September 21, 1999
Continental cuts last direct flight to Japan
Continental Micronesia is dropping its Nagoya-Saipan service on October 1, 1999, the airline's last remaining direct flight between Japan and the CNMI, raising fears that it may hinder efforts by the Marianas Visitors Authority to revive the island's ailing tourism economy. In 1998, the traffic in the Nagoya-Saipan direct service declined 24 percent and has continuously fell this year, said Wally Dias, staff to the vice president for sales and marketing. From January to July 1999, it dipped 20 percent. This leaves Japan Airlines and Northwest Airlines as the only remaining carriers that maintain direct service from key cities in Japan to Saipan.
Diversion of ’boat people’ not meant to deny asylum-INS
The use of Tinian as temporary holding area for illegal Chinese immigrants caught attempting to enter Guam is not an attempt to deny asylum to those who have legitimate application, according to federal officials. "That was not at all en effort to prevent people from seeking asylum. We devoted great level of resources," said Bo Cooper, general counsel of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. He said INS deployed asylum officers to Tinian to screen the more than 600 illegal aliens who were sent to temporary shelters on the island after the U.S. Coast Guard intercepted their boats near Guam.
September 21, 2000
JAL to add 1,100 seats next month
Despite the travel advisory issued by the Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs listing Saipan as an unsafe destination for its travelers, the country's flag carrier is dispatching four extra charter flights next month. Ports Authority Board Chair Roman S. Palacios said the agency has been informed by Japan Airlines that the carrier has scheduled four extra flights originating out of Nagoya and Kansai to Saipan in October. JAL will be deploying DC-10 aircraft in all of the four charter flights which are expected to provide an additional 1,124 airline seats for Japanese travelers to the Northern Marianas.
Youth Congress sets run-off elections Monday
The Youth Congress will hold run-off elections Monday for two youth senatorial seats left vacant after election results reflected a deadheat between contenders vying for the positions. Write-in candidates under Precinct no. 3 Keola Wabol and Jesse Elameto earned an equal number of votes while certified candidates Jovon Charfauros and Antonio Castro are also caught in a deadlock. According to Youth Congress Administrative Officer Mike Evangelista, a fresh slate of candidates may vie for the last precinct no. 3 senatorial seat during the Sept. 25 open run-off elections which will accommodate all write-in candidates.
September 21, 2001
$12M drop in government’s revenue collection feared
The CNMI government is bracing itself for a possible decrease of $12 million in the revenue it expects to collect in Fiscal Year 2002Finance Secretary Lucy Nielsen said that due to the present situation arising from the terrorist attacks in the US mainland, around $12 million of the revenues they expected to generate in Fiscal Year 2002 may not be realized. “With what happened in the United States, it appears that we will not be able to collect the additional revenues,” Nielsen told reporters. She explained that, when Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio submitted the $229 million Fiscal Year 2002 budget to the Legislature, there were $12 million in new revenues that the administration expected to get from new economic programs and the expected growth in tourism.
CNMI’s immunization rate one of the nation’s highest
The Northern Marianas has an immunization rate higher than most US states, at a figure ranging from 85 to 90 percent, the Department of Public Health disclosed. DPH Medical Health Director Dr. Richard Brostrom and Immunization Coordinator Mariana Sablan attributed the positive finding to three main factors, one of them being the local health department's efficient tracking system. The tool allows DPH to keep tabs of school-age children who acquire shots in defense against different types of illnesses. Secondly, rosters of school children submitted annually to the health department also make it possible for the agency to have updated immunization records.