July 30, 2000
NMI mulls inviting Bush to drop by
Taking off on a suggestion by Washington Rep. Pete A. Tenorio, the Babauta administration is now drafting a letter inviting President George W. Bush to swing by the Marianas region on his way to the APEC summit in Thailand this coming October. Babauta told reporters yesterday that he has already received Tenorio’s letter and his office is now acting on the matter. “We are drafting a letter to invite the president to consider coming through here, through the CNMI, and that’s about all that we can do-extend the invitation to him,” said Babauta. Should Bush agree to the idea, Babauta said this would be a boost to the CNMI and would mark the first time that a sitting U.S. president would visit the Northern Marianas.
NMC Opens new CNMI-CREES facility in Rota
Advancement in the effort of Northern Marianas College CNMI Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service in Rota works to provide information and educate the community of Rota on agriculture, aquaculture, and family related programs begins in the construction of their new research facility. The NMC-CNMI CREES Rota facility will serve as the main office for the Integrated Pest Management Project, under which staff members from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and Integrated Pest Management island leader Alejandro Badilles, are trained to monitor and control the insect posts and weeds that are affecting the farm crops on island.
July 31, 2002
Lack of budget ties up CUC’s hand
The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation yesterday blamed budgetary constraints as the reason for its failure to monitor water distribution contaminants last year, including lead and copper. CUC executive director Bernard P. Villagomez said this, as he assured that his office is pressing for the budgetary requirements for the tests. “The acting executive director vows that the community utility aggressively works to increase its water quality budget to comply with emerging regulations,” a CUC statement said. “Violations received last year resulted when the budget wasn’t approved for water sampling inside of customer homes, where lead and copper piping is tested,” it said.
Council OK’s respite services program
The Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities approved the proposed creation of the Commonwealth respite program aimed at providing respite services to parents of children with disabilities. In a general membership meeting held Thursday, the Council unanimously approved the adoption of a family support legislation for respite care to help parents of children with disabilities in the Commonwealth. In addition to the adoption of the measure, the Council also elected its new set of officers who will be taking over the leadership effective October 1, 2002. Elected as GCDD chair is Mariano K. Camacho; vice chair is Lydia M. Sablan; and secretary is Margaret Torres-Aldan.
July 31, 2003
Legislature asked to clarify PSS expenditure authority over CIPs
Despite an unfavorable court ruling and a pending bill that would strip the Public School System of its power to handle school construction projects, the Board of Education remains adamant and has asked the Legislature to intervene and clarify the PSS’ expenditure authority over its projects. “The Legislature needs to clarify the expenditure role of PSS because we should have a say in school contracts,” said BOE chair Herman T. Guerrero. Guerrero also said PSS attorneys are still studying their legal options, following a court ruling affirming that the Department of Public Works has the contracting authority over disputed school projects on Rota and Saipan.
NMI submits over $70K in Cardizem drug claims
The CNMI government has submitted validated Cardizem claims worth more than $70,000 from Medicaid and Group Health and Life Insurance members who purchased the high blood pressure drug that was illegally kept off the market for one year since July 1998. House U.S. and Foreign Affairs Committee chair William S. Torres confirmed yesterday that the CNMI is expecting an entitlement of $20,000 in this generic drug case settlement, although the claims validated amount to more than this figure. Assistant Attorney General Brian R. Caldwell told Torres last June that the proof claims exceeding $70,000 have already been submitted, representing $64,000 from GHLI and $6,700 from Medicaid.