ST. CROIX - Someone first took note about 10 to 12 years ago of the unusual glow when something moved in the water at night in a man-made inlet at Salt River Bay.
At least, that's the first evidence that National Park Service officials can find of someone documenting the bioluminescence there - a natural phenomenon that is now the subject of an ongoing research project at Salt River involving multiple universities.
Marcia Taylor - whose part in that research project is outreach, taking local kids out on nighttime kayak tours at no charge to them so they can see the bioluminescence - said the experience has been "incredible."
ST. CROIX - A significant brushy area on the island's eastern south shore was set ablaze late Thursday night, leaving behind ashes and about 30 acres of scorched vegetation.
Deputy Fire Chief Kory Kent said the call of a bush fire came in just before midnight Thursday about a blaze in a grassy area between Point Udall and Goat Hill on the island's southern side.
Investigators determined that a person on the side of the road started the fire, Kent said, and the blaze burned toward the ridge. Whether the fire was set accidentally or intentionally is not yet known, but officials strongly suspect arson, Kent said.
ST. THOMAS - Taking an action rarely seen, the V.I. Bar Association publicly reprimanded a St. Thomas attorney Thursday in the territory's highest court and suspended him from practicing law for six months.
Elmo Adams Jr. faced potential disciplinary action after a Feb. 21 petition from the Bar Association's Ethics and Grievance Committee, according to an April 11 opinion from the V.I. Supreme Court.
However, the Supreme Court disagreed with the committee's recommendation that Adams be suspended indefinitely until he pay a judgment against him in a lawsuit stemming from the case for which he was sanctioned.
ST. CROIX - After postponements because of inclement weather, the death of a member of the quelbe band and other unforeseen circumstances, the 8th Annual Revival of Quadrille in Our Schools will take place at 5 p.m. today at St. Croix Central High School.
Valrica Bryson, the event coordinator, said students from nine schools will display their quadrille skills.
The show initially had been scheduled for last month at Paul E. Joseph Stadium, but when torrential rains saturated the stadium field, the date was changed.
ST. THOMAS - The first of three community engagement meetings held by the V.I. Board of Education was sparsely attended Friday evening and only a handful of about 20 attendees were parents of school-age children.
Most of those attending were V.I. Education employees, but the parents and educators who were there had a chance to express many disparate concerns about the educational system to the board.
After hearing brief introductions from Mary Moorhead and Arah Lockhart, co-chairpersons of the board's Public-Private Sector Liaison Committee, the public participants offered a variety of suggestions, including more professional development for music teachers; making swimming a required part of the curriculum; renovating and overhauling campuses; standardizing the implementation of online learning courses; and removing the oversight of the Edith Williams Alternative Academy from the Education Department.
ST. THOMAS - Senators questioned V.I. Health Department officials Friday about the problems plaguing the Emergency Medical Services unit, but neither side offered solutions and they all avoided discussing any of the major issues.
The Senate's Health, Hospitals, Human Services and Veterans Affairs Committee convened Friday to hear about Schneider Hospital's dialysis unit, but the discussion would frequently turn to the EMS issues laid out in a series of stories published in The Daily News this week.
Emergency Medical Technician Alson Lockhart Jr. said Friday's hearing was "mediocre" and he is disappointed that the senators did not press the Health commissioner about the problems within the EMS unit.
Native stone details can be found throughout Villa Coyaba.
Stretch out on the deck of Villa Coyaba, gaze over the infinity edge swimming pool and allow the sound of the surf at Devers Bay below to lull you into a state of blissful relaxation.
This newly constructed villa, with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, is for sale for $4.413 million, explained Islandia Real Estate broker/owner Merry Nash.
Located on a flat lot in Estate Chocolate Hole East, Villa Coyaba is situated to take full advantage of the steady, cooling trade winds.
The home boasts mesmerizing views over Chocolate Hole and along the south shore of St. John to St. Croix while being located just a short drive from the dining, shopping and nightlife of Cruz Bay. The island?s famed North Shore beaches are also only a few minutes drive.
With natural brick and beautiful native stonework, Villa Coyaba combines luxurious details while also nodding to Caribbean history, explained Nash.
?Some of the best features of Villa Coyaba are the two stone, round towers which are based on replicas of old sugar mills,? said the Islandia Real Estate broker/owner.
It will surely be difficult to pull yourself away from the endless water views found just beyond the infinity edge swimming pool overlooking Devers Bay. The expansive pool deck offers plenty of space to lounge about and soak up the tropical sun, or relax in the shade.
?The infinity edge pool overlooking Devers Bay is beautiful,? said Nash. ?You can hear the surf from the pool.?
Inside Villa Coyaba find a large private master suite complete with its own sitting room, office and den. The home also offers two oversized, private guest bedroom pods each with its own dressing area and native stone shower.
The living spaces are centered around a large and elegantly appointed great room. With luxurious dining and living areas as well as high-end furnishings, spending a night in at Villa Coyaba will be a real treat.
The kitchen at Villa Coyaba includes custom hard wood cabinets, plenty of counter space and state of the art, stainless steel appliances. Pull up a chair at the large and inviting breakfast bar and discuss the day?s beach plans.
Enjoy all that St. John and tropical living have to offer at Villa Coyaba. For more information on the home, call Nash at Islandia Real Estate at (340) 776-6666 or on her cell at (340) 642-2246.
Steve Simonsen congratulates GHS student John Spinale on being awarded the first annual visual arts scholarship.
On Thursday morning, May 9, Gifft Hill School headmistress Judy Chamberlian awarded the first ever Steve Simonsen Visual Arts Scholarship at the school?s Upper Campus.
The scholarship honors the long-time St. John artist and GHS teacher Simonsen, while recognizing a student who has demonstrated a commitment to, and excellence in, the area of visual arts, explained Chamberlain.
The award was given to John Spinale, for using his gifts to enrich the arts programs of GHS.
?For the past three years, Spinale has impressed us with his creativity and professionalism,? said the GHS head. ?He has created videos celebrating a variety of GHS programs and dedicated untold hours in service to the school helping produce fundraising videos. He has become the unofficial go-to resource for teachers needing help with video projects and is always generous with his time and expertise.?
Now in its third year, Sisterhood Agenda will implement ?SHE: Sisters Healthy and Empowered,? in celebration of National Women?s Health Week on Friday, May 17, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Franklin Powell Park in Cruz Bay.
Sharing space with VITEMA?s outreach event during the day, Sisterhood Agenda will provide SHE activities, health information, and coordinate fitness demonstrations for residents in the Cruz Bay park.
Health issues such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, stroke and heart disease are familiar concerns for St. John residents, explained Sisterhood Agenda president Angela Coleman.
?This is a fun event, but one that also has a purpose,? said Coleman. ?We can be healthy and empowered by making good choices.?
Angie Smith, owner of VIVA! Villas and now Sunshine Jeep Rental, poses with a few of the company?s new vehicles.
When Angie Smith ran into trouble hunting down Jeep rentals for her villa clients, she decided to open her own rental business.
With little to no parking on St. John, however, the V.I. government had stopped issuing rental license plates for new agencies.
Not one to take no for an answer, Smith, who owns VIVA! Villas, kept her dream alive, filing applications each year.
That was a decade ago and Smith, with her recently issued business license in hand, has opened the island?s newest Jeep rental ? Sunshine Jeep Rental.
?With the villa rentals we also book activities and Jeep rentals for our customers and we just found that we weren?t always able to locate vehicles,? said Smith. ?We wanted to keep the business on St. John and we found there was a need for another rental agency on the island. So about 10 years we put in for a Jeep rental license plate request.?
?At that time the government was not issuing any Jeep rental plates due to the inadequate parking,? she said. ?I basically stalked them. Every year I wrote a letter to the director of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.?
?Finally with the new parking lot, I put more pressure on them and they finally issued more rental plates,? said Smith. While Sunshine Jeep Rental, located across from the Islandia Building in Cruz Bay, mostly rents to VIVA! Villas customers, the company is open to the public, Smith explained.
Thanks to a collaborative effort by volunteer Burnell Shively, St. John graphic artist Kate Norfleet and board members, Coral Bay Community Council has a new, and its first, logo.
In lieu of its own identifying logo, CBCC officials just used the group?s name on its letterhead. Now, with a vibrant graphic in lush green and bright blue colors, CBCC?s logo depicts the recognizable shape of Coral Bay harbor surrounded by a heart.
?We didn?t have a logo before,? said CBCC President Sharon Coldren. ?We just hadn?t invested the time and the effort to develop one. We got along with a letterhead and used ?CBCC? when we needed to.?
New part-time resident Shively decided that wasn?t quite enough, Coldren explained.
?Brunell, a new seasonal resident who is a graphic artist, volunteered to work on this for us with Kate [Norfleet],? Coldren said. ?Kate has always been willing to help us, but she?s so busy and has limited time. With Brunell willing to put in the time needed for this and working with the CBCC board and Kate, it just all came together.?
The idea for the logo was inspired by CBCC?s ?universal message,? Coldren added.
On Tuesday, May 7, St. John became the first island in the Caribbean to have an Oxygen Generator Systems Inc oxygen generator.
With a way now to produce its own oxygen, that means no more trips to St. Thomas or St. Croix to purchase oxygen for the island?s emergency services agencies.
Service manager Mary Grace Keenan, from the manufacturer Oxygen Generator Systems Inc, traveled from New York to install the generator and to train St. John Rescue members in its use and maintenance.
The oxygen generator was purchased for $60,000 through donations by private benefactors and through the efforts of the Rotary Club of St. John, the Rotary Club of Buckhannon, West Virginia, Rotary e Club of Puerto Rico, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International and Rotary Districts 7020, 6530 and 7000.
Now St. John EMS, Fire Service, National Park Service, and, of course, St. John Rescue have access to an unlimited supply of oxygen right here on St. John.
Members of St. John Rescue will be trained and will then establish a schedule for the filling of oxygen bottles during the week.
Having medical grade oxygen available on St. John will save time and money for all agencies.St. John Rescue members are proud to be serving the community by providing the best possible life saving services to residents and visitors.
Of course the group is always in need of donations to help ensure that St. John Rescue can keep providing emergency medical services. Please consider a donation or consider joining the dynamic organization.
For more information check out www.stjohnrescue.org.