Paramedic’s body recovered
The body of paramedic Hsu Huan-mao (許煥懋) and the black box from the Sunrise Airlines Co helicopter that crashed on Kinmen on Friday were retrieved from the wreckage yesterday. Aviation Safety Council investigator Li Pao-kang (李寶康) said the black box would be sent to the council in the hope that the communications record and flight data would shed some light on the causes of the accident. The helicopter was on its way back to Kinmen following a mission when it crashed in the sea off Shangyi Airport at 4:20am on Friday morning. Pilot Chao Chia-jui (趙家瑞) survived the crash and was rescued, while copilot Wu Chao-kang’s (吳照剛) body was retrieved on Friday.
Janice Lai to visit Beijing
Tourism Bureau Director General Janice Lai (賴瑟珍) is planning to leave for Beijing on Friday, where she is scheduled to meet with China’s National Tourism Administration Director Shao Qiwei (邵琪偉). Lai will meet with Shao as Taiwan Strait Tourism Association chairwoman and Shao, in turn, as Cross-Strait Travel Exchange Association chairman. “The focus will be on elevating the quality of travel for Chinese tourists, not on increasing the numbers,” Lai said in press briefing last week. She said statistics from China showed that the number of Chinese tourists traveling overseas had dropped by 50 percent last month. She said the bureau estimates that numbers would start rebounding next month and though the nation has seen a decline in the numbers of Chinese tourists, the average number of had returned to about 1,000 per day last week. Some Taiwanese travel agents have complained that they are not receiving payments from Chinese travel agencies who have sent tour groups. Lai said while she would advise Chinese officials of the problem, travel agents cannot hold the government accountable for their not being able to collect payments from their Chinese counterparts. “The travel agents must be careful when choosing their partners,” she said. As more travel agencies face financial problems amid the recession, Lai said the bureau has consulted with the Ministry of Economic Affairs to offer subsidies on interest payments.
Chiayi to host conference
The mayor of Chiayi signed an agreement with World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) chairman Leon Bly on Saturday to host the association’s conference in 2011. Mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) signed the agreement while attending the July 5 to July 11 WASBE conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, finalizing a bid that began when Chiayi won the right to host the 2011 event at the 2007 conference in the Irish town of Killarney. The first WASBE conference was held in the Norwegian city of Skien in 1983 and since then, composers, performers, publishers, music teachers and instrument makers have met every two years in either Europe, Africa, North America or Asia. Chiayi City, which has sponsored wind band festivals annually since 1993.
Beach blaze contained
A blaze broke out on a beach on the north coast in the early hours of Saturday, but firefighters extinguished it before it became dangerous, local police said. A witness said he saw a group of teenagers barbecuing at the beach and that they had probably failed to extinguish a fire before they left. The blaze occurred not far from Fulong Beach in Gongliao Township, the venue of the three-day Ho-Hai-Yan Rock Festival.