature that we believe could resolve" the issue of the governor and lieutenant governor's residences once and for all.

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Free night at observatory

Free night at observatory

The University of the Virgin Islands College of Science and Mathematics will host a free public observing session from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Etelman Observatory on St. Thomas.

Anticipated sights include views of Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.

The evening will also feature a video presentation and lecture discussing some of the extraordinary planets that have been discovered orbiting stars outside of our solar system.

(read more)

Pesticide workshop planned

Pesticide workshop planned

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources will conduct pesticide control workshops in partnership with the University of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Clemson University, the National Park Service and the University of the Virgin Islands.

Topics of the workshops include pesticide management; label changes; pest management issues and trends; use of pesticides in sensitive areas; and pesticide, safety, disposal and storage.

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Rotary to award raffle prizes

Rotary to award raffle prizes

Rotary Mid-Isle Club on St. Croix will award prizes from its annual car raffle at 7 a.m. Wednesday at Gertrude's Restaurant.

The winner of the 2015 Jeep Patriot Sport SUV, Victoria Rosenberg, requested that the car be sold, and she will take $10,000 and donate $6,500 to Rotary Mid-Isle.

The $1,000 cash prize will be awarded to Linda De Caylla, and Jasmine Soudatt will receive the $500 prize.

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Agents kill suspected drug smuggler off BVI

TORTOLA (AP) - A suspected drug smuggler was shot and killed by U.S. agents during a chase off the British Virgin Islands, officials said Monday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said its agents were fired upon late Sunday night in BVI waters as they chased a boat suspected of being used to transport drugs.

The agents returned fire, wounding the suspect, then boarded the vessel and provided medical care, the agency said in a brief statement.

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