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Weather in the World :

81  Degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas.  Under Partly Cloudy Skies.
78%  humidity
Barometric pressure is 29.98 inches
Wind is from East at 10 MPH
No rain at WSTA in the last 24 hours.

National Weather Service says:  Patches of low level moisture will combine with daytime heating to produce cloudiness and showers across portions of the Virgin Islands from time to time throughout the day today.  A six-foot swell will continue to affect the Atlantic waters and nearby passages this morning but it will begin to decrease late today.

Forecast: Scattered showers and thunderstorms. High near 80F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

Cruise Ship News –  Carnival Glory, Carnival Sunshine Is at Havensight Dock
Oasis of the Seas is at Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal:

Headlines : 

At the top of the news on !! AIR – May 20 Tuesday

The joint Board of elections met yesterday and heard the Attorney General’s report about missing ballots in the 2012 election. The report points to a problems with the reintroduction of paper ballots, problems with last-minute certification of electric machines, and questionable procedures and errors in tallying votes. Back in 2012 there was a public outcry to allow the use of paper ballots. They had not been used since 1986. But handling the ballots, how they're counted, and other factors led to the loss of many ballots. Many people used the symbol to vote for a whole party slate, and then went on to vote for additional candidates - That exceeded the maximum number of votes and spoiled the ballot. The harsh news is that 18,151 people voted in the St. Thomas-St John district and some 16 percent of the votes were mismanaged. It is not clear if the missing ballots would have changed the outcome of the election. Details of the report have not been released until the board has a chance to study the report. But it seems certain that new rules and regulations are needed to make sure the coming election doesn't lose anybody's votes. There is also a pressing need for education to ensure that the public knows that the use of voting machines, and how to handle a paper ballot. The board also decided that candidates may use their nicknames so long as their name does not exceed 22 characters.

The source on line has a feature about the so-called “school to prison pipeline.” The topic is getting a lot of attention in the states. Education officials are asking whether disciplining unruly students by suspending them from school is sending them to the streets, and to a life of crime. Does school suspension impact a student's chances for success? What level of infraction should be punished with suspension? Is suspending students the wrong way to punish them?  School suspension rates range from 2.2 percent in North Dakota to 12.7 percent in South Carolina and in the Virgin Islands the most recent figures were just under six percent putting us in the middle of the pack. Local school officials say there has been a concerted effort to reduce the number of suspensions. There is a three part article, the first part is in The Source online today.

We told you yesterday that the governor signed into law a bill to allow food stamp recipients to use their benefit cards at local farming fish markets. Senator Clarence Payne, the bill's sponsor, said that thirty-four thousand local residents will be able to buy fresh local food, from local farmers and fishermen. This is estimated to be a $60 million market.  Under the SNAP Fresh Food Access and Farmers’ Market Technology Improvement Program farmers and fishermen in the territory will receive the equipment and technical assistance necessary to accept Electronic Benefit Transfer payments from food stamp cards. The idea is to benefit food stamp recipients, farmers and fishermen; and improve the overall health and economic well-being of Virgin Islands residents.  Payne said. “We cannot ignore the high rate of obesity and diabetes in the Virgin Islands.” He said it is a question of affordability.” Payne continued, “Anyone who has tried to feed a family on a limited budget can tell you that it is cheaper to fill a shopping cart with unhealthy processed foods than with fresh, healthy foods.”
Now it is up to the Department of Human Services and the Agriculture dept to implement the program and to ensure that all SNAP recipients, farmers and fishermen are fully educated and empowered to benefit from the program.

The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands hosted the fourteenth annual Laws of Life Essay Contest awards receptions this weekend. More than 600 students from all 4 public high schools submitted essay that addressed a Law of Life. These laws are simply the “set of rules” by which we should live.  A panel of anonymous judges selected the best essays. Ninety-one students were First prize winners from each grade at each high school and they got $500, second place winners got $250, $150 for third place and $50 to students who received honorable mention. The English teachers of the three top winners also won cash prizes. The First Place Winners from St. Thomas were Jah'Shylah Davis,
Kaisma Henry,
D' Shanique Walters, 
Shaedaya Varlack, 
Devante Bartlette,
Brianna Hairston, and
Kyu Matthews.  

On St Croix the First Place Winners were
Eric Hennemann,
Cassim Vitalis,
Amal Bryson,
Jashaune Graham, 
Shawn Abel,
Chasen Richards,
Sherise Gumbs, and
Sojourna Ferguson.

You're listening to Good News Headlines on WSTA. More news, first this

The Law Enforcement Planning Commission office on St. Thomas is closed this week – they are moving to a new location at Suite 700 in Nisky Center, St. Thomas.  They will reopen on Tuesday, May 27. Meanwhile the St. Croix office is open.  Use their phone at 713-5179.

The USVI Alliance, Inc. will host its 2nd annual U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on today through Thursday. This year’s title is, “Diversifying Business and Industry in the 21st Century and Beyond.” A pre-Summit reception featuring Virgin Islands talent is on Tuesday, May 20. The formal program convenes from Wednesday, May 21 to Thursday, May 22, 2014 from 8to 5:30.  

The deadline to file for property tax credits has been extended until today. Property owners who have not applied for the tax credits should do so today. There are tax credits for General Homestead, Veterans, Seniors, Disabled, Visitable Home and for farmers among other tax credits. For more information call the Tax Assessors Office on your island.

Helping Others in a Positive Environment is opening a chronic disease clinic at #57 Dronningens Gade TODAY at 10:00 am.  The new HOPE Clinic will provide free services for hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and HIV. HOPE is launching its new Men’s Health Initiative with gender specific services for young and older adult males with free STD Screenings and case management services.

Here comes the 2014 District Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fair Today through  Friday at the University Sports and Fitness Center on St. Thomas.   Students will display projects in science research, science demonstration, math investigation, math modeling, video presentation, power points, music, web page design, desktop publishing, and programming. The theme is “Designing Experiences for the 21st Century through STEM”. Younger students will set up on Tuesday, between 7:30 and 8:30. Judging between 8:30 and 11:30. The public can come see the displays on Wednesday between 10 am and 12:30. The awards ceremony is at 1:00 PM on Wednesday.  On Thursday, the secondary students will set up and the public is welcome to come in after the judging on Friday. The award ceremonies is Friday at 1:30.

Jael King, a 6th grader at Alfredo Andrews Elementary School is in Washington to represent the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in the National Geographic Bee from today through Wednesday.  King won his school GeoBee, and he won the 2014 Atlantic Territorial Bee in April.   Jael’s teacher Loretta Whilby-Royes will accept a prize from the National Geographic Society on behalf of Alfredo Andrews Elementary School.

St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. – With the slow, summer months approaching, The West Indian Company will host a mellow community concert event from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30  p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, in gazebo area on the dock. Master steel pan artist Victor Provost and the students of Mentoring through the Arts of Music will be the featured entertainers at Pan Meets Jazz.  The students will perform from 5:30 to 6:30.  And then Victor Provost will perform on the WICO dock from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  WICO’s Community Concerts are free and are held on the third Tuesday of every month.  The Carnival Glory will be in port until 6 p.m., while the Carnival Sunshine will remain until 8 p.m.  All guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs. 5:30 PM this evening at WICO dock.

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