2012 in review Part 2 2012 in review
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May 1: Joseph Boschulte begins his tenure as president and chief executive officer of the West Indian Co.
May 2: Charlotte Amalie High School and Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School are accredited through 2019.
May 4: School namesake, longtime principal and Fullbright Scholar Gladys Abraham dies at age 90.
May 4: Gov. John deJongh Jr. signs a lease agreement with the USVI Soccer Federation for 12 acres of land in Estate Upper Bethlehem on St. Croix, where the federation intends to build a soccer facility.
May 7: HOVENSA announces its intent to provide fuel for sale to V.I. retailers at its truck-loading station on St. Croix until Dec. 31.
May 16: Two months after she was sworn in, Dr. Mercedes Dullum resigns as V.I. Health commissioner, citing "personal reasons." Gov. deJongh names Darice Plaskett acting Health Commissioner.
May 17: V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen submits legislation to a U.S. House of Representatives committee to create a chief financial officer for the Virgin Islands. It is her fourth attempt to bring the bill to fruition. Gov. deJongh opposes the bill.
May 17: U.S. News and World Reports ranks the U.S. Virgin Islands as the "Best Spring Vacation Destination for 2012."
May 18: Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School wins the 18th Annual Moot Court Competition.
May 26: V.I. Police Officers Colvin Georges and Aaron Hodge are shot when they approach a group of men while on foot patrol in Contant. Georges and Hodge return fire, killing 23-year-old Gerald Jackson. Hodge is wounded in the hand; Georges is shot in the neck and is paralyzed.
May 29: Scott Bradley, founder of My Brother's Workshop, is named Rotary's Person of the year for 2012.
May 31: Cassandra Santiago of St. Croix Educational Complex is named 2012 Junior Tourism Commissioner.
June 4: The V.I. Water and Power Authority signs power purchase agreements with three solar energy companies to construct solar arrays that will produce 18 megawatts of solar energy in an effort to diversify the utility's power supply.
June 7: The U.S. House of Representatives' Natural Resources Committee passes a bill to create a chief financial officer for the Virgin Islands. Gov. John deJongh Jr. characterizes the bill as "flawed."
June 8: The V.I. Superior Court dismisses Sen. Alicia Hansen's LEAC challenge, ruling that the V.I. Public Services Commission acted appropriately when it voted to raise the Levelized Energy Adjustment Clause in August 2011.
June 11: St. John Deputy Police Chief Darren Foy is sworn in as police chief of the St. Thomas-St. John District. Lt. Maria Colon-Jones is sworn in as St. John deputy police chief.
June 12: Retired Police Capt. James Parris is sworn in as the St. Croix deputy police chief.
June 13: Gov. deJongh signs legislation exempting JROTC instructors from the government's 8 percent pay cut. Doing so prevents the program from pulling out of the territory, because instructor minimum salaries are determined by the U.S. Army.
June 19: The V.I. Education Department dismisses 44 employees territorywide - including 14 teachers in the St. Thomas-St. John District.
June 19: School namesake, lifelong educator and author Guy Benjamin dies at age 98.
June 21: Former V.I. Police officers Enid Edwards and Francis Brooks each are sentenced to 12½ years in federal prison for drug trafficking and extortion.
June 21: Residents on St. Thomas experience their second consecutive day of rolling power outages after malfunctions in two generators at WAPA's Randolph Harley plant.
June 22: The USVI Culinary Team captures a silver medal in overall competition and awards in multiple individual competitions at the 2012 Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami.
June 25: The Virgin Islands Daily News publishes "Our Money, Their Failures," an investigative report about the private sector partners for a proposed $55 million St. Croix sports complex. Later the same day the articles appeared, Gov. John deJongh requests that the Legislature table the pending legislation in light of the allegations raised in the investigative report. The Senate Rules Committee tables the legislation indefinitely.
June 25: The Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee kills a bill that would let Bournefield tenants buy their homes after a letter from the Federal Aviation Administration indicated that the legislation would conflict with the V.I. Port Authority's federal obligations.
June 26: St. Thomas resident Helene Smollett has her picture taken with President Barack Obama in Miami after having won a campaign fundraiser raffle that sought donations from Virgin Islanders for the Obama Victory Fund 2012.
June 30: The main complex of the V.I. Education Department on St. Thomas is burglarized. Ten desktop computers containing financial data are stolen.
July 9: The Virgin Islands Daily News investigative report "License to Steal," which exposed questionable practices by Her Majesty's Credit Union and lack of oversight of credit unions in the Virgin Islands, wins a 2012 Public Service Award from the Associated Press Media Editors association.
July 9: Gov. John deJongh's chief of staff, Pamela Berkowsky, resigns amid questions by members of the V.I. Legislature about her involvement in a movie theater development project.
July 13: Air Canada announces its plans not to resume its weekly Toronto-to-St. Thomas flight during the upcoming tourist season.
July 17: Three weeks after The Daily News publishes "Our Money, Their Failures," an investigative report about the private sector partners for a proposed $55 million St. Croix sports complex, Gov. John deJongh acknowledges that the government had failed to vet the principals of some of the companies it had intended to have develop and operate the complex.
July 17: District Judge Wilma Lewis dismisses the complaints filed against the St. Croix Board of Elections by V.I. Action Group - which sought to recall six of seven board members - citing the group's lack of necessary signatures to force an election.
July 20: U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Nkosi Thomas assumes command of the Coast Guard Cutter Sitkinak. Thomas is the first Virgin Islander to take command of a Coast Guard cutter.
July 27: District Judge Curtis Gomez amends the U.S. Justice Department's federal consent decree to give the V.I. Police Department more time to comply with its mandates.
July 27: Willis Todmann, former head of the V.I. Government Employees Retirement System, is sentenced to five years in jail for simultaneously receiving two salaries as its acting administrator and chief financial officer.
Aug. 2: The U.S. Senate Finance Committee passes the V.I. rum tax extension. The measure keeps rum tax revenues at the $13.25 per proof gallon rate.
Aug. 10: V.I. National Guard member Delores English-Edwards is promoted to the rank of Command Sgt. Major.
Aug. 11: St. Thomas native Megan Hodge earns a silver medal as a member of the U.S. Women's volleyball team during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Aug. 12: Aniska Tonge is crowned Miss Virgin Islands America 2012.
Aug. 15: The University of the Virgin Islands appoints Chandra Mishra to fill the Kiril Sokoloff Endowed Chair in Entrepeneurship.
Aug. 16: Gov. deJongh appoints Adrian Gardner, who was serving as chief information officer for NASA, to UVI's Tech Park board.
Aug. 17: St. Croix Police Chief Christopher Howell and Officer Elsworth Jones are ambushed and shot while responding to a robbery at a Cane Bay restaurant and seeking three suspects. Both officers survive their injuries.
Aug. 19: Gov. John deJongh issues a statement requesting the 29th Legislature to take action on a bill that would grant peace officer status to federal agents while they are assigned in the territory. The bill had been tabled indefinitely in April 2011.
Aug. 20: Accompanied by his mother, Gabriel Reed Jr., a sixth-grader at Uller F. Muller Elementary school, attends the "Kids' State Dinner" at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama. Reed is among 54 winners named from each state, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. territories during a nationwide healthy lunch recipe contest.
Aug. 20: Deepak Bansal becomes the chief financial officer of Luis Hospital at a salary of $150,000 per year.
Aug. 20: An employee at the V.I. Government Employees Retirement System discovers an unloaded AK-47 assault rifle in a box among a number of packages she picked up from the reception area. The package was addressed simply to "GERS."
Aug. 21: In a 7-6 vote, the 29th Legislature blocks an attempt to resurrect discussion of a bill that would grant peace officer status to federal law enforcement officers.
Aug. 21: The 29th Legislature approves legislation authorizing the Fifth Constitutional Convention to resume its attempt to draft a governing document for the territory.
Aug. 21: The 29th Legislature approves a Coastal Zone Management permit for a multi-million-dollar renovation of the former Grand Beach Palace Hotel in Smith Bay on St. Thomas.
Aug. 21: The 29th Legislature approves legislation that would seek proposals for the development and construction of the St. Croix Cultural, Historical and Ecological Adventure Park.
Aug. 22: The 29th Legislature approves legislation that would put a referendum question on the November General Election ballot about for the production, processing, manufacturing and distributing of industrial hemp in the Virgin Islands. A referendum question regarding the licensing and regulation of medical marijuana patients, care-givers, cultivators, and distribution centers is narrowly kept off the ballot by a 6-6 Senate vote.
Aug. 22: The 29th Legislature reworks the January 2012 legislation that approved $120 million in borrowing by approving an additional $10 million for a backlog of unpaid worker compensation claims.
Aug. 23: Tropical Storm Isaac passes 200 miles south of St. Croix. No major damage is reported.
Aug. 23: St. Croix Police Chief Christopher Howell, with his injured arm in bandages, clarifies details about the night he and Police Officer Elsworth Jones were shot trying to apprehend suspected armed robbers. Howell subsequently leaves the island for further medical treatment, and Deputy Chief James Parris is named acting St. Croix police chief.
Aug. 27: Gov. deJongh suspends St. John Administrator Leona Smith for 30 days after controversy erupts about a letter she wrote in support of convicted bank robber Shevaun Browne.
Aug. 27: A memorandum of agreement between the Department of Planning and Natural Resources and the V.I. Historical Trust would have the Trust help manage the Fort Christian Museum, run tours there and raise funds through 2017. The government, though DPNR, retains ownership of the museum.
Aug. 31: The V.I. government and U.S. Justice Department reaches an agreement that settles the 26-year consent decree dispute over control of Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility. The settlement outlines steps the territory must take to fix unconstitutional conditions at the prison. In the agreement, the territory will run the prison, but an independent monitor must oversee improvements.
Aug. 31: The U.S. Department of Justice and the V.I. government sign a consent decree to fix absentee ballot procedures for military members and voters living overseas to participate in the upcoming 2012 elections.
The Daily News is taking a look back at 2012 and some of the top news stories in the territory. Today features May through August, and September through December will be published Friday.