US Virgin Islands
[singlepic id=4817 w=180 h=40 mode=web20 float=left]Good morning! This is Alex Randall with Good News Headlines
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Governor at Press Conference – Pass These Bonds
The Governor held a press conference this morning. He is proposing to issue new bonds, the 1998 series, that will pay the 106 million and do a number of other things. The new bonds will save debt service, eliminate using rum revenues to cover debt, and create greater financing flexibility in the future. The new bonds will fund capital projects, like a new jail on St. Croix, and the wastewater treatment system on St. John. Bond funds will replace Peace Corp school, Lockhart school and Berthe C. Boschulte School and also fund landfill projects. Bonds funds will also match hazard mitigation fund. He is calling the Senate into a special session to address the offer of these bonds. These bonds do not allow a lot of refinancing since they are tax free bonds. The Governor says they should be rated shortly and he is expecting a bond rating of triple B minus rating. The Governor has a negotiated deal with Hess and the Venezuelian Oil company that is ready for the Senate. One provision will permit the new company to avoid paying tax on stored oil until it is refined. They are trying to find a formula that will allow Hess to remain in business. It won’t happen if we are asking too many concessions from Hess.
Today’s Photo: Our Market on St. John
Current Conditions in Paradise:
Temperature: 83 Degrees at 2:00 PM Skies: Cloudy Chance of Showers: 20%: Water Temp: Perfect Beach and Swimming Conditions: Perfect Sailing and Diving Conditions: World Class! Drinks: Ready for You!
AT&T To Pay 1.5 Million
There is a settlement in the works that clears the way for AT&T to complete the Pan American cable project. The phone company has offered to pay 1.5 million dollars as a partial settlement of the Government’s claims and AT&T will pay the government’s costs for inspections of Butler Bay and settle claims about the clean up of the mud. Senator Bryan has raised questions about the deal. AT&T says the cable connection is done.
The UVI forum on the Deficit has been moved to September. The Governor asked that we not air out all the issues while a major bond sale is in progress. The University says it is committed to bringing this kind of forum to the public.
American Eagle Adds Flight
They took away the jet but added a new flight – that’s American Airline changing the schedule for the end of tourist season. Now there is a new flight at 9am, but the planes are smaller. The Governor met with executives of the Marriott’s corp. to enroll them in the fight to get more airlines coming to the Virgin Islands. They also talked about increasing the convention business in the Virgin Islands. The Marriott’s executives were impressed with the infrastructure improvements in St. Thomas – particularly the roads.
MSI Calypso Competition Nominees
There were 50 entries in this year’s MSI Calypso competition. They narrowed the field down to 10 nominees for this years award. The winner will win $2500 and a trip to New York City. The candidates are Running Scared by Calypso Sis, Mapp-Wonsky Controversy and Call Sam by Sugar Dee, We Wanna We Retro and One for Milo by Whadablee, Humpty Dumpty Satan and All with King Kan Fuc Plantae, Whose Fault and No Dice by Figgy and finally Lea’ Da Alone by Louis Ible Jr. That song by Ras Regg, Rumors is also on the list. Special recognition goes to Don’t Waste Your Time by Lady Selector the first junior to enter as an adult.
Is your non-profit group interested in helping to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Emancipation? The Humanities Council is offering a Proposal Development Workshop to those non-profit groups to help them develop their ideas. All you need is a letter of intent sent to the Humanities Council. Call 776-4044 The deadline is April 27th. Elena Christian Jr. High School has an Art Career Showcase today from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM in observance of Career Education Week. Department of Education has a national teleconference with Vice President Al Gore on the topic Creating Quality After School Programs. That’s on Thursday the 16th at 3:30 PM to 4:30 Parents, teachers, principals and policy makers are invited to attend It is tax day and your income tax is due today. The Sugar Estate Post Office will be open until Midnight – after midnight the tax return will be dated with tomorrow’s date. Students who are seeking a GERS scholarship – today is the deadline to apply Clean up Coki Point this weekend with the Coki Point Beautification Initiative on Saturday at 8:00 AM Over 80 people came to the last clean up in January and it needs it again. The Council on the Arts has Technical Assistance Grants and Mini-grants for artists. The deadline to apply is May 15th Call 774-5984 on St. Thomas and on St. Croix 773-3075 St. John Senior Citizens go get you free ID cards today at St. John Multi-purpose Center 9AM to 1PM The Senate is going to examine the Comprehensive Land Use Plan in a series of public hearings, April 15th on St. Thomas and April 17th on St. Croix.
Big Thank You
Tutu High Rise Tenant Council has a Big Thank You to Conrad Francois and the staff of the Housing Authority for the new lighting at the High Rise Basketball court. That’s Bright News.
Water Island Report
Another tax year goes by and no one knows where Water Island taxes are. Does anyone collect land taxes on an orphan island?