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SOME people actually like pineapple on pizza. Others sensibly do not. Bàcaro Pizzeria chain in Montreal decided to let its customers vote.

(Office of the Governor) — The CNMI Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services has expanded their personnel as part of the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force in response to the global pandemic.

UNITED Airlines is suspending all its flights into and out of the CNMI effective April 6 as requested by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to the Commonwealth, Commonwealth Ports Authority Chairwoman Kimberlyn King-Hinds said on Tuesday.

AS a certified personal fitness trainer, James Lee wants to share fitness tips with members of the public who have stay at their homes due to the Covid-19 crisis.

MANILA (Reuters) — Coronavirus testing is expected to increase substantially in coming days in the Philippines, where the high number of deaths relative to confirmed cases reflects lower testing so far, a World Health Organization official said on Tuesday.

(Department of Public Works) —Beginning April 2, 2020, the Lower Base Transfer Station will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. all week except Wednesday. Call 322-2745 for more information.

(Press Release) — In response to the Amendment to Directive 14 of the Second Executive Order 2020-04 issued by CNMI Gov. Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres, all areas of American Memorial Park are closed to encourage the residents of Saipan to comply with social distancing guidance in support of federal and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus on our island.

THE Department of Public Safety has arrested Michael Jordan Palacios Cabrera, the suspect in the attempted robbery and assault and battery at 888 Poker Game II on March 22, after a witness identified him in a photo lineup.

THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp. may operate its power plant on Tinian that Telesource CNMI Inc. has been managing for 20 years now. The Telesource contract expires today, March 31.

AFTER a meeting with the management team of the Public School System on Monday, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada said they have decided to cancel the graduation ceremonies for this year.

(CHCC) — Effective immediately and until further notice, in light of the current events and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation against the threat of Covid-19, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. is taking extra precautionary and safety measures to ensure patients and staff remain healthy and protected while at the hospital. At this time, CHCC is suspending visiting hours and caregiver’s chair-side access to patients.

AS we make our way through this pandemic, those who are most worried about the economy and those who are most worried about health ought to listen respectfully to each other.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S. election officials looking to construct a safe voting system in a worsening coronavirus pandemic are confronting a grim reality: there may not be enough time, money or political will to make it happen by the November election.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 20 individuals for Covid-19 on Monday, March 30, 2020 with conclusive results. Two tested positive through DPHSS and 18 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. The DPHSS overall count also includes two positive cases that were tested by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego.

TOKYO (AP) — Before the Olympics were postponed, Japan looked like it had coronavirus infections contained, even as they spread in neighboring countries. Now that the games have been pushed to next year, Tokyo’s cases are spiking, and the city’s governor is requesting that people stay home, even hinting at a possible lockdown.

SYDNEY (Kyodo News/Pacnews) — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to test health care systems of some of the world’s wealthiest nations, vulnerable Pacific island countries are closing their borders and preparing themselves for potential outbreaks in the region.

(Office of the Governor) — Effectively immediately, Governor Ralph DLG Torres expanded CNMI curfew hours to be applicable to all CNMI residents, including adults. All CNMI residents must be home by 7 p.m. This does not apply to first responders, medical workers, law enforcement officers, and private sector employees on duty within the curfew hours.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Sunday said the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service has approved the requests of the CNMI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs-Nutrition Assistance Program for waivers to temporarily amend certain procedures and services due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

(Office of the Governor) — The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force has been aware of fake IRS calls being made to residents within the Marianas requesting for bank account information to deposit the stimulus check.

COMMONWEALTH Utilities Corp. Executive Director Gary Camacho on Saturday announced a decrease in the fuel adjustment charge for power bills starting April 1.

It’s easy to feel depressed and scared these days. News about the impact and death toll of the new coronavirus, Covid-19, is constant. Government responses have been chaotic, ranging from near-indifference to suddenly shutting down the economy, with politicians offering to pay for everything.

IF it’s true that the novel coronavirus would kill millions without shelter-in-place orders and quarantines, then the extraordinary measures being carried out in cities and states around the country are surely justified. But there’s little evidence to confirm that premise — and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high.

“SADLY, 12 years of stress tests and economic crisis planning never considered the possibility of a pandemic. Let us get a better economic plan in place for the next one.” This thought, stated by John Cochrane in the last sentence of an otherwise unexceptional op-ed, no doubt is a thought that has occurred to many others.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has announced Saturday that Sunday, March 29, 2020, all grocery stores will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. under the conditions that social distancing is strictly implemented.

WASHINGTON (The Wall Street Journal) — The State Department is further easing requirements on seasonal foreign worker visas, following agriculture industry warnings that a bottleneck created by coronavirus-related curbs could prompt a farm-labor shortage at the peak of spring harvest.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Douglas W. Domenech announced $858,924 in Technical Assistance Program or TAP emergency grant funding to the Pacific Island Health Officers Association to provide GeneXpert testing kits and a machine for the U.S. Pacific territories and Freely Associated States so that they may now conduct on-island testing during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt applauds President Trump signing H.R. 1365, which makes technical corrections to the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act. This legislation, passed by the House and Senate, authorizes the U.S. Department of the Treasury to issue payments to survivors of Guam’s occupation by Imperial Japanese Forces during World War II.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres expressed his gratitude to President Donald J. Trump and the U.S. Congress for delivering urgent economic support to the CNMI by enacting the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act into law on March 27, 2020.

(Press Release) — Karidat will be closed to the public Monday, March 30, as it transitions its food assistance to curbside distribution.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a third coronavirus relief bill Friday afternoon and President Trump signed it into law. U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, who has been in Washington all week for the negotiations, reports tens of millions of dollars were added to help the Marianas in the final version of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES,” Act.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center/The Guam Daily Post) — The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 23 individuals for Covid-19 on Sunday, March 29, 2020 with conclusive results. One tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 22 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

MAJURO — The Micronesian states of Chuuk and Yap joined Pohnpei this week in banning inbound arrivals by air, effectively shutting the country to visitors or returning residents in response to the rapidly spreading global Covid-19 pandemic.

MAJURO — For weeks, health authorities in the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau have been lobbying the United States to provide Covid-19 coronavirus test kits and personal protection equipment or PPE for medical staff.

(Press Release) — Due to the continuing health and safety concerns with the threat of Covid-19 and pursuant to Supreme Court Order No. 2020-ADM-002-MSC, all judiciary facilities will remain closed to the public up to and including Friday, April 3, 2020.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center/The Guam Daily Post) — The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 18 individuals for Covid-19 on Saturday, March 28, with conclusive results. Four tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 14 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.
A total of 366 tests were performed from March 12, 2020 through March 28, 2020 with conclusive results. To date, a total of 55 cases tested positive and 277 cases tested negative for Covid-19 with seven patients who have recovered and one death.
This total does not include the 23 sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt who tested positive.
Guam has had a "spread rate" of 33%, on average, according to the local government on Friday.
The governor of Guam will extend her Public Health Emergency declaration for Guam if the numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases continue to increase.
“Life shouldn’t feel normal right now,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said Friday afternoon during a news briefing held at the governor's office at Adelup. “Every time you think about meeting up with someone, ask yourself if it is really necessary. If it is not, please, do not do it.”
At least 31 of the patients remain in home isolation and are stable, four are at the Covid-19 isolation unit in Barrigada Heights and nine are at Guam Memorial Hospital.
Two of those at GMH are in the intensive care unit.
The governor has extended the public health emergency and the closure of nonessential businesses and facilities to April 13. It includes the closures of schools and public parks and beaches.
“We are moving away from what the spread would have done if we didn’t put in these mandates and restrictive actions,” she said. “We are bending it a little, but we are not yet at the 16.5%. We are still at the average of 33%, which is much better than a 200%” spread rate."
While Leon Guerrero said efforts to flatten the curve of the number of Covid-19-positive patients in Guam are working, she said the spike in recent days is being monitored to determine if the public health emergency would be extended past April 13.
“All of this must be done in order to continue living here in our beautiful island, and in order for us to do that, everybody must pitch in,” she said.
“I know it’s a very stressful time,” said Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio. “A lot of people are very anxious out there, but if everybody does their part, stay at home, encourage others to do the same, I think we will be able to see this through and minimize the risk and impact this has had on our community.”
Adelup said Guam was promised by FEMA that 500 tests would be sent to the island, while Public Health anticipates another 1,000 kits.
GovGuam awaits FDA approval to use test kits from other countries in Asia.
The governor also explained what she does daily to help her get through these difficult times.
“I’m feeling good,” she said. “I’m looking at seven small progresses as very positive. I think we could have been worse off if we really didn’t put all the actions together. I’m healthy. I go out and walk every day. Strength-wise, I’m holding up. When I get home, I just space out. I watch my NCIS and Rachel Madoff and our president on the television.”
She said she's been uplifted by members of the community who are helping others.
“People that are feeding our nurses, our health care workers, people that are concerned about first-line responders and health care workers. Those are the kinds of things that make me feel more energized and good,” she said. “As governor of Guam, I really want to protect our people, our health and our community. I am very concerned about the economy, but I first have to stabilize our health and then stabilize our government.”

(Office of the Governor) — Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, pursuant to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres's Executive Order 2020-05, Directive #8, all individuals entering the CNMI have been ordered to quarantine at a designated site for 14 days. Incoming travelers will also be enrolled into the Text Illness Monitoring system, which alerts Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. staff when enrollees report symptoms.

HAGÅTÑA (Press Release) — United States Attorney Shawn N. Anderson for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands today urged the public to report suspected fraud schemes related to Covid-19 by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud or NCDF hotline (1-866-720-5721) or to the NCDF e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

(MINA) — The Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance has recently received notification of an award through a special fund established by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in partnership with NOAA’s Marine Debris Program specifically for Hurricanes Michael and Florence in Florida and North Carolina, and Typhoon Yutu in the CNMI. The grant is for the assessment, removal and proper disposal of in-water debris that resulted from the devastation left in the wake of these storms.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzed water samples collected this week from Saipan's recreational western beaches and storm drainages as well as marine water samples collected from Rota's recreational beaches and storm drainages.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Yigo Mayor Rudy Matanane said crime in his village has neither increased nor decreased since the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Guam and the governor ordered residents to “socially isolate.”

(DPS) — On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, the Department of Public Safety received numerous complaints about an individual who posted a threat of violence toward on-island leaders through an online platform.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 38 individuals for Covid-19 on Thursday, March 26, 2020 with conclusive results. Eight tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 30 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — A third coronavirus relief bill, passed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday now includes funding for state and territory governments to meet the costs of the coronavirus, U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan says.

REPRESENTATIVE LJ Castro’s desire for the Governor’s New directive to be revised is RIGHT. I was wondering WHO among the GOP would have the interest of the People over the interest of the Governor and the GOP and true to form it is the youngest of the crew. Kudos L.J. and keep speaking up for what is RIGHT!

IN a recent (and superb) special report, The Wall Street Journal focused on how the Covid-19 outbreak has affected a farm-to-table restaurant called Table 20 in Cartersville, Georgia, and its owners, employees, landlord, lenders, suppliers and other vendors — and then these individuals’ families, lenders, vendors and countless others.

Err on the side of caution

THE Covid-19 outbreak is an unprecedented and quite possibly the most serious crisis faced by the NMI since World War II. We’re talking about human lives, and this is why we have to, as much as humanly possible, remain level-headed.

MATHEW Richardson, a Mount Carmel School senior and a point guard for the NMI Rollers Basketball Association, is coping with the Covid-19 situation by staying in shape physically and mentally.

(Diocese of Chalan Kanoa) — In light of the continuing health crisis, the clergy of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa collectively decided to continue across all parishes the following directives:

(CUC) — In light of the governor's amended Executive Order 2020-04, Directive 14, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. announces that its Customer Center's business hours effective March 25, 2020 until further notice are as follows:

(DPS) — The CNMI Department of Public Safety would like to thank parents and guardians for your help during the enforcement of the curfew law for minors throughout the three municipalities (Saipan, Tinian and Aguiguan, and Rota).

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. announced on Wednesday that CUC will be offering a payment deferment or due date extension for residential customers in response to the Covid-19 outbreak and its effect on CNMI residents.

THE CNMI 2020 Census reported on Tuesday that although there is an online census available to most states, it is not available to residents of the Commonwealth, American Samoa, Guam, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

(Office of the Governor) — In addition to the numerous requests for federal assistance to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the Marianas, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has formally sent a letter of recommendations of measures that require congressional action to U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan to complement the CNMI’s response to the global pandemic.

OVER the weekend, the Federal Emergency Management Agency gave Puerto Rico and other territories the discretion to acquire personal protective equipment from non-U.S. sources. With governments at all levels adding so many restrictions in response to Covid-19, it is worth recognizing these rare, welcome cases of liberalization.

NEW YORK/ LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — New York state suffered another quick and brutal rise in the number of Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, staggering hospitals at the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic, as California said it could be facing the next major wave of the disease.

SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim Tenorio on Wednesday denied the Imperial Pacific International motion to dismiss the right of way lawsuit filed by American Herbal Essence Group, American Create Beauty Corp., and American Dongsheng Corp.

HAGÅTÑA (Joint Information Center) — The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 37 individuals for Covid-19 on Wednesday, March 25, with conclusive results. Five tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 32 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

LIKE most of us in the CNMI who have been self-quarantined and have little to do but watch CNN and keep up with the progression of the virus I thought it might be appropriate to try and shine a light at the end of the tunnel in an effort to “KEEP HOPE ALIVE” like Jesse Jackson used to say at our Civil Rights gatherings.

(AP) — Not even the Summer Olympics could withstand the force of the coronavirus. After weeks of hedging, the IOC took the unprecedented step of postponing the world’s biggest sporting event, a global extravaganza that’s been cemented into the calendar for more than a century.

BANGKOK (AP) — When Carlo Navarro, his wife and 15-year-old daughter visited Japan from the Philippines in February, they knew they were taking a chance with the coronavirus, but thought they would be spared if they took precautions. They wore masks and gloves and always had alcohol handy to sanitize their hands.

AT exactly 1 p.m., Joeten Garapan and many business establishments on island closed their doors to the public in compliance with the administration’s enhanced social-distancing directive to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in the community.

TUESDAY marked the 44th anniversary of the Covenant, which established the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America.

MARCH 21 was International Day of Forests, which was first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 “to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.”

ONE imagines most Americans would rather rescue their jobs from the ravages of coronavirus-induced downturn than lose them and just get a government check. Yet on Sunday, Democrats blocked a procedural vote on a coronavirus relief package in the Senate, arguing that the fiscal rescue package favored corporations over individuals.

“SHELTER in place” laws telling residents to stay in their homes whenever possible are sweeping the country, making it clear that public health concerns — as opposed to worries about staving off economic collapse — have carried the day when it comes to responding to the coronavirus. That’s a decision we will come to rue as a nation, since a disease’s direct death rate is not the only factor to be considered in responding to it.

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — The confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19 cases in the Philippines soared to 501 as of Tuesday morning, the Department of Health announced.

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Several more U.S. governors on Monday joined the procession of states ordering millions of Americans to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, while President Trump signaled he’s considering a move in the opposite direction.

GENEVA (Reuters) — Countries can’t simply lock down their societies to defeat coronavirus, the World Health Organization’s top emergency expert said, adding that public health measures are needed to avoid a resurgence of the virus later on.

(Press Release) — Soroptimist International of the Northern Marianas has decided to postpone this month’s program meeting that was set to feature local business women in honor of International Women’s Month on Thursday, March 26.

IN compliance with the governor’s directive on social distancing, the Commonwealth Zoning Board has postponed its public hearing scheduled for today, Wednesday, at the multi-purpose center.

THE reduction of work hours is among the austerity measures discussed by the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. management, CUC Executive director Gary Camacho said.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan said the Marianas is eligible for Dislocated Worker Grant funding the U.S. Department of Labor announced last Wednesday. $100 million is available for the grants, nationwide. The grants pay workers laid off because of the coronavirus to perform disaster-related jobs or get training.

TWENTY-FIVE individuals who traveled off-island recently are under a 14-day mandatory quarantine at Kanoa Resort, Press Secretary Kevin Bautista, said, adding that these individuals were passengers of United Airlines and Skymark Airlines.

HAGÅTÑA (Pacific News Center) — The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services tested 38 individuals for Covid-19 on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 with conclusive results. Three tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and 35 tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

DUE to Covid-19, the Marianas Visitors Authority had to postpone this year’s Tagaman Triathlon, which was set for March 20, until further notice. So some athletes decided to hold a virtual event on Facebook.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, through the Department of Finance-Division of Revenue & Taxation, announced special relief to individuals and businesses in response to the Covid-19 public health emergency.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Monday issued a new directive stating that effective March 24, 2020, “all businesses that have facilities open to the general public shall be open to the public from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — U.S. Senate negotiators released draft legislation Sunday with relief for workers and families nationwide coping with job loss and other economic impacts of the coronavirus. U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan said the Senate draft bill includes weekly payments to unemployed workers in the Marianas similar to the Disaster Unemployment Assistance provided after typhoons.

DURING this coronavirus pandemic, federal, state and local governments have taken — and are continuing to take — unprecedented measures to combat the epidemic, as well as the recession that will surely soon follow.

MANILA (Philippine Star) — President Rodrigo Duterte wants to declare a state of national emergency and is asking Congress, which is dominated by his allies, to grant him additional powers to cope with the coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19.

(Press Release) — Due to the threat of Covid-19 and in accordance with the directive issued by the Office of the Governor, Bestseller Saipan will be open, starting March 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Saturday.

THE Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board postponed its scheduled meeting that was set for Monday to comply with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’s order to be proactive and implement strict social distancing procedures in light of the Covid-19 concerns, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said.

(Press Release) — District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Sunday signed a general order superseding General Order No. 20-00002. She said it is being issued in response to the developing outbreak of Covid-19, including recent confirmed cases on Guam.

(Press Release) — Karidat is kindly asking the community to “hold off” on making clothing and canned food donations at this time.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech announced $2,216,370 in redirected prior year grant funding for renovations at the Guam Adult Correctional Facility and to purchase a rock crusher for the Rota quarry in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

WASHINGTON (Press Release) — U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary of Insular and International Affairs Douglas W. Domenech, recognized and applauded the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their ongoing technical assistance and financial support to the U.S. territories and the Freely Associated States during the current Coronavirus pandemic. This includes the additional $2.7 million in support to the insular areas as part of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L.116-123), signed by President Trump on March 6, 2020, and announced by the U.S. Department of Health Services on March 11.

THE Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality issued a public notice on Thursday stating that the “use of misbranded/adulterated pesticide products places our community, especially our children and elderly, at risk of being exposed to toxic substances and potential harm.”

THE U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza on Saturday announced that it is “offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital” to small businesses in the Commonwealth that are suffering “substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus.”

(Office of the Governor) — In the midst of the ongoing work that the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and Commonwealth Healthcare Center has been doing in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres responded to a letter from the Office of the Minority of the House of Representatives over the weekend and reemphasized his call for working together beyond party lines.

(DPS) — On March 20, 2020, at about 9:15 p.m., the Department of Public Safety received a 911 call reporting a possible drowning incident at Micro Beach, Garapan.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios met with cabinet members met on Saturday morning to discuss measures that can help prevent the potential spread of Covid-19 in the Commonwealth.

HAGÅTÑA — A 68-year-old woman, who died early morning Sunday while being treated for Covid-19 at the Guam Memorial Hospital, became the island’s first coronavirus fatality, officials said in a web conference Sunday.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres, Covid-19 Task Force Chairman Warren F. Villagomez, Dr. John Doyle, and Dr. Alan Zevallos were on KKMP radio on Saturday morning to discuss updates regarding the state of public health emergency and the steps that the central government is taking to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the CNMI.

THE NMI Rollers 12U were supposed to be on Guam on July 18-20 to participate in the Guam Elite Basketball Camp, but their trip may no longer push through due to ongoing concerns about Covid-19.

WITH global Covid-19 cases on the rise and sports put on hold, it is still important to maintain one’s health which is why the Saipan Music and Dance Studio’s aerodance and cardio/kickboxing classes aim to keep your body moving at home through virtual sessions.

MAJURO — Pohnpei, the capital of the Federated States of Micronesia, strengthened its ban on incoming travelers Saturday in the face of the escalating spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

MAJURO — Within hours of Marshall Islands authorities refusing to accommodate passengers and crew inside the airport terminal in Majuro when a regular United Airlines flight developed mechanical problems forcing it to halt onward service to Honolulu, United informed Majuro officials that it was suspending regular air service to the country for the next three-and-a-half-weeks.

(Press Release) — Due to the health and safety concerns surrounding the threat of Covid-19 and pursuant to Supreme Court Order No. 2020-ADM-002-MSC, all judiciary facilities will remain closed to the public up to and including Friday, April 3, 2020.

(Press Release) — Bank of Guam announces that all customers with personal loans and/or personal credit cards will have their payments automatically deferred. All personal loan payments will be deferred for 3 months, regardless of account status. All personal credit card payments will be deferred for May, June, and July, also regardless of account status.

(Press Release) — In light of the governor’s Executive Order 2020-04 declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency and State of Significant Emergency issued on March 16, 2020, as amended, shutting down all non-essential government offices for a period two weeks and for non-essential personnel to stay home until further notice due to the novel Coronavirus or Covid-19, the CNMI Energy Division Office regrets to inform the public it is suspending temporarily all program services for the Weatherization Assistance Program and the State Energy Program for a period of two weeks or until further notice.

(Commonwealth Utilities Corp.) — There will be a scheduled water service interruption on Friday, March 27, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Gualo Rai area and a portion along Chalan Pale Arnold from the Gualo Rai traffic light intersection to the Taro Sue building. Customers in the affected area should expect restoration of water services soon thereafter.

“LIEUTENANT Gov. Arnold Palacios and I, along with our Commonwealth, extend our deepest condolences to the family of the first Covid-19 related death on Guam. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, her administration, and the people of Guam.

(CHCC) — The governor’s Covid-19 Task Force and Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. would like to inform the public that the results of both specimens submitted to Guam Public Health Lab this week have been confirmed negative for Covid-19. While this is great news for our community, we all need to continue to be proactive with our personal prevention efforts: stay home, stay informed, stay healthy.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Two more were added Friday to the rising number of Guam patients infected with the virus that causes Covid-19.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres on Friday announced that President Donald J. Trump has approved the governor’s March 3, 2020 request for federal assistance to aid ongoing CNMI efforts to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Thursday extended curfew hours for minors from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Saipan, Tinian and Rota “for the remainder of the State of Public Health Emergency and State of Significant Emergency or until further notice.”

(Press Release) — The Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands reported a 55 percent average occupancy rate among its 11 member hotels for February 2020. The figure reflects a 39 percent decrease for HANMI hotels compared to February 2019 and a 30 percent decrease of total rooms sold.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Saipan’s west coast recreational beaches and storm drainages every week, and from Tinian’s recreational beaches and storm drainages this week.

YOU, sir! You whose shopping cart squeals beneath the weight of half a dozen 48-packs of toilet tissue! Come now, be reasonable. How many rolls do you really need to get you through the next week or so? A four-pack, you say? Wonderful. Bless you for your civic-mindedness. You may now put 284 rolls of TP back on the shelves so that a dozen fellow citizens who really need it can get it.

THE British historian Gavin Mortimer says that amid the still unfolding global tragedy that is the Covid-19 outbreak, “it will be far better for our morale to read Pepys than it will today’s newspapers [he probably meant ‘media outlets’ including social media], which seem hell-bent on panicking people with their alarmist and speculative headlines.”

Stay safe

LIKE many people all over the world, we are waiting for events to unfold. In the NMI’s case, we hope that these will include timely federal assistance, the availability of test kits, and the creation of a vaccine.

DESPITE concerns regarding Covid-19, the Tinian Jr.-Sr. High School Stallions pushed through with their trip to Saipan with a positive mindset to successfully compete in the Public School System Interscholastic Boys High School Basketball League.

(Press Release) — Following Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ public health emergency declaration and with the latest guidance from the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., the Tan Siu Lin Foundation will postpone, until further notice, the JP Hero Run, originally scheduled for March 28.

MAJURO — The flight crew and 124 passengers on a regularly scheduled United Airlines Boeing-737 flight were not allowed off the tarmac in the vicinity of the plane after it experienced problems in Majuro forcing it to cancel the final leg of its service to Honolulu Wednesday night. The plane, passengers and crew stayed inside the plane or outside in the immediate vicinity of the plane for over 10 hours, waiting for a rescue flight scheduled to arrive at 8am Thursday morning.

KOROR (RNZ Pacific/Pacnews) — As a precautionary measure to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, all schools in Palau will be closed starting on Monday until April 3.

(CHCC) — Effective immediately and until further notice, in light of the current events and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation against the threat of Covid-19, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. Dialysis Center is taking precautionary and safety measures to ensure that patients remain healthy and protected during their treatment.

(Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance) — The threat of the Covid-19 virus to the residents of the CNMI is real. The steps taken by the administration, and particularly the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., to assure the safety and well-being of our community are commendable.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Joe Biden coasted to blowout victories in Tuesday’s three Democratic presidential primaries, expanding his nearly unbeatable lead in the race to challenge President Donald Trump in November and increasing pressure on rival Bernie Sanders to end his campaign.

THE U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Imperial Pacific International LLC have asked the federal court to assign EEOC’s lawsuit against IPI to the “complex track” because it involves several complicated and unique legal issues, numerous fact witnesses, and extensive discovery.

“THIS is undoubtedly a challenging time for our Commonwealth,” Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said in a letter Wednesday to U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan. “However, I am confident in our collective ability to overcome this challenge and ensure that the delivery of essential public services will continue to be met for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth.”

(Press Release) — On Saturday March 14, the NMI Democratic Party hosted its 2nd Presidential Caucus on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Of the 134 people who participated in the caucus, 84 selected Sen. Bernie Sanders, 48 selected former Vice President Joe Biden, and two voted “uncommitted.”

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Wednesday issued a Covid-19 guidance for the public, strongly recommending that people stay at home amid ongoing concerns over Covid-19.

HAGÅTÑA — The Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services on Wednesday reported three new cases of Covid-19 infection on Guam, bringing to eight the total number of cases on island.

THE pandemic caused by the new coronavirus, or Covid-19, from Wuhan, China, is now a serious and global problem. And that problem has been made even worse by a culture of constant alarmism making it hard to distinguish real threats from exaggerated claims, as the well-​known science writer Matt Ridley has pointed out. But even when faced with the genuine threat of a pandemic, there are reasons to take heart and think that humanity will rise to the challenges ahead.

AS you can see, one must truly think outside the box to resolve this challenge of only using four lines with four moves to connect the nine dots. So if you could never get outside the box with your lines then you need to practice on thinking “BEYOND and ABOVE” your normal thoughts which are “inside the box.”

(Press Release) — The Saipan Fishermen’s Association wishes to announce the cancellation of the annual Mahi Mahi Fishing Derby, which was scheduled for Saturday, March 28, 2020. The SFA is taking this measure to help contain the situation of the Covid-19 virus.

BEIJING/WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) — China is withdrawing the press credentials of American journalists at three U.S. newspapers, intensifying a bitter fight between the world’s top two economies that has widened to include the coronavirus outbreak and media freedoms.

MANILA (AP) — The Philippine government lifted a 72-hour deadline for thousands of foreign travelers to leave the country’s main northern region, which has been placed under quarantine due to a growing number of coronavirus infections, officials said Wednesday.

(CNMI Superior Court) — Individuals with traffic citations or cases pursuant to a court order issued by Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja are advised that the hearings scheduled for March 19, 2020 have been rescheduled to April 23, 2020 while the hearings scheduled for March 26, 2020 have been rescheduled to May 7, 2020.

(SBA) — The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus or Covid-19. Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.

(Press Release) — In the best interest of our customers and our employees, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has implemented “social distancing” as recommended by the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(Office of the Governor) — Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, together with the Northern Mariana Islands Retirement Fund acting Administrator David DLG Atalig, announced that NMIRF borrowers and debtors from Rota, Tinian, and Saipan will be offered various payment solutions during this time of global health and economic impact.

DURING the House session on Friday, Rep. Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero noted Governor Communication 21-106, which certifies and grants “approval for Mr. Doug Edwin Lowe, Chief for Civil Division, under the Office of the Attorney General to receive an annual salary of $80,000.”

ON Friday, Rep. Donald M. Manglona reiterated his deep appreciation for the three House local bills that were signed into Rota law by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, especially Rota Local Law 21-2.

MAYOR David M. Apatang appointed Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council Chairwoman Debra Camacho as acting mayor starting March 10, special assistant to the mayor Henry Hofschneider said.

THE NMI Republican Party has selected Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider of Tinian and Aubrey Hocog of Rota as part of the NMI delegates to the Republican National Convention, which will be held from Aug. 24 to 27 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

FOLLOWING a conference call on Monday, the federal court postponed the jury trial of Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig and co-defendant Evelyn Atalig in light of the global Covid-19 outbreak and the decision of the Guam and CNMI governments to close all their offices effective immediately and directing all non-essential employees to remain at home.

WHAT do you do if you suspect that you or someone you know may have contracted Covid-19? During a press conference on Monday, Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation Chief Executive Officer Esther Muna and chairman of the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force Warren Villagomez, discussed different scenarios and what steps would be taken to contain the virus.

HAGÅTÑA (Pacific Island Times) — Two more patients were tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing to five the total number of cases on Guam.

SHIPMENTS of commodities continue to arrive so there is no need for people to resort to panic buying, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said on Monday.

ALL world leaders now have a clear idea who God is, right folks? They know God is not joking around. In light of this coronavirus all world leaders should know that God is a no-nonsense King of the Universe.

(NMC) — Based on the escalating and evolving situation regarding the Covid-19 virus and the increasing need to take measures that include minimizing large gatherings, the Northern Marianas College Foundation Golf Tournament scheduled for March 21, 2020 has been postponed. A new date will be announced later this month.

(MVA) — In consideration of Covid-19, the Tagaman triathlon slated for March 21, 2020 on Saipan has been postponed until further notice.

THE girls of Marianas High School and the boys and CoEd team of Kagman High School took home the trophies in the 2020 Interscholastic High School Outrigger Canoe Race on Saturday at Kilili Beach in Oleai.

TINIAN High School claimed this year’s Public School System Boys High School Basketball League championship in a hard-fought game against Mount Carmel School, 38-36, on Saturday at the Marianas High School Gym.

(Press Release) — Freddie Cataluna shot 3-under par 69 after a shaky start to win the third leg of the Filtaga 2020 tour by four strokes at the LaoLao East Course during the weekend.

THE governor signed Executive Order 2020-04, declaring a state of public health emergency and a continued state of significant emergency, on Monday, not Thursday.

TAMUNING, Guam (FSM Information Services) — On March 15, 2020, David W. Panuelo, president of the Federated States of Micronesia, met with Carmen G. Cantor, ambassador of the United States, at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s resident agency in Guam.  The purpose of President Panuelo’s meeting was to review historical and contemporary law enforcement cooperation between the FSM and the United States in areas ranging from personal crimes investigations (e.g. homicide and other violent crimes) to white-collar (i.e. financial) crimes investigations.

(Press Release) — The Settlement Fund office will be closed from Wednesday, March 18, to Friday, March 20, 2020, in light of the state of public health emergency and continued state of significant emergency concerning the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

(Press Release) — The Marianas Office of Micronesian Legal Services Corp. will be closed for two weeks from March 18, 2020 through March 31, 2020.

(MCS) — On March 17, 2020, Mount Carmel School’s leadership team continued its consultation with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.-Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program and the CNMI Covid-19 Task Force to seek guidance on how to move forward with the spread of Covid-19. Based on a lengthy meeting with extensive discussion, and consistent with CNMI Executive Order No. 2020-04 from the Office of the Governor declaring a state of public health emergency and continued state of significant emergency, the school has decided to take the following steps.

(CNMI Supreme Court) — On March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump declared a national emergency in response to the public health threat posed by the pandemic novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

(CNMI Office of the Attorney General) — The Office of the Attorney General has received increasing number of complaints against business establishments in the CNMI for price gouging as a result of the coronavirus or Covid-19 emergency.

(Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems Inc.) — Due to concerns regarding potential spread of Covid-19 and to heed local and federal emergency declarations we are taking the following precautionary measures to protect our staff, clients and other members of our community at large especially those known to be most vulnerable to the virus.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Two more patients on Guam have tested for the virus that causes Covid-19.

(Press Release) — Due to the threat and preparedness assessments for Covid-19, the CNMI judiciary will be closed from Tuesday, March 17 to Thursday, March 19, 2020. Also, starting March 20, 2020, the judiciary will be closed every Friday due to austerity measures.

(Press Release) — The board of directors, management and staff of the Bank of Guam are pleased to announce the appointment of Keven Camacho as senior vice president/chief sales officer.

REPRESENTATIVE Janet U. Maratita introduced House Joint Resolution 21-7 on Friday “to congratulate and honor all the women in the Commonwealth as we celebrate their contributions and achievements during the month of March 2020 proclaimed as CNMI Women’s Month and March 8th as International Women’s Day.”

ASSISTANT U.S. Attorney Garth Backe is asking the federal court to deny the motion for sanctions filed by Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig, and co-defendant Evelyn Atalig against a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent they accused of witness tampering and ex parte communications with an expert witness.

(Press Release) — In response to Covid-19 concerns, the Susupe community garden meeting, originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, is postponed until further notice.

SOME of the essential offices of the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. have remained open to continue serving the community, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said on Monday.

THE Department of Finance can no longer guarasntee that it can continue remitting $500,000 a month to the Marianas Visitors Authority due to the steep decline in tourist arrivals amid the global Covid-19 outbreak, MVA Managing Director Priscilla Iakopo told the board in a recent meeting.

HAGÅTÑA — Guam Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero on Monday temporarily shut down government offices, suspended schools for 14 days and issued new guidelines on social gatherings, business activities, and quarantine protocols, in hopes of containing the spread of Covid-19, which has infected three local residents.

IMPERIAL Pacific International on Monday announced it will temporarily close its casino in Garapan in line with the government’s containment measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

PUBLIC school classes will remain suspended until March 30, Commissioner on Education Dr. Alfred Ada said on Monday after a meeting with school principals and vice principals.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Monday signed Executive Order 2020-04, declaring a state of public health emergency and a continued state of significant emergency to establish response, quarantine, and preventive containment measures concerning Covid-19.

TWO and a half weeks after Bernie Sanders slammed Michael Bloomberg for trying to “buy this election,” the former New York City mayor dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, having spent $570 million of his own money to win 61 delegates. Tom Steyer, the other billionaire in the race, did even worse, abandoning his campaign after spending more than $250 million and earning zero delegates.

ONE detects a pattern in American politics: Every challenge is a crisis, every crisis is the Moral Equivalent of War, and winning that war, we are told, means giving the Left everything it demands, without opposition and generally with no regard for the Constitution, process, or democratic norms. “Never let a good crisis to go waste,” as Rahm Emanuel famously put it.

(Press Release) — Trench Tech president Cuki Alvarez said in light of the three confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Guam, he has made the difficult decision to close Trench Tech until further notice.

(NMIFA) — Due to Covid-19 pandemic concerns, the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association will be suspending all leagues and other soccer related activities including National Team Program training until further notice.

AMID concerns about the global Covoid-19 outbreak, the Marianas Visitors Authority successfully held this year’s Saipan Marathon on Saturday with over 700 participants. Yasutaka Monde was overall winner in the full marathon-men’s division.

UNITED Airlines Corporate Communications says the two Guam passengers who tested positive for Covid-19 flew on flight UA189 on Feb. 29, 2020, from Manila to Guam, and not on March 2, 2020 as reported on Monday.

(Press Release) — As part of its ongoing commitment to work with customers to lessen the impacts of financial hardships owing to the evolving Covid-19 situation, Bank of Guam is offering financial relief programs to regional loan customers for consumer, credit card, mortgage and commercial loans. Loan payment deferments, as well as loan extensions are being considered.

(Press Release) — Because of Covid-19 concerns, the CNMI Women’s Association and the Women’s Affairs Office would like to inform the general public that the Annual Women’s Mini-Expo and the CNMI Women’s Summit, scheduled for March 24 and March 27 have been postponed until further notice.

ONCE again, Tinian Jr./Sr. High School Stallion Battalion joined the CNMI MSU JROTC Drill Competition. This year, the event took place on March 7, 2020, at Saipan’s Koblerville Gym from 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Tinian High School Stallion Battalion and the Marianas High School Dolphin Battalion co-hosted the event.

(MCS) — Mount Carmel School will suspend classes from Monday, March 16, through Wednesday, March 18, but teachers, staff, and administrators will still report to work.

(MCS) — To assist families as they prepare to enroll their child for the 2020-2021 school year, Mount Carmel School has extended its Early Bird special for new, returning, and ongoing students from March to May 2, 2020. Mount Carmel School’s Early Bird special is typically offered in April.

(NMC) — In keeping with its longstanding commitment to expand educational opportunities for the CNMI, T Galleria Saipan recently donated $3,500 in cash and merchandise to the Northern Marianas College Foundation.

THE Girl Scouts organization turned 108 years old on March 12 with NMI members joining the celebration by conducting a “Cookie Dessert Challenge” at Marianas Creations on Saturday.

HIDEKI and Kozue Yamada, parents of the two Japanese sisters who were reported missing in July 2014, were disappointed that the Department of Public Safety did not meet them during their 27th visit on Saipan on Friday.

THE seven workers who sued Imperial Pacific International is asking the federal court to sanction the Saipan casino investor for violating the judges’ discovery orders.

BY a vote of 16 to 4, the House of Representatives on Friday passed House Bill 21-109, which proposes to reduce the annual salaries of the CNMI’s top officials — except lawmakers.

AROUND 300 people, including members and officers of the NMI Republican Party, gathered at the Minachom Atdao pavilion to reiterate their support for President Donald Trump during the local GOP presidential caucus on Sunday.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres this week will issue a public health emergency declaration following President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration amid the Covid-19 pandemic that is now crippling the world economy.

HAGÅTÑA — Guam has three confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection as of Sunday, Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero said, warning that more cases are anticipated.

LIKE the reporters and pundits who seek out the most bloodcurdling predictions regarding coronavirus, I have no expertise on infectious diseases. But I’m far more skeptical about what certain experts say — not the scientists and doctors making amazing and tangible strides in combating the disease, but the model-making policymaking experts who often dominate news stories.

AS the saying goes, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” I would add, “and anti-price gouging legislation in times of crisis.” Yet price increases in the face of sudden shortages are an important impetus to restore supply and demand market conditions that are closer to normal.

THE 6JMS Thunder Darts are off to a great start in the A Division of the Saipan Electronic Darts Association Bud Light Dart League which debuted last week at Amari’s Resto.

HARMON, Guam (FSM Information Services) — On March 14, FSM President David W. Panuelo, at the advice of his cabinet and the Covid-19 Task Force, in consultation with partners such as the World Health Organization, and through the power invested in him through Article X, Section 9 of the FSM Code, declared a state of national public health emergency in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic. The previous public health emergency declaration is revoked, including its amendments and clarifications.

(JKPL) — Effective March 15, 2020, the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library’s new hours of operation will be: open from Wednesday through Friday, 10: a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. JKPL will be closed Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and holidays.

(Press Release) — Milton J. Perkins, PhD, SHRM-SCP, SPHR and vice president of ActOne Government Solutions Inc. will be talking about “Talent Management: from Hi to the Bye” where you will learn how to leverage your human capital investment resulting to significant Return of Investment, develop and manage people in a way that will encourage valuable resources to stay longer and different communication styles, personality traits and how to manage across the introversion-extroversion continuum.

IN many cultures, there is a special delicacy or food which the natives believe can cure an individual or benefit him or her in some way.

(Public School System) — In light of the news regarding confirmed Covid-19 cases on Guam, all public schools on Saipan, Tinian and Rota will suspend classes from March 16 to 18 while they assess the situation and increase preventive measures to keep all PSS staff and students safe, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred B. Ada said on Sunday evening.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Three individuals tested positive for Covid-19, according to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero during an emergency press conference Sunday evening at Guam Homeland and Security.

ON Thursday morning, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, first lady Diann T. Torres, CNMI Census office manager Clyde K. Norita, U.S. Census advisor Colleen D. Joyce, Secretary of Commerce Mark O. Rabauliman, 2020 CNMI Census staff members, and other members of the community gathered at the multi-purpose center in Susupe for the CNMI Census Day proclamation signing.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Managaha’s recreational beaches and dock as part of the regularly scheduled sampling.

(Press Release) — Supported by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios due to the recent economic impact of global events, the Department of Finance-Government Group Health and Life Insurance Trust Fund would like to offer members the opportunity to change health insurance plans starting March 15 to April 15, 2020.

(Press Release) — U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan on Thursday announced his endorsement of Joe Biden for president of the United States:

THE Northern Mariana Islands Republican Party will meet to conduct a presidential preference caucus on Sunday, March 15, starting at 11 a.m. and not 5:30 p.m. as earlier announced.

MORE flights have been suspended, resulting in a further decrease in its projected revenue, the Commonwealth Ports Authority board said on Thursday as it adopted a resolution reducing CPA’s work hours to 64 from 72.

ROTA Mayor Efraim Atalig and co-defendant Evelyn Atalig are asking the federal court to sanction Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Haejun Park for his ex parte communications with an expert witness and for witness tampering.

STEPHANIE Castro Camacho on Thursday expressed disappointment with how the Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the “hostage” situation that resulted in the death of the suspect, her brother, and his alleged hostage.

IT was brought to my attention that “the Covenant Negotiators could not seek the right to vote for President because it is a U.S. Constitutional matter of only STATES being able to vote for President” which is true. My statement about the negotiators did not reflect this all-important fact and for that I humbly and respectfully apologize.

TODAY we are concerned about lifestyle diseases in the CNMI and the rest of the Micronesian region, and some of us blame “modern living,” specifically “modern food”: processed meat, sugary treats and other “junk food” items. Many of us are likely to assume that 50 or so years ago, islanders were eating “healthy” food and were generally “healthier” compared with today’s generation.

The NMI delegate is doing a good job

THANKS to his dedication, experience and seniority, Congressman Kilili continues to deliver the proverbial bacon to his constituents in the Marianas. Among other things, his ongoing efforts to provide more stability to the Commonwealth workforce deserves the full support of the Torres administration, the rest of the CNMI leadership, and the local business community.

BLUE Eagle A+’s Douglas Schmidt and Blue Haus’ Tony Diaz were named Most Valuable Players in the finals of their respective divisions in the United Filipino Organization-ITE Basketball League on Sunday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

(Press Release) — The Triathlon Association of the CNMI or TRAC along with the Marianas Visitors Authority is fully supporting the staging of the Saipan Marathon this Saturday and the Tagaman triathlon next week. The measures implemented by the federal and CNMI governments and the assurances made by the lead agencies at the governor’s press conference solidify TRAC’s support and resolve to proceed.

(Department of Public Safety) — Sometime between 2:30 and 3 a.m. Thursday, local and federal law enforcement agencies conducted a breach into the suspect's residence. Upon making contact with the suspect, the suspect fired multiple rounds directly towards officers. Officers returned fire and managed to neutralize the threat.

(Press Release) — American Memorial Park is excited to announce the 4th annual Art-in-the-Park series. During the months of March and April, American Memorial Park is partnering with local artists and organizations to provide free art classes to the community. All ages are welcome to join us in creating amazing art!

DETROIT (Reuters) — Joe Biden rolled to commanding victories in pivotal Michigan and two other states on Tuesday, taking a big step toward the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and dealing a stinging blow to rival Bernie Sanders’ fading White House bid.

ROME (Reuters) — Shops and restaurants closed, hundreds of flights were canceled and streets emptied across Italy on Tuesday, the first day of an unprecedented, nationwide lockdown imposed to slow Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus.

(MCS) — Twenty-four high school students were inducted into Mount Carmel School’s Sacred Heart Chapter of the National Honor Society in a ceremony held Wednesday, March 11, at Mount Carmel Cathedral.

(MVA) — According to the Marianas Visitors Authority, arrivals to Saipan, Tinian and Rota dropped 30 percent to 26,702 visitors in February 2020, compared to 38,049 visitors received in February 2019.

(Press Release) — To support educators in teaching students about how the 2020 Census will shape the future of the nation for the next 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools or SIS program has developed new classroom materials for students of all ages to teach them about the importance of statistics in everyday life.

(Press Release) — As in prior years, the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands is lending its support to Saipan Marathon 2020 this Saturday, March 14.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzed water samples collected from Tinian’s recreational beaches and storm water drainages this week as part of the regularly scheduled sampling.

(Press Release) — The adoption of emergency rules and regulations for the CNMI Cannabis Commission was unanimously passed during the commission meeting held on March 10, 2020. Pursuant to 1 CMC § 9104(b), the emergency regulations, with concurrence of the governor, will be effective for a period of not longer than 120 days.

AS of 9 p.m. Wednesday, and despite more than 24 hours of negotiations between the suspect and the Department of Public Safety, the hostage situation in San Antonio remained unresolved.

THE islands’ only industry — tourism — has already lost $50.5 million or more in gross revenue due to the continuous cancellations of flights in light of the global Covid-19 outbreak, Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands president Gloria Cavanagh said on Wednesday.

IT is my pleasure my honor and my duty to inform all declared Democrat voters to attend the Democrat Caucus on this Saturday the 14th at the World Resort and the doors open at 5 p.m. and they close at 6 p.m. So be there or be square (left-out) as we say in my culture. Speaking of culture, it should be duly noted that in the last Democrat Caucus of 2016 there were over 200 in attendance but and I do mean BUT because 90% of those in attendance were NOT locals who were obviously used to participating in mainland political processes.

ABOUT a month ago, President Trump looked like a smart bet for reelection. His job approval had hit all-time highs in the RealClearPolitics polling average, his Democratic opponents looked as though they were locked in a lengthy battle for the nomination, and it seemed likely that Bernie Sanders would have the pledged delegate lead heading into the Democratic Convention.

THE Kanoa Football Club made its way into the winning column of the Youth League Spring 2020-U17 Girls Division after giving MP United Football Club a 7-1 drubbing on Saturday at the NMI Soccer Training Center.

SEOUL (Reuters) — South Korea reported a jump in new coronavirus cases on Wednesday as authorities tested hundreds of staff at a call center where the disease appeared this week, reversing 11 days of slowing infections, health officials said.

MANILA (The Philippine Star) — Filipino-Americans should support the reelection of U.S. President Donald Trump, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised press conference Monday night in Malacañang, the presidential palace.

(CHCC) — The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has launched new check-in kiosks for appointments made with the Family Care Clinic and Women’s Clinic. These kiosks will allow patients to quickly check themselves in without having to take a number and wait to be called to the registration desk. CHCC hopes that the kiosks will help to minimize wait times and make it easier for patients to check in for scheduled appointments.

(Department of Public Safety) — As of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, there is no change in status on the current situation in San Antonio, Saipan. Residents near the immediate area were evacuated earlier this morning, and are asked to stay clear of the immediate area until DPS states that it is safe to return. DPS is asking parents to refrain from allowing their children to roam freely near or around the area of San Antonio. DPS is also asking motorists to consider alternate routes when planning to drive through the village of San Antonio. The department will release more information on the current situation once it becomes available.

(Department of Public Safety) — As of 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, there is no change in the current situation in San Antonio, Saipan. Residents near the immediate area were evacuated earlier this morning, and are asked to stay clear of the immediate area until DPS states that it is safe to return.   DPS is asking parents to refrain from allowing their children near or around the area of San Antonio The department will release more information on the current situation once it becomes available.

(Department of Public Safety) — At approximately 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, the suspect discharged several more rounds toward an area where officers were posted. At this time there are no reported injuries from the those rounds that have been discharged.
At about 11:57 a.m., officers delivered another package of consumables to the suspect. Negotiations for his surrender are still ongoing.
Residents in the immediate area have been evacuated, and are asked to stay clear of the immediate area until police state that it is safe to return to the area.
DPS is asking parents to not allow their children near or around the area of San Antonio, Saipan at this time.
The department will release more information on the current situation once it becomes available.

(Department of Public Safety) — As of 8:30 Wednesday morning, law enforcement officers are still at the scene.
Since Tuesday night, negotiations have been ongoing. The suspect initially disconnected the phone line until he requested for food and a drink. Negotiations are ongoing by means of megaphone.
Beginning from 7:14 a.m., through 7:53 a.m., the suspect had fired two rounds a few times, totaling the six rounds heard in the area this morning.
Residents in the immediate area have been evacuated, and are asked to stay clear of the immediate area until police state that it is safe to return to the area.
DPS is asking parents to not release their children near or around the area of San Antonio.
DPS will release more information on the current situation once it becomes available.

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Saipan’s recreational western beaches and storm drainages every week as part of a regularly scheduled sampling program.

(Press Release) — The court hearing (arraignment) on Thursday, March 12, for parties with traffic citations will be held at the Marianas Business Plaza, 2nd floor, Courtroom 212B.

(NMC) — As part of its commitment to expanding educational opportunities in the Marianas, J.C. Tenorio Enterprises has donated $5,000 in cash and in-kind donations to the Northern Marianas College Foundation.

TO provide community members with information about the services provided by various organizations, the State Workforce Development Board will hold a Workforce Resource Fair today, Wednesday, at the multi-purpose center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

A MAN discharged his firearm and held his girlfriend hostage in San Antonio on Tuesday afternoon after police attempted to serve an arrest warrant on him.

IN light of French government and Amazon threats to stamp out sellers hiking prices for coronavirus-​affected products (such as face masks and hand sanitizer), I make the case for allowing market prices to work in the face of near-​term shortages.

THE Kanoa Football Club continued to assert its dominance in the U16 Boys Division of the Youth League Spring 2020 after a blowout victory against the Matansa Football Club, 9-0, on Saturday at the NMI Soccer Training Center.

JOE Diaz, head coach and founder of the NMI Rollers Basketball Association, will hold open tryouts for all CNMI basketball players. Those chosen will play in an exhibition match against the Guam National Team.

MONDAY’S news story, “Commissioner Ada Signs Injunction,” should have stated that he signed an injunction request.

PAGO PAGO (RNZ Pacific/Pacnews) — American Samoa has revised its advisory so U.S passport holders and the residents travelling from U.S states with Covid-19 cases will not have to spend 14 days in Hawai’i and obtain a health clearance three days before arrival.

(CHCC) — The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. would like to make the public aware of two upcoming events aimed at providing the public with more information regarding the ongoing international Covid-19 outbreak, including updates on CNMI and CHCC preparedness activities and information on personal protection measures against Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses.

HAGÅTÑA — Guam Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero on Monday unveiled a $40 million temporary economic relief package to assist the local community in mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak which has paralyzed the travel industry and is threatening to bring the global economy to a standstill.

(NMC) — In its longstanding efforts to support local, higher education in the CNMI, Bank of Guam has graciously made a $5,000.00 monetary donation to the Northern Marianas College Foundation.

(Press Release) — The March 14 Democratic Presidential Caucus will be the first step in the NMI’s participation in this process. At the caucus Democrats will elect delegates to attend the National Convention according to Presidential preference group. The caucus will be held on Saipan i the World Resort’s Taga Ballroom, with simultaneous sub-caucuses to be held at the Northern Marianas College on Tinian - Room C, (VTC Room) and Rota - Room B2 (VTC Room). Doors open at 5 p.m. with doors closing for the caucuses to begin promptly at 6 p.m.

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Monday said the CNMI government may not have enough funds to pay for its employees’ 64 working hours, which means that more budget cuts may be necessary in light of the continuing decline in tourist arrivals due to cancelation of flights from South Korea.

FOR 13 years, Puerto Rico has been in a man-made recession aggravated by natural disasters. In 2017 the island territory asked a federal court for bankruptcy protection, but it’s still grappling with $70 billion in debt. Puerto Rico’s fiscal fiasco offers a glimpse of what the future could hold for Illinois if it doesn’t deal with its own self-imposed economic disaster.

THE financial disaster facing the U.S., the CNMI and others is a reality check on world leaders. God has spoken clearly with this coronavirus.

BLUE Haus and Blue Eagle A+ defeated their respective opponents to win the championships in the masters and open divisions of the United Filipino Organization-IT&E Basketball League on Sunday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — On March 5, 2020, the board of trustees of the FSM Trust Fund met in the State of Pohnpei with Maggie Ralbovsky, the investment advisor and chartered financial analyst from Wilshire Associates who has been providing innovative investment solutions and objective, independent investment advice to the FSM.

MAJURO — The Marshall Islands took the unprecedented action Sunday of closing off all airline travel into the country for a two-week period in an effort to prevent importation of the coronarivus or Covid-19.

(Press Release) — The Philippine Consulate General’s Office on Guam, in partnership with the Philippine Honorary Consulate Mission-CNMI, successfully held a four-day mobile service on Saipan, with over a thousand Filipino nationals availing themselves of various consular services.

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — Although the minimum wage increase is supposed to benefit about 3,500 workers, some local business owners believe it couldn’t be happening at a worse possible time.

THE Senate on Friday unanimously confirmed the appointment of Deron Mendiola to serve as a member of the Northern Marianas Technical Institute board of trustees.

ASSISTANT U.S. Attorney Benjamin Petersburg, the elder justice coordinator of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Districts of Guam and the NMI conducted a presentation on fraud and financial abuse presentation for the manamko’ at the Senior Citizens Center on Feb. 27, 2020.

CUSTOMS Division Director Jose Mafnas said he “came in peace” when he attended the Saipan Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting at the Pacific Islands Club Charley’s Cabaret on Wednesday last week to explain his support of the legislation to eliminate the 30-day grace period in paying excise tax.

(CHCC) — The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. would like to advise the public that the suspected Covid-19 case mentioned in a health advisory released on Thursday, March 5, has been confirmed negative for Covid-19 through additional clinical assessment and extensive consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The patient has additional symptoms that are not consistent with Covid-19, and was diagnosed with a different upper respiratory illness.

NEW YORK — Financial markets and economic forecasters are warning of rising risks for the U.S. and global economy, which were improving before the novel coronavirus spread from China around the world.

(Commonwealth Utilities Corp.) — There will be a scheduled water service interruption on the following date, time and locations:

(MVA) — Gov. Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres led a delegation from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in a series of meetings with key Korea tourism partners on Feb. 21, 2020, in Seoul, South Korea.

HONOLULU (Press Release) — The State of Hawaii confirmed its first case of coronavirus or Covid-19 in the islands. We want you to know that at First Hawaiian Bank, our primary concern is the health and safety of our customers, employees and the communities we serve. We are closely monitoring the potential impact on our community.

(CNMI Office of the Attorney General) — A Declaration of Significant Emergency was issued by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres on Jan. 29, 2020 and renewed on Feb. 28, 2020 as a result over the growing concerns of the coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19. Consumers should be aware, and retailers are on notice, that it is illegal to engage in price gouging following a state of emergency.

FEDERAL and local law enforcement officers in full gear conducted an extensive search at Marianas High School on Friday, around 1 p.m., after it received an email threat from a student account.

AMID a steep decline in tourist arrivals that has resulted in an economic slowdown, the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has been seeing a drop of almost 25% in overall demand for power since last month, CUC Executive Director Gary Camacho said.

BECAUSE Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig and his co-defendant Evelyn Atalig believe that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Public Auditor agents materially misrepresented what was said by witnesses they interviewed, the defendants plan to call an FBI interviewing expert to testify on their behalf at the trial.

THIS is pretty astounding. Both MSNBC’s Brian Williams and his guest Mara Gay of the New York Times seem to believe that if you split the $500 million that Mike Bloomberg spent on television advertising among 327 million Americans, every American would receive a million dollars. This isn’t an offhand, doing-the-math-in-their head comment; they do a whole segment around this argument.

ONCE again local, regional, national and international news reports are giving history buffs in the Marianas some excellent meat to chew on.

THE MARIANAS won the $2,000 first prize in the inaugural Wahoo in the Marianas fishing tournament by reeling in a 33.6 lbs catch on Saturday at the Smiling Cove Marina.

MAJURO — Hawaii laboratory tests for a suspected coronavirus case in the Marshall Islands are negative for the illness, reported the Ministry of Health and Human Services Saturday night.

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — The 21st Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia began its fourth special session on March 5, 2020. After the opening session, FSM Vice President Yosiwo P. George, received the Committee to Wait, chaired by Ferny S. Perman, with committee members Joseph J. Urusemal,Aren B. Palik, and Paliknoa K. Welly, to discuss their agenda for this session of the FSM Congress.

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will declare a state of public health emergency after the Department of Health or DOH confirmed the local transmission of the virus that causes the Covid-19 acute respiratory disease, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Saturday.

(JKPL) — In celebration of Women’s Month, the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library invites our community to a month-long celebration of women’s activities. During Women’s Month, we highlight the contributions of women in history, culture, and contemporary society; we promote, inform, and engage women as stakeholders of government programs and services; we create and facilitate programs to discuss good practices, gaps, challenges, and commitments in pursuing gender and development; and we inspire and empower women and girls to be agents of change.

(DPS) — Juan Sablan Ada remains wanted by authorities pursuant to an arrest warrant issued by the judges of the Superior Court for the charges of illegal possession and trafficking of controlled substance with a cash bail set at $100,000.

(CHCC) — The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. would like to advise the public that the suspected Covid-19 case mentioned in a health advisory released on Thursday, March 5, has been confirmed negative for Covid-19 through additional clinical assessment and extensive consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The patient has additional symptoms that are not consistent with Covid-19, and was diagnosed with a different upper respiratory illness.
It is important to note that there are a variety of upper respiratory diseases with symptoms similar to Covid-19, especially in the early stages (cough, fever, difficulty breathing). In order to not overwhelm testing facilities, it is imperative that clinicians stay up to date with the latest case definition for Covid-19, and rule out other possible causes of a patient’s symptoms. CHCC would like to thank the CDC and local clinicians for their timely guidance and thorough examination of this case.
CHCC would also like to remind the public that best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19 and other illnesses is to practice good basic health and hygiene. For more information, reach out to the CHCC Public Health and Hospital Emergency
Preparedness Program surveillance unit at (670)234-8950 or go to www.chcc.gov.mp

(JKPL) — This week, in celebration of Read Across America Day, aka Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library invites you and your little ones to a carnival of crafts, Mommy-and-Me Reading Time, face painting, Dr. Seuss photo stage, special guest Dr. Seuss and read aloud activities in the Children’s Library. The celebration continues! Please join us…

(BECQ) — The Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality analyzes water samples collected from Managaha’s recreational beaches this week.

(Press Release) — On Saturday, March 7, 2020, in collaboration with the Saipan Fishermen’s Association, the PSS Tasi To Table Fishing Clubs will be hosting the first ever Wahoo in the Marianas fishing tournament.

(MVA) — The Marianas Visitors Authority presented its annual Marianas Seminar & Workshop series in Japan last week, touting direct, daily service by Skymark Airlines in a bid to woo Japanese travelers at a time when tourism is declining globally due to Covid-19.

WHEN Dr. Ron Snyder, the headmaster of Saipan International School, came to Saipan in 2016, little did he know that his experience with virtual learning would be put to the test again.

(MCS) — Mount Carmel School congratulates all the young scientists and inventors who are winners of this year’s MCS STEM Fair:

(DPS) — On Thursday, February 20, 2020, at about 11:50 a.m., the Department of Public Safety received a walk-in complaint reporting a theft incident at the victims’ home in Dandan. Police documented the report and interviewed the victims.

(Office of the Governor) — On Thursday, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres issued Executive Order 2020-03, declaring a price freeze to protect CNMI residents during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and the unexpected economic downturn.