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A MEMBER of the U16 Northern Marianas Soccer National Team and a current player of the Tan Holdings Football Club, Kohtaro Goto shadowed the U19 NMI Soccer National Team on its trip to Cambodia to participate in the 2020 Asian Football Confederation U19 championship qualifiers tournament.

FOR failing to comply with a prior stipulated order, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered Imperial Pacific International to pay monetary sanction in the amount of $2,000 per day from May 17, 2020 until compliance has been satisfied.

FOR the past 30 years I have pledged myself to educating students academically and socially to be successful in life and I have also been trying to educate the public on what is needed for the CNMI to have a successful economy, a successful government, and how to repair our riddled Social Fabric with real prosperity FOR the People.

THE slight increase in fuel prices from May to June will not affect the fuel adjustment charge or FAC of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said.

POHNPEI (Secretariat for the Joint Committee on Compact Review & Planning) — Negotiators representing the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia met by video conference on May 27 for the first session of negotiations on the expiring provisions of the Compact of Free Association between the two nations.

(Office of the Governor) — Secretary of Community and Cultural Affairs Robert Hunter announced Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service has granted the CNMI’s request for a waiver to exclude the treatment of “stimulus payments” as resources for the islands’ Nutrition Assistance Program participants.

THE newly appointed chairman of the Commonwealth Casino Commission, Edward C. Deleon Guerrero, on Thursday told Imperial Pacific International to promptly respond to the request of Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for information related to possible violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres last week issued Executive Order 2020-12 to renew the authority of Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig to reprogram or transfer funds from any department, agency, office, board, commission, corporation, instrumentality or other entity of any branch of the Commonwealth government in order to meet the threat of Covid-19.

MAJURO — Two Marshall Islanders who drifted at sea for 42 days and seven others were returned home Thursday, the first people allowed into this western Pacific nation since early-March after a Covid-19 travel ban was enforced.

THE five-hour House session last week resulted in the passage of a number of measures, including Senate Bill 21-24, which pertains to the use of surround nets and gill nets in the Third Senatorial District.

KOROR (PICRC) — During these uncertain times, several companies continue to donate to the Palau International Coral Reef Center’s Arts and Tides Calendar, a community-based program that was launched 19 years ago with the purpose of raising environmental awareness through student artwork. PICRC truly appreciates, and encourages, the contribution of all sponsors of the calendar.

MANGILAO (UOG) — The University of Guam Press won its second Independent Publisher Book Award for “CHamoru Legends: A Gathering of Stories” written by Teresita Lourdes Perez and translated into CHamoru by Maria Ana Tenorio Rivera.

PUBLISHED in 1956, Edwin O’Connor’s “The Last Hurrah” was hailed by the New York Times as “the best novel about American politics.” It was a bestseller and was adapted into a 1958 film with Spencer Tracy playing the lead role. The movie flopped but the novel lives on. Its author was a print and broadcast journalist and his main subjects were “big-boss” politics and its practitioners.

(Office of the Governor) — Leaders from all over Micronesia have expressed their condolences to the family of the honorable Jose Rebuenog Lifoifoi, fifth Speaker of the CNMI House of Representatives, former chairman of the Commonwealth Ports Authority, former Chairman of the United Micronesia Development Association, and honorary consul of the Republic of Palau to the Commonwealth.

THANKS to a grant received by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium now has a new mural.

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

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Saipan's west coast recreational beaches and storm drainages on the west coast every Tuesday.

SARDINI Group Inc., an engineering firm based in New York, sued Imperial Pacific International in federal court for breach of services contract in the amount of $1,951,127.10.

 

 

AS of Wednesday, Marianas Visitors Authority Managing Director Priscilla Iakopo said the Department of Finance still owed MVA $7.8 million.

IMPERIAL Pacific International on Tuesday notified its employees that the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. had disconnected power to their housing units due to the failure of IPI to pay its utility bills.

A PUBLIC hearing was held on Wednesday by the Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations to review the credentials of Civil Service Commission Chairman Raymond Muna who has been reappointed by the governor.

THE Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations held a public hearing on Wednesday for the governor’s two nominees for reappointment to the Healthcare Professions Licensing Board: Dr. Martin P. Rohringer and Dr. Glenda S. George.

AS a member of the NMI badminton national team that competed in the 2019 Samoa Pacific Games, Ezekiel Macario said they are now more aware of the level of competition that they will face in the 2022 Pacific Mini Games, which will be held on Saipan. 

KOROR (Island Times/Pacnews) — The estimated costs of bringing back home 143 Palauan students and stranded citizens and putting them through two levels of quarantine, in Guam and in Palau will cost approximately $1,018,839, according to the report provided to the Olbiil Era Kelulau or the national legislature by the Office of the President on May 22, 2020.

 

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — President Rodrigo Duterte said late on Monday that he would not allow students to go back to school until a vaccine for Covid-19 was available, drawing objections from educators and lawmakers who insisted modifications to the learning system could be introduced to prevent a longer disruption of education forced by the new coronavirus pandemic.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday called his Republican rival Donald Trump an “absolute fool” for not wearing a mask at a series of recent public events, saying his lack of leadership on the issue is “costing peoples’ lives.”

(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor announces the first phase option for employers (businesses, government, other entities) to register their entities online via www.hiremarianas.com in order to provide information needed to help their employees with the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation programs.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On May 25, 2020,  David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, sent a diplomatic note to Donald J. Trump, president of the United States of America, to convey the FSM’s “shared grief as the United States mourns the loss of those American and Micronesian men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our shared values of peace, unity, and liberty” during this year’s Memorial Day remembrances.

(Office of the Governor) — In conformance with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ extended Public Health Emergency declaration and for ensuring the protocols for social distancing are in place, the Nutrition Assistance Program will be distributing benefits through drive thru service again at their office location in As Lito from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. from June 1 to 15, 2020.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced on Monday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service has approved the CNMI’s request to provide supplemental allotments for eligible and ongoing Department of Community and Cultural Affairs-Nutrition Assistance Program households in the CNMI for June 2020 to August 2020.

(Office of the Governor) — The Division of Energy wishes to inform the public of the re-opening of its office located at Building 1337 Ascencion Dr., Capital Hill and the limited resumption of program services beginning, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except during lunch hours, weekends and legal holidays. 

LONDON (Press Release) —  Recognizing the urgent need to safeguard the world’s coral reefs from further decline, the International Coral Reef Initiative  delivered its recommendation to the Convention on Biological Diversity or CBD to be incorporated into the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres announced that effective today, the Commonwealth will move from Community Vulnerability Level “Red” to “Yellow,” as a result of widespread community-based Covid-19 testing.

SIMPLE-MINDED folk, incapable of understanding the subtleties of science and economics, need a clear narrative to guide them through the complexity of the national lockdown debate. Fortunately, the usual wise heads in the media have been here all along to provide an easily understood moral fable, complete with its own cast of villains and heroes.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres will submit to the House of Representatives a revised fiscal year 2021 budget proposal, which will reflect the impact of furloughs and the financial assistance from the federal government.

IMPERIAL Pacific International is unable to pay its former contractor $6.8 million as ordered by the court, and will likely close permanently if the judgment is enforced, IPI attorney Michael W. Dotts told the federal court.

WE may not yet have a vaccine against the novel coronavirus, but we are well on our way to extracting from that virus a vaccine against a far deadlier plague: socialism, which in the 20th century alone killed more than three times as many people as HIV did in the same time, which has killed about twice as many people as the Black Death killed in the 14th century, and which continues to afflict victims around the world from Cuba to North Korea to Venezuela.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On May 21, 2020, Livingston A. Taulung, secretary of the Department of Health & Social Affairs, received Huang Zheng, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China on behalf of the government of the Federated States of Micronesia, at a FSM national government warehouse.

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — Quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila could be further loosened starting June 1 as the country pursues a phased return to economic activity after nearly three months of lockdown due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

THE House leadership and the minority bloc have agreed to pass a measure that would guarantee “full and open disclosure of federal and local spending related to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

(Press Release) — Due to the continuing health and safety concerns associated with Covid-19 and pursuant to Supreme Court Order No. 2020-ADM-0010-MSC or Covid Order No. 3, judiciary courthouses and facilities will be open on a limited basis from Monday, May 11, 2020 to Wednesday, July 1, 2020. 

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced that the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration has approved the CNMI’s implementation plan for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance  and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation programs.

JAN-NASIA Travilla, a Mount Carmel School AlumKnight and a former member of the CNMI Women’s National Basketball Team, has been recognized as one of the top athletes of the University of Guam in school year 2019-2020.

SENATOR Paul A. Manglona, the lone minority member in the upper house, is asking the administration for an update on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments for qualified CNMI residents.

SANTA RITA, Guam (USCG) — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska (WPB 1336) concluded a successful 18-day patrol in support of counter-Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing and regional security operations in Northern Marianas and Western Pacific, in mid-May. 

(Press Release) — IT&E is excited to announce the winners of the IT&E Stay Home Challenge. From March 29 to April 30, 2020 residents of Guam and the CNMI were invited to share on their Instagram pages how they were passing the time at home during the government Stay-At-Home order for the chance to win a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, S20+ or a S20 with a phone case and 1 year of free service.

THE Commonwealth Development Authority on Friday announced that it is again providing services and support for its clients and the general public.

(NMC) — On Friday, May 22, the Northern Marianas College ROTC Program executed its annual awards ceremony in coordination with the University of Guam ROTC Program, and several NMC ROTC cadets came away as recipients of prestigious awards. 

(PSS) — After a successful trial run in the Kagman area, the CNMI PSS WiFi on Wheels or WOW program will be expanding free wireless internet to students and families in the following areas starting Tuesday, May 26:

THE governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Thursday said one additional person has been recently confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.

THE federal court on Wednesday granted the joint request of Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig, and Evelyn Atalig to amend their witness list and to add Gregory Vecchi, Ph.D., a Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewing expert, as an expert witness.

OVER the years, through funding from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Graduate School USA (formerly the “Graduate School, USDA”) has been examining the CNMI government’s financial condition and drawing up lists of recommendations that can be summed up in two words: don’t overspend.

POHNPEI (Pacific Island Times/Pacnews) — Federated States of Micronesia President David Panuelo has announced that the FSM government is providing financial support in the amount of $300,000 for FSM citizens who are stranded in Guam and Hawaii while in transit on their way back home. 

AMID the Covid-19 lockdown, the China Town Super Tech Titans continue to train individually in the comfort of their own homes. Head coaches Sohn Macaranas and Walt Mendez have also been instructing each Titan to reflect on their weaknesses.

MAJURO — Two Marshallese men who survived a six-week, 1,640km (1,020 mile) drift are well and awaiting repatriation home from Weno, the capital island of Chuuk state in the Federated States of Micronesia.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzed water samples collected this week from Saipan's east and south recreational beaches and from Rota's recreational beaches and storm drainages.

(Office of the Governor) — In an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the Marianas, the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force would like to remind the general public that Managaha and the Grotto remain closed until further notice, pursuant to Directive 14 of the CNMI Covid-19 Emergency Directives of 2020.

(MVA) — Spreading goodwill to friends near and far, the Marianas Visitors Authority and local community partners are conveying a message of hope during the Covid-19 pandemic.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech announced $942,206 in fiscal year 2020 Coral Reef and Natural Resources Initiative grants to eradicate and control the spread of invasive species in the U.S. territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as in the Republic of Palau, and Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia. Funding will be used to introduce biological control of coconut rhinoceros beetles, control and eradicate feral cats and monitor lizards, and destroy wild vines, all of which are disruptive to ecological systems and impacting communities and livelihoods in the islands.

(MCS) — In an effort to help the community during these challenging times, Mount Carmel School is bringing some of its recent creative content online to provide more entertainment and engagement options for everyone staying home as part of social distancing measures. Content includes the most recent film entry in the award-winning “We Drank Our Tears” series, various school spirit initiatives, and a series of TED-style talks from students.

WHEN asked to share their respective visions for the Commonwealth, the governor’s zoning board nominees, Joe Ayuyu Jr., Perry Inos Jr., and Kevin C. Deleon Guerrero said they believe it is time to catch up with the times and go digital.

(Press Release) — IT&E will offer the powerful and affordable new iPhone SE on the widest most reliable 4G LTE network in Guam and the Northern Marianas.

(Office of the Governor) — Contrary to a conflicting announcement, both the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force have received multiple reports over the last several weeks from inter-island travelers that Star Marianas Air required passengers to present a health clearance form before boarding its planes.

AFTER the distribution of over 1,000 care packages on Tuesday as part of its emergency food program, the Empty Vessel Ministry Foundation said its registration team received about 2,000 additional requests for assistance.

(Press Release) — A multiple property National Register of Historic Places nomination for 12 WWII Japanese and U.S. sunken ships, aircraft, and assault vehicles from the battle for Saipan was written by archaeologists and historians under a National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program grant.

(Press Release) — The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. is pleased to announce the reopening of some hospital services at this time.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Saipan's west coast recreational beaches and storm drainages on the west coast every Tuesday.

(DPS) — On Sunday, May 17, 2020, at about 6:30 p.m., the Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting an injured cyclist who was struck by a vehicle along Chalan Pale Arnold Road. Police and medics were dispatched to the scene.

MOBIL Oil Marianas and Shell Marianas gasoline prices went up on Tuesday and Wednesday by 15 cents while the price of diesel was up by 5 cents.

THESE last few weeks of staying home to “stay safe” to prevent us from being infected by the coronavirus has been difficult.

DEMOCRATS want a $915 billion budget bailout for states and cities, and the leading lobbyist is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. His main public antagonist on the subject is Florida senator and former Gov. Rick Scott.

WHEN news stories appeared in early 2017 about Michael Flynn’s conversation with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., these columns wondered how Mr. Flynn’s call was so widely known.

 

MANILA (AP) — Uncertainties over the coronavirus remain, but there have been heartwarming anecdotes too, like the acts of courage and sacrifice of people helping deal with the unprecedented crisis at their life’s peril.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Tuesday allocated the $4.7 million Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund provided by the CARES Act to Northern Marianas College so it can continue its academic and workforce programs and services.

THE local Supreme Court on Monday rejected the appeal of Sylvestre Rogopes Sablan who was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment with five years suspended after admitting that he murdered his wife, Ana Pialur Limes, in April 2015.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) —  U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech applauded the U.S. Department of Education for the financial support provided to the U.S. territories and Freely Associated States or FAS to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus disease 201 pandemic.

BILL de Blasio made terrible decisions as mayor of New York City. But as more reporting emerges about the catastrophic decisions made by New York’s governor, it’s possible Andrew Cuomo deserves even more blame than de Blasio for what the coronavirus has done to the tri-state area and consequently the nation.

ZONING board members should be mindful of the community and the environment when making development decisions, according to some lawmakers who attended Tuesday’s Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations public hearing on three board nominees: Joe Ayuyu Jr., Perry Inos Jr., and Kevin C. Deleon Guerrero.

SAIPAN Mayor David M. Apatang issued the following statement on the passing of the Honorable Jose R. Lifoifoi, fifth speaker of the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands:

THOSE sharing #Obamagate hashtags on Twitter would do best to avoid the hysterics we saw from Russian-collusion believers, but they have no reason to ignore the mounting evidence that suggests the Obama administration engaged in serious corruption.

THERE has been a delay in the completion of the new federal court building construction due to the general difficulties involved in working under pandemic restrictions, said Bill  Bezzant, District Court for the NMI chief deputy clerk.

THE CNMI Army Recruiting Center is back in operation, but it is taking precautions by ensuring that its office is sanitized every day — all surfaces are wiped after each visit — in an effort to protect the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

THE Governor’s Economic Task Force on Monday presented the CNMI Community Focused Recovery Plan to the House Committee on Commerce and Tourism, and sought the panel’s help in drafting a House resolution to support the plan.

THE Public School System is drawing up various plans for the reopening of public schools in September, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada told the Board of Education in a recent meeting.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — While Louise Rivera, mayor of Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon, can provide food to help the homeless individuals in her villages, she said, what these displaced residents really need is a safe place to stay.

DEAR grads, lockdown class of 2020: Switch off “Animal Crossing,” wrap up that episode of “The Masked Singer,” pause practicing your TikTok “Renegade” dance, finish ironically chugging your Corona beer, and listen up — Karens, Beckys and Chads, too.

LOS ANGELES (The New York Times) — A precipitous drop in applications for green cards, citizenship and other programs has threatened the solvency of the federal agency that administers the country’s lawful immigration system, prompting it to seek a $1.2 billion cash infusion from Congress as well as fee hikes to stay afloat.

(IT&E) — With no data caps until the end of the month, subscribers will be better able to keep in touch with loved ones, stay up to date with the latest news and announcements, continue to work and maintain their businesses from home and keep children educated and entertained.

THE CNMI government wants to borrow more than $90 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency through its Community Disaster Loan program.

MAJURO — As hard drug use has escalated in the Marshall Islands, government leaders are expressing increasing concern over the problem, with Justice Minister Kessai Note announcing formation of a drug task force earlier this week in a parliament session.

(Press Release) — The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation would like to inform the public that the program’s office hours are, once again, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Day care centers across the island, that just two months ago were filled with the sounds of children playing, now sit silent as the closure of some “nonessential” businesses continue and the centers remain closed under government orders due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

(Office of the Governor) — The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. would like to inform the public that two additional people have been recently confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.

GENEVA (Reuters) —  The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 could become endemic like HIV, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, warning against any attempt to predict how long it would keep circulating and calling for a “massive effort” to counter it.

THE administration believes it is now appropriate to initiate the reopening process for the government, according to a memorandum signed Thursday by the special assistant for Homeland Security & Emergency Management, Gerald J. Deleon Guerrero, and the chief executive officer of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., Esther Muna, with the concurrence of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has renewed the declaration of state of public health emergency and continued declaration of state of significant emergency establishing response, quarantine, and preventive containment measures concerning the Coronavirus Disease 2019 or Covid-19.

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

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality has announced that they are now providing services to the public from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., during the current government shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

(Guam Football Association) — Thirteen of the region’s licensed football coaches officially added another license to their coach education résumé — the AFC Level 1 Goalkeeping Coaching Certificate — following passing grades issued by AFC Instructor Yoshio Kato from Japan.

WASHINGTON (USCIS) — On May 14, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will publish an interim final rule or IFR implementing the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018, which protects U.S. workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and ensures that U.S. workers will not be displaced or encounter a competitive disadvantage for employment compared to non-U.S. workers.

(Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — $23,163,734 for the CNMI Public School System is now ready for drawdown. The U.S. Department of Education in Washington reported to U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan Thursday the transfer of CARES Act funds had been made. And the Congressman met the PSS leadership in Saipan to confirm the money was received.

THE CNMI Community-Focused Economic Recovery Plan was unveiled Wednesday by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna, and the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force Chairman Warren Villagomez at Fiesta Resort.

THE Public School System’s Wi-fi on Wheels or WOW program was launched Wednesday to serve about 200 students and community members in Kagman, PSS distance education coordinator Lorraine Catienza said.

(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.

(Press Release) — Project Familia: For the Graduate creates an opportunity to highlight the Class of 2020 high school graduates by having a banner of their chosen graduation photo posted roadside, within their school zone sometime in May or June.

MANILA (Reuters) — The Philippine government on Tuesday announced an extension of a lockdown of its capital, Manila, to 11 weeks, stretching one of the world's strictest and longest community quarantines to June to try to contain coronavirus outbreaks.

A POLICE affidavit is a complaint, Chief Prosecutor John Bradley said in response to the Office of the Public Defender questioning the practice of the Office of the Attorney General of filing a detective’s affidavit but not a complaint.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — A commission and a coalition of groups pushing Guam's quest for self-determination are urging local leaders to turn to the global community and international courts.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) —  A woman was forced to spend Mother’s Day recovering at Guam Regional Medical City after she attempted to stop a man from stealing her husband's pickup truck and had been run over in the process.

THE coronavirus death toll in the United States is climbing past 70,000, with thousands of new cases every day. But there is still one part of the country without a single confirmed case, much less a fatality: American Samoa, a palm-fringed Polynesian archipelago that has sealed itself off for nearly two months from the outside world.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Former Republican Gov. Eddie Calvo, who served the two terms preceding Democratic Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero's administration, said he is concerned by a lack of oversight of the executive branch during the Covid-19 pandemic.

(Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — The Northern Marianas would receive over $2.9 billion to deal with the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus in the relief act Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives released Wednesday and plan to pass on Friday. U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan said much of what he asked for — direct aid to schools and the Commonwealth government, continued relief for individuals and households, and CIP funding — has been included in the bill.

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — Thirteen of the Philippines’ 24 senators on Monday filed a bill to grant broadcast network ABS-CBN a provisional franchise to operate until June 30, 2022, while its regular franchise is under deliberation in Congress.

THE Saipan mayor’s office is open again, but from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon only, Monday to Thursday, special assistant to the mayor Henry Hofschneider said.

(CNMI Senate) — On Monday, May 11, 2020, members of the Senate met with the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force Chairman Warren Villagomez, Governor’s Authorized Representative Patrick Guerrero, Department of Finance Secretary David Atalig, and Homeland Security and Emergency Management Special Assistant Gerald Deleon Guerrero by request of Senate President Victor B. Hocog.

THE Commonwealth Utilities Corporation reduced its fuel adjustment charge or FAC effective May 11, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said.

THE chair of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations, Rep. Joel Camacho, on Tuesday announced that a public hearing for five zoning board nominees will be held on Tuesday, May 19.

LIFE itself is a test that will offer many tests that WE must all learn to pass and its clear WE must get better at passing our Political Tests in the voting booth which is our ONLY hope for better governing in the CNMI.

RIGHT before the island-wide lockdown took effect, Brian Camacho displayed his A-game as he topped the Amigos Golf Club’s March Ace of the Month tournament at the Kingfisher Golf Links on March 8 and 22.

COMMONWEALTH Utilities Corp. Executive Director Gary Camacho said the power division is seeking contemporary technologies to improve the reliability of its power system on Saipan and Tinian.

(CHC) — Now, more than ever “National Hospital Week” gives us the opportunity to highlight our hospital and healthcare workers at the Commonwealth Health Center and the innovative ways they are supporting the needs of their community members during this pandemic time.

(DPS) — On Sunday, May 10, 2020, at about 6:26 p.m., the CNMI Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting a group of individuals causing a disturbance in progress in As Lito, Saipan.

(PSS) — Under the leadership of Commissioner of Education, Dr. Alfred Ada and the Board of Education, the Public School System is proud to announce an innovative new effort to provide free wireless internet to students and families throughout the CNMI.

THE Ultimate Fighting Championship 249 event on Sunday gave the world a glimpse of the sporting world with great fight cards that included Justin Gaethje who claimed the interim lightweight title from Tony Ferguson.

 

RAROTONGA (Cook Islands News/Pacnews) — Politicians are debating whether land can be leased to bury expat workers who die in the Covid-19 shutdown — or whether the government should take land by warrant for burial plots.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The Covid-19 pandemic has altered daily life for Guamanians and it will probably lead to lasting changes, according to University of Guam economics professor Roseann Jones.

THE governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announced Monday evening that three additional people had been confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Each year since Josefina Dorotea Yamanaka Blas joined the exclusive centenarian club, which has just a few members on Guam, her extended family, which includes six children and dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, have been part of a big and extra special family celebration at her Talofofo home.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) —   A man who knew both the victim and the suspect in a shooting death at an apartment in Mongmong last week has been arrested on drug charges.

OBVIOUSLY and justifiably, the Tara Reade saga was played up by Republicans for the hypocrisy it has laid bare. Democrats don’t want the “believe women” standard applied to their presumed presidential candidate, Joe Biden, even though they merrily applied it in 2018 to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

(CUC) —  The   Commonwealth    Utilities    Corp. would  like   to  inform  the  general   public  that  there  will  be  a scheduled   water  service interruption   in San  Roque,   Achugao  and Tanapag   on Tuesdav,  May 12, 2020, from 8:30 a.m. to 4  p.m.

MANILA (The Philippine Star) — Selling ABS-CBN Corp. is not an option, the broadcast network made clear as the fight for the media giant shifts to keeping its frequencies that allow it to air free TV and radio channels.

POHNPEI (FSM Government) — On May 10, 2020, the Federated States of Micronesia formally celebrated 41 years of constitutional self-government and the extension of peace, friendship, cooperation, and love in our common humanity to all peoples and nations throughout the world. 

THE American left has misunderstood Sweden for years, holding up its significantly liberalized economy as a socialist utopia. Now the misapprehension has moved in the opposite direction, as progressives fret over the country’s supposed economy-over-life approach to Covid-19.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) —  Agana Shopping Center, Guam Premier Outlets and Tumon Sands Plaza are among the retailers and major shopping centers reopening today for the first time since pandemic-related business shutdowns began in late March.

The Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) announce that three (3) additional people have been recently confirmed to have contracted Covid-19. 

THE nationally recognized United States Press Freedom Tracker has given our Governor FAILING GRADES across his Report Card for his poor communication efforts between the press and with the People and the GOP Legislature is not doing a darn thing about “oversight” on this revelation.

“THERE'S a lot of people who keep focusing on the positives, which is that Mother Earth is healing. Parents are spending more time with their children,” mused CNMI Superior Court Associate Judge Kim-Tenorio. “That’s in a good home, right? In a home with a strong family unit, with less stress.”

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The release of federal stimulus checks on Guam will surely come as a relief for many residents, but the amount — $1,200 per individual, $2,400 for married couples plus an additional $500 per dependent — may not be enough to sustain recipients for long, according to economics professor Roseann Jones.

(Office of the Governor) — The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announce the transition of the CHCC Covid-19 health tent to the Medical Care and Treatment Site or MCATS in the CHCC upper level parking lot.

(Saipan International School) — Even in time of social distancing, teachers and school children all across the U.S. have been celebrating April as National Poetry Month.

LORI K. Haley, U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations spokeswoman, said she cannot confirm the country of origin and manufacturer of SDS Blocker, which was recently the subject of executed search warrants on Guam and Saipan.

(Press Release) — BankGuam Holding Company announced that in order to support the health and well-being of its shareholders, directors, officers and employees in light of the public health impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, there will be no in-person shareholder attendance at its annual meeting of shareholders scheduled for Monday, May 18, at 7 p.m. Chamorro Standard Time. 

MAJURO — Port management and control of the multi-billion dollar tuna industry in the Pacific islands is most effectively developed through hands-on trial and error rather than waiting for consultants, workshops and international agreements to be in place, said a New Zealand government-supported fisheries advisor working in the Marshall Islands.

(Office of the Governor) — The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. would like to inform the public that one new individual has been confirmed positive for Covid-19. The total number of Covid-19 cases in the CNMI is now 16. Of this number, two have died and 12 have recovered.

MAJURO — The Marshall Islands government is preparing to give one-time payments to Marshallese who have been stranded abroad as a result of a Covid-19 travel ban on incoming arrivals that has been in force since March 8.

THE fitness industry promotes training programs and diets that aim to help an individual live a long, healthy life. But some of these may have negative effects, especially the rapid and intense training programs and fad diets, which can also be dangerous, Gold's Gym personal trainer Jerry Diaz said.

 

SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has set a status conference for June 23, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. in the lawsuit filed by the Public School System against the CNMI government over the PSS budget.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality this week analyzed marine water samples collected from Rota's recreational beaches and storm drainages;  marine recreational water from 10 locations on Tinian; and water samples collected from Saipan's east and south recreational beaches.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that a search warrant executed in Saipan on Monday is related to an ongoing Covid-19-related investigation into a Guam medical supplier.

IN ancient Rome, a major victory on the battlefield was celebrated with a spectacular parade. And standing behind the triumphant military commander on his chariot was a slave, whispering to his master throughout the procession, “Remember you are mortal.”

“We have the best doctors, the best military leaders, and the best logistics professionals anywhere in the world. And we’re orchestrating a massive Federal response unlike anything our country has ever seen.” – President Donald J. Trump

(Press Release) — The Settlement Fund office is now open on a limited basis to provide services to members via a walk-up window.  Please note that social distancing will be strictly enforced and we require that members wear a mask in order to be assisted.

(HANMI) — The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands reported an 8% average occupancy rate among its 11 member hotels for April 2020. The figure reflects a 90% decrease compared to April 2019, with only 2,015 room nights sold in the month compared to 54,988 last April.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — The CNMI Public School System will receive an additional $810,978, U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan reported Thursday. The U.S. Department of Education informed the congressman that the department made a “calculation error” this week when dividing $27,940,945 in CARES Act Education Stabilization Funds between PSS and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres. After recalculation, funding for public schools increased from $22.4 million to $23.2 million. Funds provided to the governor for Emergency Education Relief were cut from $5.6 million to $4.8 million.

(DPS) — The Department of Public Safety-Bureau of Motor Vehicles will be open to serve the community beginning Monday, May 11, 2020. Office hours are listed below:

(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.

(Press Release) — Karidat Social Services says “Thank you, Si Yuus Ma’ase, and Ghilisou” to the Bank of Guam for its generous donation to Karidat’s food pantry.

DURING a virtual public hearing on Tuesday, the Northern Marianas Housing Corporation planning team reported that it intends to allocate a portion of its emergency federal funding for the purchase of a mobile clinic for the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation.

WITH the arrival of stimulus checks for which many nonresident workers are eligible, the Senate Committee on Fiscal Affairs discussed on Tuesday the possibility of imposing a “certain amount of fee” on money sent out of the CNMI.

PAGO PAGO (Samoa Observer/Pacnews) — American Samoa will continue to close its borders, even to Samoa, as the territory moves to protect their people from the coronavirus pandemic. 

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) —  After nine years, Arnold "Dave" Davis has "final victory and justice," as the U.S. Supreme Court denied Guam's appeal of a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that found Guam's plebiscite law was a race-based voting restriction, according to his attorney.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Wednesday announced that the U.S. Department of Education has informed him that the CNMI will receive emergency funding for education-related expenditures under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.

THE Northern Marianas Housing Corporation held its very first virtual public hearing on Tuesday morning to discuss the substantial amendments to the NMHC Citizen Participation Plan, the CNMI-NMHC Five-Year Consolidated Plan (2015-2019), and the Program Year 2019 Annual Action Plan.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) —  U.S. airlines are collectively burning more than $10 billion in cash a month and averaging fewer than two dozen passengers per domestic flight because of the coronavirus pandemic, industry trade group Airlines for America said in prepared testimony seen by Reuters ahead of a U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday.

(Office of the Governor) — The Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. on Wednesday said the 17-year-old male presumptive case announced Tuesday is confirmed positive for Covid-19. The total number of Covid-19 cases in the CNMI is now 15.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has written the following letter in response to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’s requests. According to the administration, the governor “has been in daily contact with the U.S. Department of Education since the passage of the CARES Act as it was unfortunate that Congress neglected to identify direct relief for the U.S. territories within the Act.”

HAGÅTÑA — The people of Guam tune in to the governor’s daily press conference not only to catch daily updates on the status of Covid-19 pandemic, but also to get information that is relevant to their quarantined life. For pure entertainment, there is Netflix.

MANILA (The Philippine Star) — Two months after calling for a “ceasefire” with the tycoons he butted heads with, President Duterte did not only apologize to Manuel V. Pangilinan and the Zobels in charge of Ayala Corp., he also opened the doors to negotiations with the businessmen holding Metro Manila’s water contracts.

IF you’re stuck at home and want to work out but do not have the equipment to do so, you should check out the Latte Built 24-hour fitness and nutrition Facebook page and join the "home bootcamp" online sessions hosted by Alberto Jesus L. Roberto.

 

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The man who was found dead in a unit at the Taitano Apartments in Mongmong on Monday has been identified by a friend as Peter Rios.

PETER Schweizer has become America’s foremost authority chronicling political corruption, with books ranging from “Throw Them All Out” and “Extortion” to “Secret Empires” and “Clinton Cash.”

TOKYO (Reuters) — Almost a month after Tokyo declared a state of emergency, dozens of call center employees for telecom KDDI Corp. still commute into their crowded office, where the fear of coronavirus infection has taken a back seat to data security.

(Office of the Governor) — On May 4, 2020, Secretary of Finance David DLG Atalig received official notice from the U.S. Department of the Treasury that the CNMI’s Economic Impact Payment or EIP “Stimulus Check” Implementation Plan has been approved by the Internal Revenue Service.

(Office of the Governor) — The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.  on Monday evening announced a presumptive positive case. As the community is aware, the task force, in partnership with CHCC, has been conducting Covid-19 testing for the community at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

THE economy is on life support, but that isn’t stopping the Seattle City Council from trying to soak employers with a new tax on hiring.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Donald Trump said on Sunday he now believes as many as 100,000 Americans could die in the coronavirus pandemic, after the death toll passed his earlier estimates, but said he was confident a vaccine would be developed by the year’s end.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) —  United Airlines employees are facing drastic pay cuts — full-time employees' hours will be reduced to 30 a week — as the airline attempts to keep the company afloat during the Covid-19 pandemic.

(NMC) —  Northern Marianas College is inviting new and current students to enroll in its summer session so they can earn additional credits toward their degree and accelerate their path to graduation.

THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has submitted $57 million in federal grant applications for utility infrastructure, replacement, repair, and feasibility studies, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said.

DURING the House Special Committee on Federal Assistance and Disaster Related Funding meeting on Monday morning, Rep. Tina Sablan noted that public education was not included in the administration’s CARES Act funding expenditure plan.

THE House Special Committee on Federal Assistance and Disaster Related Funding met on Monday morning to discuss the administration’s intended use of the $36 million of federal funding provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.

(DPS) — The Department of Public Safety-Bureau of Motor Vehicles remains closed but it continues to extend recently expired driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations without penalty.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Six Covid-19 patients who were previously released from isolation are being isolated again after testing positive for the virus, the Joint Information Center stated on Sunday evening.

IN many countries around the world, there appears light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel.  Curves are flattening, new cases are levelling off or dropping, and videoconferencing is at an all-time high.  As we start down the back slope of this pandemic, we are wise to look back on how we handled this crisis, because have no doubt, there will be a next time.

MAJURO — The Marshall Islands extended its ban on all incoming travelers for another month “because Covid-19 is a national threat,” said the latest travel advisory issued by Health Secretary Jack Niedenthal Thursday.

 (The Wall Street Journal) – I JOKED the other day that the media doesn’t do multivariate, but it wasn’t a joke. Sometimes it imposes a hard cap on what we can achieve with public policy when the press can’t fulfill its necessary communication function.

(KCHC) —  Kagman Community Health Center and its board of directors is pleased to announce that the Tinian Isla Community Health clinic is now open to serve new patients for primary health care visits located on Canal Street in San Jose, Tinian.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) —  Some businesses have started shutting their doors for good, and more are at risk over the next several weeks if the coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions persist.

THE Northern Marianas Trade Institute board of trustees held an emergency meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the next steps NMTI must take in light of the financial condition of the CNMI government.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On May 2, 2020, the government of the Federated States of Micronesia became aware of a press release from the government of the FSM State of Pohnpei entitled “Urgent and Breaking News from the Pohnpei State Covid-19 Task Force” which, amongst its contents, describes a scenario allegedly involving the crew of the Federated States Ship Independence, one of the  federation’s patrol boats.

REMI Roman, a beautician and guest worker on Saipan for over 20 years, was one of the 60 CW-1 permit holders who received care packages from community member Irene Nepomuceno Holl and friends at the American Memorial Park beach pavilion on Friday morning.

ON April 16, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order 2020-07 that authorized the CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office, through the CNMI Covid-19 Task Force, in partnership with Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, to undertake necessary Covid-19 containment measures by means of the development of Emergency Directives to be titled the CNMI Covid-19 Emergency Directives of 2020 to protect the health and safety of the public. This action was authorized under Article III, § 10 of the Commonwealth Constitution, the Homeland Security & Emergency Management Act of 2013, 1 CMC § 20144, and the CNMI Emergency Health Powers Act of 2003, 3 CMC §§ 2181-2195, and Executive Order 2020-04, as amended and renewed.