P1 Judge to police: Clean up your act The High Court put the police department on notice that it better get its act together or face severe penalties. Chief Justice AD Tennekone’s sharp criticism was triggered by what he said has been a consistent pattern of police being unable to get prisoners to court on time for trials and hearings, or even to provide an accurate list of the names of prisoners currently in jail.
P1 Bitter medicine must be swallowed It’s going to get worse before it gets better: but biting the bullet now and using the next two-to-three years to develop a positive way out of the Marshalls current economic malaise is the only way to go, according to the leader of an International Monetary Fund team that visited this week. “The next two-to-three years are going to be tough,” said IMF team leader Christopher Brown. “We don’t want the next 20 years to be tough, too.” The land tenure system remains an impediment to development, and anything that can be done in this regard will improve the situation, he said. But, he added, like decisions about whether to lower salaries or lay off workers, these choices have to be made by political leaders.
P1 Businessman Kimbar Peter dies unexpectedly The Majuro community was saddened this past week by the unexpected and sudden death of Kimbar Peter, a well-known and respected businessman and community supporter. He was in the process of boarding the Continental flight to Hawaii on Monday evening when he was struck by an apparent heart attack. Kimbar had a reputation for friendly bluntness, honesty, fair dealing and volunteerism. He represented the Marshalls in basketball at the first Micronesian Games in Guam in 1969, and sponsored the Brand-X basketball team, in which he was involved as an active participant in an often energetic manner, as anyone who refereed a game of his can attest.
P18 Hawks the best Majuro Basketball League championship title went to the Hawks after they defeated the Continental Jets in game four last week. Hawks won the first two of the best of five series 83-70 and 75-73. The Jets bounced back in game three, winning 75-72. Alber Alik and Rantly Kattil led the Hawks, while the Jets’Jeffery scored 20 points, while teammates Peter Tokanang and Vincent Tani scored 14 each in the final game.
P1 New hospital set to start A new hospital facility — the largest government-funded project in the history of the RMI — will be built in Majuro over the next five years, replacing the existing “old hospital” facilities in Delap. It is estimated to be a 120-bed hospital, approximately $30 million project largely funded by the United States.
P12 Election warming It’s an election year, so everyone expects lots of interesting things to happen. People have been watching over the past year the increasing muscle flexing by Speaker Litokwa Tomeing and his team of committee chairmen senators, who have voted on several occasions against their own party. But MEC’s financial problems over the past year have sparked another set of sides, with the lines being drawn between an MEC gang on one hand, and a PII gang on the other. That’s because PII made a bid to manage MEC and long-standing rivalries between the head honchoes of these companies have come to a head as MEC hit the ropes financially. This has interesting ramifications. On the MEC “side” is, of course, MEC boss Billy Roberts. He’s joined by such luminaries as President Kessai Note, Public Works Minister Mattlan Zackhras, Senator Alik Alik, Charles Domnick and others. On the PII side is PII boss Jerry Kramer, former Chief Secretary Bobby Muller, Ministers Brenson Wase and Gerald Zackios, among others. Further ramifications of this two-team split are that Chamber of Commerce President Jack Niedenthal is painted as a PII team member, while Journal editor Giff Johnson is dressed in an MEC-designed cloak. This is all just pre-election stuff. Wait until October. Then we can all start really hating each other seriously.