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VI Receives $20M NSF Grant Award for VI-EPSCoR

The U.S. Virgin Islands is one of six jurisdictions nation-wide to receive a Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 award from the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to support the Virgin Islands.

Governor de Jongh at the UVI EPSCoR News Conference

GOVERNMENT HOUSE BLOG
August 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM AST
ST. CROIX ADMINISTRATOR MEETS WITH CHRISTIANSTED BUSINESSES TO DISCUSS CONCERNS OF CRIME AND OTHER CHALLENGES

Joined by officials of the Virgin Islands Police Department and the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, St. Croix Administrator Dodson K. James attended a meeting Tuesday evening with Christiansted business owners to discuss and rally around a solution to their issues of concern including incidents of crime, increased police patrols, better lighting in the downtown district and late night loud music at a bar located on the Christiansted boardwalk.

August 19, 2014 at 3:30 PM AST
USVI JOINS CARIBBEAN CHALLENGE INITIATIVE TO CONSERVE COASTAL AREAS

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr., has informed the prime minister of Grenada, Dr. the Right Honorable Keith C. Mitchell, "with great pride" that the United States Virgin Islands has endorsed the Caribbean Challenge Initiative (CCI) and is prepared to sign the CCI Leaders Declaration. The CCI was launched in 2008, with the support of The Nature Conservancy, in order to promote greater regional leadership in protecting and preserving the Caribbean's coastlines and harbors.

August 18, 2014 at 5:20 PM AST
Virgin Islands Students Complete Summer Training Programs in Agricultural Science

Six Virgin Islands students recently completed comprehensive training programs in agricultural science at Alcorn State University (ASU) in Loran, Mississippi and Kentucky State University (KSU) in Frankfort, Kentucky. At Kentucky State University four students participated in four weeks of classroom assignments, field activities, laboratory work, and scientific experiments to address agricultural issues from June 23rd through July 25th.

August 18, 2014 at 5:10 PM AST
AMBASSADOR TODMAN’S BODY TO LIE-IN-STATE AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE THURSDAY

The body of Career Ambassador Terence A. Todman will lie-in-state at Government House, St. Thomas from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 pm on Thursday, August 21, 2014 ahead of funeral services that are planned for Saturday.

August 15, 2014 at 10:30 AM AST
V.I. Economic Development Authority approves $3 million in loan guarantees to help local small businesses

Attorney General Vincent F. Frazer said Thursday that the Virgin Islands Department of Justice has successfully completed its third “Operation Island Sweep” in the territory. In joint cooperation with the United States Marshals Service and with the assistance of the Virgin Islands Police Department, a territory-wide compliance check of all sex offenders residing, attending school and working within the territory was conducted between July 28, 2014 and August 11, 2014.

August 15, 2014 at 9:30 AM AST
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NEWS RELEASE - OPERATION ISLAND SWEEP

Attorney General Vincent F. Frazer said Thursday that the Virgin Islands Department of Justice has successfully completed its third “Operation Island Sweep” in the territory. In joint cooperation with the United States Marshals Service and with the assistance of the Virgin Islands Police Department, a territory-wide compliance check of all sex offenders residing, attending school and working within the territory was conducted between July 28, 2014 and August 11, 2014.

August 14, 2014 at 10:20 PM AST
STATEMENT BY THE GOVERNOR JOHN P. DE JONGH, JR. AUGUST 14, 2014

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. tonight acknowledged the kind expressions of Senator Gittens and other members of the Senate who have praised de Jongh's approval of early voting legislation for the upcoming general elections in November, however, the governor said a press statement issued tonight by Senator Kenneth Gittens decrying Wednesday’s veto of Bill 30-0356 is a clear indication that the lawmaker does not fully understand the legislation that he shepherded through the legislative process resulting in its passage by the full Senate.

August 14, 2014 at 1:40 PM AST
WAPA Announces Adjustment to Schedule for Propane Projects on St. Thomas and St. Croix

Governor John P. de Jongh said Thursday that WAPA’s project to change energy sources and make propane the primary fuel source for power generation is a game changer for the territory and that the project continues to have his administration’s full support. The switch to propane will lower utility bills, clean our air, and put the Virgin Islands on a pathway towards the use of alternative and renewable energy sources to meet customer demand.

August 14, 2014 at 9:50 AM AST
GOVERNOR DE JONGH SIGNS ORDER TO ADVANCE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYMENT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. has signed Executive Order No. 469-2014, "To Advance Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities within the Government of the United States Virgin Islands." As he noted, "The government is the largest employer in the territory, so we must set the standard for equal employment for residents with disabilities.

August 14, 2014 at 9:40 AM AST
FEDERAL AGENCIES REVIEWING BUREAU OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY USE OF FEDERAL FIRST NET PROGRAM FUNDS

According to Bureau of Information Technology Director Reuben D. Molloy, three representatives from the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) visited St. Croix and St. Thomas reviewing the grant administration and the financial management of the FirstNet SLIGP implementation in the territory.

August 14, 2014 at 9:30 AM AST
UPDATE TO ACTUARIAL VALUATION OF GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS RETIREMENT SYSTEM

The Government Employees’ Retirement System submitted to the Office of the Governor its most recent Actuarial Valuation and Review as of October 1, 2013. This report, which was prepared by the system actuary, Segal Consulting, provides an update on the status of the financial condition of the GERS, and specifically its projected ability to meet its financial obligations to system retirees and current government employees.

August 13, 2014 at 12:15 AM AST
GOVERNOR DE JONGH TAKES ACTION ON BILLS PASSED BY SENATE

The Governor sent a letter to Senate President Shawn Michael Malone detailing the administration's action on bills passed in the 17th Session of the 30th Legislature. The bills were due back to the Senate today.

August 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM AST
DE JONGH SADDENED BY NEWS OF THE DEATH OF AMBASSADOR TERENCE A. TODMAN

In a Government House statement today, Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. said he was deeply saddened by news of the death of former U.S. Ambassador and Virgin Islands native son Terence A. Todman.

“Cecile and I join the people of the Virgin Islands in mourning the death of Ambassador Todman and in extending our condolences to Mrs. Doris Todman and the entire family. We have lost a tremendous individual and son of our soil, a person that made his presence known internationally but never lost touch with his roots and his home,” said Governor de Jongh.

August 12, 2014 at 3:00 PM AST
FINAL PHASE OF WORK AT TURNBULL REGIONAL LIBRARY UNDERWAY

Public Works Commissioner Darryl A. Smalls said Tuesday that the final phase of work at the Charles W. Turnbull Regional Library on St. Thomas got underway late last month and includes not only the roof replacement but the adding of both a photovoltaic system and perimeter fencing.

August 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM AST
GOVERNMENT HOUSE: NEW ST. JOHN SCHOOL IS ONE STEP CLOSER

The second scoping meeting to update residents on government efforts to build a new school on St. John gave project architects a chance to discuss the recent findings of an archaeological survey conducted on the NPS proposed site in Estate Catherineberg. The meeting was held on St. John recently.

August 12, 2014 at 9:40 AM AST
VIEDA’s Economic Development Commission to host the 2014 EDC Beneficiary Summit

The V.I. Economic Development Commission (EDC), an entity of the V.I. Economic Development Authority (VIEDA), will be hosting the 2014 V.I. Economic Development Commission Beneficiary Summit for current beneficiaries and representatives of various organizations and government agencies that assist in supporting the Territory's economic initiatives and development. This summit will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at Divi Carina Bay on St. Croix; and on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort on St. Thomas.

August 11, 2014 at 2:40 PM AST
viNGN BOARD RECEIVES UPDATE ON COMPLETION OF HIGH SPEED FIBER OPTIC BROADBAND NETWORK PROJECT

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. and members of the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network (viNGN) Board of Directors received an update on the high speed broadband internet network project’s recent construction completion as well as an update on the overall connectivity to the all fiber optic network throughout the territory.

August 8, 2014 at 8:30 PM AST
VI Receives $20M NSF Grant Award for VI-EPSCoR

The U.S. Virgin Islands is one of six jurisdictions nation-wide to receive a Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-1 award from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to support Virgin Islands-EPSCoR. The $20 million award will bolster science and engineering academic research infrastructure in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

August 6, 2014 at 5:20 PM AST
Virgin Islands Fire Service -- St. Croix Rope Training

Daryl A. George, Assistant Director of the Virgin Islands Fire Service, announces the training to all fire personnel in Rope Handling at Operator Level being conducted from August 4 - 8, 2014, 8:00am – 5:00pm each day in the St. Croix District. The training is being held at several sites during the 4-day sessions, with practical training at the various sites on the island of St. Croix.

August 6, 2014 at 5:00 PM AST
CONTRACT SIGNED FOR DEVELOPMENT OF 2014 CEDS PLAN

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. has executed an agreement with SYGMAPCS to develop a 2014 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Plan for the territory, in compliance with the requirements stipulated by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

August 4, 2014 at 2:10 PM AST
THE GESC HEALTH INSURANCE BOARD ANNOUNCES TOWN HALL MEETINGS FOR ST. THOMAS AND ST. JOHN TO ADDRESS THE HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT (HRA) COMPLETION DEADLINE AND PENALTY

The GESC Health Insurance Board announces town hall meetings for both the St. Thomas and St. Croix communities of VI Government employees – both actives and pre-65 retirees – to address the Health Risk Assessment (HRA) completion deadline and penalty.

August 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM AST
DE JONGH: CONGRESS INCLUDES LANGUAGE IN APPROPRIATIONS BILL ON GVI DISPUTE WITH U.S. CUSTOMS

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. said Monday that the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees have included language in the Committee reports to the FY 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill acknowledging the ongoing dispute between the Government of the Virgin Islands and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection over CBP’s continuing retention of the local customs duties it collects on behalf of the territory.

August 3, 2014 at 10:00 PM AST
GOVERNOR DE JONGH CONGRATULATES WINNERS OF 2014 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY ELECTION

“The Democratic Party members have spoken and have selected those candidates they wish to represent the party in the November General Election. I congratulate those who won seats in the congressional delegate race, the gubernatorial race and the district senate races as well as positions on the leadership committees of this party,” de Jongh said.

August 2, 2014 at 6:40 PM AST
DE JONGH TAPS J.P. ORIOL AS ACTING COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. has named Jean-Pierre Oriol as the Acting Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. The appointment is effective today. Oriol comes to the position having most recently served as the Director of the Division of Coastal Zone Management at DPNR, a position he has held since 2011. Oriol has been on staff at DPNR for fourteen years in various capacities: as an Environmental Assessor and Special Projects Coordinator.

August 1, 2014 at 3:40 PM AST
GOVERNOR DE JONGH RECEIVES BRIEFING ON TROPICAL STORM BERTHA AND ITS POTENTIAL THREAT TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS THIS WEEKEND

On Friday, Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. received a full briefing from the department and agency heads of the Executive Branch on preparations that have been underway this week in anticipation of the possible threat of Tropical Storm Bertha. Also participating on the midday conference call were federal partners including FEMA, Coast Guard, the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center.

August 1, 2014 at 1:00 PM AST
VITRAN TO OPERATE SPECIAL SATURDAY SERVICE FOR PRIMARY ELECTION

Commissioner Darryl A. Smalls, P.E. of the Department of Public Works advises general public that VITRAN will provide bus service on all three islands on Saturday, August 2, 2014 for the primary election. The fixed route bus service will operate from 5:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. The ADA Paratransit service will not be affected.  

Questions, concerns or requestes for additional information can be placed with Stephen Monsanto- Operations Manager/Territorial Coordinator at (340)-774-5678.

 
August 1, 2014 at 9:40 AM AST
Tropical Storm Watch in Effect for the US Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico; VITEMA Urges Citizens to Begin Storm Preparations

Tropical Storm Bertha has formed about 720 miles east-southeast of St. Croix. A tropical storm watch is now in effect for US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 48 hours somewhere within the specified areas.

August 1, 2014 at 10:40 AM AST
DE JONGH: THE 30TH LEGISLATURE VOTED THIS WEEK TO DELAY $58 MILLION IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY & JOB CREATION FOR ST. CROIX

On the day after the 30th Legislature voted to again stall action on a de Jongh administration proposal to demolish and reconstruct an expanded Paul E. Joseph Stadium in Frederiksted, St. Croix and make available hundreds of jobs and a far reaching economic boost to the islands’ economy, the government’s Bureau of Economic Research released a telling report suggesting that the stadium project has the potential to pump $58 million into the local economy through both direct and indirect economic output.

July 31, 2014 at 4:40 PM AST
GOVERNOR DE JONGH RECEIVES UPDATE ON GOVERNMENT READINESS AND FORECAST OF DISTURBED WEATHER SYSTEM WHICH COULD BRING RAIN AND WINDS TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS THIS WEEKEND

On Thursday afternoon, Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. received an update on the area of disturbed weather that could bring increased rainfall and winds just shy of tropical storm strength to or near the Virgin Islands Saturday night into Sunday.

July 31, 2014 at 10:30 AM AST
GOVERNOR’S TECHNOLOGY SUMMER INITIATIVE ENDS WITH EXPO EVENTS ON BOTH DISTRICTS

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr.’s Technology Exploration Summer Initiative ended this week with two expos at Government House on St. Croix and St. Thomas to showcase the work that students had done over the summer in computer and Internet-related technology.

July 31, 2014 at 10:00 AM AST
GOVERNOR’S OFFICE ACCEPTS CHILDREN'S BOOKS FROM 'FESTIVAL AT SEA' GROUP

In a ceremony Tuesday morning at Frederiksted's Buddhoe Park, The Office of the Governor accepted a gift of approximately 500 children's books for St. Croix. The books and some school supplies were donated by the passengers aboard the Carnival "Valor", a group of about 3,000 African-Americans participating in an annual "Festival at Sea" organized cruise.

July 30, 2014 at 3:50 PM AST
VIEDA seeks USVI small manufacturers for the 2014 USVI International Artistry & Business Expo

The V.I. Economic Development Authority's (VIEDA) State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program is seeking exhibitors in the industries of food, gift and arts, beauty and wellness, music, jewelry, fashion, building and industrial materials to participate in its 2014 U.S. Virgin Islands International Artistry and Business Expo.

July 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM AST
DE JONGH RECEIVES 2012 USVI ECONOMIC CENSUS

The Office of Management and Budget on St. Thomas is currently experiencing technical difficulties with its telephone system. Innovative technicians are presently working on having service restored. During this service interruption, OMB remains reachable via e-mail. Updates will be provided to the public as work to restore telephone service continues.

July 28, 2014 at 1:00 PM AST
NEWS RELEASE--OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET

The Office of Management and Budget on St. Thomas is currently experiencing technical difficulties with its telephone system. Innovative technicians are presently working on having service restored. During this service interruption, OMB remains reachable via e-mail. Updates will be provided to the public as work to restore telephone service continues.

July 27, 2014 at 4:15 PM AST
GOVERNOR DE JONGH HOSTS MEETING WITH VI BOXERS

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. hosted a recent meeting with Virgin Islands boxers John and Julius Jackson, their father Julian Jackson and officials of the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation including Commissioner St. Claire Williams and Asst. Commissioner Stanley Smith.

July 27, 2014 at 4:15 PM AST
GOVERNOR DE JONGH APPLAUDS $841,000 FEDERAL GRANT FOR COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. has acknowledged the announcement that the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources had been awarded an $841,000 federal grant to be used to administer the territory's coastal zone management program. The grant monies are provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the National Coastal Zone Management Program. The NOAA award notice was issued last week.

July 25, 2014 at 12:40 PM AST
BILL 30-0443 and BILL 30-0447 SIGNED INTO LAW

On Thursday evening, Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. signed into law two bills relating to the Virgin Islands Port Authority. The bills had been the subject of a Special Session of the 30th Legislature de Jongh called on Wednesday. At the session, fourteen members voted unanimously to approve the two measures. At Large Senator Craig Barshinger was absent from the Special Session.

July 25, 2014 at 12:40 PM AST
GOVERNOR VETOES BILL 30-0337; DE JONGH SAYS THE LEGISLATURE’S HURRIEDLY ADOPTED VERSION OF THIS BILL WILL COST GENERAL FUND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN REVENUE

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. on Wednesday nixed Bill 30-0337 returning it to the Senate with a scathing message about both the introduction of flawed legislation and a rush by the 30th Legislature to hurriedly adopt a bill that, should it become law, would cost the cash strapped General Fund of the government millions of dollars in revenue.

July 24, 2014 at 10:30 AM AST
WAPA PROPANE TANKS ARRIVE ON ST. CROIX

On Wednesday, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and Vitol Virgin Islands Corporation announced the arrival of the first shipment of eight empty LPG storage tanks. Ten more tanks will follow the first shipment in the coming weeks for a total of eighteen tanks.

July 23, 2014 at 1:40 PM AST
GOVERNOR DE JONGH THANKS 30TH LEGISLATURE FOR APPROVAL OF VIPA-RELATED MATTERS

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. this afternoon expressed his appreciation to the fourteen members of the 30th Legislature who today voted unanimously to approve two measures related to the operations of the Virgin Islands Port Authority. At-Large Senator Craig Barshinger was absent from today’s Special Session.

July 22, 2014 at 9:30 PM AST
THE POTENTIAL LOSS OF 13 CRUISE SHIP CALLS EQUATES TO MORE THAN $18 MILLION IN LOST ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

On the eve of a Special Session of the 30th Legislature called by Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. to address a critically-needed major coastal permit for the Virgin Islands, the government’s Bureau of Economic Research released results of an impact analysis conducted over the last few days to gauge the effect on the territory should it suffer the loss of more than a dozen cruise ship calls. The impact analysis was developed at de Jongh’s request following his call for Wednesday’s Special Session of the Legislature.

July 22, 2014 at 5:30 PM AST
DE JONGH: VIRGIN ISLANDS RECEIVES $50,389.00 FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR LAND & WATER CONSERVATION FUND

Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. has been advised by the Secretary of the Interior that the Virgin Islands has been awarded $50,389.00 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Certificate of Apportionment for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State and Local Assistance Grant Program that distributes funds to the 50 states, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U. S. Virgin Islands for state-identified outdoor recreation projects.

July 21, 2014 at 6:20 PM AST
GOVERNOR DE JONGH: SECOND PUBLIC HEARING ON NEW ST. JOHN SCHOOL

The Office of the Governor in partnership with the Departments of Education and Public Works announces the second in a series of three public scoping meetings to respond to submitted comments for a new St. John School and present the findings of the Phase I Archaeological Study for a suggested property for the school.

July 21, 2014 at 4:40 PM AST
VIEDA and Ex-Im Bank host seminars, meetings in the Territory

V.I. Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) representatives; other local government officials; representatives from Scotiabank, Merchants Commercial Bank (MCB), and the Bank of St. Croix; along with potential and existing USVI small manufacturers and service providers participated in three days of meetings and two seminars with officials from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

Central High School Update

Executive Summary from the Central High School Odor Investigation

Based on interviews with hospital staff, CHS students and teachers, and others who experienced the March 18th incident, it was determined that hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and potentially other reduced sulfur compounds were the chemicals that likely caused the odor and the physical symptoms. The investigation focused on potential local sources of H2S and reduced sulfur compounds including the sanitary sewer system at the school and along Queen Mary Highway and on the two more distant potential industrial sources: the Diageo Rum Distillery and the HOVENSA Oil Terminal.

Special Section
PENSION REFORM
On March 11, 2014, Governor de Jongh submitted both draft legislation to the 30th Legislature, proposing major reforms to the government’s pension system. The legislation, once implemented, will begin the arduous task of addressing the constantly growing unfunded liability of the system which threatens the retirement savings of thousands of retired V.I. Government employees.
Governor's Transmittal Letter
Proposed Legislation
PROMOTING TOURISM
Virgin Islands Featured in Bridal Magazine

As a follow-up to the the highly successful Bridal Symposium held in the Virgin Islands last July, 201 (Bride) Magazine has featured the Virgin Islands in its Winter Issue. 

Read the full article .pdf (5MB)

Department of Tourism Brings the Heat to Southern Florida
Department of Tourism Celebrates the Season with St. Croix Residents
the FUTURE OF HOVENSA 
On November 7, 2013, Governor de Jongh signed into law Bill 30-0273 which ratifies the Fourth Amendment Agreement between the Virgin Islands government and the owners of the HOVENSA refinery on St. Croix.
Special Section
WAPA / LPG CONVERSION PROJECT
WAPA Announces Vitol Hires Local Contractor for Initial Phase of LPG Conversion Project
Governor Asks EPA to Support WAPA's Conversion to Cleaner Fuels
WAPA Receives 13 Responses to RFQ for Fuel Conversion Process
HEALTH CARE REFORM
On July 11, 2013, Governor de Jongh announced his decision to act upon the recommendations of a task force he appointed and expand the territory’s Medicaid program instead of implementing a Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace for the Virgin Islands.
Learn more
Special Section
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
Government House recently provided an overview of the dozen projects that are being developed as part of the much talked about and anticipated revitalization of downtown St. Thomas. The initiative carries a $172 million dollar price tag.
Special Section
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