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Early Childhood Conference Focuses on “It Takes a Village”

The focus of the 16th annual Best Beginnings Early Childhood Conference will be on preparing children for kindergarten through community…

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Police Commissioner Rodney F. Querrard Sr. discusses the Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, homicide of Keithroy Caines at Oswald Harris Housing Court.

 
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V.I. Agencies Prepping For Ebola But Risk Is Slight, Officials Tell Senate

V.I. Health, hospital and emergency management officials are coordinating, training and preparing for the nightmare scenario of an Ebola outbreak in the territory, but agency officials told senators Wednesday an outbreak is unlikely and there is no cause for alarm.

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2014-10-29 19:16:07
Source Manager’s Journal: Building a Better Future

In the view of this outsider, there are two problem areas in which a focused, long-term effort can make a big – and permanent – difference in the quality of life in the Virgin Islands.

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2014-10-28 23:41:57
Griffith Presents $10M Plan of Correction

Juan Luis Hospital CEO Kendall Griffith presented a $10.3 million plan of correction Monday to the Territorial Board, a plan to get the embattled hospital up to the standards of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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2014-10-28 23:12:50
Local news — St. Thomas
Kean Kids to Put Science to Work with Fish Farm

Kean science teacher Kirk Lewis was among those behind the project.
Kean science teacher Kirk Lewis was among those behind the project.

Add tilapia farming to the roster of subjects some Ivanna Eudora Kean High School students will be expected to master, with impacts that could go far beyond the East End campus of the school.

The fish farm was launched Friday at a grand opening that brought together school and government officials with the co-founders of global investment firm Celtic Therapeutics, which donated more than $60,000 to get it up and running. The V.I. Legislature appropriated approximately $22,000 to help fund the facility’s hydroponic system.

Kean Principal Sharon McCollum said the company’s partnership with the school was brokered months ago by Celtic Therapeutics’ Office Manager Francisco Rivera, whose initial conversation with administrators about possible contributions to Kean’s science department and nursing program turned into a different, more far-reaching project that could significantly enhance the school and community.

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Itching to give students a more hands-on way of learning the mechanics of science, Kean teacher Kirk Lewis said he was convinced tilapia farming was the way to go after visiting the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Croix.

“I took a course on aquaponics and I was impressed,” Lewis said Friday. “I knew this could be a project where our students would be able to learn about science, but also the real life operation of certain concepts, such as aquaponics and hydroponics.”

Some 45 tilapia hatchlings were flown from St. Croix Friday. Lewis explained that the hatchlings will take until about August to reach full size, and will then be harvested.

Part of the tilapia farm facility at Kean high school.
Part of the tilapia farm facility at Kean high school.

Ultimately, it will be up to the school to breed the tilapia, and Lewis said that should become a reality in about a year, once the facility is well-established. In the meantime, students will also be growing hydroponic veggies, including lettuce, pumpkin, cucumbers and “whatever else we can find,” Lewis said.

Celtic Therapeutics co-founders Peter Corr, Ph.D., and Stephen Evans-Freke also stressed Friday that the opening of the tilapia farm will also help the V.I. community continue to dialogue about agricultural self-sustainability, and potentially create a booming business for Kean that could be marketed to cruise ships and other outside vendors.

“It’s with enormous pleasure that we played a small part in helping that start here, and we look forward to watching this grow,” Evans-Freke said.
 

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