P2 Catch of the day The Marshall Islands Fishing Team took second place in the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament at Kona. The star was Wally Milne. He caught four fish in four consecutive days. That’s a world record. He also caught the largest fish in the tournament, a 573.5 pound marlin.
P3 RepMar vehicles impounded The Majuro police cracked down on government vehicle abuse again this week. Five RepMar vehicles were stopped on Labor Day and impounded at the police department. They were being used for personal use and not government business.
P7 Filled to bursting The Micro Palm left Majuro last week on a student run to Jaluit. It was also returning dancing teams to Ebon and Namdrik atolls. As the vessel left the dock, it was seen listing to port because all 500 passengers moved to one side to wave goodbye to Majuro.
P1 The most wanted man in Majuro The Australian Prime Minister John Howard has been dogged by a deluge of press reporters, interviewers and photographers following his every move during the South Pacific Forum, his first overseas trip since being elected in March. At every opportunity the pack of news hounds have pushed big furry microphones, tape recorders and impressive looking cameras within inches of the new leader who has remained calm, cool and relaxed, hospitable to their persistent demands.
P1 Striking home The future of the Pacific is the focus of Forum leaders in Majuro this week. Next week, however, the future of the Marshall Islands will take front seat as the government prepares to introduce the fiscal year 1997 budget, which is expected to cut 200 government workers, legislate an across-the-board 20 percent cut for government ministries, and amend a tax law passed earlier this year.
P10 ‘Meetingitis’ epidemic Government officials in the Pacific are traveling too much, a top academic said in the Fiji Times last week. Pacific island countries have become weakened in their ability to make independent decisions, brainstorm and strategize because their best bureaucrats are traveling most of the time, says University of Fiji Vice-Chancellor Prof. Rajesh Chandra. Pacific countries suffer from “meetingitis,” he said.
P18 The All-Ben tourney Immediately after weighing in his 597-pound marlin, which earned him $10,000 for breaking the All-Mike record, XXXX skipper Ben Reimers did what any suddenly rich person would do — he started cleaning the cockpit of his fire engine red boat, completely ignored the paparazzi and their lurking cameras. Meanwhile, not far away and grinning from ear to ear was the tournament’s international winner: Noel Boylan of Team Pohnpei Continental #1, who weighed in a 333-pound Marlin and tagged and released three others.
P20 Three cheers for the Peleliu The USS Peleliu wrapped up its weeklong visit on Wednesday, going out with a bang. The “bang” didn’t emanate from guns on board, but came in the form of 30 pallets — thousands of pound worth — of goodies, ranging from sports equipment to medical supplies, donated to local non-government organizations, including the Salvation Army, KIO Club, and the Marshall Islands Council of NGOs. Marshallese throughout Kwajalein and Majuro atolls, as well as on several outer islands, lined up by the thousands to see doctors, dentists and nurses from the Peleliu working with Ministry of Health staff. The USS Peleliu’s basketball team knocked off three Majuro teams over successive nights last weekend, demonstrating good use of its heigh advantage and also showing that being on board a ship for four months did not diminish their skills or fitness levels.
P35 Hungry kids get lunch program At a Nitijela Committee of the Whole meeting with the Ministry of Education, Education Secretary Biram Stege said school principals have brought to the ministry’s attention that children are “coming to school hungry.” This is a factor causing poor student performance and poor attendance, she said. The ministry has introduced a lunch program to respond to the hunger problem. “Since the lunch program started, there has been an increase in school attendance,” she said.