GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

This Week’s Senate Calendar

Here’s what’s on tap at the V.I. Legislature this week.

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With schools across the territory getting ready for a Sept. 2 opening date, V.I. Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory told the community the Education Department is focused on "putting in the framework we need to support our students, our teachers and our administrators."

 
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Documentary Examines Holes in V.I. Mental Health System

Many heart-wrenching aspects of mental health care in the Virgin Islands are examined in a new film by award-winning St. Croix documentary filmmaker, Johanna Bermudez-Ruiz.

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2014-10-23 22:46:58
WAPA Board OKs Funds for Propane Conversion

The board of the V.I. Water and Power Authority approved a $4.2 million contract for design and upgrade of the fire protection systems needed for the conversion to propane gas.

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2014-10-23 20:55:56
Educational Complex Holds Spanish Spelling Bee

Top spellers in the St. Croix Educational Complex foreign language classes competed in a Spanish spelling bee as their cheering classmates filled the school’s library last Thursday -- a culminating activity for the school’s observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

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2014-10-23 00:04:54
Local news — St. Croix
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Blue Flags Fly Over Four Territory Beaches

Four bright Blue Flags flew over the territory's beaches for the first time on Thursday, serving as a long-awaited symbol for safe water, clean sand, and protected ocean life.


Supporters cheered Thursday during the raising of the Blue Flag at Emerald Beach Resort on St. Thomas.

“I am thrilled beyond belief – absolutely thrilled,” V.I. Conservation Society President Jason Budsan said after one Blue Flag was raised at Emerald Beach Resort along Lindbergh Bay on St. Thomas.

Blue Flags were also raised Thursday along Great Bay Beach at the Ritz Carlton on St. Thomas, The Palms Beach at Pelican Cove on St. Croix, and Trunk Bay Beach on St. John.

Among those celebrating at Emerald Beach Resort was Lourdes Diaz, vice president of the Foundation for Environmental Education, which administers the Blue Flag eco-label program. To qualify for the Foundation's Blue Flag, beaches and marinas must comply with 32 criteria in areas that include environmental education, water quality, and safety.

Standing before a newly installed educational display about water quality, ocean life, and the Blue Flag program, Diaz said that 3,650 beaches in 64 countries have received the designation. The flags should draw more Europeans to vacation in the territory, as they are often familiar with the program's high standards, Diaz said.


Lisa Hamilton, Allegra Kean, Lourdes Diaz, Jason Budsan, Valerie Peters, and Joel Kling.

Meeting the program's ongoing environmental benchmarks will be the responsibility of Budsan and the Conservation Society, which is the nongovernmental organization tasked with overseeing project's grant funding, Diaz said.

The Society will get help from other area supporters of the Blue Flag project, including the V.I. Hotel and Tourism Association, V.I. Tourism Department and V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

Of the many people who worked to get to Thursday's milestone, none appeared more jubilant than Coral World Marketing Director Valerie Peters, who started working on the project nearly six years ago.


St. Thomas's Emerald Beach, also known as Lindbergh Bay, was one of four spots across the territory to receive a Blue Flag on Thursday.

A native Virgin Islander, Peters said that the project has taught her how local folks can and should stop the degradation of their home's outstandingly beautiful beaches.

“We can never bring it back to exactly what it was,” Peters said, “but we can sure try.”

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