P7 TT to study alcohol abuse problem The Headquarters Division of Community Development reports that a contract is being prepared with James R. Leonard Associates to undertake a study on the problem of alcohol abuse in the TT and how it relates to the growing problem of juvenile delinquency.
P9 Independence or statehood The Marshall Islands will seek separate status talks if the Congress of Micronesia fails to approve revenue sharing, according to Senator Amata Kabua. “The Marshallese are suffering because they always have been thought of as the richest people in the TT,” he said. Senator Kabua describes such a belief as a “fallacy.” “Our people are suffering widespread diabetes because of the food situation. The Marshallese diet is very poor. The key to this problem is money so that we can feed our people…We who are sacrificing our lands for the military should benefit most from that presence.” In terms of future status talks, Senator Kabua stated, “We don’t believe in a middle road. We would seek either independence or statehood.”
P2 Monday fire at GBC Fire trucks, police and crowds of onlookers converged on Gushi Brothers store for what turned out to be a short-lived fire early Monday afternoon. Damage was slight, manager Ben Chutaro said afterwards. Within minutes of the fire, Chutaro was arranging with MEC to install a new heavy-duty line into the building.
P4 Good for business There were a few folks who weren’t bothered by the 22-hour power outage in Majuro over the weekend. Word has it that Tide Table manager Al Wong sent a message down to the MEC crew working on the cracked pipe by the power plant. The message? “No hurry, boys.” Al was doing a bang up business with nobody able to cook at home.
P5 Get down Put 20 youth together with guitars and ukuleles and what do you get? A lot of fun and some hip-shaking action. That was the scene at the CMI cafeteria Friday evening at the concluding program of the Youth to Youth in Health outer islands youth health leadership seminar.
P8 New capital building close to completion Marshall Islands new four story capital building is nearing completion, with the installation of hundreds of glass panes that reflect the setting afternoon light.
P3 Store closed for smuggled smokes Local police shut down a small business in downtown Uliga Tuesday for illegally selling cigarettes. “We caught them red-handed,” said Majuro Atoll Local Government tax official Waylon Muller. MALGov staff, including Muller, bought packages of cigarettes at the store for $1, confirming that the store has been importing cigarettes without paying required import taxes, he said. Linda store is located next to Bilimon’s in downtown.
P3 Budget hits hard on health, education With Compact funding for the ministries of Health and Education going way up for 2004, the RMI budget committee has slashed funding from local revenues to these two ministries so their total budgets will be the same as this year. “We can’t tolerate this,” said Education Minister Wilfred Kendall. “We’re telling the world that education is not a priority.” “If health is a priority,” asked hospital administrator Sandy Alfred, “why are we taking the basis of our existence — local tax revenues — and giving it to other ministries?”