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Bulletproof 360 Collagen Protein Bars, Bites Sold In The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Are Being Recalled

Bulletproof 360 Collagen Protein Bars, Bites Sold In The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Are Being Recalled

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Protein bars and bites from  Bulletproof 360 are being recalled because they were made with cashew butter that may be contaminated with Listeria.

The Washington state-based company said that the bars and bites were sold in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, among other places nationally and internationally.

Five varieties are part of the recall: fudge brownie, lemon cookie and vanilla shortbread collagen protein bars; and fudge brownie and vanilla shortbread collagen protein bites.

That’s because those products were made with cashew butter from HVF, Inc., where facility testing came back positive for Listeria contamination. Bulletproof said it will be shipping out replacement bars made with a new cashew butter supplier.

No other Bulletproof products, including the company’s collagen protein powder, are affected by the recall.

No illnesses have been reported to date, the company said. adding that they were sold in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, among other places nationally and internationally.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes deadly infections, especially in young children, elderly people or those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths in women who are pregnant.

The following products are being recalled:

Product Packaged Individual Net Wt. Box Net Wt. Individual UPC Box UPC Use by Dates Lot numbers
Fudge Brownie Collagen Protein Bar Individually packed in foil wrappers, then 12 packed in a box. Bar: 1.58oz (45g) 18.96 oz (540g) 815709021498 815709020811 11/1/2017
11/6/2017
11/14/2017
11/23/2017
12/1/2017
12/19/2017
12/25/2017
0957-011007-011087-011177-011257-011437-011497-01
Fudge Brownie Collagen Protein Bite Individually packed in foil wrappers, then 15 packed in a box. Bite:0.74 oz (21g) 11.10 oz(315 g) 815709021528 815709021535 12/27/17
11/28/2017
12/8/2017
1227-011327-011517-01
Lemon Cookie Collagen Protein Bar Individually packed in foil wrappers, then 12 packed in a box. Bar: 1.58oz (45g) 18.96 oz (540g) 815709021801 815709021795 11/7/2017
11/8/2017
12/14/2017
1017-011027-011387-01
Vanilla Shortbread Collagen Protein Bar Individually packed in foil wrappers, then 12 packed in a box. Bar: 1.58oz (45g) 18.96 oz (540g) 815709021481 815709020804 11/15/2017
11/22/2017
11/29/2017
12/11/2017
1097-011167-011237-011357-01
Vanilla Shortbread Collagen Protein Bite Individually packed in foil wrappers, then 15 packed in a box. Bite:0.74 oz (21g) 11.10 oz(315 g) 815709021504 815709021511 11/20/2017
11/27/2017
1147-011217-01

The recalled products were distributed between April 7 and June 12, 2017, in retail stores nationally and in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and on bulletproof.com to customers nationally and in the following locations: Australia, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Finland, France, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

What to do

Customers who purchased the recalled products should not eat them, but return them to Bulletproof for a replacement or bulletproof.com store credit.

Consumers with questions or concerns may contact Bulletproof customer service at 1-425-434-9704 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PDT).

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SPECIAL REPORT: Shunned From Bond Market, Territory Will See If It Can Float Itself Out Of Its Cash Crisis

SPECIAL REPORT: Shunned From Bond Market, Territory Will See If It Can Float Itself Out Of Its Cash Crisis A nurse stands next to closed toilets at the Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center in Estate Diamond near the Sunny Isle Shopping Center on St Croix. (PHOTO BY: Alvin Baez/Reuters)

CHRISTIANSTED — For a glimpse at the precarious financial health of St. Croix, visit its public hospital.

Pipes underneath the emergency room collapsed in May, causing waste water to back up through the drains.

Now workers and visitors – even patients – use portable toilets set up on the sidewalk.

The hospital doesn’t have the cash for new plumbing.

For years the Virgin Islands funded essential public services with help from Wall Street. Investors lined up to purchase its triple-tax-exempt bonds, a form of debt free from municipal, state and federal taxes.

Now the borrowing window has slammed shut. Trouble in neighboring Puerto Rico, which recently filed for a form of bankruptcy after a string of debt defaults, has investors worried that the Virgin Islands might be next.

With just over 100,000 inhabitants, the protectorate now owes north of $2 billion to bondholders and creditors.

That’s the biggest per capita debt load of any U.S. territory or state – more than $19,000 for every man, woman and child scattered across the island chain of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John.

The territory is also on the hook for billions more in unfunded pension and healthcare obligations.

“We have a government that we can’t afford, and now all of it is converging,” said Holland Redfield, a former six-term St. Croix senator who hosts a radio talk show about politics in the territory. “We’re getting to the point where we may have a potential meltdown.”

Ratings agencies have downgraded the islands’ credit ratings deep into junk territory. With the U.S. Virgin Islands shut out of the credit markets after a failed January bond issue, officials are scrambling to stabilize its finances after years of taking on debt to plug yawning budget holes.

The government proposes to slash public spending by 10 percent. It recently hiked taxes on liquor, cigarettes, sugary drinks and vacation timeshares. And it has threatened to auction homes and businesses of property-tax deadbeats.

Gov. Kenneth Mapp is quick to reassure bondholders that they get first crack at one of the territory’s largest funding sources: rum taxes. The money pays debt service before heading to government coffers, a protection called a lockbox.

The Virgin Islands has “never been late on a payment, much less defaulted on a bond or loan agreement,” Mapp said during his State of the territory address in January.

But how these islands will recover from years of budget deficits and a severe liquidity crisis remains to be seen. The territory lost its single-largest private employer five years ago when a refinery shut down.

Gross domestic product has declined by almost one-third since 2008. At times this year the government was operating with just two days’ cash on hand.

Locals live with pitted roads, crumbling schools, electricity outages and deteriorating medical care.

At the Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center, plumbing troubles are just the beginning. Doctors have stopped performing some vital procedures, including implanting pacemakers and heart defibrillators, because the facility can’t pay suppliers for the devices, officials say.

“We have gone from bad to worse, and the patients are the ones who are suffering,” said Dr. Kendall Griffith, an interventional cardiologist who recently left the island to take a job in a Georgia hospital. “It’s forcing physicians to make hard decisions.”

Forgotten Islands

Before Puerto Rico imploded under $70 billion in debt and $50 billion of unfunded pension liabilities, few in Washington noticed troubles brewing in the other inhabited U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Residents of these places are U.S. citizens, but they can’t vote in presidential elections and their Washington delegates are non-voting figureheads. Despite high poverty rates and joblessness, the territories receive just a fraction of the federal funding allocated to U.S. states for entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid.

To bridge the gap, some have turned to the bond market. Bond issues typically fund infrastructure and capital projects. But in the case of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, officials increasingly relied on borrowed money to fund government operations.

Debt loads for both territories have grown to staggering proportions, now surpassing 50 percent of their respective GDPs. That’s higher than anywhere in the nation and sharply above the state median of 2.2 percent, Moody’s Investors Service found.

(For a graphic on U.S. territory debt, see: tmsnrt.rs/2h8TGIo)

Bond buyers for years whistled past the territories’ shaky finances, comforted in the knowledge that these governments couldn’t seek bankruptcy protections available to many municipalities.

“There was an idea that because of the lockbox structure and the fact that the territories did not have a path to bankruptcy, they had to pay you,” said Curtis Erickson, San Francisco-based managing director of Preston Hollow Capital, a municipal specialty finance company.

That all changed in 2016 when Congress passed legislation known as PROMESA giving Puerto Rico its first access to debt restructuring. The move sparked a ferocious battle among creditors to see who would shoulder the largest losses.

Investors quickly surmised the U.S. Virgin Islands might pursue the same strategy. In December, S&P Global Ratings downgraded the territory by a stunning seven notches to B from BBB+, putting it well below investment grade.

The U.S. Virgin Islands is adamant that S&P and other ratings agencies overreacted. The territory has been unfairly “tainted by Puerto Rico’s pending bankruptcy,” and has no intention of pursuing debt restructuring, said Lonnie Soury, a government spokesman.

In addition to tax hikes and budget cuts, he said the current administration is looking to do more with its tourism and horse racing industries to boost development.

Big Debts, Few Options

In the meantime, the U.S. Virgin Islands is trapped in a circle of hock that’s making it tough to maneuver.

The government and its two public hospitals, for example, owe a combined $28 million to the territory’s water and power authority, known as WAPA. In turn, WAPA owes about $44 million to two former fuel vendors.

Then there’s the $3.4 billion of unfunded liabilities for public pensions and retiree healthcare. The pension fund is 19.6 percent funded and projected to run out of money by 2023.

Pensioners can wait months before their annuities start, because the government is behind on its contributions. St. Croix resident Stephen Cohen, 67, said it took almost a year after he retired as a high school biology teacher before he received his first check in 2016.

(REUTERS NEWS SERVICE)

SPECIAL REPORT: Shunned From Bond Market, Territory Will See If It Can Float Itself Out Of Its Cash Crisis

A nurse pushes a patient in a wheelchair through a hall of the Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center (PHOTO BY: Alvin Baez/Reuters)

SPECIAL REPORT: Shunned From Bond Market, Territory Will See If It Can Float Itself Out Of Its Cash Crisis

SPECIAL REPORT: Shunned From Bond Market, Territory Will See If It Can Float Itself Out Of Its Cash Crisis

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Amijah Charles Arrested In Connection With Contant Shooting That Went Viral

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — A St. Thomas man was arrested on Tuesday and charged in two separate incidents, including a shooting last week that injured two men and went viral as a video on social media.

Amijah Charles, 34, of Mariendahl, was arrested at 3:30 p.m. and charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, third-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, unauthorized possession of a firearm, aiding and abetting, and accessory after the fact.

Bail for Charles was set at $100,000 pending an advice of rights hearing.

A video on social media went viral after it depicted students at a nearby church practicing music and then scrambling for cover as the fusillade of shots rang out.

The incident took place at about 6:45 p.m. Thursday, July 27, according to the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD), when dispatch notified officers of shots fired in the area of Contant.

At about 6:45 p.m., officers traveled to the Schneider Regional Medical Center emergency room, where they met with two gunshot victims. Each appeared to have been struck multiple times about their bodies.

The arrest was based on a warrant issued by Magistrate Henry V. Carr III and was executed by the VIPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Special Operation Bureau, VIPD spokeswoman Sakeeda Freeman said.

In the following days, a video on social media received widespread attention. It shows a group of young people at the Wesleyan Holiness Church in Contant. They are practicing steel pan, but the tranquility of the scene is marred when shots break out nearby – clearly audible on the video – and the young musicians and their adult supervision scramble for cover.

The video was shot by Curtis Gilpin. Gilpin is the president of Sportorama on St. Thomas.

“The incident was a terrible experience for the kids and parents at the program,” Gilpin said on Wednesday morning. “We won’t really know how it impacts them, but I am glad steps were taken to address the kids the very next morning. For me, it is hurtful to see what my home has become. No regard for others, for life or themselves. It seems everyone has a gun! The gun violence is deep rooted in our young people and I fear it is deeper than our leaders care to admit. It will take some serious changes to effect change!”

Gilpin’s son was one of the young musicians, playing in what the father said was first steel pan performance.

“And these fools letting off shots outside the church! … Everybody have a gun! What has become of this island? We got out safely but another young man was down in the street!” Gilpin wrote the statement on Facebook below the video.

The case is currently under active investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).

The VIPD has asked anyone with information to contact the Investigation Bureau at 340-774- 2211 ext. 5606 and 5556, the 911 emergency call center, or the anonymous tip line Crime Stoppers U.S.V.I. at 1-800-222-8477.

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Police Say That Walter Richardson Shot Himself To Death In His Home Near Altona and Welgunst On Tuesday Afternoon

Police Say That Walter Richardson Shot Himself To Death In His Home Near Altona and Welgunst On Tuesday Afternoon

DIED OF A SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND: Walter Richardson

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Police said that a senior citizen killed himself near the Western Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon.

Walter Richardson, 71, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his home near Altona and Welgunst, according to the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD).

On Tuesday, August 2, 2017 at about 1:33 p.m., police were sent to the area of Altona and Welgunst, after receiving notification from Central Dispatch of a DOA victim having been discovered, the VIPD said.

A citizen called the 911 Emergency Call Center and explained that he was trying to make contact with his neighbor to no avail.

Unable to reach his neighbor, he then looked through the window of his neighbor’s residence and observed that Richardson appeared to be lifeless.

Contact was then made with a relative of the victim, who was able to identify Richardson as the dead man.

He is a former Health enforcementofficer with the Environmental Unit, according to authorities.

After police conducted an investigation at the scene, they determined that the cause of death was from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to contact the Major Crime Unit at 340-774-2211 ext. 5569.

You can also contact 911, Crime Stoppers U.S.V.I. 1-800-222-8477, or the Chief’s office at 340-715-5548.

Police Say That Walter Richardson Shot Himself To Death In His Home Near Altona and Welgunst On Tuesday Afternoon

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Gov. Mapp Chooses AT&T To Interface With Public Safety, Fire Services In USVI

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The territory is leading the way to modernize communications for its public safety community, according to a statement from Government House.

Gov. Kenneth Mapp announced his decision today to accept the FirstNet and AT&T plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the territory’s public safety community, helping first responders save lives and protect communities.

“The United States Virgin Islands participated in FirstNet consultation and outreach activities throughout the planning of the network and reviewed the details of the FirstNet State Plan,” Mapp said. “I have determined that it is in the best interest of the United States Virgin Islands and the country to participate in the FirstNet deployment of the National Public Safety Broadband Network.”

This makes the U.S. Virgin Islands the first U.S. territory to “opt-in” to the FirstNet network.

AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for the Virgin Islands’ public safety community at no cost to the territory for the next 25 years.

The FirstNet network will drive innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools just for first responders.

The FirstNet network will transform the way the Virgin Islands’ fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, FirstNet and AT&T will:

  • Connect first responder subscribers to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies and supporting large events, like the Annual Carnival Festivals on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.
  • Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the territory during natural disasters, including hurricanes and tropical storms.
  • Enhance network coverage for first responders, residents and visitors alike across the islands and their coastlines.
  • Drive infrastructure investments across the territory.
  • Usher in a new wave of innovation that first responders can depend on. This will create an ever-evolving set of life-saving tools for public safety, including public safety apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies.

Police Commissioner Delroy Richards Sr. says the FirstNet technology marks a major improvement in public safety coordination and capability.

“This is consistent with the policy of this Administration to provide not only the training our first responders require, but the tools each agency needs to more efficiently respond to public safety issues by coordinating the use of available resources,” Richards said.

FirstNet and AT&T designed the territory’s network solution with direct input from the Virgin Islands’ public safety community.

FirstNet has been engaging with Virgin Islands’ officials and public safety personnel for years to address their unique communication needs. This includes expanding coverage across the territory, enabling state, local and federal agencies to effectively communicate and coordinate over the islands, even in remote areas and coastlines.

“Governor Mapp’s decision to join FirstNet demonstrates the Virgin Islands’ strong commitment to public safety,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “The FirstNet network will connect first responders across the territory’s diverse landscape – including waterways, coastlines and island terrain. FirstNet and AT&T are pleased to have delivered a plan that meets Virgin Islands’ unique needs, and we look forward to equipping first responders with the communications tools they need every day and in every emergency.”

The decision enables FirstNet and AT&T to begin creating an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Virgin Islands’ first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service and priority to voice and data across the existing nationwide AT&T LTE network.

Preemption for primary users over the AT&T LTE network is expected by year-end. This means fire, police, EMS and other public safety workers will have dedicated access to the network when and where they need it – 24/7/365, like their mission.

“We’re honored to bring FirstNet to the U.S. Virgin Islands and continue our more than 70-year work with the territory,” said Chris Sambar, senior vice president, AT&T – FirstNet. “This is a major step forward for the territory’s public safety community. By opting in, Governor Mapp is giving first responders access to the innovative tools and technologies they need to keep themselves as well as the residents and visitors they serve safer.”