US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Bryan Says Arresting People Who Don’t Quarantine for 14 Days is a Civil Rights Issue, and Challenged the Consortium to Find a State Where People Were Being Arrested. We Did.

Governor Albert Bryan has been hesitant to arrest individuals who violate the 14-day quarantine in the territory, and on Monday challenged the Consortium to find anywhere in America where people were being arrested for breaking such orders. The 14-day quarantine is imposed on individuals coming into a country, state or territory after traveling from an area affected by the coronavirus.

To Mr. Bryan’s challenge, Hawaii, the U.S. state that is located outside North America, and the only island state, has been arresting people for breaking the 14-day quarantine for a while now.



Lt. Gov. Roach Orders USVI Banks Not to Garnish Federal Stimulus Checks Coming to Virgin Islanders

Lieutenant Governor Tregenza Roach in his capacity as chairman of the Virgin Islands Banking Board, has issued an order to the territory’s banks advising them that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus payment is exempt from garnishment for outstanding loans, overdraft fees and other fees that a customer may owe the bank.

The Banking Board took action to exempt the CARES Act Stimulus Payment from being garnished by all USVI banks, all of which are licensed and authorized to conduct business in the territory by the board, Mr. Roach’s Office said.



V.I. Energy Office Provides Best Practices on Saving Energy During Coronavirus Pandemic; 40 Percent Rebate on ‘ENERGY STAR’ Products Available

The Virgin Islands Energy Office on Thursday provided some best practices on how residents could reduce their energy bill. The tips are provided as Virgin Islanders — under a stay-at-home order from the government — are consuming more energy while at home, as they seek entertainment options to pass time and, with the whether being hot, use coolers such as fans and AC units for comfort. These items, however, cause energy consumption to surge.



Letter to the Editor: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In the Virgin Islands, We Still Have a Long Way to Go (Clema Lewis)

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to the awareness and prevention of sexual assault, harassment and abuse. While the #MeToo Movement has increased the amount of reported sexual assaults in the Virgin Islands and the United States, we still have a long way to go to guarantee protections for all victims/survivors.



Bryan Issuing Rent Freeze During COVID-19 Emergency

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. on Wednesday said he is instituting a “rent freeze” during the remainder of the coronavirus emergency, prohibiting landlords from increasing rent, even in cases where the lease or rental agreement has expired.



GERS Hears Plan to Save the System, Including Steep Cuts

The Government Employees Retirement System trustees heard a plan to save the failing pension system, but it will take 20 years and see present retirees’ monthly checks cut by 44 percent.

The plan was presented Thursday by representatives from the firm Segal. It included a recap of projections that show, if nothing is done, GERS will be insolvent in two or three years and cuts to retiree checks could be as high as 70 percent.



Justice is a Long Way Off For Survivors of Homicide Victims

This is the first in a new Source series being developed on violence, its ramifications and potential solutions.

Bernadette Gonsalves has for the last 11 years worn the grief of losing her son to gun violence sparingly.

With five dead men added to the St. Thomas homicide list in April so far, all the quiet battles she has fought and won, and lost, have begun to haunt her sleeping and waking hours.



Virgin Islanders Practice Social Distancing by Gathering Virtually

With a stay-at-home order in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Virgin Islands events, like the highly anticipated St. Thomas Carnival scheduled for April, were cancelled, leaving residents no choice but to become more creative while social distancing at home. Even in these trying times, there seems to be a new wave of virtual social gatherings and challenges buzzing throughout the territory. Here’s a rundown on some of the V.I. social trends you can get into while at home.



Roach prohibits banks from garnishing stimulus checks

Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach, in his capacity as chairman of the Virgin Islands Banking Board, has issued an order to make coronavirus stimulus checks exempt from garnishment for outstanding loans, overdraft fees or any other fees that a customer may owe to a local bank.

In a statement Thursday, Roach said the Banking Board took action to exempt the payments — which are a part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act stimulus package — as a way to protect residents who may be struggling financially during this time.



VING says armory reconstruction on schedule

ST. THOMAS — The V.I. National Guard on Thursday announced that the reconstruction of the Leonard B. Francis Readiness Center on St. Thomas is on target to meet its November deadline despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The structure, which sustained heavy damage from hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, is undergoing a $22 million restoration by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to a statement.



Jail officials warned of potential fines (article attached)

Officials with the V.I. Bureau of Corrections have a new set of court orders for the  management of the St. Thomas jail, and a federal judge says he’ll issue fines starting at $100 a day for noncompliance.



Three men charged with smuggling about $3 million in cash

ST. THOMAS — Three Puerto Rican men have been charged with attempting to smuggle about $3 million cash into the territory, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.

The men, Jose Pimentel-Rivera, 29, Jerry Kirkiland-Marrero, 29, and Kalihel Ramos De Jesus, 27, were arrested Tuesday and charged with concealing more than $100,000 on board a vessel outfitted for smuggling, according to an affidavit filed by a special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.



Editorial: An unexpected gift

The V.I. Board of Elections voted unanimously — without rancor, without colliding egos and without lawsuit threats and counter threats.