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USVI Community Pulse

Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School Rolls Out Device Distribution Amid Bovoni Landfill Fire Disruption



Due to the sustained disruption caused by the Bovoni Landfill fire, the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School (BCB) will remain temporarily closed to ensure the safety of its student and staff population. As a means of maintaining educational continuity, the V.I. Department of Education (VIDE) has outlined plans to distribute learning devices and instructional materials to students.

The school has scheduled device and instructional material collection for parents and guardians on September 21, 2023, between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm. Recognizing the varying schedules of guardians, an additional pickup slot has been allocated for September 22, 2023, during the same hours. These two dates are exclusive for pickups. For those who cannot make it within these timeframes, the school has advised reaching out directly via their contact email at [email protected].

With the prevailing concerns about the air quality due to the fire, it’s been highly recommended for guardians to stick to the allocated collection times.

Device Collection Protocols:

  • Collection is exclusively for those registered as guardians or affiliated individuals in the PowerSchool system.
  • Completion of the District Technology Form is a pre-requisite before acquiring a device.
  • Devices should only be collected if genuinely required.
  • Students with existing devices are directed to use Microsoft Teams for learning.

Details on Instructional Materials:

The provided packets are structured to cover assignments and materials dating back to September 18, 2023, with an expected submission by the next week.

Transitioning to Virtual Learning:

Post the device distribution, educators will primarily communicate via Microsoft Teams and email. A unique asynchronous learning timetable will kick off on September 25, 2023.

The dedication of the school’s faculty and staff remains unwavering. Regular academic operations, including grading, parental interactions, team supervisor meetings, and PowerSchool data entry, will persist.

In closing, the Department of Education wants to express its profound appreciation to the V.I. Fire Emergency Management Services and partner agencies for their relentless efforts since the fire’s ignition on September 14, 2023. The collaboration and understanding of parents and guardians are pivotal as everyone adapts to this unforeseen challenge.

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USVI Community Pulse

New Parking Fee at Fort Christianvaern Starting Dec. 11



Beginning December 11, visitors to Fort Christiansvaern in Christiansted, St. Croix, will need to pay a $10 daily parking fee, as announced by the National Park Service (NPS). This new automated payment system, located at the parking lot’s entrance, will facilitate payments exclusively via debit and credit cards, as cash transactions will not be available.

The NPS has implemented this fee to generate additional revenue, aimed at enhancing the overall experience for visitors. The funds collected will be strategically invested in improving the park’s facilities and infrastructure, contributing to a more enjoyable and well-maintained environment for all guests.

Parking will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. To ensure the safety and proper use of the parking lot, vehicles left after 5:00 p.m. may be towed at the owner’s expense, emphasizing the importance of adhering to the stipulated hours.

The NPS encourages the continued use of the parking lot at the Christiansted Historical site, highlighting its safety and convenience for both town and park visitors. They anticipate positive public cooperation with these changes.

For further inquiries or to address any concerns, individuals can contact Chief Ranger Gabriel Laurencin at [email protected] or call 340-773-1460 for assistance.

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USVI Community Pulse

St. Croix Prepares for Dazzling Christmas Boat Parade with Parking and Traffic Regulations



The picturesque island of St. Croix is abuzz with excitement as it gears up for the much-anticipated annual Christmas Boat Parade on Saturday, December 9. This festive highlight draws crowds to Christiansted’s scenic boardwalk, prompting the V.I. Police Department to enforce specific parking restrictions and road closures for a seamless event experience.

Key measures implemented by the VIPD in preparation for the parade, a cornerstone of St. Croix’s holiday celebrations, include:

  • A parking ban on Queen Cross Street, from Riddims to the Caravelle Casino, effective 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. (midnight). This measure is essential for vendor setup and smooth parade preparations.
  • King Street will also be subject to a no-parking policy from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. (midnight). This restriction encompasses the stretch from Florence Williams Library to Government House and includes the vicinity from Strand Lane (Purple Papaya) to King Street.

To ensure public safety and efficient traffic management, roadblocks will be in place at the intersection of King Street and King Cross Street (near the Library), commencing at 11:00 a.m. and lasting until midnight. Access during this time will be limited to vendors and officials associated with the Boat Parade Committee.

The Christmas Boat Parade is an iconic tradition in St. Croix, attracting thousands to the Christiansted boardwalk for a magical evening. The event is renowned for its display of intricately decorated boats, illuminating the night with festive lights, culminating in a stunning fireworks show.

The VIPD extends its gratitude to the community for cooperating with these traffic and parking arrangements, emphasizing their commitment to ensuring a safe, enjoyable holiday experience for all attendees.

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USVI Community Pulse

Ford Initiates Major Recall of Over 45,000 Vehicles Due to Door Latch Concerns



Ford Motor Company has begun issuing notices to owners of select models, specifically the 2015 Fiesta, 2016 Fusion, and the 2016 Lincoln MKZ, regarding a critical safety issue identified in these vehicles.

The company disclosed in mid-November the discovery of a defect in the door latches of certain vehicles. The defect involves a latch component that may break, potentially making the door difficult to secure or, in some cases, allowing it to open unexpectedly during travel.

Notably, some of these vehicles are known to have been sold and registered in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In response, Ford dealerships are conducting thorough inspections of the door latches on affected vehicles, with a directive to replace all four side door latches at no cost to the vehicle owner if they find any issues.

Vehicle owners who prefer immediate action rather than waiting for postal notifications can access further information by reaching out to Ford’s customer service at 1-866-436-7332 or contacting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

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