P1 Flu got you? The present influenza epidemic still has a firm grip on most of the Marshalls District. As of Thursday, all islands, except the southern islands, had reported cases of the flu, according to Dr. John Iaman, district director of Health Services. Iaman said during the past week 977 cases of flu were reported to the hospital.
P1 Sorry …For the small size of this week’s Micronitor. But not even newspapers are immune from the flu. The entire staff (except one) was wiped out for at least three days this past week. We’ll catch up with the news in next Saturday’s edition.
P1 Nobody better! The RRE compound was buzzing with activity last weekend for the grand final of the battle of the bands. First place went to Kabol Lal II. Second place was Pej Beto and third was Jabat Deep Blue Sea with J-lik J-war.
P7 Bridge collapses The one-time world’s longest single-span bridge which connected the capital of Koror in Palau with Babeldaob Island collapsed Thursday during rush hour and resulted in at least one death and numerous injuries. Power to the capital was severed due to the fact Koror’s power plant is located in Babeldaob.
P13 Rongelap resettlement: $45 million agreed In a rare ceremony held in the office of the Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbit, an agreement was signed last week under which the US will provide $45 million to assist the Rongelap people in a resettlement.
P3 AMI plane woes slash Bikini dive revenues Scuba divers planning to fly to Bikini this week had their plans derailed by Air Marshall Islands, which canceled the regular Wednesday flight for lack of pilots. The ongoing cancellations by AMI — that started with the shutdown of all flights for three weeks in mid-August — has seriously damaged the Bikini Atoll Dive program, with losses estimated at $100,000 since a group of divers were stranded for four days at Bikini and had to be picked up by the RMI Lomor patrol vessel.
P10 US objects to Senate N-test health fund plan The Bush administration strongly opposes US Senate legislation to provide health care funding and other benefits to nuclear test-affected islands in the Marshalls. US Interior Department Acting Director of the Office of Insular Affairs Tom Bussanich delivered the administration’s opposition to Senate Energy Committee Chairman Senator Jeff Bingaman’s proposed legislation at a hearing in Washington last week. He said the administration is opposed to three of the four-point legislation, and is still studying the implications of the final point. Section 2 of the bill would require the Department of Energy to survey radiological conditions at the Runit Dome every four years. “The administration believes that current and future plans for surveying Runit Dome and aiding the government of the Marshall Islands in its assessment of conditions at Runit Island are sufficient to monitor safety,” Bussanich said, adding the “administration does not support a permanent appropriation of $2 million for (the 177 Health Plan) program.”
P24 Challenging restaurant review It’s getting kind of hard to come up with a new angle for our regular restaurant guide column — after all Majuro has only so many restaurants, and what with economic doldrums, the usual distraction of imminent national elections, the request to have yourself sit for a while in front of a portable Smith-Corona and pound out a communication relative to restauranting in the nation’s capital (without dipping into the must-be avoided area of duplication) requires more than a modicum of thought and imagination and might just cause you to stumble blindingly into a run-on sentence of monumental proportions. Phew!
P26 RMI: 4th largest registry With a fleet of more than 1,500 vessels weighing in at 37 million gross tons, the Marshall Islands now has the world’s fourth largest maritime registry, according to Maritime Global Net news. It is one of the few international registries that qualifies for the US Coast Guard Qualship 21 program.
P33 JOCV sends smiles to Likiep Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer Gaku Hashimoto arrived in Majuro last week with a big smile on his face, which we’re sure will win the hearts and minds of the students at Likiep Elementary School. Hashimoto, the newest JOCV member to grave the islands, will be teaching math to the lucky students at Likiep.