Governor Kenneth Mapp on Wednesday presented checks to the owners and a representative of three radio stations on St. Croix, with more to be presented to owners in St. Thomas. Mr. Mapp said the funds, coming from the government’s disaster recovery fund administrated by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (C.F.V.I.), was a token of the government’s appreciation of the stations’ tireless work before, during and after the storms.
“We recognized the critical assistance your stations provided to the community before, during and after Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” Mr. Mapp said. “Supporting timely exchange of information between officials, experts and the general public, was and continues to be of vital importance in promoting preparedness, safety and well-being.” The governor refused to provide a figure, but said a full list of recipients and the amount they received will be published by C.F.V.I.
No explanation on why other media houses like the local papers — working equally as hard to provide timely information to residents (for online outlets, to people at home and abroad) — were not included.
Jonathan Cohen, owner of the WJKC network of radio stations, which includes Isle 95.1 F.M. and 99.5 F.M., thanked the governor and said, “Radio was the lifeline and will continue to be the lifeline for the Virgin Islands, especially in the natural disaster scenarios.”
Attorney Kevin Rames, owner of the WSTX A.M. and F.M. stations, was also on hand to receive a check. He too thanked Mr. Mapp for the donation, and praised the governor’s efforts following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. “During this very, very difficult time, we have been so pleased that the ship of state has been steered by Kenneth Mapp with his capabilities, his intelligence, his intellect, and his energy. And we couldn’t be in better hands,” Mr. Rames said.
Accepting the check for the Reef Broadcasting family of stations was Dave Martinez, who deejay’s on one of the stations.
The governor said radio station owners could also apply for additional support from the disaster recovery fund through the V.I. Hurricane and Resiliency Advisory Group, which includes a task force that helps determine how the funds should be spent.
Feature Image: Kevin Rames speaks after receiving a check for his stations during a Government House press conference on Wednesday. (Credit: VIC)