ST.THOMAS—The 30th Legislature, chaired by Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone, gathered at the Earle B. Ottley Legislative Hall Thursday for the first day of a two-day session, where lawmakers approved several economic development measures as well as bills calling for the Governor to pay back public funds expended on his private residence and the decriminalization of marijuana.
Bill Nos. 30-0330, 30-0429, 30-0431, 30-0440 were approved, enacting the Economic Development Program, establishing the Agriculture Business Incubator Center for the farming industry, establishing the Hotel Development Program and renovating the Paul E. Joseph Stadium, respectively.
The Senate President explained that the approval of these bills was just the beginning and said that he would do his part to ensure that the people of the territory be made aware of the beneficial impact the measures would have.
“This is not to be taken lightly, he said. “These bills in particular have far reaching positive impact for the people of our beloved Virgin Islands.”
“[People] can see a way out, a light at the end of the tunnel because of the work of members of this institution and the agencies that we work with to craft these policies, so that they turn into something tangible,” he said. “Good things are happening for the Virgin Islands.”
U.S.V.I. — The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Department of Tourism is pleased to announce an all-new, hour-long episode of the hit and Emmy Award-winning CBS series "The Amazing Race" focusing on St. Thomas will air nationally on Friday, September 26, at 8 p.m. The season premiere positions St. Thomas, and the USVI, as an easily accessible tropical escape full of adventure and culture. A preview can be viewed online through the show's website, www.cbs.com/shows/amazing_race.
The Film Office of the USVI Department of Tourism worked closely with the show's production team from World Race Productions on-location for 17 days during May to June 2014. The race was shot "live" over 24 hours. This included providing assistance in location permits, logistics, coordination with government agencies and overall guidance in addition to working with story researchers to profile USVI experiences. World Race Productions' team spent more than $400,000 on the island, employed 90 local crew members, and profiled Virgin Islands culture in the episode. The show is estimated to reach nearly eight million potential travelers as it airs during primetime on CBS, generating an estimated total media value of more than $12 million.
"The impact of a CBS series like The Amazing Race filming in the USVI is far reaching, engaging millions of viewers in our unique USVI culture," said Commissioner Nicholson-Doty. "The DOT thanks all those who assisted the production while in the Territory and we look forward to more opportunities like this one to showcase the diverse experiences found across the entire U.S. Virgin Islands."
Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory announced Tuesday that Julius Sprauve School Principal Dionne Wells will be serving as Interim St. Thomas-St. John Superintendent of Schools, effective Oct. 1.
Wells will be taking over for long-time Superintendent Jeanette Smith-Barry, who will be retiring after 41 years with the Department. Smith-Barry was appointed to serve as Superintendent in January of 2008.
“I am thankful to have been able to work alongside Superintendent Smith-Barry, who has – despite various challenges and limited resources – remained steadfast in her commitment to our schools and students,” Frett-Gregory said. “She has been unwavering in her passion for learning, has pushed our students to excel beyond their own expectations and has been a staunch advocate for many of the initiatives that we are implementing today. She has dedicated 41 years – more than half her life – to serving the children of this territory and has impacted countless lives in a truly positive way.”
Frett-Gregory said that in the interim, she has named Wells for the position.
A 29-year-old native St. Johnian has been named one of the nation’s most accomplished female attorneys in the U.S. technology field. Monique Liburd, a trademarks attorney at Google, and 49 other professionals were named 50 Women Leaders in Tech Law by the online Recorder, an online publication serving the practice of law.
Liburd and others were credited for leadership and keeping up with the legal aspects of rapidly changing technology trends. Some were also cited for the role they played in deal making and promoting other women into influential legal posts.
Women attorneys representing Facebook, eBay, Apple, Cisco Systems, SanDisk, BlackBerry, Intuit and Apple were also named on the top 50 list. Other attorneys being honored represent boutique law firms. There are also two academics and one government official.