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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

CNMI's Torres at Bush state funeral and Interior, FEMA

No one can accuse Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island Gov. Ralph DLG Torres of not attending to crucial business for his Yutu-hard hit islands, while fulfilling ceremonial duties in the nation's capital at the state funeral of former President George H. W. Bush.

During the state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral, the CNMI flag was flown with those of the 17 other states and territories in attendance.

Delegates Aumua Amata Radewagen of American Samoa, Madeleine Z. Bordallo of Guam with Governor Torres and First Lady Diann at the state funeral

“A very solemn memorial tribute for a great statesman who led our nation through the end of the Cold War with humility and dignity. When he was Vice President, he visited Saipan in 1985 to tour WWII sites and meet with our leaders, including Gov. [Pedro P. Tenorio]. He was a former WWII Naval aviator in the Pacific,” Torres said.

After the ceremony, Gov. Torres proceeded to scheduled meetings at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters, where he met with FEMA Administrator Brock Long to discuss the ongoing recovery efforts in the wake of Super Typhoon Yutu.

“Administrator Long has been such a critical partner for us since before the storm and has assured me and the CNMI that FEMA and our federal partners will do everything they can to help us on our road to recovery. I thank them and the entire FEMA and federal family on island and from around the country for being away from home and helping us during our time of need,” Torres said.

Later that same day, Gov. Torres met with officials at the Department of the Interior, including Secretary Ryan Zinke and Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech. Zinke and Domenech visited Saipan and Tinian in September, when they met with the Governor and his executive team, as well as members of the legislature and private sector leaders.

"Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech [and] Office of Insular Affairs Director Nik Pula have been true partners for the CNMI, and they strongly supported our recovery with $1.6 million in OIA technical assistance and CIP funding. We’re working on more federal assistance in the near future,” Gov. Torres said.

From Washington, the governor flies to Hawaii, where he has scheduled meetings for the Western Governors Association and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. At the WGA Winter Meeting, Gov. Torres will join the Western Governors in roundtable discussions on renewable energy, the outdoor recreation economy, healthcare, veterans’ issues and the Western Governors’ Biosecurity and Invasive Species Initiative. They will also meet with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on farming issues, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie on veterans’ issues, and US Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon on disaster assistance and workforce development.


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