September 9, 2005
Saipan’s diesel 2nd most expensive in the nation
Saipan now has one of the highest diesel prices among all states across the nation, with the new average price of diesel higher than those of any other states except California, a development that continues to impact motorists, businesses and the Commonwealth’s tourism and economy.
The average price of diesel on Saipan is now $3.294 a gallon, with Mobil and Shell increasing their fuel prices this week. At least 33 states have average diesel prices below $3 per gallon at self-serve rates. Except for California’s average diesel price of $3.384, Saipan’s rate is higher than the average diesel prices of all other states in the nation, based on yesterday’s AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report is updated each business day. No data was available for U.S. territories.
Outage mars ’no-more-load-shedding’ promise
Brief power outages hit certain Kagman and Garapan areas, as the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. experienced trouble with a newly fixed engine at the power plant yesterday morning. CUC, however, said that the problem was immediately addressed and would not necessitate load shedding, which the utility had stopped doing since Wednesday. The lights went out in Kagman around 10:30am because of a problem with one of the lubricators of Engine No. 8 at Power Plant 1, CUC power generation manager Almondo Santos said. In an effort not to disrupt school activities, CUC restored power in Kagman at 10:45am. Instead, utility personnel cut the power supply to Garapan and other villages receiving electricity from Feeder 2, the only feeder that does not provide power to a school.
September 9, 2006
4K employees stay home
An estimated 4,000 public employees had to stay home or away from their offices yesterday in compliance with the government’s every other Friday austerity holiday. Yesterday was the first holiday identified in the austerity measure, Public Law 15-24. The law mandates the closure of government offices, except for critical agencies, for 26 non-payday Fridays from Sept. 8, 2006 to Sept. 27, 2007 to save on public funds. The government spends $6 million every two weeks or per payroll. The government employs some 6,000 employees.
Mt. Carmel School opens new wing
A new wing that will house first to third graders at the Mt. Carmel School was formally opened yesterday morning, almost a month after its completion. Though some had advised the Mt. Carmel School board of directors seven months ago that it wasn’t timely to construct and expand a new wing, that didn’t stop the board from going ahead with the plan. In her speech during the opening and blessing ceremony at the Susupe school, school president Margaret Dela Cruz said they have “proven the naysayers wrong.”
September 9, 2007
’More changes needed to enhance NMIRF’s status’
An actuarial report has offered recommendations to improve the funding of the CNMI government’s pension plan. A benefits freeze, reduction in the benefit formula, increase in the “normal” retirement age, review of cost of living adjustment, and a reduction in service credits are some changes the NMI Retirement Fund can make to enhance the program’s financial standing, according to the report. The actuarial analysis was conducted by Hal S. Tepfer and Debbie Sylvester of the U.S.-based Cheiron consulting firm. The Fitial administration commissioned the independent study to determine the Fund’s status. The study included four new public laws affecting the Fund, and made projections on the future of the Fund’s finances.
US Coral Reef Task Force pledges support to NMC
The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force has pledged support to the cash-strapped Northern Marianas College through funding assistance for the college’s internship programs and general education. NMC president Dr. Carmen Fernandez, who had just returned from American Samoa where she attended the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force summit, said that she met with federal officials and explored the idea of educational opportunities for NMC students. The NMC president was able to secure a confirmation of $300,000 funding for student internships and educational assistance.