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K FISHER and its crew led by Jack Diaz reeled in a 290-pound billfish to claim the year's perpetual trophy of the 36th Saipan International Fishing Tournament at the Smiling Cove Marina on Saturday.

(SCC) — Registrations are rushing in as the Saipan Chamber of Commerce Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament approaches on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 at the LaoLao Bay Golf & Resort-West Course!

HARD work paid off for Loretolyn Itibus, RayRay Santos and Pali Rovnan who were promoted to Blue Belt in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on Tuesday at the Trench Tech Gym.

DON Hallmark topped the Marianas Golf Association July Ace of the Month tournament on Sunday, besting 18 other golfers at the Laolao Bay East Course.

AFTER being postponed for three months, the CNMI Women's Golf Association finally resumed its tournament on Saturday, July 11, with Sherlyn Jones winning the Ace of July title at the Kingfisher Golf Links.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzed water samples collected from Saipan's east and south recreational beaches as well as Managaha’s recreational beaches and dock  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 every week.

 

(Press Release) — For the 20th summer Eco Camp will run at the Marianas Trekking Adventure Center in Marpi beginning August 3. Camp will be held in one week sessions.

JAMES Benavente proved that he is the best of the best as he bagged the Marianas Golf Association 2019-2020 Ace of Aces title, besting 11 other aces over the weekend at the LaoLao Bay Golf &  Resort. 

IN response to Mr. Don Farrell’s letter to the editor published on July 24, 2020, Our Common Wealth 670  would like to set the record straight regarding House Joint Resolution 21-08, which calls on the Honorable Ralph DLG Torres to oppose any additional destructive military training on and around our islands.

“TO be a soccer coach you have to learn a lot about soccer,” said former NMI national coach Koo Luam Khen during episode 7 of “Footcast with Norman Del Rosario.” Koo Luam Khen and fellow coaches Taketomo Suzuki and Angie Ito shared their experiences and offered advice to aspiring soccer coaches in the NMI.

(Press Release) —  The board of directors, management, and staff are proud to announce that Alexandra “Allie” Leon Guerrero, vice president/managing investment advisor representative with BG Investment Services Inc., has earned the Accredited Wealth Management Advisor SM or AWMA designation and is currently the only AWMA designee on Guam.

 

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

(NMC) — Northern Marianas College nursing graduates Liqi Huang and Haram Lee have joined the list of students who passed the challenging National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses or NCLEX-RN.

(JKPL) — On Wednesday, July 15, 2020, the Antonio C. Atalig Memorial Library, a branch library under the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, distributed 142 summer reading packages on Rota: 41 Early Literacy packages; 55 packages to children ages six to twelve years old; 25 packages to teens, and 21 packages to adults.

(GMS) — School year 2019-2020 was a remarkably memorable period in the lives of many  students not only from Green Meadow School but throughout the world. The Covid-19 pandemic changed the traditional way of celebrating the graduation ceremony.

MANILA — On July 13, two weeks after the fatal shooting of four intelligence officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines by members of the Philippine National Police in Jolo, in the southern Philippines, President Duterte flew to the Sulu capital in to address the aggrieved soldiers.

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

PRETEND for a moment that you are a journalist with a strong leaning in favor of progressivism and the Democratic Party, and you wish to make the argument that Democratic governors are doing a great job of mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.

(Press Release) — Our next rummage sale is scheduled for this Friday, July 10, from 9:30 a.m. till 12 noon at the Sister Remedios Community Center in Chalan Kanoa.  In order to observe social distancing only 20 shoppers will be allowed to enter the sale at a time.

IF you believe every presidential election is a big bet, you probably think this one is over. In the betting markets, Joe Biden is up on Donald Trump by more than 18 points. Most polls look like a permanent path to the golf course for the president. Gallup’s most recent presidential approval number is 38%.

(PSS) — The Public School System Early Intervention Program would like to inform parents of infants and toddlers who received Early Intervention Services at the Children’s Developmental Assistance Center from 2013 to 2016, that the children’s records are no longer needed by the program and will be destroyed in a matter that ensures all personal identifiers are removed from the record and the record is no longer personally identifiable.

MAJURO — Leaders of four nuclear test-affected atolls in the Marshall Islands said Wednesday they see momentum developing behind efforts for renewed attention to lingering problems of the US nuclear weapons testing program from 1946 to 1958.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Donald Trump groused on Tuesday about medical expert Anthony Fauci’s high approval ratings and joked that “nobody likes me” as he struggles to improve his standing with voters for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

MADRID/LONDON/BERLIN (Reuters) — Spain reacted angrily on Tuesday to recommendations from Britain and Germany that their citizens avoid its islands and beaches because of an increase in coronavirus cases during what should be the height of the tourism season.

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

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer)  — Senators, including administration allies, on Tuesday blasted President Rodrigo Duterte’s “defeatist” position when he said he was “inutile” in defending the country’s territory against Chinese intrusion, warning that his remarks would only embolden China to further “bully” the Philippines.

(Stellar Marianas) — Our Marianas queen is turning her passion for the local culture and language as well as her aspiration for fashion design into her ongoing community projects.

HONG KONG (Reuters) — Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has warned the city is on the brink of a large-scale outbreak of the coronavirus and urged people to stay indoors as much as possible as strict new measures to curb the disease’s spread take effect on Wednesday.

(Press Release) — APL has announced a reduction in Fuel Adjustment Factor  into Guam and Saipan by 17% effective July 1, 2020.  This reduction also applies to export containers from Guam and Saipan to the U.S.

I RECENTLY ran across a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer that lays out four racist words and phrases that should be banished from the English language. It begins like this:

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On July 24, 2020, Livingston A. Taulung, secretary of the Department of Health & Social Affairs and Chair of the Federated States of Micronesia’s  Covid-19 Task Force, and  Ricky F. Cantero, deputy secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, received Huang Zheng, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, who handed-over an additional  10 boxes of personal protection equipment donated to the FSM by Shandong Province.

I KIND of taken a break  due to Covid-19. My main concern is to keep a low profile in light of my mom’s and wife’s health conditions.  I just want them to have  peace of mind.

MANILA (AP) — Hundreds of protesters in the Philippine capital marched and staged motorcades Monday against a new anti-terror law and other issues despite police threats of arrests ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s annual state of the nation speech.

TOFOL, Kosrae (FSM Information Services) — From July 18 to 22, 2020, the Federated States of Micronesia’s Covid-19 Task Force extended its stay in the State of Kosrae, per the government’s request, to assist in additional readiness and simulation exercises to help prepare the State for the repatriation of its residents.

“For every Chamorro and Carolinian family, the invasion was a harrowing experience. Apart from the danger, they soon ran out of food and water, and their clothing was shredded to rags; they were in wretched condition when they finally reached the safety of internment camps.”

— “Saipan: The Ethnology of a War-Devastated Island,” by Dr. Alexander Spoehr

THE conference was called “Planning for the CNMI’s Economic Future,” and it was held at the Hyatt on March 18-19, 1999 in response to what was then the most serious economic downturn that the islands had to face since the early years of the Commonwealth. Among the speakers/presenters were U.S. economist consultants, economic professors and business executives.

NEW YORK (Reuters) — Corporate America is downsizing its real estate footprint as companies allow more employees to work from home, a growing threat to the bottom line of owners of traditional office buildings and a sign that companies are looking for ways to cut costs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

HOW America’s political class must pine for the halcyon days of just a few weeks ago, when only statues of Confederate generals (and the occasional Christopher Columbus) had to fear being pulled down or defaced.

MANILA (The Philippine Star )— Nurses who described themselves as “overworked and underpaid” nurses denounced the delay in government efforts to address the concern of healthcare workers regarding their safety and family’s well-being amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) — A Canadian court on Wednesday ruled invalid a bilateral pact that compels asylum seekers trying to enter Canada via the American border to first seek sanctuary in the United States, saying U.S. immigration detention violates their human rights.

Under the Safe Third Country Agreement or STCA, asylum seekers who arrive at a formal Canada-U.S. border crossing going in either direction are turned back and told to apply for asylum in the first country they arrived in.

Lawyers for refugees who had been turned away at the Canadian border challenged the pact, saying the United States does not qualify as a “safe” country under President Donald Trump.

Federal Court Judge Ann Marie McDonald ruled that the agreement was in violation of a section of Canada’s Charter of Rights that says laws or state actions that interfere with life, liberty and security must conform to the principles of fundamental justice.

McDonald suspended her decision for six months to give Parliament a chance to respond. The agreement remains in place during that time.

Experts have said suspending the agreement would have huge implications for the Canada-U.S. relationship.

“We are aware of the Federal Court’s decision and are currently reviewing it,” said Mary-Liz Power, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, who oversees Canada’s border agency. “The Safe Third Country Agreement remains in effect.”

The ruling can be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court if necessary. The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and State did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Nedira Jemal Mustefa, among the refugees turned back and on whose behalf a challenge was launched, described her time in solitary confinement in the United States as “a terrifying, isolating and psychologically traumatic experience,” according to the court ruling.

“Canada cannot turn a blind eye to the consequences that befell Ms. Mustefa in its efforts to adhere to the STCA. The evidence clearly demonstrates that those returned to the U.S. by Canadian officials are detained as a penalty,” the judge wrote in her decision.

Mustefa, an Ethiopian now in New York City, told Reuters she was relieved. “At the end of the day, we are all humans,” she said. “No one deserves to be mistreated in such a way.”

Amnesty International Canada, one of the groups that launched the legal challenge against the STCA, hailed the “landmark decision.”

Seeking to stem tide

More than 50,000 people have illegally crossed the Canada-U.S. border to file refugee claims over the past four years, walking over ditches and on empty roads along the world’s longest undefended border.

Canada has sought to stem the tide of asylum seekers who flowed into the country starting in 2016, after Trump promised to crack down on illegal immigration.

Canada has closed its border with the United States to non-essential travel because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, it said it would no longer accept irregular migrants trying to cross the border and would instead return them to U.S. authorities, who have said they will swiftly deport them back to their home countries.

The Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers said Canada should revisit that decision, given Wednesday’s ruling, and also revoke a 2019 rule that makes individuals ineligible for Canadian asylum if they had already filed for asylum in the United States.

PORTLAND, Oregon (FSM Information Services) — On July 18, 2020, Joe Enlet, consul general of the Federated States of Micronesia based in the U.S. State of Oregon, sent a request to the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs that the consulate office be closed indefinitely, with essential services such as passport applications to continue on a limited basis through remote liaising.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Eudinson Uy and his pregnant wife planned to return to their home in the United Arab Emirates after a vacation in Armenia, but due to a subsequent lockdown of the Gulf country over the coronavirus pandemic, she ended up giving birth there.

SYDNEY (Reuters) — A surge in Covid-19 cases in Australia’s second-biggest city could take weeks to subside despite a lockdown and orders to wear masks, Australia’s acting chief medical officer said on Monday as the country braces for a second wave of infection.

TOFOL, Kosrae (FSM Information Services) — From July 13 to 15, 2020, the Covid-19 Task Force of the Federated States of Micronesia worked in tandem with the Covid-19 Task Force of the State of Kosrae to conduct a series of readiness assessments, tabletop, and simulation exercises to determine Kosrae’s current capacity and prevention measures for when FSM citizens residing in Kosrae are repatriated.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — John Lewis, a pioneer of the civil rights movement and long-time member of the U.S. House of Representatives, died on Friday, a passing that prompted tributes from leaders across the political spectrum.

MAJURO — A Spanish pilot who said he missed his family after spending months on a fishing boat in the central Pacific is facing illegal entry charges in the Marshall Islands after he took off from a vessel in a fish-spotting helicopter and landed on a remote atoll in this country. He is to appear in court in Majuro this week Friday to report the result of ongoing negotiations for a plea bargain settlement of the criminal charges.

KOROR (PICRC) — On April 2020, Dr. Peter Houk from the University of Guam Marine Laboratory, along with Dr. Yimnang Golbuu and Dr. Marine Gouezo, from Palau International Coral Reef Center, and with the collaboration of partners from Yap Community Action Program, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, and Florida Institute of Technology, released a publication of a model that is able to predict coral bleaching and crown-of-thorns starfish events with several months in advance.

PHOENIX (Reuters) — Arizona third-grade teacher Stacy Brosius has been called a “liberal socialist Nazi” and a “whiner and complainer” for leading car-based protests to delay in-person schooling, but she says she’s doing it to save lives in a pandemic.

MAJURO — The Marshall Islands government has begun discussions that will likely set in motion a phased return of the hundreds of its citizens stranded in the United States and other countries since the western Pacific nation closed its borders on March 8 to prevent spread of Covid-19.

TAICHUNG, Taiwan (Reuters) — Taiwan’s air, sea and land forces conducted live-fire exercises simulating the repulsion of an invading force on Thursday, with President Tsai Ing-wen saying it showed their determination to defend the democratic and Chinese-claimed island.

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) — Oklahoma’s governor said he was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Wednesday, becoming one of the highest elected U.S. politicians to test positive for the disease, as new coronavirus infections in his state and neighboring Texas surged by record numbers for a second straight day.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) —  President Donald Trump issued a rare rebuke of his senior adviser Peter Navarro on Wednesday, saying Navarro should not have written a scathing opinion piece about Anthony Fauci, a top government coronavirus expert who is hugely popular.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Campaign donations are flooding into the coffers of Democrats running for the U.S. Senate, but some Republican incumbents looking to protect their Senate majority hold a powerful cash advantage over their challengers as the election battle enters its final months.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) —  U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech and U.S. Ambassador Karen B. Stewart, representing the United States government, have concluded a second round of consultations with teams from both the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On July 13, 2020, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, hosted an opening ceremony to celebrate the distribution of the first Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA program checks.

(DPS) — On Monday, July 20, 2020, at approximately 2:25 p.m., the Department of Public Safety received a report of a sexual assault case on a minor through the Division of Youth Services. Officers were dispatched to take a report of the case.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A Michigan town wants machines to speed up counting of absentee ballots. In Ohio, officials want to equip polling places so voters and poll workers feel safe from the coronavirus. Georgia officials, rattled by a chaotic election last month, want to send voters forms so they can request absentee ballots more easily.


HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — No new unemployment benefit payments are expected to hit the banks or mailboxes next week because of several suspected fraudulent claims during this week's processing of the latest batch of submissions, according to the Guam Department of Labor.

WASHINGTON (Interior Department) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech has approved the redirection of $366,000 in fiscal year 2019 capital improvement program funding provided last year to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to meet federal matching requirements to now be used for infrastructure development in the territory.

 

(CUC) —  The Commonwealth   Utilities  Corp.  has been notified  by Mobil    Oil  Mariana  Islands,   Inc. that there has been an increase  in the average international    fuel  prices  which will affect the Fuel  Adjustment  Charge  or FAC.

MANILA (AP) — The Philippines on Sunday renewed its call for compliance with a 4-year-old arbitration ruling that invalidated China’s vast claims in the disputed South China Sea on historical grounds “without any possibility of compromise.”

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, through the Northern Marianas Housing Corp., announce that the CNMI has been allocated $274,635 for Community Emergency Housing Assistance by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Community Development Block Grant CARES Act fund.

THE Board of Education and the Public School System on Tuesday recognized  outgoing Associate Commissioner of Administration Kimo M. Rosario for his five years of “distinguished service in support of a quality free public education in the CNMI.”

(Press Release) — The Micronesia Conservation Trust and partners of the Micronesia Challenge are proud to announce and congratulate the fourth student to complete her graduate program as a recipient of the Bill Raynor Micronesia Challenge Scholarship.

MAJURO — With the government subsidizing the copra buying price at 50 cents per pound as incentive and multiple ships servicing the outer islands, Marshall Islands copra makers since January have delivered a bumper crop to Majuro’s coconut oil processing factory.

WASHINGTON (The Wall Street Journal) — The U.S. budget deficit totaled $863 billion in June, nearly as much as the entire gap for fiscal year 2019, as federal spending tripled to combat the coronavirus pandemic and tax revenues plunged, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

WESTERN Sales Trading Co. has moved the lawsuit of Isa Belle Palacios Seman from Superior Court to the District Court for the NMI because of complete diversity among the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

(Office of the Governor) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service or NASS, together with the CNMI Department of Commerce’s Central Statistics Division announce the release of the 2018 CNMI Census of Agriculture data.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The Trump administration said on Monday that foreign university students will have to leave the country if their classes are all taught online — clouding the future of tens of thousands of enrollees and potentially straining budgets at schools struggling to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.

(Office of the Governor) — The Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. announce that two individuals have been confirmed to have contracted Covid-19, bringing the CNMI’s current case count to 42 since March 28, 2020.

OFFICE of Personnel Management acting Director Frances Salas on Monday said before they were sent out to the affected employees, the furlough letters were presented to and approved by the Office of the Attorney General.

PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s executive order suspending or eliminating preferential treatment for Hong Kong including visa-free travel, will further hurt the CNMI economy,  Finance Secretary David DLG Atalig and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Ivan Blanco said in separate interviews on Wednesday.

FOLLOWING a status conference on Wednesday, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona set the jury trial of Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig and co-defendant Evelyn Atalig for Aug. 11, at 10 a.m.

THE House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted a resolution that concurs with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ revised budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 in the amount of $82,656,813.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Federal Reserve officials raised fresh doubts on Wednesday about the durability of the U.S. recovery, while new business surveys highlighted developing risks from the relentless coronavirus pandemic.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Groups assembled by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and former rival for the nomination Bernie Sanders proposed policies on Wednesday aimed at uniting the party, including putting the United States on a path to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

THE cash in the casino cage is restricted,  attorney Michael Dotts stated in response to the request of Pacific Rim Land Development LLC to the court for another writ of execution to collect U.S. and foreign currency possessed by Imperial Pacific International LLC in its casino cage.

HOUSTON (Reuters) — The U.S. coronavirus outbreak crossed a grim milestone of over 3 million confirmed cases on Tuesday as more states reported record numbers of new infections, and Florida faced an impending shortage of intensive care unit hospital beds.

PUBLIC School System financial and budget consultant Ed Tenorio on Tuesday presented to the Board of Education five budget scenarios for fiscal year 2021, which starts on Oct. 1, 2020.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Government) — The Telecommunication Regulation Authority or TRA has issued an individual operating license to the Kacific Broadband Satellites Group to provide satellite-based internet services to the people and businesses in the Federated States of Micronesia.

MANILA (Reuters) — A consortium of six of the Philippines’ biggest conglomerates on Tuesday dropped a proposal to upgrade and operate the country’s main airport, as the impacts of the coronavirus hit the viability of the $2 billion project.

(BECQ) — The CNMI Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality has temporarily reduced its fee for the analysis of nitrate sampling performed by the Division of Environmental Quality Environmental Surveillance Laboratory.

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) —  Many U.S. colleges were scrambling on Tuesday to modify plans for the fall semester in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic a day after the Trump administration issued an order that could force tens of thousands of foreign students to leave the country if their schools hold all classes online.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — A local restaurant owner and a recipient of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program each face up to five years in federal prison after the pair admitted to their part in an illegal food stamp scheme.

SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday he tested positive for the novel coronavirus after months minimizing the severity of the pandemic and defying medical experts, even as the virus has killed more than 66,000 people in his country.

THE House Special Committee on Federal Assistance and Disaster Related Funding made inquiries regarding overtime compensation as it pertains to the Covid-19 emergency and response during multiple hearings conducted on Monday and Tuesday.

THE Attorney General’s office has dismissed the charge against former Rota Department of Public Safety Resident Director Eusebio Manglona, leaving Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig as the only defendant in the case.

 

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Fraudulent claims are bogging down the Department of Labor's system, which means delays for workers filing legitimate claims, Guam Department of Labor officials said.

(MVA) —  To maintain awareness of the Marianas during the worldwide lull in leisure travel due to Covid-19, the Marianas Visitors Authority has launched a new series of video and photo productions for distribution on its social media platforms.

(BECQ) — On Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality will be spearheading a cleanup at Jeffrey’s Beach from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

(Press Release) — In celebration of the 4th anniversary of the Philippines’ victory against China’s nine-dashed line claims in the West Philippine Sea/ South China Sea at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, Netherlands, the National Youth Movement for the West Philippine Sea, a transnational group that advocates for the preservation of Philippine territorial sovereignty and integrity, will be holding a virtual international conference on Friday, July 31, 2020, at 3 p.m. Manila time, via Zoom webinar that will be live streamed on the National Youth Movement for West Philippine Sea Facebook page.

THE House Special Committee on Federal Assistance and Disaster Related Funding conducted a hearing on CNMI Homeland Security and Emergency Management duties and responsibilities as they pertain to the Covid-19 emergency and response.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — American rapper Kanye West, a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, announced on Saturday that he would run for president in 2020 in an apparent challenge to Trump and his presumptive Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

MOBIL Oil Marianas on Monday raised its fuel prices by 10 cents, the fourth price hike since the last price roll back three months ago.

LONDON (Reuters) — People relished their first pub drinks in more than three months, went to restaurants and finally got haircuts on Saturday as England took its biggest steps yet towards resumption of normal life after the coronavirus lockdown.

THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp.  will accept the partial payment of $2.5 million from the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., but CUC will also continue to ask CHCC to come up with a payment plan, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said.

WASHINGTON/MAJURO (Los Angeles Times) — In response to a directive from U.S Congress, the Department of Energy or DOE released a report this week assessing the risks of a 50-year-old cracking and crumbling concrete nuclear waste repository in the Marshall Islands, but the findings did little to ease the concerns of Marshallese leaders in the Central Pacific.

THE prosecution does not oppose Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig’s request that the federal court determine if Dennis Mendiola can invoke and has a valid basis for asserting his Fifth Amendment privilege if he is called to testify at trial.

MAGISTRATE Judge Heather L. Kennedy held a telephonic conference on Monday at the request of Pacific Rim Land Development, LLC and Imperial Pacific International LLC to resolve a dispute regarding the court-ordered inspection of IPI premises.

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) — Gunmen killed 24 people at a drug rehabilitation facility in the central Mexican city of Irapuato, police said on Wednesday, underlining the government’s challenge in fulfilling its pledge to stop gang violence.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) —  U.S. Department of the Interior  Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech congratulates the Association of Pacific Islands Public Auditors or APIPA on the occasion of its 31st consecutive annual meeting for insular area public auditors and for pivoting from its annual in-person conference to deliver a virtual conference to be held August 3 to 14, 2020.

THE central government will make a partial payment of $2.5 million to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. so it won’t disconnect the hospital power supply for six hours daily.

THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. reported  two new Covid-19 cases, which brings the  total number of cumulative cases in the CNMI to 40 since March 28, 2020.

THE backstage of Dandan Middle School, which is used as a storage area for maintenance equipment and other materials, was set on fire by an unidentified person or persons on Saturday evening.

(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor is inviting all existing and potential Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation claimants to attend a community outreach event at the Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor announce that starting Monday, July 27, 2020, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday, at Building #1334 on Capital Hill, Saipan.

(Press Release) —  The U.S.  General  Services  Administration  and the U.S. District Court announce the opening of the new courthouse for the U.S. District Court of the Northern Mariana Islands on Monday, July 27, 2020.

THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board on Friday allowed  management to transfer $1.8 million from its restricted account so CUC can fund “unanticipated and urgent power generation costs, including ongoing engine overhauls, engine repairs and emergency power supply.”


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan reminds persons who have been living in the Marianas under humanitarian parole status and who may qualify for permanent residence in the Marianas under provisions of U.S. Public Law 116-24, that August 17 is the final deadline for applications. Application forms and instructions for filing are available on the USCIS CNMI Long-Term Resident Status page. Applications must be postmarked on or before August 17, 2020 to be considered.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — A multi-year effort to increase the Land and Water Conservation Fund annual grant to the Marianas is one presidential signature away from completion. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Great American Outdoors Act providing a permanent source of funding for the LWCF. It means about $800,000 annually for the Marianas. The money can be used for public parks, playgrounds, sports fields, and beach recreation areas.

(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor announced on Thursday that $3,530,191 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation  have been disbursed to eligible and approved claimants, as of Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

IN a recent Board of Education meeting, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada presented a revised organizational chart for the Public School System and the salary adjustment for key officials and school administrators.

THE House Special Committee on Federal Assistance and Disaster Related Funding announced that it will be conducting multiple hearings on all matters relating to the Covid-19 emergency and response.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — Businesses in the Marianas would have new access to two grant programs and microloans from the Small Business Administration as the result of statutory changes U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan added to the National  Defense Authorization this week.

THE Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. will be hit with a daily, six-hour power disconnection if it fails to pay the Commonwealth Utilities Corp $5 million by Aug. 6.

WASHINGTON (AP) —  The U.S. has signed a $1.95-billion deal with Pfizer for delivery in December of the first 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine the pharmaceutical giant is working to develop, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Wednesday.

HAGÅTÑA (Office of the Guam Governor) — Fulfilling a promise made during her February 2020 State of the Island Address, the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration is taking strong steps to develop a dynamic roadmap that will kickstart Guam’s aquaculture industry.

(MVA) — As Tasi Tours prepares to end its 30-year concession operation of Managaha in the Marianas, the Marianas Visitors Authority thanked the company for its stewardship of the iconic islet.

THE chairman of the House Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Communication chairman, Rep. Marco Peter, said $10 million of the Imperial Pacific International community benefit fund should be allotted to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Guam's largest business organization on Monday called on the government to look at industries outside of tourism to grow the economy, with the Covid-19 pandemic halting the visitor industry and bringing revenues down by $47 million, or 8.5%, in eight months.

WASHINGTON (Interior Department) — The Trump administration, through U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary Douglas W. Domenech, announced Tuesday the release of $2,518,897 in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act funds for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to renovate and retrofit hospital emergency care and isolation areas, prepare quarantine sites, and purchase medical equipment. This emergency relief funding was made available under the CARES Act through Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs to the territories and the Freely Associated States to prepare, prevent, and respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

REPRESENTATIVE Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero on Thursday  introduced House Bill 21-119, which proposes to transfer the administration of American Memorial Park, or AMP, from the federal government to the CNMI government.

THE Board of Education on July 14 approved the rezoning and readjusting of school boundaries to reduce the population at Hopwood Middle School.

(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor  would like to clarify circulating information regarding the method to which certain Public School System employees report earnings for their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation claims.

SUBPOENAS have already been drafted and will be sent out once a special House committee decides to issue them to the executive branch and other agencies, Rep. Tina Sablan said on Thursday.

THE House of Representatives on Thursday adopted House Resolution 21-31 to “honor and appreciate Mr. Robert Arrington and his…YouTube channel ‘Deer Meat for Dinner’ for their efforts in promoting the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as a destination consisting of various wild animal-life for eco-tourism purposes.”

(United Airlines) — The new Saipan-Guam schedule will be effective on July 20. Please note that the new Saipan departure times will allow for convenient same-day connections to Honolulu and Narita/Tokyo, Japan on United.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, through the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. announce that the CNMI has been awarded $1,090,630 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Emergency Solutions Grants or ESG Program.

THE Senate on Thursday overrode Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ veto of Senate Bill 21-33, which proposes to transfer the Office of Management and Budget to the Department of Finance.

DISTRICT Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has issued a written order memorializing the default judgment entered against Imperial Pacific International LLC in the lawsuit of seven workers who alleged labor and other violations.

THE first phase of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s solar initiative project has been completed, but it has not been providing power to the hospital yet, CHCC Hospital Emergency Preparedness Director Warren Villagomez said.

TINIAN Mayor Edwin Aldan expressed appreciation for the members and supporters of the LGBTIQ community who recently painted the main pavilion at Kammer Beach on July 10 in celebration of PRIDE Month.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Reports of the government’s finances show a $47.4 million shortfall in revenue collected in the first eight months of the fiscal year compared to the $558.2 million that was anticipated.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, through Secretary Vicky I. Benavente and the CNMI Department of Labor, have announced that the first batch of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation has been transmitted to the CNMI Department of Finance for processing.

(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor received clarification from the U.S. Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration on Thursday regarding the eligibility CNMI Public School System staff for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.

THE Northern Marianas Technical Institute plans to reopen in September and has requested $200,000 in CW funds from the CNMI Department of Labor so NMTI can recall its 23 furloughed employees, its Chief Executive Officer Agnes M. McPhetres said.

(Office of the Governor) — The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. would like to inform the community that the CHCC Covid-19 Info Line will be transitioning to the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force through the CNMI Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management on July 17, 2020.

(Commonwealth    Utilities   Corp.) — The previously   scheduled   power  interruption  for Capital   Hill has been rescheduled   for Friday,  July 17, from 8:30 a.m.  to 12:30 p.m.  The cancellation on July  7 was due to uncontrollable   circumstances.   

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzed water samples collected from Saipan's west coast recreational beaches and storm drainages as well as Tinian's recreational beaches and storm drainages this week.

DISTRICT Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has authorized the U.S. Marshals to release $1.38 million to Pacific Rim Land Development LLC. The funds were seized from Imperial Pacific International’s account with the Bank of Saipan.

THREE individuals who arrived on island last week have been confirmed positive for Covid-19, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. said on Wednesday.

“THE whole purpose of the trip is to market the Marianas, and we had this great opportunity and great privilege to have Robert Arrington and his family to come to the islands and promote the Marianas in a very different and unique way,” Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said during a press briefing on KKMP radio on Tuesday morning.

“ALL of my expenditures are in public records, so whatever they want to ask  and whatever they find, I’m here,” Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said on Tuesday regarding the formation of the House Special Committee on Fiscal Review of Executive Expenditures.

IMPERIAL Pacific International, LLC is willing to pay all outstanding sanctions, but needs time to pay, according to the declaration of its lawyer Michael Dotts in the lawsuit of seven construction workers who have alleged labor and other violations.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Friday approved House Local Bill 21-43, which appropriates  $109,000 in earned bond interest income and capital improvement project accrued interest income for an asphalt paving project on Kahet Avenue in Kagman 3.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, through the CNMI Department of Commerce-Central Statistics Division, would like to thank all the businesses and employers who participated in the 2020 Prevailing Wage Study.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Guam may not be able to see tourists until at least the first quarter of 2021 and may not return to normal, or close to it, until a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said in a news briefing on Monday.

“TODAY, members, we begin our work to seek the truth, the facts, whether right or wrong,” Rep. Ralph N. Yumul said on Monday morning during the organizational meeting of the newly created bipartisan House Special Committee on Fiscal Review of Executive Expenditures, which he chairs.

(DPS) — On Saturday, July 11, 2020, at about 9:24 a.m., the CNMI Department of Public Safety  received a call from the Covid-19 task force requesting for assistance at the Saipan International Airport as two inbound passengers who were refusing to undergo the mandatory Covid-19 quarantine upon arriving on the island.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — More than three months since she was furloughed from her hotel job on March 28, Sharon Reyes is getting more worried by the day for her four children.

WITH three months left in fiscal year 2020,  Northern Marianas College has received 30% only of its appropriated budget, the House  Ways and Means Committee learned in a recent budget hearing.

TWO  individuals, including one from Tinian, tested positive for Covid-19, the Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. said Sunday. This brings the CNMI case count to 33 since March 28, 2020.

U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan said he has fulfilled Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ request to include in the  fiscal year 2021 U.S. budget a provision that will allow the CNMI to avail itself of the Federal Emergency Management Administration Community Disaster Loan Program.

(DPS) — On Thursday, July 9, 2020, at about 5:16 p.m., a screenshot was sent in by several concerned individuals for detectives to review regarding a comment that was made on a social media platform where an individual commented, “Someone kill that guy already.”

EVEN after the central government reduced its fiscal year 2020 budget, which has resulted in the implementation of work-hour cuts and other austerity measures effective since last year, Commonwealth Utilities Corp. personnel continue to work full time.

(Office of the Governor) — The Governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation would like to inform the public that two additional people have been recently confirmed to have contracted Covid-19, bringing the CNMI’s current case count to 33 since March 28, 2020.

IMPERIAL Pacific International LLC informed the federal court on Wednesday that funds for its employees’ payroll 13 will arrive and they would be paid on July 9.

U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan on Tuesday requested Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to answer questions from U.S. senators about the CNMI’s finances including how the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds have been spent here.

CITING complaints from furloughed government employees, the Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee on Wednesday asked Office of Personnel Management officials to shed light on the issue.

(Office of the Governor) — Secretary of Labor Vicky I. Benavente on Wednesday issued  a statement clarifying comments made by U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan regarding the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation  programs.

TWO weeks after the meeting between the Department of Public Lands and some grazing permitees to address the issue, loose cows are still a problem at the CNMI Veterans Cemetery in Marpi,  Calistro I. Reyes told Variety.

THE Senate Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare has endorsed the passage of Senate Bill 21-49 which will allow the Board of Education to modify the current 180-day minimum instructional time for public school students.

THROUGH the World Health Organization’s support, the CNMI has adequate critical medical equipment, personal protective equipment and test kits amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation Esther Muna said.

THE Attorney General’s Office has charged local lawyer David George Banes with driving under the influence, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of the accident.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The government board responsible for setting the rules on Guam's recreational cannabis industry meets today for the first time in months.

THE administration does not have the luxury to play politics, Press Secretary Kevin Bautista said when asked about the creation of another House “special committee” to “investigate” the expenditures of the administration.

(Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) —  Three months after passage of the CARES Act, workers laid off in the Marianas because of the coronavirus still have not received their unemployment checks — $945 per week for most. And leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives want to know why.

(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Labor would like to inform the general public that it will hold a virtual webinar on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation on Thursday, July 9, 2020 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. via Zoom and streamed live on the CNMI Office of the Governor Facebook page.

(NMC) — Northern Marianas College is working to gradually reopen its campuses using guidelines that maximize social distancing, require face masks/coverings, and include other measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

(NMC) — Frantz David Clarke, a Northern Marianas College nursing student who graduated this past May, has joined the list of students who have passed the challenging National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses or NCLEX-RN.

ONCE known as Nuevas Filipinas or the New Philippines, the Caroline Islands were part of  the “Spanish East Indies” and governed by Spain from Manila, the capital of its Asian colony, the Philippines.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, through the Department of Commerce’s Central Statistics Division, would like to thank all the businesses and employers who have completed their Prevailing Wage Study or PWS survey and request that those who have not completed their survey, do so before the deadline this Friday, July 10, 2020.

THE Public School System has to reduce its personnel expenses by 40% to keep its schools open in the new school year, Associate Commissioner of Administration Kimo Rosario said.

(Press Release) — The Northern Marianas Humanities Council would like to congratulate the winners for its first PRIDE Talks Writing Competition for the LGBTQ+ community in the CNMI this past June for PRIDE month.  

TWO members of the U.S. Congress have urged U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia to work with the CNMI Department of Labor to ensure that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is also open to CNMI-Only Transitional Workers who were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

THE seven construction workers who have sued Imperial Pacific International LLC are asking the federal court to award them a total of $11.58 million in damages — $3.86 million in compensatory damages and $7.72 million in punitive damages.