Jan. 22, 2001
BPL cancels mining permits in Pagan
The Board of Public Lands last week voted to cancel commercial leases held by three mining companies bound under signed agreements to perform pozzolan and basalt extraction on the island of Pagan. According to sources, the board moved to revoke the 20-year contracts following complaints of an apparent lack of progress in the mining projects which has resulted in substantial loss to the local government due to non-payment of permit and royalty fees. J.G. Sablan Rock Quarry Inc., Fareast Mining Inc., and CNMI Mining Inc. were stripped last Thursday by the public lands board of authority to further quarry, mine, remove, or market pozzolan and basalt on the remote island.
Youth Congress pushes for trade skills development
CNMI's youngest policy-makers are embarking on plans to establish with the Northern Marianas College a center for trade skills development in a bid to arm local youths with practical know-how in various areas of business. Members of the 3rd CNMI Youth Congress on Saturday passed the “CNMI Trade School Act of 2001” which aims to support the creation of a trade school with direct supervision from NMC. The proposed institution is targeted to serve as a venue where youths can advance their skills and knowledge in wood crafting, pottery-making, mental work, auto/aviation mechanics, to name few.
Jan. 22, 2002
Residents to rally against abortion
Saipan residents will gather tonight at the American Memorial Park to press for immediate government action that would stop unscrupulous individuals in the Northern Marianas from engaging into abortion practices. Program coordinator Lulu Malone invites the public to join the Rally for Life march at 5pm from the American Memorial Park to the DFS Galleria and back. The rally is aimed at emphasizing that abortion remains unacceptable in the CNMI. “The plight of the unborn will not go unheard in the CNMI as individuals, churches, and organizations unite to support the cause of protecting their lives,” said Malone.
New Disabilities Handbook launched
After completing field tests of the Northern Marianas College's “Teaching Students with Disabilities: Faculty and Teaching Staff Handbook,” the designers of the handbook have declared it a success. According to Dr. John B. Joyner, director and coordinator of the NMC Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Services, the SWD Handbook underwent six months of rigorous field-testing. After using the Handbook for six months, NMC Faculty, PSS teachers and teacher-aides, NMC college students, parents, and community health care providers highly praised the simplicity and wealth of information contained in the Handbook.
Jan. 22, 2003
Govt employees assured of protection
The Babauta Administration has drafted a bill that aims to protect the employment benefits of government employees who volunteer for the five-hour reduction scheme. Maya Kara, legal counsel of the Lt. Governor's Office, said during yesterday's staff meeting at the Department of Labor and Immigration that the proposed bill will be sent to the Legislature anytime now. “Employees will be protected. The government would make sure that this workhour reduction will not be held against you. If you volunteer, there's no detriment to you,” she said. The legal counsel disclosed this in response to an issue raised by a department staff regarding a potential workforce reduction.
More federal screeners deployed
The Transportation Security Administration completed its federalization of the Saipan International Airport as check-in counters now use federal screeners, in full compliance with inspection policies implemented across the United States. Commonwealth Ports Authority Executive Director Carlos H. Salas yesterday disclosed that 35 federal screeners from Utah are now on Saipan to train local screeners who will man inspection of all baggage at the airline check-in counter of the Saipan airport. The federal screeners from Utah are now stationed at the airline counter and are responsible for the inspection of all “for check-in” luggage. They will soon train federal screeners who will be hired locally, and eventually replace them as TSA-mandated inspectors at the Saipan airport's airline counter.