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Help Police Find Pedro Zapata Wanted For 2×4 Assault

CHARLOTTE AMALIE Police need your help to find a man on St. Thomas wanted for a vicious 2×4 assault on another man, authorities said.

Pedro Zapata, 59, of Charlotte Amalie is wanted in connection with an assault which occurred on May 9th, 2022 in the Fort Christian parking lot, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

“No additional information was provided in regards to this suspect,” the VIPD said on Facebook today.

If you see Zapata, please call 911 and Detective S. Donastorg in the Criminal Investigation Bureau at (340) 714-9808 extension 5575 or Crime Stoppers USVI 1-800-222-8477 or submit a tip online at www.crimestoppersvi.org 

This Virgin Islands Free Press news article was updated on June 4.

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Social Security Board of Trustees: Outlook of Combined Trust Funds Improves

The Social Security Board of Trustees on Thursday released its annual report on the financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds.

The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, one year later than projected last year, with 80 percent of benefits payable at that time.

The OASI Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in 2034, one year later than last year’s estimate, with 77 percent of benefits payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund asset reserves are not projected to become depleted during the 75-year projection period.

In the 2022 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees announced:

· The asset reserves of the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds declined by $56 billion in 2021 to a total of $2.852 trillion.

· The total annual cost of the program is projected to exceed total annual income in 2022 and remain higher throughout the 75-year projection period. Total cost began to be higher than total income in 2021. Social Security’s cost has exceeded its non-interest income since 2010.

· The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2035 – one year later than last year’s projection. At that time, there would be sufficient income coming in to pay 80 percent of scheduled benefits.

“It is important to strengthen Social Security for future generations. The Trustees recommend that lawmakers address the projected trust fund shortfalls in a timely way in order to phase in necessary changes gradually,” said Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “Social Security will continue to be a vital part of the lives of 66 million beneficiaries and 182 million workers and their families during 2022.”

Other highlights of the Trustees Report include:

Total income, including interest, to the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to $1.088 trillion in 2021. ($980.6 billion from net payroll tax contributions, $37.6 billion from taxation of benefits, and $70.1 billion in interest)

· Total expenditures from the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to nearly $1.145 trillion in 2021.

· Social Security paid benefits of $1.133 trillion in calendar year 2021. There were about 65 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year.

· The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 3.42 percent of taxable payroll – lower than the 3.54 percent projected in last year’s report.

· During 2021, an estimated 179 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes.

· The cost of $6.5 billion to administer the Social Security program in 2021 was a very low 0.6 percent of total expenditures.

· The combined Trust Fund asset reserves earned interest at an effective annual rate of 2.5 percent in 2021.

The Board of Trustees usually comprises six members. Four serve by virtue of their positions with the federal government: Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury and Managing Trustee; Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security; Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services; and Martin J. Walsh, Secretary of Labor. The two public trustee positions are currently vacant.

View the 2022 Trustees Report at www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/TR/2022/

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Suspect Arrested In Fatal Shooting Seen On Video Firing Gun

CHRISTIANSTED  One of the two suspects in a fatal shooting in Golden Rock last month was captured on surveillance video firing a gun at the victim, authorities said.

Timothy Perez, 42, of St. Croix, was arrested today and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Sean Joseph at Harborview Apartments on May 7, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

At the crime scene last month, officers discovered an unresponsive body of an adult male, lying in the vicinity of the office in the plant bed, according to the VIPD. The male victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso and head and succumbed to his injuries.  

Multiple spent casing was collected during the processing of the crime scene, police said. The male was identified as Sean Joseph aka Akeem Williams by his next of kin. The victim Joseph had been released less than 24 hours earlier from the John Bell Adult Correctional Facility. 

“Video surveillance footage collected in the area assisted the investigation and lead us to secure an arrest warrant for 42-year-old Timothy Perez who was observed on footage firing multiple shots at the deceased,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said. 

Bail for Perez was set by Superior Court Magistrate Judge Yolan Ross at 1,000,000.00 with no ten percent. 

Perez was transported to John Bell Correctional facility pending his advised of rights hearing on Friday, June 3, 2022. 

“Detectives are still seeking the second suspect in this homicide, if you know something, say something,” according to Dratte.

Call the CIB Tip-Line at 340-778-4950 and 340-712-6182, Crime Stoppers VI 1-800-222-8477 or 911.    

                                                      

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Woman Arrested Who Stole $15K From Alzheimer’s Victim To Buy Car

CHRISTIANSTED  A St. Croix woman who stole $15,000 from an Alzheimer’s patient to buy a new car was arrested, authorities said.

Frances McIntosh, 59, of Catherine’s Rest, was arrested and charged with obtaining money by false pretense, grand larceny, and financial exploitation of an elderly person or dependent adult, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.  

Detectives from the Economic Crimes Unit initiated an investigation into the business dealings of Frances McIntosh on June 8, 2021, according to the VIPD.

“The investigation revealed that Frances McIntosh misappropriated $15,000.00 dollars from an elderly female, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, some of the funds were used to purchase a vehicle,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said.

On June 1, 2022, at 11:37 a.m., Detectives from the Economic Crimes Unit executed an arrest warrant at Plot 17-H Catherine’s Rest, where Frances McIntosh was placed under arrest without incident. 

The bail was set at $20,000 dollars for the alleged crime. Unable to post bail, Frances McIntosh was remanded to the Bureau of Adult Corrections Facility pending, Advice of Rights Hearing scheduled for Friday, June 3, 2022, at the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands. 

If you are a victim affected by fraud or know someone who is committing illegal fraudulent activities call the Economic Crime Unit (ECU) call 340-513-3780 or 911

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Woman Arrested For Forging Brother’s Signature To Sell Property: VIPD

CHRISTIANSTED A St. Croix woman who owned an industrial-zoned property jointly with her sibling was arrested for selling it without his permission, authorities said.

Marjorie Harry, 49, was arrested and charged with forgery, obtaining money by false pretense, grand larceny and filing or recording forged instruments, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.   

Detectives from the Economic Crimes Unit began an investigation on September 2, 2021 involving forgery based on a complaint, according to the VIPD.

“The investigation revealed that sometime in March of 2021, Marjorie Harry forged her brother’s signature on a Warranty Deed and sold his property located at #90 Estate Castle Coakley, to a male individual who works for DVD Construction, Inc. for $125.000.00, without his knowledge,” VIPD Communications Director Glen Dratte said.

On June 1, 2022, at around 3:06p.m., detectives from the Virgin Islands Police Department Economic Crimes Unit (ECU) executed an Arrest Warrant and placed Harry under arrest at her residence, without incident, according to Dratte.

Harry was transported to the Wilbur H. Francis Police Operation Building in Frederiksted, where she was processed and booked. The bail was set at $20,000.00.  

On Wednesday, June 1, 2022, at 6:24p.m., The Honorable Judge Harold Willocks granted Marjorie Harry 10% of the $20,000.00, in lieu of bail.

Bail was posted in the amount of $2,000.00 and she was released pending an Advice of Rights Hearing scheduled, for June 3, 2022, at the Virgin Islands Superior Court. 

DVD Construction is tasked with renovating the VITRAN bus shelters on St. Croix.

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Local Athlete Takes Top Honors In National Karate Competition

ATLANTIC CITY A St. Thomas athlete took some top honors at a national martial arts competition held in New Jersey over Memorial Day weekend.

Rashell Machuca, of Charlotte Amalie, had to make a choice between going to a karate competition or a softball showcase. The choice was a difficult one, but Machuca seems to have chosen wisely.

Machuca stood out in the karate competition at the National Martial Arts Championship in Atlantic City, New Jersey this past weekend.

Rashell went on to place first in sparring and took third place in forms.

Congratulations to Rashell Machuca, a multi-sport athlete, for making the U.S. Virgin Islands proud!

SOURCE: Livewire Sports

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Police Arrest Man For Shooting Outside Altona Nightclub Monday

CHARLOTTE AMALIE Police have arrested a suspect after a non-fatal shooting occurred during a fight outside a nightclub in Altona, St. Thomas on Memorial Day, authorities said.

Roy Meade, 56, of Tamarind Gade, was arrested and charged with first-degree assault, third-degree assault, brandishing, exhibiting or using deadly weapons, illegal discharge of a firearm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition, and reckless endangerment, the Virgin Islands Police Department said.

A CIB investigation revealed that Meade shot an unidentified “male” outside Mi Bloque VI in Altona on Monday May 30, according to the VIPD.

Bail for Meade was set at $75,000.00. Unable to post bail, he was remanded to the Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing.  

CIB Supervisor, Sgt. Dwight Griffith applauded the CIB detectives for their “aggressive investigative skills, and the community for providing the necessary tips in the apprehension of the suspect.”   

This case is currently under active investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau.  

Anyone having information regarding this incident, please contact 911 or Detective Y. LoBlack of the Criminal Investigation Bureau at (340) 774-2211 ext. 5577. You may also earn cash rewards by submitting information pertinent to any crime via Crime Stoppers USVI at 1 (800) 222-8477, crimestoppersvi.org or P3Tips.com.  

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Jamaican Pol Wants Bob Marley Named A National Hero

KINGSTON (Reuters) A Jamaican legislator is asking the country’s parliament to name reggae legend Bob Marley a national hero, an effort that comes amid rising nationalism in English-speaking Caribbean countries that are distancing themselves from their colonial past.

The proposal by lawmaker Lisa Hanna would make the iconic singer a national hero, a title already held by seven Jamaicans including Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey and the nation’s first prime minister Alexander Bustamante.

It comes months after Barbados bestowed a similar honor on pop singer Rihanna during a November ceremony in which the island severed its ties to the British monarchy and created a republic – a process Jamaica is also considering.

“Bob Marley deserves that recognition because he lived a very short life that transformed the thinking of people around the world,” Hanna told Reuters in an interview at her Kingston office.

It is not immediately evident when parliament will vote on the measure. Hanna hopes it will be approved in time for the 60th anniversary of the country’s independence on Aug 6.

Marley was born in 1945 in the rural parish of St. Ann to a white English father and a Black Jamaican mother.

When he was 12, he moved to Trench Town in Kingston, where he and musicians Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh developed what would become a globally recognized reggae sound. Marley died in 1981 of melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

His rise to fame helped create a positive image for Jamaica, which at the time was beset by deep political division that played out in violent street confrontations and shootouts between gangs of opposing ideologies.

“It was the possibility that Jamaica could actually have a superstar in the middle of the poverty and the violence,” said Matthew Smith, a Jamaican historian at the University College of London.

Marcia Griffiths, who sang for years with Marley, including on classic tracks such as “No Woman, No Cry,” also supports Hanna’s proposal.

“Bob is a legend and an icon who has done so much for the entire world,” she said in an interview.

“The power and the force of music can change the world, and that is why God gave us a man like Bob.”

Reporting by Kate Chappell in Kingston, writing by Brian Ellsworth in Miami; Editing by Bernadette Baum

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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The History of the Virgin Islands National Park

Laurence Rockefeller owned a huge swath of land on and around Saint John Island. In 1956, he donated his land to the National Park Service, so that it could be set aside and protected for future generations.

On August 2, 1956, the Virgin Islands National Park came into official existence. Nearby, you can find Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument.

Both of these national sites were devastated when two level five hurricanes struck the islands in 2017. While the islands have done a great job recovering from these natural disasters, the same level of visitors took a while to return.

Since then, the islands have been enjoying another boom in ecotourism. Here are some of the biggest sites within the Virgin Islands National Park.

Cruz Bay Visitor Center

This is a great place to start. When you arrive at Cruz Bay, swing by the visitor Center, where you can get oriented and find the next attraction on your list. Here they will have maps of the park for you to carry with you.

Here, you can also book a ranger-guided tour of the park and get the latest updates on conditions in the park, such as downed trees.

Honeymoon Beach

This beach is one of the more remote ones, so it may take you a bit longer to get there, but if you are looking to escape from the crowds, this could be perfect for you!

You can rent a cabana for the day here, which will run you roughly one to two hundred dollars. You can also rent snorkel gear, and visit the small tourist center, where you will find maps, restrooms, a souvenir shop, a restaurant, and a bar.

All of this combines to make this beach ideal for a whole day. Being a bit farther way and having so many amenities, it is worth getting here and staying for many hours!

Hawksnest Beach

This beach is exceptionally beautiful, even for the Virgin Islands National Park. It is also extremely accessible. Located just a few minutes from Cruz Bay and with a large parking lot, you will only have to walk a few feet to get to the beach.

This is a great snorkeling spot, where it is totally worth spending a few hours. You will not have to walk much to get here, so a quick visit is easy.

Peace Hill Windmill

You can find ruins of old windmills throughout Virgin Islands National Park. They often mark excellent viewpoints as high points where great places to enjoy a lot of wind.

From the Peace Hill Windmill, you can see great views of Hawksnest Bay and Trunk Bay.

Everyone Has Their Specific Needs When They Visit the Park

While all of this history is fascinating, and all of these activities are exciting, everyone will have their own cup of tea when they come to the park. In fact, some of us may be accompanying other members of our family who are more oriented towards nature.

If you are the adrenaline-seeking type, check out online casino reviews. You can find here a list of one dollar deposit casinos in New Zealand. Low deposit online casinos are perfect for relaxing at the park. You can claim big bonuses for your small deposit, so you can play for a long time on your mobile device.

Other people with specific considerations are the elderly. They will have different activities that sound appealing, reasonable, or safe. In this case, you can check out AARP’s Guide to visiting the Virgin Islands National Park. They will provide everything you need to have the safest and most enjoyable time at the national park no matter your age.

No matter your disposition, you can find the way to have a great time at the Virgin Islands National Park!

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2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins Today

MIAMI — There is an 80 percent chance that a hurricane will form in the next 48 hours from an area of low pressure located near the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said today.

“This system is likely to become a tropical depression while it moves slowly northeastward over the northwestern Caribbean Sea and southeastern Gulf of Mexico during the next day or two,” the Florida-based forecaster said.

Although the NHC continues to monitor the area of disturbed weather near the Gulf of Mexico with a high chance of development, no impacts are expected for the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico.

Near the Yucatan Peninsula and southeastern Gulf of Mexico: A large area of disturbed weather located near the Yucatan Peninsula is interacting with an upper-level trough over the Gulf of Mexico and producing a broad region of disorganized showers and thunderstorms.

Environmental conditions appear marginally conducive for gradual development, and this system is likely to become a tropical depression by the weekend as it moves northeastward into the northwestern Caribbean Sea, southeastern Gulf of Mexico, and crosses the Florida Peninsula.

2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins Today
Truecolor satellite image from NOAA

Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is likely across portions of southeastern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, and Belize during the next couple of days, spreading across western Cuba, southern Florida, and the Florida Keys on Friday and Saturday. Interests in the Yucatan Peninsula, western Cuba, the Florida Keys, and the Florida Peninsula should monitor the progress of this system.

* Formation chance through 48 hours…medium…50 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days…high…70 percent. 2. Southwestern Atlantic northeast of the Bahamas: A weak surface trough located around 200 miles northeast of the central Bahamas is producing disorganized shower activity as it interacts with an upper-level trough. Surface pressures are currently high across the area, and significant development of this system appears unlikely as it moves generally east-northeastward over the next several days away from the southeastern United States.

* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…10 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days…low…10 percent.

Today marks the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, which will run until November 30. Long-term averages for the number of named storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes are 14, 7, and 3, respectively. The list of names for 2022 is as follows:

2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins Today
St. Thomas St. John adjacent Islands-St Croix-
Nearshore Atlantic and adjacent Caribbean Coastal Waters-
5:28 AM AST Wed Jun 1 2022

This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for the U.S. Virgin Islands and the adjacent Coastal Waters.

.Day One...Today and Tonight

.Rip Currents...There is a moderate risk of rip currents for 
all local beaches today.

.Days Two through Seven...Thursday through Tuesday

A moderate risk of rip currents is expected for most of the local 
beaches during most of the period.

.Spotter information statement...

Spotter activation is not anticipated. Please relay any information
about winds, waves, and rip currents to the National Weather Service
in San Juan while following all local and state guidelines.

This report, the Tropical Weather Outlook, briefly describes significant areas of disturbed weather and their potential for  tropical cyclone formation during the next five days.  

The issuance  times of this product are 2 AM, 8 AM, 2 PM, and 8 PM EDT.  After the  change to standard time in November, the issuance times are 1 AM, 7  AM, 1 PM, and 7 PM EST. A Special Tropical Weather Outlook will be issued to provide  updates, as necessary, in between the regularly scheduled issuances  of the Tropical Weather Outlook.  Special Tropical Weather Outlooks  will be issued under the same WMO and AWIPS headers as the regular  

Tropical Weather Outlooks. A standard package of products, consisting of the tropical cyclone  public advisory, the forecast/advisory, the cyclone discussion, and  a wind speed probability product, is issued every six hours for all  ongoing tropical cyclones.  In addition, a special advisory package  may be issued at any time to advise of significant unexpected  changes or to modify watches or warnings. 

The Tropical Cyclone Update is a brief statement to inform of  significant changes in a tropical cyclone or to post or cancel  watches or warnings.  It is used in lieu of or to precede the  issuance of a special advisory package.  

Tropical Cyclone Updates,  which can be issued at any time, can be found under WMO header  WTNT61-65 KNHC, and under AWIPS header MIATCUAT1-5. All National Hurricane Center text and graphical products are available on the web at https://www.hurricanes.gov. More information  on NHC text products can be found at  https://www.hurricanes.gov/aboutnhcprod.shtml, while more  information about NHC graphical products can be found at  https://www.hurricanes.gov/aboutnhcgraphics.shtml. 

You can also interact with NHC on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/NWSNHC. Notifications are available via  Twitter when select National Hurricane Center products are issued.   Information about our Atlantic Twitter feed (@NHC_Atlantic) is  available at https://www.hurricanes.gov/twitter.php. 

CNH vigila zona cerca del Golfo de México con potencial alto de desarrollo, pero no se espera impactos en PR o USVI. #prwx #usviwx