Collage of the 34th Legislature's majority caucus, excluding Javan James
Welcome to the 18th edition of the Monday Digest, where we provide you with excerpts of stories that occurred over the weekend to help you start Mondays informed. We'd given the Digest a break for the holidays, but we're back.
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Here's what you need to know:
Cracks in Democratic Party Majority of the 34th Legislature
Sen. Javan James has left the Democratic Party and the Majority Caucus in the upcoming 34th Legislature. Mr. James cited future potential for "turmoil and chaos" in the majority as his reasons for abandoning ship.
Additionally, Sen. Kenneth Gittens, recently announced as incoming Senate Majority Leader, will no longer hold the position, according to people familiar with the matter. It will instead be held by Sen. Marvin Blyden, who served as majority leader during the 33rd Legislature. The new body will be sworn in today.
High-Speed Chase on St. Croix Preceded by Shooting, Brawl on Buck Island
A high-speed chase on the east end of St. Croix was preceded by a shooting and fight on the federally-controlled Buck Island, V.I.P.D. Public Information Officer Toby Derima confirmed to the Consortium Sunday evening. Involved in the hunt to bring into custody those involved were multiple law enforcement arms both local and federal, including the V.I.P.D., the Dept. of Planning and Natural Resources, the Park Service Rangers, and the Coast Guard, according to reports. A video of the fight can be viewed here.
19-Year-Old Man is Dead Following Vehicular Accident
Identified by next of kin as Joseph Santana of Sugar Estate, St. Thomas, the young man lost control of the vehicle during the wee hours of Sunday — a gray 2011 Toyota Corolla — and slammed into a WAPA utility pole, which led to an island-wide power outage.
In other news, a man was jailed after admitting to raping an intoxicated woman during a house party on St. Croix; the U.S. Small Business Administration in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, announced Friday that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers; Human Services shuts down Head Start on St. Croix and Knud Hansen Complex in St. Thomas after employees test positive for Covid-19; Governor Bryan says VI residents should start seeing Congress-funded stimulus checks in their mailboxes in three weeks; and calls for President Donald Trump's impeachment grow.
The 17th edition of the Monday Digest is here.