BIR Reminds Taxpayers of Extiension Deadline to File 2014 Tax Returns

The Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reminds taxpayers who have applied for the six-month automatic extension of time…

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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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Beaches: Environmental Protection Issues Public Advisory

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) announces that, as a result of the recent rains throughout the territory, the Division of Environmental Protection (DEP) anticipates negative environmental impacts caused by storm water runoff.

2015-10-09 13:19:47
Author Yassin Hall, Experts to Hold Mental Health Events

Yassin Hall, the author of “Journey Untold,” is on a mission to end the stigma of mental illness in the United States Virgin Islands. She is bringing a team of mental health professionals to the Virgin Islands, who will inform the public on how to maintain good mental health, stress strategies and coping skills.

2015-10-09 10:14:56
VITEMA All Hazards Preparedness Expo Set for Oct. 23 - 24

The Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) will hold its 2015 Annual All Hazards Preparedness Expo this month, featuring first responder demonstrations, family fun and entertainment, and information and handouts from local, federal and private sector representatives on how to be ready when disaster strikes.
The expo is part of VITEMA’s ongoing education campaign to raise awareness about disaster preparedness and recovery.

2015-10-09 07:53:10
Local news — St. Thomas
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Students Exhibit Woodcarvings at V.I. Council on the Arts

Students collaborated on this carving depcting Virgin Islands culture.
Students collaborated on this carving depcting Virgin Islands culture.

About 50 mahogany carvings by fifth and sixth graders from Gladys A. Abraham Elementary School are on display at the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts.

The show opened Friday and will continue until June 14.

Students carved wood pieces according to seven categories focusing on school subjects: geography, marine biology, fruit, botany, zoology, music and biology. There was also an “extra” category for pieces by administrators and the school nurse.

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Students carved in what their mentor, artist and musician Afreekan Southwell, called the relief concept, which is a two or three-dimensional view of an item. A back plate is carved out and the item is lifted from the background, he said. Students first drew the shape of their items and then cut around them.

A bunny rabbit by Beanca Mercedes
A bunny rabbit by Beanca Mercedes

“When they saw the end results, then they started to marvel at the amount of work they’ve done,” said Southwell.

Students learned to create woodwork art as part of a three-month class divided into seven areas. They researched pictures of underwater plants and animals as well as body parts, land masses and more, and then picked one to carve.

The newly dubbed artists also collaborated on one large cultural piece inspired by Virgin Islands culture, said Southwell. He gave the students ideas and they designed it together, each contributing to the final piece.

About 112 students worked during and after school to finish their pieces, but some were not yet complete, Southwell noted, so there are only 50 on display.

Fourth grader Sabrina Veras, who pleaded with Southwell to be in the class even though she isn’t old enough, wanted to be in the program so much that she took time after school to carve.

Southwell noted that like Veras, many of the students went above and beyond to create pieces they were proud of.

Southwell said he’s encouraging children to keep their carvings as it is traditional for artists to keep their first piece so they can remember where they started.

Eli Hatchette depicted Africa in his carving.

“I hope they can continue or remember what they have learned on the elementary level. I hope that this really continues with them,” he said. “When I was first placed with tools, I never let it go. I hope it’s the same with them.”

The children also had a small display at the 2012 Carnival Cultural Fair, where Southwell said they had to turn down buyers.

Students have not yet seen their show at the Council on the Arts. Teachers hope to take them on a field trip so they can see the display and the effort they’ve contributed.

“They haven’t experienced viewing their work like that. We hope it will inspire them and spark them to do more,” said Southwell.

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