(Saipan Chamber of Commerce) — The nominees for the 2019 Saipan Young Professional of the Year Award are Nicole Babauta (CNMI SBDC), Riya Nathrani (CNMI PSS – Hopwood Middle School), Le’ah Aguon Murphy (CNMI PSS – Koblerville Elementary), Jeffrey Bacani (CNMI PSS - Francisco M. Sablan Middle School), Matt Deleon Guerrero (Hive Analytics), Francisco “Sonnie” Sablan (INAS’ Kitchen), Kevin Bautista (Office of the Governor), and Marie Aldan (Staywell Insurance).

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Sarsan Robert, the teen charged in connection with a riot at Tiyan High School in September 2019, is expected to take the government’s plea deal.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Anthony Jude Leon Guerrero Blas, 21, is asking a federal judge for mercy before he is sentenced in the District Court of Guam this month.

(Press Release) — Franklin Graham is coming to Saipan to share a message of God’s love with the people of the Northern Mariana Islands. The Marianas Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham will take place at American Memorial Park on Feb. 21. The evening of music and hope begins at 7 p.m. and gates open at 5:30 p.m.

(Office of the Governor) — After further analysis from the Department of Finance and the Legislative Bureau on the Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report to the Legislature, Secretary of Finance David DLG Atalig provided additional clarification on the CNMI’s financial state, which was negatively impacted in the last year by a recovering economy reeling from a severe natural disaster.

AFTER completing its own internal study, the Department of Public Lands proposes to reduce the base rate for “mature” land leases to reflect current local market conditions and produce more feasible land lease agreements, DPL Secretary Marianne Concepcion-Teregeyo said.

GOVERNMENT planning and subsidies will make America the world’s green-energy superpower, create millions of jobs, and supercharge the economy — or so we’re told. The reality is closer to Crescent Dunes, a Nevada solar-energy plant that has gone bust after receiving a $737 million federal loan guarantee.

THE U.S. suffered two brutal humiliations during the 1970s — the fall of Saigon to Communist North Vietnam in 1975 and Iran’s invasion of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. The latter led to a hostage standoff in which 52 Americans were held for 444 days — the source of President Trump’s reference to 52 targets inside Iran in case of Iranian reprisals for the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

ALDOUS Mina was born in 1979 and grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. He is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia (B.S., International Business) and American InterContinental University/AIU in Schaumburg/Chicago, Illinois (MBA, International Business). He received international business training in the United Kingdom (England/London, Scotland, Wales), Ireland (Dublin) and Israel (Jerusalem).

DEAR Governor Torres,

The “ideal of being innocent until proven guilty” still exist with some members of our community regarding the FBI raids and the many allegations of fraud in the misuse of Government funds and there are those, including self, who believe you are guilty.

BEIJING — China’s birthrate fell to its lowest level in the country’s modern history, hastening the aging of the population and the shrinking of the workforce, despite government efforts to reverse the trend.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On Jan. 9, 2020, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, met with Reed B. Oliver, lt. governor and governor-elect of Pohnpei State, and Feliciano Perman, lt. governor-elect, in a meeting to discuss the upcoming Pohnpei State Government’s interest in national-state programming alignment, recommendations for an honorary consul of the FSM in the State of Israel, and the upcoming State & National Leadership Conference tentatively scheduled for April or May.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) hosted Surgeon General of the Navy Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham during a visit to Santa Rita on Friday.

(Saipan Chamber of Commerce) — Nominees for the 2019 Chamber Member of the Year are Aon Insurance, CNMI Small Business Development Center, First Hawaiian Bank, Friends First Marketing, IT&E, and Pacifica Insurance Underwriters Incorporated.

KOROR, Palau (PICRC) — On January 16, 2020, the Palau International Coral Reef Center held its 19th anniversary fundraising dinner gala. At this annual premier event, community groups, major businesses, government and non-governmental agencies, individuals, and elected and traditional leaders came together and raised over $250,000 to support the center’s research, outreach, and education efforts. Over 250 guests attended the fundraising gala dinner held on PICRC’s grounds.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On Jan. 15, 2020, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, received Diego T. Benavente, honorary consul of the FSM to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(MVA) — According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, arrivals to Saipan, Tinian and Rota increased 95 percent to 52,297 visitors in December 2019, compared to 26,831 visitors received in December 2018. Visitor arrivals in December 2018 were low due to the residual reduction in air service following Super Typhoon Yutu in October 2018.

THE funds collected from the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Permit applicants will be remitted to the CNMI Department of Labor, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres stated in a memorandum.

THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.-Public Health and Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program or PHEPP has been screening passengers at the airport for potential cases of coronavirus, CHCC communications and public relations specialist Zoe Travis said.

(MVA) — To promote the Marianas to travelers from Taiwan, the Marianas Visitors Authority organized a familiarization or fam tour with Taiwanese media to Saipan, Tinian, and Rota on Dec. 15-22, 2019.

JOHN Maurice Florescu was born on April 14, 1954 in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, Radu Florescu (1925-2014) was a Romanian academic who held the position of Emeritus Professor of History at Boston College, authored a series of bestselling books on Vlad “Dracula” Ţepeş, served as an adviser to former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts Edward “Ted” Kennedy (D-MA, 1932-2009) on Balkan and Eastern European affairs, and also served as the press liaison for the White House during the state visit of President Richard Nixon in 1969 in Romania.

ONCE again, the Supreme Court’s reputation and honor are on the line, a crisis of credibility occasioned by the possibility that it may not give Democrats what they want.

THE John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is accepting nominations for its annual “Profile in Courage” award. The award recognizes “a public official...at the federal, state or local level whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership in the spirit” of President Kennedy’s 1956 book by the same name. It tells the stories of eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking unpopular stands for the good of the country.

(Press Release) — The Saipan Little League Baseball Inc., is holding a meeting on Jan. 25, Saturday, at 1 p.m., at the Department of Public Works-Roads and Grounds Division in Lower Base.

MAJURO — Five months after a dengue fever outbreak started in Majuro, the outbreak is getting worse not dropping off. After the numbers declined to under 10 cases per day after peaking at 30 on November 20, the government’s cabinet ended a directive that had banned travel to remote outer islands for four months in an effort to contain the problem from spreading.

(MCS) — In anticipation of the annual celebration of Catholic School’s Week, or CSW, Mount Carmel School recognizes AlumKnights that have pursued vocations in line with the theme of CSW, “Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” This week, MCS recognizes 2013 AlumKnight Jimin Ryu.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Saipan’s east and south recreational beaches this week as part of the regularly scheduled sampling.

(Press Release) — The NMI Democratic Party respectfully provides the following statements in response to an article published in Monday’s newspaper wherein the GOP President publicly proclaimed his support for a beleaguered Governor, irrespective of mounting evidence of misuse and abuse of public funds and an ongoing federal criminal investigation.

(SIS) — On Friday, January 10, Saipan International School students from first through sixth grades climbed aboard three large buses for journey to explore the CNMI’s artifacts housed at the NMI Museum of History and Culture. Several classes also ventured out during a break in last Friday’s rain to examine more historical sights across the street at Sugar King Park.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The Guam Bankers Association on Wednesday contributed $10,000 to assist the Guam Contractors Association its lawsuit against the federal government over the stalled processing of petitions for temporary foreign workers under the H-2B visa program that aren’t related to military projects.

THE Senate Committee on Health, Education and Welfare chaired by Senate Floor Leader Justo S. Quitugua did not act on a bill that proposes to create a medical-referral mileage program due to concerns from various government agencies.

BOARD of Education member MaryLou S. Ada believes that the CNMI Supreme Court’s slip opinion on the certified questions regarding the budget of the Public School System is favorable to PSS, but she said the BOE should focus on getting the funding allotments for PSS mandated by the government’s fiscal year 2020 budget law.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Except for half an inning, Guam’s play against the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands was nearly perfect.

OLD iSkool and Eats Easy x The Game continue to improve their records in their respective divisions in the United Filipino Organization-IT&E Basketball League after beating their opponents on Sunday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym.

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) — China will boost purchases of U.S. goods and services by $200 billion over two years in exchange for the rolling back of some tariffs under an initial trade deal signed by the world’s two largest economies, defusing an 18-month row that has hit global growth.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — After completing relevant and necessary tasks, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, has announced the establishment of an Office of Information Technology & Supporting Services under the Department of Transportation, Communication, & Infrastructure. The new office will be able to, among other duties, better support the FSM’s implementation of the Digital-FSM Project, funded in large part by the World Bank.

(Press Release) — “We swept the Choral Speaking category in the 3-5 division, teacher!” exclaimed one student after seeing the list of PGFC winners posted on the accomplishments bulletin board at Green Meadow School.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Saipan’s recreational western beaches and storm drainages, and from Rota’s recreational beaches and storm drainages every week as part of a regularly scheduled sampling program.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — With almost a year gone since the government of Guam’s forensic pathologist, Dr. Aurelio Espinola, retired, the Office of the Attorney General faces a number of challenges on finding a new medical examiner.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On Jan. 13, 2020, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, received Ralph DLG Torres, governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas in a courtesy call.

PARENTS interviewed by this reporter have expressed concern for their children’s safety following two attempted kidnapping incidents in Dandan as reported by the Department of Public Safety.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Tuesday they would include new evidence when they send formal impeachment charges against President Donald Trump to the Senate on Wednesday, seeking to expand the scope of a trial that will dominate Washington for the next several weeks.

BLUE Hauz continues its reign in the Masters Division of the United Filipino Organization -IT&E Basketball League after thrashing Islander Rent A Car, 95-60, on Saturday at the Ada Gym.

(Press Release) — The Saipan Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the three nominees for the 2019 Business Person of the Year Award: Gloria Cavanagh of Pacific Island Club Saipan, Glen Hunter of The Shack, and Roman “Bo” Palacios of J.C. Tenorio Enterprises. The nominees for Business Person of the Year are all active members of the Chamber, gracious in their support of the community, and business leaders advocating for our economy and our enterprises.

THE Rotary Club of Saipan on Tuesday inducted two new members: Marvin Deleon Guerrero, assistant vice president and Saipan branch manager of Bank Pacific, and Hiroko Stewart, Dow Chemical Asia-Pacific hazard communication leader.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Tinian’s recreational beaches and storm drainages this week.

THE Senate has to confirm the governor’s two board nominees so that the Northern Marianas Technical Institute can obtain a $10 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for the construction of a new campus in Koblerville.

BOARD of Education member Philip Mendiola-Long on Tuesday proposed two tax hike measures that would provide additional funding for the Public School System if they become law through the legislative process.

MARK A. Meyer was born in 1946 in New York. He graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey (B.A., 1968; Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, 2011), St. John’s University School of Law in New York (J.D., 1971; Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, 2007) and Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts (LL.M., 1972; Distinguished Alumnus, 2004).

“THE devil’s work” suggests something awful and unbearably painful to endure — but a friend of mine, not a theologian but a psychiatrist, defined it in 1991 as an event in which everyone comes out looking bad. He had in mind the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy.

THE Keynote speaker (Dr. & lieutenant colonel Retired) Lawrence F. Camacho said it all for the Democrats at the General Membership meeting when he said “we at the perfect place in space and time” as he went on to explain how critically IMPORTANT it is for the Democrats to carpe diem (seize this moment) given the prevailing concerns of the People in regards to the GOP and the present administration and corruption not to mention the many other FAILURES of the GOP to truly progress the CNMI socially and economically.

MANILA (Reuters) — Schools and businesses shut across the Philippine capital on Monday as a volcano belched clouds of ash across the city and seismologists warned an eruption could happen at any time, potentially triggering a tsunami.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (Press Release) — The government of the Federated States of Micronesia invites written or digital submissions by the private sector, non-government organizations, civil society organizations, academia and philanthropy on the best practices in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.

AS part of its tourist-friendly and hospitality programs, the Marianas Visitors Authority will create Quick Response or QR codes that will contain a map of Saipan and its historical sites and other tourist destinations, MVA tour guide certification manager Kuen-Hee Han.

WITH a high rate of measles immunization among its youth, the CNMI is prepared for a measles outbreak, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. communications and public relations specialist Zoe Travis said.

HUMAN trafficking is usually a hidden crime — a lot of the time we don’t see it, or we try to ignore it, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios said on Friday before signing a proclamation designating January as Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month.

THE Internal Revenue Service in Seattle issued a public notice stating that it seized $456,079 from Alfred Yue’s bank accounts on Nov. 8 and 9, 2019 for violations of federal law.

“POLL Finds Most People Would Rather Be Annihilated By Giant Tidal Wave Than Continue To Be Lectured By Climate Change Activists,” the Babylon Bee reported in December, adding in an attached news story that one man’s response to hearing “just 30 seconds of a Greta Thunberg lecture” was to scrawl on the survey form, “Come, sweet death.”

MITCH McConnell was clear when he addressed the Senate on December 18: Any impeachment trial of President Trump would follow the precedent established by the trial of President Clinton 20 years ago.

ROLLERS 1’s hard work finally paid off as they claimed the 2019 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball Tournament championship after beating their “siblings,” Rollers 2, 58-47 on Sunday at the TSL Sports Complex.

MANILA (Reuters) — A volcano near Manila spewed a massive cloud of ash that drifted across the Philippine capital on Sunday, forcing the cancellation of flights and closure of schools and government offices as authorities warned of a possible “explosive eruption.”

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On January 8, 2020, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, and Yosiwo P. George, vice president of the FSM, met with the board of directors and the chief executive officer of the FSM Petroleum Corporation or FSMPC, more commonly referred to as Vital.

THE Northern Marianas Technical Institute is expecting to receive $2 million in Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, NMTI chief executive officer Agnes McPhetres said.

(Press Release) — The American Red Cross 2020 Walkathon will take place on Saturday, April 25. The Event will include a 10k walk and lots of fun and games for the entire family.

(Press Release) — James Ada, president of the CNMI Republican Party, released the following statement on behalf of the organization:

(Press Release) — This is to inform all parents, guardians, and the community of the agenda that the Kagman unified schools will hold a PTSA meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the Chacha Oceanview Middle School cafeteria.

(DPS) — On Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, at about 10:44 a.m., the CNMI Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting a burglary and theft incident at a business establishment in San Jose, Saipan. Police were dispatched to the scene.

SEVERAL supporters of independent candidates in the last general elections joined the NMI Democratic Party during its general membership meeting in the Fiesta Hall of Grandvrio Resort Saipan on Saturday.

WASHINGTON — Women overtook men to hold the majority of U.S. jobs for the first time in a decade, while employers added positions for a record 10th straight year, pointing to a growing and dynamic economy heading into 2020.

RAIN batters windows, palm trees topple over one another like dominoes and 190-mile-per-hour winds tear roofs off homes, hurling aluminum fishing boats into the air. In the winter of 2018, the worst storm to hit U.S. soil since 1953 swept through and devastated my home, Saipan, a small island in the Pacific.

CHEER up, folks. For all the political grousing about health-care costs, the good news out this week is that cancer survival rates have improved enormously over the last three decades. The chances of beating most types of cancer are increasing, and that’s especially true if you live in the United States.

DAMON Macallister Wilson was born in 1973 in Charleston, South Carolina. He graduated from James Island High School in Charleston (1991), Duke University in Durham, North Carolina (Benjamin N. Duke Leadership Scholar, B.A., Political Science, 1995) and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in Princeton, New Jersey (MPA, 1998).

SYDNEY — I’ll never forget my first Christmas in Australia. The year was 2001. The mercury hovered around 100 degrees Fahrenheit — you don’t get a white Christmas in Sydney. From the balcony of an apartment overlooking Bondi Beach, I watched the sky turn from a bright blue to an ashen gray to a brackish brown as smoke poured down from over the hill behind us. What would later be known as the Black Christmas fires raged in the Blue Mountains, 50 or so miles inland.

(Press Release) — The top four teams of Rocball are now into their last games of the semi-finals. Teams Power Up and Laly Four ended the regular season of games undefeated. But they lost their first games of the season to their opponents, the Strykers and the Aces.

MARIANAS High School’s Varsity team has done it again, this time by claiming the 2019-2020 Public School System Girls Basketball League title on Saturday after defeating its younger sister team, MHS Junior Varsity, 19-8, at the MHS gym.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech has announced $490,000 in funding support to prevent the spread of measles in American Samoa and to help bolster efforts to vaccinate the entire population with the Measles, Mumps, Rubella or MMR vaccination in the territory.

KOROR (PICRC) — On Jan. 8 and 9, 2020, the Palau International Coral Reef Center held its annual Education Carnival as part of the center’s anniversary celebrations. Over 500 students from six different schools across Palau attended the two-day event, where various interactive activities were set up to learn more about our oceans.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On Jan. 9, 2020 Postmaster General of the Federated States of Micronesia Ginger Porter Mida, informed the Office of the President that the United States Postal Service will be increasing postage rates effective Jan. 26, 2020. Per the terms of the Compact of Free Association, as Amended, the FSM Postal Service is obligated to match or be more expensive than USPS postage rates.

(Press Release) — On Friday, Jan. 10, 2019 at 11:24 a.m., the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services received a forwarded Department of Public Safety dispatch call from a male individual reporting multiple people injured from a collapsed scaffolding at the Imperial Pacific International construction site in Garapan.
At 11:24 a.m. Medic-1 from Susupe Fire station, Medic-2 and Engine-2 from the Garapan Fire station were dispatched to the location. The first arriving unit, Medic-2, was on scene at 11:25 a.m.
Upon arrival, DFEMS personnel found two patients laying on their backs and a third patient sitting.
Patient one (48-year-old male, Chamorro) was complaining of chest pain and difficulty breathing Based on assessment, patient sustained a one-and-a-half-inch laceration to his forehead. The patient stated he was working alongside another male individual when the man-made scaffolding fell on top of them causing them to fall one story below.
Patient two (48-year-old male, Chuukese) was complaining of body wide pain. He stated he was working alongside patient one. Both patients said they did not lose consciousness and were fully mobilized using a cervical collar and spine board to prevent any further injuries.
Patient three (20-year-old male, Chamorro) was complaining of body wide pain. He stated he was working on top of the scaffold when it collapsed. Patient stated he fell about 10 feet (one story) down and landed on his back. Patient said he did not lose consciousness. Patient sustained obvious signs of swelling to the lower left leg along with multiple contusions and abrasions to the lower back area.
All three patients were treated and transported to Commonwealth Health Center Emergency Room.
No information regarding the patient's condition will be released by DFEMS. Updates on the patients’ treatment and status at CHC should be referred to its public information officer.
In a statement, Imperial Pacific International said:
“It’s always unfortunate when incidents happen at a construction site. We pray for the speedy recovery of the workers involved, and we’ll cooperate fully with U.S. OSHA and DPW in investigating the cause. We will continue to uphold and enforce high safety standards.”
In a separate statement, the Commonwealth Casino Commission said:
“The CCC was informed of an incident that occurred at the Imperial Pacific Resort construction site whereby it appears a few construction personnel were injured in an accident. Preliminary investigation attributes the incident to a platform collapsing. Both the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services and the Department of Public Safety were onsite and dealt with the situation. Once news of the incident broke, the CCC also deployed Division on Enforcement and Investigation agents to the site to monitor the situation. Gaming operations were not impacted by the incident. The CCC will continue to monitor the situation.”

SAN FRANCISCO (Press Release) — The anniversaries of two constitutional amendments that greatly expanded suffrage in this country are the focus of this year’s Ninth Circuit Civics Contest: the 150th anniversary of the 15th amendment, which granted voting rights to persons of color, and the centennial of the 19th amendment, which accorded those same rights to women.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Saipan’s east and south recreational beaches this week as part of the regularly scheduled sampling.

(Press Release) — The Marianas Writers Movement will have a series of six Saturday workshops starting January 18, 2020. Each workshop will be two hours, beginning at 1:30 PM in the VTC Room of the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library. The workshops, “Beyond the First Draft,” will focus on the editing process. These workshops are open to all over age 13, and are free.

(Press Release) — The Democratic Party of the Northern Marianas invites interested members of the community to attend their 2020 general membership meeting tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 at the Grandvrio Hotel’s Fiesta Room. Doors open at 9 a.m. with the meeting to begin promptly at 10 a.m. through noon.

(MVA) — The venue for the 16th Annual Tinian Hot Pepper Festival on Feb. 15-16, 2020, has been confirmed for the Fiesta Grounds in San Jose village. Event organizer Marianas Visitors Authority and co-sponsor Tinian Mayor’s Office have agreed to have the Marianas’ festival at the same location as last year due to the convenience and amenities of the site.

(Office of the Governor) — In December, the CNMI Department of Labor and the CNMI Department of Commerce held a conference call meeting with the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Prevailing Wage Center to discuss employers’ concerns regarding the prevailing wage determination for H-2B and PERM visas. The meeting focused on the applicability of the 2019 CNMI Prevailing Wage Survey or PWS to other visas, such as H-2B and PERM.

THE Department of Corrections is not delaying an inmate’s medical referral due to his ethnicity, Assistant Attorney General Leslie A. Healer said, referring to the lawsuit filed by Price Shoiter in federal court.

THE Public School System intends to build a new campus for Hopwood Middle School, but the Board of Education has yet to identify a location, outgoing PSS facilities development and management director Rachel Fusco said on Wednesday.

(MCS) — Later this month, Mount Carmel School will join Eskuelan San Francisco de Borja on Rota and Catholic schools across the nation in celebrating Catholic Schools Week or CSW 2020.

(DMS) — Students form Dandan Middle School participated in the school competition of the National Geographic GeoBee in December 2019. Bianca Nicole Mabalay, a 6th grade student, won first place, with Reineer John Anciado, a 6th grade student, winning second place, and Joaquin Ian Cruzana, a 6th grade student, finishing third place.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Yolanda Digoman, one of two government of Guam nutrition assistants accused of taking part in food stamp-related fraud, has pleaded guilty to official misconduct as a misdemeanor but she walked freely after her sentencing Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Trump administration officials failed to convince Democratic U.S. lawmakers, and some Republicans, on Wednesday that an imminent threat had justified the killing of a top Iranian military commander, and congressional Democrats scheduled a vote on legislation to rein in the president’s ability to wage war.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Donald Trump may have narrowly escaped immersing the United States in a broad war with Iran, at least for now, after his order to kill a top Iranian general sparked a crisis and prompted criticism at home and abroad.

Just a drill, for now

THE education commissioner said he and his team were just being “pro-active” when they presented three austerity proposals to the BOE finance committee on Tuesday. PSS has a plan in place, he said. Just in case. Well and good.

PREFACE: January 1, 2020 marked the beginning of a New Year and a new decade. I wish we could be talking something inspirationally noble for our children to learn about, look forward to and be proud of. Sadly, though in the dawn of the New Year we also have a lingering “chill of fear in the air” that an indictment of a sitting Governor will be filed by federal prosecutors within days.

MICHAEL E. Guest was born on October 26, 1957 in South Carolina. He graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina (B.A., History and Political Science, 1979), University of Toulouse in Toulouse, France (Certificate, Development Economics and International Development, 1980), and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia (M.A., International Relations, 1981).

AFTER reading two recent articles about sexual assaults against U.S. Peace Corps volunteers, “Peace Corps failing to protect volunteers from sexual assault, watchdog says,” (CBS News January 29, 2018,) and subsequent Peace Corps response, “Peace Corps responds to CBS News report on sexual assault” dated January 30, 2018 (links attached at the end of this letter), I was reminded of the appropriate action taken by the late Mr. Francisco Ada, a well-respected Saipan official and a District Administrator at that time, who stood strong while restraining a female Peace Corps volunteer from taking an impulsive trip alone to a Northern Islands where she only wanted to see a male volunteer for whom she had a crush. The male volunteer did not even invite her.

THE 670 Sonics remain on top of the food chain in the U18 Boys Division of the 2019 TanHoldings Christmas Basketball Tournament after routing Ol’Aces 3, 60-45 on Monday at the TSL Sports Complex.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service) — On January 7, 2020, David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, acted as temporary president for the opening of the 4th FSM Constitutional Convention. After brief remarks and ceremonial routines, the 4th FSM Constitutional Convention elected former FSM Vice President Redley Killion from the State of Chuuk as president of the convention.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech applauds President Trump and Congress for signing the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, Public Law 116-94, which includes funding increases for key programs provided by the Office of Insular Affairs to the insular areas, provides temporary increases in Medicaid funding for the territories, increases the number of foreign construction workers permitted to support disaster recovery in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and includes a $5 million dollar payment to the Trust Fund for the People of the Republic of the Marshall Islands for Tax and Trade compensation provided for under the Compact of Free Association. Assistant Secretary Domenech also applauded the signing of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 116-92, which directed studies to be done on Runit Dome in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Saipan’s recreational western beaches and storm drainages every week as part of a regularly scheduled sampling program.

REPRESENTATIVES from the World Health Organization will visit the island on Thursday to discuss the efforts of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. to prevent a measles outbreak in the CNMI, CHCC Public Health and Preparedness Program coordinator BJ Nicholas said.

(NMC) — Northern Marianas College is reminding all community members who are interested in advancing their careers and furthering their education to attend NMC’s free information session tonight, Jan. 9, 2020. In addition to the admission process, college personnel will talk about financial aid options that are available for the Spring 2020 semester.

THE United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint against Imperial Pacific International LLC and its parent company IPI Holdings in federal court for sexual harassment and unfair employment practices on behalf of Shirlene Loh, a VIP hostess, and other similarly aggrieved female employees.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres has assured the Public School System that it will not experience payless paydays and will receive the funds allotted to PSS in the current fiscal year, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada said on Wednesday.

(Press Release) — Karidat will be having a Rummage Sale on Friday, January 10, 2020 and is inviting the community.

MY latest in what’s now been a lifetime of ridiculous mind-games designed to get me back to the gym is a new strategy to wear my running shoes to work (I sit behind a desk). The basic premise is that I am far more likely and at least one step closer to a workout, if I have running shoes on my feet — I even went so far as to buy a fancy, $76 pair of Nikes because we all know it’s the shoes that do it.

GIVE Nancy Pelosi this: She has chutzpah. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded Friday on the Senate floor to the House’s refusal to appoint managers and transmit its articles of impeachment against President Trump to the upper chamber. “For now,” Mr. McConnell said, “we are content to continue the ordinary business of the Senate while House Democrats continue to flounder. For now.”

THE Blue Eagles and Blue Haus still hold a perfect record with four wins each in the United Filipino Organization and IT&E Basketball League after defeating their adversaries on Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym.

MADRID/HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) — After years of reconnaissance, China’s retail king Alibaba is finally making its move on Europe. It is undercutting Amazon sellers’ fees to attract vendors but has had mixed results, six sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) — The trial of a man accused of stabbing to death 19 disabled people at a care home in 2016 was interrupted on Wednesday after the man seemed to put something in his mouth, started struggling with court officials and lay on the floor writhing.

(Press Release) — The Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense and the Mariana Regional Fusion Center received reports of an unofficial message circulating through chat groups and social media highlighting that “international tensions are high” and prompting people to take action in light of the current situation between the United States and Iran.

(Press Release) — This is to inform all parents, guardians and the community that the Kagman unified schools will have a PTSA meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 5:30 p.m. in the Chacha Oceanview Middle School cafeteria. We are encouraging all parents, and guardians to attend this meeting. Child care will be provided.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Managaha’s recreational beaches and dock, and Rota’s recreational beaches and storm drainages as part of the regularly scheduled sampling.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton said on Monday he is willing to testify in the expected Senate impeachment trial of the president, a surprise development that could potentially strengthen the case that Trump should be removed from office.

(Press Release) — Asked for comment on the massive FBI searches conducted targeting Gov. Ralph Torres, his family, brothers’ law firm, and casino operator Imperial Pacific International, NMI Democratic Party Chairwoman Nola Hix said the NMI Democratic Party has confidence in federal law enforcement agencies and officers, and prosecutors, and will await the indictments and outcome of the judicial process.

THE revenue collections based on the revised projection for fiscal year 2019 fell short by $16.47 million, the Department Finance stated in its year-end report to the Legislature.

FOLLOWING a meeting with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres regarding the Public School System’s budget, Education Commissioner Alfred Ada presented three austerity proposals to the Board of Education’s Fiscal, Personnel and Administrative Committee on Tuesday.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Guam Sen. William Castro is the Republican Party’s candidate for delegate in the November mid-term election.

FOR sure the tranquility of the Public has been devastated by AUSTERITY and now followed by the FBI Raids that both can be attributed to our Governor who has been deemed a “Godfather” by Kandit News due to the RICO Statue he is facing which is Federal Law for the purpose of prosecuting Criminal Organizations — U Go Gov. you’re in the big league now for TRUE!

MORE than any other American military operation since the invasion of Iraq, the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Qods Force of its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, is a seismic event.

EVERYBODY knows Donald Trump is going to start a war. His critics have been saying so since his first year in office — remember the war with North Korea they predicted right after Trump tweeted about unleashing “fire and fury” on the Little Rocket Man?

SINCE 1979, no one in the United States has figured out a good way to handle the regime in Tehran. For 40 years, we’ve been having the same arguments, and no matter what we tried, the results were disappointing.

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) — Toyota Motor Corp. said on Monday it plans to build a prototype “city of the future” at the base of Japan’s Mt. Fuji, powered by hydrogen fuel cells and functioning as a laboratory for autonomous cars, “smart homes,” artificial intelligence and other technologies.

JAKARTA (Reuters) — Indonesia will mobilize fishermen to join warships in the South China Sea to help defend against Chinese vessels, the government said on Monday, as the biggest stand-off with China for years escalated off Southeast Asia’s largest country.

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — The Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs is a failure, with the government barely making a dent on the country’s narcotics problem despite a relentless campaign over the past three years, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Monday.

(Press Release) — Under a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Syngenta Seeds, a subsidiary of Syngenta AG, is hosting an agricultural worker protection training session for growers in Saipan — with livestreaming events in Rota and Tinian — this month.

(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Division of Energy is pleased to announce the relaunch of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands State Energy Program: Energy-Efficient/Energy Star Appliance Rebate Program to provide financial assistance, as an incentive, to residential consumers of Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Iraq’s parliament called on Sunday for U.S. and other foreign troops to leave as a backlash grows against the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general, and President Donald Trump doubled down on threats to target Iranian cultural sites if Tehran retaliates.

THE new board of trustees’ first order of business is to rename the Northern Marianas Trades Institute, which is now known as the Northern Marianas Technical Institute.

(DPS) — On Friday, Jan. 3, 2019, at about 10:30 a.m., the Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting an assault and battery incident at a gas station in Chalan Piao. Police were dispatched to the scene.

(Office of Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio) — On Jan. 6, 2019, the CNMI Superior Court issued an order denying the Commonwealth’s request to vacate defendant Theodore O. Pehnos Jr.’s right to a preliminary hearing.

THE House of Representatives investigation into Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ reimbursement claims will be delayed for another 15 days because Department of Finance staffers have to retrieve the files manually.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — In September 2018, a legislative committee investigating allegations of corruption and mismanagement at the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority voted to end its work and send the information already gathered to the Office of Public Accountability and attorney general.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — A leader with the Guam Boonie Stompers had just told the hiking group that the area is dangerous and to be very careful when a man who was with them fell about 100 feet into a cavern and to his death on Saturday in Talofofo.

MORTON, Miss. — Juan Grant strode into the Koch Foods chicken processing plant for his new job on a Wednesday morning, joining many other African Americans in a procession of rubber boots, hairnets and last cigarettes before the grind.

I STILL get buzzed when I recall that a majority of Californians looked at what Gavin Newsom allowed while mayor of San Francisco — rampant homelessness, transportation gridlock, failed public projects, a widening income gap, sidewalk needles, and human, er, waste — and decided they wanted that for the whole state. They elected him governor in 2018 and now complain that California is going to hell.

MP United Football Club claimed its second straight title on Sunday after outlasting the TanHoldings Football Club, 2-1, in the finale of the 2019-2020 Holiday Futsal Jam-U15 Boys Division at the TSL Sports Complex.

(NMC) — Individuals who are interested in furthering their education are encouraged to attend Northern Marianas College’s free information session this Thursday, January 9, 2020. The event will cover information on the admissions application process, financial aid, class registration, and academic programs and services.

ASHLEY Christiansen, a psychologist, told the federal court at a competency hearing on Friday that Cling Philip Gilbert Kaipat is suffering from a mental disease called schizophrenia, which affects a person’s ability to think, feel, and behave.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) — Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf has issued a new National Terrorism Advisory System or NTAS Bulletin pertaining to the changing threat landscape following the successful U.S.-led airstrike in Iraq that eliminated Qaseem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.

THE Northern Marianas Technical Institute board of directors was dissolved on Friday after its members signed a resolution relinquishing their functions and fiduciary duties to a new board of trustees.

(DPS) — On Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, at about 9:37 a.m., the Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting a drowning incident at the Grotto dive site in Marpi. Police and medics were dispatched to the scene.

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Donald Trump on Saturday threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites “very hard” if Iran attacks Americans or U.S. assets after a drone strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani and an Iraqi militia leader, as tens of thousands of people marched in Iraq to mourn their deaths.

CASINO apologists and proponents often accuse House minority members of being “anti-casino” and overly critical of Imperial Pacific International, d.b.a. Best Sunshine, and the casino industry on Saipan. The truth is, we are not. We just want IPI to follow our laws and the casino license agreement. Is that such a bad thing?

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — Requiring Americans to get a visa to visit the Philippines might hold back an entire tourist market and discourage potential investors from entering the country, a potentially high price to pay over an issue that only affects a few but powerful politicians in the Duterte administration.

HONG KONG (Reuters Breakingviews) — Betting group Genting is not the bookies’ favorite as it competes for a coveted casino license in Japan. The Malaysian outfit lacks the scale or the glitz of rivals in Las Vegas and Macau but it has an ace up its sleeve to enter the hotly anticipated new market in 2020.

MAJURO — Voter turnout in the November 2019 national election in the Marshall Islands was the lowest in five elections and possibly the lowest ever in a national election since constitutional government was first established in 1979.

(Press Release) — The Democratic Party of the Northern Marianas Inc. cordially invites the public to its general membership meeting scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 at 10 in the morning in the Fiesta Room of Grandvrio Resort Saipan in Garapan. This meeting is open to all and those interested in becoming prospective members of the party are invited to attend.

(Office of the Governor) — The Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority under the Office of the Governor announced on Tuesday the expansion of COTA’s demand response shared ride and fixed-route services to accommodate Sundays and all CNMI legal holidays effective Friday, Jan. 3, 2020.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Five years ago, Zekaya Taitano was asked what she wanted for Christmas.

WHILE updating vaccination is no longer an issue among the youth, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation has seen a low vaccination coverage rate among adults, CHCC communications and public relations specialist Zoe Travis said.


IT has been a while since the anti-littering agencies have informed the public about the enforcement of the 1989 anti-littering law as amended in 2016 and whose original version was already in the statute book when the NMI was still under the Trust Territory government.

IT’S resolution time. If you’re like most Americans, you’re planning on losing weight and exercising more in 2020. This is that special time of year for pie-in-the-sky planning. You might be planning to quit smoking or cut back on alcohol consumption (about one-fifth of Americans made these their 2019 resolutions). Year after failing year, people resolve to stop or to start doing all manner of things, but fewer than 10 percent of us are still on track come December.

CONGRATULATIONS, commendations and undoubtedly pay raises are in order for Vida Borja and the Tinian MVA team. Despite the 2018 budget deficit, compounded by Super Typhoon Yutu, the Tinian MVA team has managed to maintain those historic sites of Tinian assigned to them in Class A condition.

(Press Release) — The Saipan Little League Baseball Inc. is holding a managers and coaches’ meeting at 5:30 p.m., on Jan. 15, in the office of Mike Borja at the Department of Public Works- Roads and Grounds Division on Lower Base.

MAJURO — A Papua New Guinea national is being held in jail in the Marshall Islands to face a murder charge after allegedly beating a Kiribati fisherman on board a fishing vessel in Majuro’s lagoon last week.