Oct. 15, 1999
Teno awaits jailbreak report
Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio said yesterday he expects the Department of Public Safety to implement corrective measures on the heels of the fourth jailbreak in less than two years that indicate poor security at the Susupe prison facility. A report will be handed to the governor after DPS completes its investigation into the escape of three inmates last Sunday, who were recaptured two days later by the police in Kagman III while having a drinking spree. "The full report is forthcoming. They are still working on it," Tenorio told reporters. The three, Shawn Appleby, 19, Jeronimo S. Ada, 22, and Melvin N. Basa, 27, are currently under interrogation by investigators to try to determine how they managed to get out of jail.
Tinian Shipping renews plea
Hong Kong Entertainment (Overseas) Ltd. board chairman Michael Kwan and officials of Tinian Shipping & Transportation Inc. have renewed their request with the Commonwealth Ports Authority board to reduce the payment of passenger head tax from $6 to $1 for two years. In a meeting with CPA officials, Hong Kong Entertainment and Tinian Shipping officials said the two-year break will allow them to carry out a marketing campaign and charter flights to boost visitor arrivals on Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino. As a result of the downturn on the island's economy, Tinian Shipping and the casino hotel have been having difficulty surviving, they said. While CPA would like to help Hong Kong Entertainment and Tinian Shipping, the ports authority also has to take into account its own financial obligations, said its executive director, Carlos H. Salas. The seaport division has a $33 million debt.
Oct. 15, 2001
DOF seeks clarifications in 911 bill
The Department of Finance has expressed several concerns over a bill that would create a CNMI-wide 911 emergency call system, saying that several provisions on the bill need to be addressed first. In a letter to Rep. Rosiky F. Camacho, chairman of the House Committee on Public Utilities, Transportation and Communication, Finance Secretary Lucy Nielsen pointed out several provisions on House Bill 12-407 that she said needs clarifications. The proposed legislation would authorize the Department of Finance to collect a surcharge of $1 a month per access line from the local telephone service provider. The same rate-$1 per account number-applies to commercial wireless service providers.
$310K set aside for Saipan projects
Some $310,000 in poker fee funds were appropriated last week for several projects on Saipan, a big bite of which goes to the Mayor’s Office and for road improvement projects in Precinct III. House Local Bill 12-42, which is authored by Rep. Jesus T. Attao, now heads to Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio for his signature, after the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation unanimously passed the measure during Thursday’s session. Under the local bill, the sum of $310,000 that was collected from taxes on poker machines (Public Law 11-2) were distributed among various projects in Saipan. Of the amount, $100,000 will go to Mayor Jose C. Sablan for the purchase of parts, fuel, radios and for the repairs and maintenance of heavy equipment.
Oct. 15, 2002
’Fund will meet its deadline on $600K HPMR payment’
The Northern Mariana Islands Retirement Fund will be able to make the initial $600,000 payment, in time for the deadline set today by its third-party administrator, Hawaii Pacific Medical Referral. This was assured by Board of Trustee member Joe Reyes, who is also chairman of the Committee on Group Health and Compensation that was formed to look for the money to pay for the outstanding medical referral claims owed by Group Health. “I’d say with about 90 percent certainty that we will be able to make the payment. I’ve heard that we managed to put together some money so I think we will be meeting our obligation,” Reyes told Saipan Tribune yesterday afternoon.
MPLA seeks out $40M for land compensation claims
The Marianas Public Lands Authority has began working on finding the needed $40 million to settle land claims of various individuals against the CNMI. Right now, the MPLA is reviewing all pending land claims. “We’re reviewing all those different files. We’ve done some progress. We have drafted the rules and regulations,” MPLA Deputy Commissioner Henry Hofschneider said. But Hofschneider said the MPLA needs to work double time, especially when the Commonwealth Development Authority has gone ahead with identifying potential sources of the money. Under Public Law 13-17, the MPLA has to coordinate with the CDA in finding the $40 million fund.