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USVI Community Pulse

Fresh Produce Reward for Health Expo Participants in the Virgin Islands



The Virgin Islands Division of Personnel, in partnership with the GESC Health Insurance Board and Cigna, has announced a special initiative to distribute fresh local produce to attendees of the 2023 Virtual Annual Health and Wellness Expo. This initiative, which follows the successful online event held on July 13, is part of a broader effort to encourage a healthy lifestyle among the government employee community by providing the fruits of local agriculture.

Participant Eligibility and Verification

To be eligible for the complimentary produce bags, individuals must be active Cigna employees, Cigna retirees under the age of 65, or their dependents, who have both registered for and participated in the expo. Proof of identification will be required at the time of collection to verify participant eligibility.

United Healthcare members who attended the expo can expect a similar distribution event. Details on this will be communicated in the near future by the GESC Health Insurance Board in collaboration with United Healthcare.

Scheduled Distribution Events

The Division of Personnel has organized drive-through events for the collection of produce bags at the following locations and times:

  • St. Croix: November 13, 2023, at the DC Canegeta Ball Park, from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.
  • St. John: November 16, 2023, at the Cruz Bay Band Stand/Gazebo, from 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
  • St. Thomas: November 17, 2023, at the Emile Griffith Ball Park Parking Lot, from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Online Resources

For those who could not attend the live event, the Division has made all presentations and a full recording of the expo available at the GVI Wellness website under the resources section.

Ongoing Health Initiatives

The Division of Personnel reaffirms its commitment to promoting health and wellness among government employees, emphasizing that maintaining good health is invaluable. The community can anticipate ongoing and new health-centric programs from the GVI Wellness Program.

Inquiries and Contact Information

Should there be any questions about the produce distribution or the wellness program, Ms. Ladee Shanna Martin, the Wellness Program Coordinator, is available for contact via email at [email protected] or by phone at 340-774-8588, extension 5252.

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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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