BIR Announces Extension of April 30th Gross Receipts and Hotel Tax Return Deadlines

The April 30th due dates for both the gross receipts tax return and the hotel room tax return will be…

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Half a dozen young people, local artists and music producers have created a peace song for Carnival 2014. To read more about the song, click here.

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2014-04-24 00:41:13
Local news — St. Thomas

Amidst downpours and dignitaries, Dr. Charles W. Turnbull and Gerard Luz James II were sworn in Monday as governor and lieutenant governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Heavy intermittent showers did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd gathered at Emancipation Garden to witness the swearing-in of the territory's sixth elected governor just after noon.
Turnbull's address recalled his campaign promise of a "grander vision."
He reiterated the three pillars of that vision -- unity, respect and service. He said that since these islands are home to people from all parts of the Caribbean and the world, we must all work together to achieve our goals.
"We must respect God, ourselves and everyone else," Turnbull said. "We cannot have unity without respect."
Service, he said, is the third pillar: "Service, first to God and then to fellow human beings."
Turnbull referred to himself as the "chief humble servant" and to the lieutenant governor as the second chief humble servant.
He also promised to protect the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.
"You have freedom to speak against this administration or any other government agency," he said.
He also made a commitment to raise the standard of living for all Virgin Islanders, but said in order to do that we must be prepared to do things differently.
"New economic alliances are being formed around the world," he said, and the Virgin Islands must do the same thing.
Turnbull expressed the hope that when history judged him, it would not be as a great governor, but as a "good governor."
The inaugural ceremony got under way at about 10:30 a.m. when mistress of ceremonies Dr. Gwen-Marie Moolenaar announced the arrival of Gov. Roy L. Schneider and Gov.-elect Turnbull and their entourages to the grandstand.
After viewing the motorcade and military parade, the outgoing and incoming governors and their parties moved to the bandstand.
The Rt. Rev. Elliott G. Thomas, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of the Virgin Islands, gave the invocation. The 666th Army Band played the National Anthem and the Virgin Islands Anthem, which was sung by Lorna Freeman.
Inauguration Committee Co-Chair James O'Bryan introduced visiting dignitaries, including Chief Minister Ralph O'Neal of the British Virgin Islands; Wilma Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Rossello.
The joint choirs of Charlotte Amalie and Eudora Kean High Schools performed "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and finished, despite falling rain, with "Unity."
Senate President Lorraine Berry then presented the traditional Gubernatorial Memento to Gov. Schneider. Moolenaar surprised the crowd by asking Berry to return to the podium and present the same memento to former Gov. Alexander Farrelly, who never got it when he left office in 1995. The presentation to Farrelly met with some of the loudest applause of the morning.
After the ceremonial presentation of flowers to the first ladies of the territory, Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II was introduced by Sen.-elect George Goodwin and sworn in by Territorial Court Judge Maria Cabret.
James promised to work to serve the best interests of the people and to "never let you down."
James recalled being identified along with Turnbull as "the bull and the undertaker" -- James owns a funeral home on St. Croix -- and said it was the rallying cry for change.
He said one goal of the Turnbull-James administration is to restore economic stability to the territory by training and retraining employees, by encouraging more Foreign Sales Corporations to locate here and by prudence at all times.
The new lieutenant governor brought laughter and applause when he said he would aim to make peace while he was at the top, which would serve him well "on the way down."
Moolenaar made a program change after James' swearing-in, saying that by law the governor must be sworn in by noon -- though by then it was minutes after the midday hour.
Dr. Marilyn F. Krigger, a professor at the University of the Virgin Islands with Turnbull, introduced the governor-elect who was sworn in by Verne A. Hodge, presiding judge of the Territorial Court.
After the inaugural address the program resumed with the singing of "The Holy City" by. Jacqueline Harrigan, accompanied by Dr. Lorna Young-Wright of UVI.
Wanda Mills then read an inaugural poem, followed by the rest of the musical presentation. The ceremony ended at about 1:15 p.m. with the benediction by the Rev. Dr. H. Clifton Niles, superintendent minister of the Methodist Church in St. Thomas/St. John.

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