What's Happening

Fautasi captains say $1,000 fee too high

The office of Samoan Affairs has been asked to reduce the entry fee for the Flag day fautasi race. 

'Get into your sanctuary campaign' kicks off

Getting residents to experience, explore, discover and learn about the National Marine Sanctuaries of American Samoa is the aim of a campaign that was launched this morning at the Tauese P. Sunia Ocean Center in Utulei.  

Alliance loses tax exempt status

The Alliance for Stgrengthening Families has lost its non profit 501 (c) 3 tax exempt status because the group failed to submit necessary paperwork to the Internal Revenue Service. 

Woman admits to embezzling $11,000

A former employee of GHC Reid Inc., admitted today in High Court to embezzling more than $11,000 from the company in 2010.  

AVM optimistic it will start construction soon

The owner of the filipino company aiming to set up a manufacturing plant to produce Made in American Samoa food items is optimistic that the project will get off the ground soon.   

Stomach flu cases up this week

The Department of Health said in a Communicable Disease report that the week ending yesterday showed above levels for flu-like symptoms, acute fever and rash, and gastroenteritis or the stomach flu. 

Funding for CJPA on the decline

The Criminal Justice Planning Agency is proceeding with caution and is carefully reviewing all active grants it administers as it waits to hear from the US Department of Justice regarding funding for Fiscal Year 2015.


Coral bleaching spreading fast

An off island team is working with the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa to document and capture the severe coral bleaching affecting the territory’s corals. 

Polynesian gets 30 day pass for Manu'a flights

The US Department of Transportation has again given the green light to Polynesian Airlines to continue flights to Manu’a for 30 days, but not longer as the Samoa based carrier had hoped. 

Still no word on tax refund checks

As February draws to a close, residents are still waiting for word on when tax refund checks will be issued.  

Public Defender's take on drop in prosecutions

The Office of the Public Defender has weighed in on why there’s been a decline in the number of cases prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office in the past year. 

Samoa soon to pick new marine cable

The Government of Samoa is on the verge of making a decision on a new submarine fiber optic cable for the country. 

Board of Inquiry reviews case of Lt. who released inmates

A Board of Inquiry at the Department of Public Safety is reviewing the case of a police lieutenant who released three inmates and ordered a guard to take them to Alofau last month.

BlueSky extends reach in Polynesia

The acquisition by Blue Sky Communications of the main phone company in the Cook Islands, Telecom Cook Islands will see local personnel working in the Cook Islands and vice versa. 

Amata thanks Interior Secretary Jewell

Congresswoman Aumua Amata has thanked Interior Secretary Sally Jewell for her assistance during the shipping slowdown which affected the territory. 

Sailele backs into sunken vessel

The tugboat Sailele had to go up on drydock at the Satala shipyard this week to fix a propeller which was damaged when it backed into a vessel that’s half submerged at the service wharf since last year. 

Viena avoids jail time for ppd

Duke Viena has been ordered to attend alcohol counseling as part of his sentence for causing a public disturbance at his home in late December.

Chairman explains benefits of Honolulu meeting

The Chairman of the Board of the American Samoa Government Employees Retirement Fund explains the benefit of having lawmakers attend briefings by investment managers and financial advisors for the Fund.

DOC puts unemployment at 10.2%

The Department of Commerce puts the unemployment rate for American Samoa at 10.2%.


Bill to establish ASG bank remains unsigned

Last Thursday the bill to establish the Territorial Bank of American Samoa was submitted to the Governor's Office.  

Spreading the word about "Fa'a Samoa Initiative"

Representatives of the Troy and Theodora Polamalu Foundation are on island this week to promote the upcoming Polamalu summer youth camp. 

ASCC put on "show cause" status

There has been no statement from leaders of the American Samoa Community College regarding a decision by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges to place the school on “show cause” status.

CJ wants whole immigration file on felon

A hearing today to find out how a sex offender was able to re-enter American Samoa multiple times despite a stay away judgment has been continued to May so that the Immigration Office can present the offender’s entire Immigration file to the court.

AG's Office undergoes SORNA training

The staff of the Attorney General’s Office will be attending training off island as part of preparations for implementing legislation establishing a sex offender registry. 

PM says China fills the void others dont

Samoa Prime Minister has paid tribute to Samoa’s strong links with China at a conference at the National University of Samoa which is examining the China's role in the region. 

Two new leases approved for Industrial Park

Two new leases have been approved by the governor for parcels of land at the Industrial Park.


Caution urged on unfunded liability

The Chairman of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Senator Laolagi Vaeao says while the ASG Employee Retirement Fund is in a healthy position now care must be taken to ensure that the fund‘s future remains bright. 

Attention high school artists

For the first time local high school students can enter artwork in the Congressional Art Competition- An Artistic Discovery. 

NOAA scientists assess reefs

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA are conducting a reef assessment and monitoring cruise of US Pacific territories which includes American Samoa.   

Retirement Fund's net position grew 1%

The net position of the American Samoa government Employees Retirement Fund as of September 30 2014 increased 1% over the previous year.  

AG issues opinion on watermelon sales

A person must obtain a business license from the Department of Commerce plus an agricultural importation license from the Department of Agriculture before he can sell imported produce at the roadside. 

Off island mechanics work on 328 Dornier

Off island mechanics have been seen working on the 30 seater 328  Dornier aircraft belonging to Inter Island Airways, fueling speculation that the aircraft may be sold.  

Man enters plea deal in sex case

A man who committed sex acts to a nine-year-old girl has admitted to his crime. 

LFO report shows FY2014 in red, not black

While ASG has yet to close its books for fiscal Year 2014, its apparent that it will not finish the year in the black. 

DOC takes over ASG real estate properties

The Department of Commerce will be taking over the management of ASG’s real estate properties. 

Governor talks Chinese, climate change

Governor Lolo Moliga told the annual meeting of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas today that American Samoa is usually off Washington’s radar.

Man jailed for 20 months in sex case

A man who touched a 14-year-old relative in a sexual manner was sentenced today to serve 20 months in jail. 
Photo: DOI

Lolo: American Samoa deserves much better

Governor Lolo Moliga told federal officials at the annual meeting of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas in Washington, American Samoa “deserves much better” than the economic help it gets today.  

LBJ needs money & staff for mental health facility

The LBJ Hospital is reaching out to other government departments and agencies for help in recruiting and funding for qualified individuals to staff the mental health facility now under construction.

FASE President unhappy about salaries

The president of the Federation of American Samoa Educators is not happy that salary adjustments are already in place for new teachers for the Department of Education including those from Samoa.  

Mother Jones features citizenship case

The US citizenship case Tuaua vs the United States is featured in an article in the independent investigative news magazine Mother Jones.   

Spending to fix deficiencies, not in LBJ budget

The LBJ Hospital is spending a lot of money that wasn't budgeted to address citations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. 

Salaries of teachers from Samoa adjusted

The Department of Education has adjusted the salaries of teachers hired from Samoa last year.  

SeaJade brings relief

Store shelves should be restocked by the end of today with the arrival of the Polynesia Line vessel SeaJade.   

Honest Tax Office employees praised

The Tax Office employee who turned over $1,000 in cash that a businessman gave him in order to make the businessman’s tax problems go away is Tim Mauga who has only been with the Tax Office for about a year. 

Treasury report not forthcoming

The administration is not as transparent as it used to be in its quarterly performance reports.


Chamber says lessons learned from delays

The Chamber of Commerce welcomes news that the two sides in a labor dispute that’s caused shopping delays from the US west coast have reached a tentative agreement.

KVZK-TV says sorry for not airing "The Oscars"

Director of KVZK-TV Office of Public Information has issued a statement apologizing to viewers for the government TV’s failure to air The Oscars as planned.

Taylor Va'alele Jessop offered 2nd appointment

Local student Taylor Va’alele Jessop has been accepted by the US Army Military Academy at West Point.  

President of Ocean Star Enterprises charged

A businessman was charged today with bribery of a public servant after he allegedly tried to pay off a Tax Office employee to make his tax problems go away. 

BlueSky acquires Telecom Cook Islands

The Bluesky Group has extended its reach to the Cook Islands with a 60% interest In the main phone company in the Cook Islands Telecom Cook Islands.  

ASTCA can look forward to e-Rate payments

Some new cash should be flowing in to the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority.


IGIA plenary session is tomorrow

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and White House Intergovernmental Affairs Director Jerry Abramson will co-host the 2015 Senior Plenary Session of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA).

Businessman arrested for bribe attempt

An Asian businessman was arrested Friday for allegedly trying to bribe a Tax Office employee. 

Amata relieved labor dispute settled

News that employers and dock workers involved in a nine month long dispute have reached a tentative agreement brings relief to importers, the canneries, ASG and residents.   

Entry level salary for police will be hiked

The entry level salaries of police officers will be increased from $10,000 to $15,000 under a salary reclassification for the police force.    

Climate change and crown of thorns a worry

The impact of climate change and the crown of thorns outbreak to the territory’s coral reefs were two of the issues highlighted by the Director of Marine and Wildlife Resources in her remarks last week at the 33rd Meeting of the US Coral Reef Task Force.

Give Kids a Smile Day

More than 200 children had their teeth cleaned on Saturday during the Department of Health's Give Kids a Smile Day. 

Consolidated grant for DOE finally released

The Department of Education  can rest easy now that its Consolidated Grant for fiscal year 2015 from the US DOE has been released.    
Photo: BlueSky

BlueSky releases Yellow Pages Directory

BlueSky Communications has released a new yellow pages directory for American Samoa, the first phone directory for the territory in almost ten years. 

Man charged with trespassing into minister's home

A man accused of breaking into a minister's house and assaulting the minister's daughter was charged yesterday with assault, trespass and private peace disturbance.

Stolen vehicle found, police seek help in arrest

Police have located a vehicle which was stolen from the home of a senior manager of StarKist Samoa on the hill where company management live facing the cannery in Satala.  

Chamber hosts trade fair in April

A trade fair is on the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce's calendar in April  

KVZK-TV airs The Oscars live

  KVZK-TV will air live the 87th Academy Awards --The Oscars--  this Sunday at 1pm on Channel 5.

Commish says change of attitude needed

Since being confirmed as Commissioner of Public Safety, Save Liuato Tuitele has spent time getting to know the police ranks during training sessions he’s conducted.  

Request to use open process for monuments

Congresswoman Aumua Amata has signed a letter along with her colleagues to President Barak Obama requesting an open process when declaring sites to be national monuments. 

Second Friday is clean up day

Governor Lolo Moliga has declared the second Friday of every month as Island Wide Clean Up Day for American Samoa. 

Sex offender jailed for 8 years

A 24-year-old man who restrained and forcefully performed sex acts to a 14-year-old girl has been sent to jail for 8 years. 

Interim leaders now at helm of SPED

The Special Education Division of the Department of Education has undergone some leadership changes.   

Commissioner to begin drug tests for cops

Drug testing for police officers would be underway before the summer if Commissioner of Public safety Save Liuato Tuitele has his way.   

Talk: Who has ownership of the tatau?

A lecture about the Samoan traditional tattoo, the tatau, by High Talking Chief Teleiai Christian Ausage illustrated the changes in the ancient art form. 

Fono travels in force to Retirement Fund meet

More than 30 lawmakers and employees of the Fono attended the three day meeting of the Retirement Fund Board of Directors and its investment advisors in Honolulu this week.   

Commissioner to suspend work release

Commissioner of Public Safety Save Liuato Tuitele plans to suspend work release for inmates who are serving straight sentences until he has carried out a review of policies for the program. 

Aumua attends PBDC & CRTF meetings

Congresswoman Aumua Amata participated in meetings of  the Pacific Basin Development Council and the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force in the nation’s capital. 

Power outage cuts off water for several hours

A power outage in  parts of Tuala uta this afternoon not only left homes, businesses and schools without electricity but it also cut off water supply for several hours.  

Chamber Chairman laments lost opportunity

The chairman of the Chamber of Commerce David Robinson says the government’s charter bank has completely eliminated a good private sector opportunity through Community Bank. 

Save sets up Criminal Intelligence Center

The new commissioner of Public safety save Liuato Tuitele is hoping to get assistance from the US Army Military Police group, where he worked to help set up a criminal Intelligence Center for DPS.     

Work will begin soon on east side road

The next roads to be fixed under the Department of Public Work’s 3-R program, which is rehabilitate, restore and resurface are the road from Visa Point in Laulii to Fagaitua in the eastside and from Futiga to the Leone Bridge on the westside. 

Applications open for coral reef projects

Local groups can apply for funding that’s available from the Department of interior Office of Insular Affairs Coral Reef Initiative.  

Case of cop pushed to next week

The government’s case against a police detective Ioane Paselio was rescheduled to next week to allow Paselio and his attorney to review information in the case. 

Lucky 777 reopens, DOH satisfied

The Department of Health allowed Lucky 777 Restaurant to reopen for business yesterday afternoon following an inspection of the restaurant in the morning.

Chamber asked to help clean up

Representatives of the Island Wide Clean Up Committee yesterday appealed to members of the Chamber of Commerce to become partners in their efforts to make American Samoa trash free. 

Local longliners seek emergency assistance

The Tautai o Samoa Longline Association has written to NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service for an emergency authorization allowing longliners to fish within the 50 nautical mile closure known as the Large Vessel Prohibited Area. 

Court hears how a convict re-entered

A Samoa citizen convicted of a sexual offense in 2011 and banned from the territory was able to re-enter several times because he had two different names and only one of them was apparently on the Office of Immigration’s “Look Out” list.

Top speller is Debrina Su'a of Manulele

12-year-old Debrina Meggie Alaia Su’a of Manulele Elementary School spelling “adiposity” to cement her win in this year’s Samoa News Territorial Spelling Bee. 

USDA gives School Lunch flexibility

The grantor for the School Lunch Program the US Department of Agriculture has given flexibility to local vendors to obtain supplies from other sources while the territory is experiencing shipping delays from the US.  

Patitaoto Pati Faiai passes away

The first Samoan director of the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency and a chief of staff for three local governors, Patitaoto Faiai, has passed away.  

Bail for April Peric reduced to $25,000

The Trial Court has granted April Peric’s request to reduce her bail from $50,000. 

Packed off-island schedule for Gov Lolo

Meetings with potential investors, with airlines, the Pacific Basin development Council, National Governor’s Association, Inter agency group for insular areas, Interior Department and Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen are on Governor Lolo Moliga's off-island itinerary.

Cabinet again reminded to control spending

Before departing the territory last Friday, the governor reminded directors to control their spending.

Another drop in gas prices

Gas prices continue to drop.  

'Longliners should sell fish only to canneries'

An alia fisherman has asked the Senate to enact legislation barring longliners from selling their catches anywhere else but to the canneries. 

Father of teen driver in fatal accident charged

The government has filed criminal charges against the father of the teenager who was the driver of the vehicle that fatally hit his five year old relative last week in Fagasa. 

Community Bank (IO) not pursuing bank plans

The group of business people and residents who were trying to set up a commercial bank, Community Bank of American Samoa, will not proceed with their plan. 

Demolition of Rainmaker Hotel gets green light

Demolition of the old Rainmaker Hotel in Utulei has been given the green light after federal environmental and historical requirements have been met.  

Port awaits Polynesian decision on Ofu flights

Director of Port Administration Taimalelagi Dr. Claire Poumele is awaiting a response from Polynesian Airlines to her request for the airline to fly to Ofu island.   

It's Ash Wednesday

Some will turn up at work and school with cross signs on their foreheads today.  

ASG scouts for new financial system

Governor Lolo Moliga says the IFAS financial system is not meeting the needs of ASG and he has therefore asked directors for suggestions on a better system.

Territory loses pioneering Shevon

Leaders of SOFIA - the Society of Faafafine in American Samoa – say  the death of Solipolemioolemataaleipata Shevon Kaio Matai is a great loss to the faafafine community. 

Wednesday is last day for voter registration

The Election Office reminds voters of District #6, Sua #2 that voter registration will close tomorrow, February 18 at 4:30 p.m. 

Woman admits to breaking into judge's home

A woman who broke into the home of a judge and took off with $40 worth of coins and a pair of sandals have pleaded guilty to the crime. 

2015 Samoa Business Directory released

The 2015 Samoa Business directory which combines businesses, products and services in Samoa and American Samoa has just been released.   

Ten new school buses arriving soon

The Department of Education will soon take delivery of ten new school buses.  

No machine to test pesticide residue

Senator Leatualevao Asifoa is not at all happy that the Department of Agriculture has still not acquired equipment that can test for pesticide residues on locally grown vegetables and crops.

Court will hear Casamar request March 5

A hearing on a request by net repair company Casamar Inc., for a preliminary injunction to prevent ASG from interfering with their right to use the government property leased to them at the Fagatogo dock will be heard by the court early next month. 

Liana Gurr tops Science Fair again

Tafuna High School senior Liana Gurr is the overall winner of this year’s Secondary Science Fair. 

Governor has concerns about Fono changes

Governor Lolo Moliga has concerns that the amendments made by the Fono to the bill to set up the charter bank and holding company to oversee it may not be acceptable to Zions Bank, the corresponding bank for the government bank.   

Michigan attorney to head AS Legal Aid

The board of the American Samoa Legal Aid has hired Michigan attorney Martin Geer as its executive director. 

StarKist cleans up Bay Area

Hundreds of StarKist Samoa employees were out yesterday morning picking up trash from Fagaalu to Pago Pago. 

Teenage drive in fatal accident charged

The government has filed a criminal case against the teenager who was the driver of the vehicle that struck a five-year-old boy in Fagasa last week. 

Absentee voting begins for special election

Local absentee voting for voters of District #6, Sua #2 began today for eligible voters who will be off island March 20. 

Siaumau murder trial pushed back to August

Public Defender Douglas Fiaui will serve as co-counsel for murder defendant Siaumau Siaumau Jr. Siaumau is accused of the murder of police detective Lt Liusila Brown and the attempted murder of two other police officers in 2010. 

DOH shuts down Lucky 777 restaurant

The Department of Health shut down this afternoon the new restaurant Lucky 777 due to unsanitary conditions in its kitchen. 

Matagi fails Senate confirmation, Timusa cleared

Matagi Ray McMoore did not garner enough votes in the Senate to be confirmed as a member of the Immigration Board.

Samoa Shipping asks for consideration

The CEO for Apia’s Samoa Shipping Corporation has asked the US Coast Guard and officials of the American Samoa Government for flexibility when Samoa-based vessels come into port. 

Fagatogo begins construction of new fautasi

The village of Fagatogo held a prayer service Wdnesday to mark the beginning of construction of their new fautasi, Iseulaolemoana III.  

Bank bill approved, Senate forces House

The Senate basically forced the House of Representatives to accept their changes to the charter bank bill.

Tiotalaga John Kruse resigns

Chief Procurement Officer Tiotalaga John Kruse has submitted his resignation to Governor Lolo Moliga. 

Failure to pay lands TSA employee in jail

An employee of the Transportation Security Administration spent the past three weekends in jail after she failed to make payments for restitution ordered by the District Court last year. 

Am Samoa gets exemption at port of Oakland

American Samoa has been granted an exemption to the West Coast ports dispute for the Port of Oakland.

Two teens detained for trying to assault police

Two teenagers from Vaitogi were detained by police this week for allegedly interfering with police and for attempting to assault police officers.   

ANZ supports higher cap for small claims

According to testimony by bank officials, consumers will benefit from a bill which would raise the limit of claims that can be filed in small claims court from $3,000 to $7,500. 

Pro soccer player shares her talents

A professional female soccer player from the United States is on island to visit her family and to promote soccer to the youth.   

Flood & landslide victims get help

Governor Lolo and Lt Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga today presented financial assistance to families whose homes and property were damaged by the flooding and landslides that occurred last July. 

House refuses to go along with Senate

The House of Representatives will insist that the lt. governor, treasurer and director of commerce be members of the board of directors of the holding company for the Territorial Bank of American Samoa, as the administration had proposed. 

Arcadia passengers impressed

The town area was buzzing today with the visit of the cruise ship Arcadia. 

Vietnam to turn over $1.2 m to Governor Lolo

The $1.2 million that a hacker was able to electronically transfer from an ASG bank account to the Bank of Vietnam a few years ago will be officially returned soon.  

Five year old killed in accident

A five-year-old boy died in Fagasa this week after he was run over by a vehicle operated by a teenage relative. 

Senate approves charter bank bill with changes

The Senate has approved the House version of the bill to establish the Territorial Bank of American Samoa.  

Directors told to promote SSBCI

Governor Lolo has asked directors to get the word out about the State Small Business Credit Initiative and its benefit to the territory. 

Education and training grant for behavioral health

American Samoa is to benefit from a $900,000 grant that the US Department of Health and Human Services has awarded to the Pacific Behavioral Health Collaborating Council. 

Maryland student helps local youth

A high school student in Maryland has established a non profit organization to help American Samoa’s youth. 

No loading of vessels for the next four days

There are signs that the shipping situation will get worse before it gets better.    

Amata gets the ear of VA Secretary

American Samoa’s Congresswoman won a personal commitmentfrom the Secretary of  Veterans Affairs to sit down and address the island’s veterans needs directly.   

Three certified for Sua #2 Special Election

The three candidates who filed nominating petitions for the Special Election for Representative District No. 6, Sua #2 have now been certified by the Election Office to have their names placed on the ballot.   

Former shipping company boss jailed

The former manager of Pacific Shipping Services was sentenced yesterday to 20 months in jail for embezzling more than $200,000 of company funds in 2012 and 2013. 

SSBCI money is with Zions

Treasurer Ueligitone Tonumaipea says the $10 million award for the State Small Business Credit initiative (SSBCI) program is now banked with Zions Bank.  

Tua Tupuola will go to bat for special needs

The first resident to be appointed a member of an advisory committee of the Federal Communications Commission, says she’s truly honored that she was selected out of over 120 nominations from across the United States.  

Chief Justice scolds Deputy AG

Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop got an earful from the chief justice today after she failed to appear in the High Court for a change of plea hearing for a case she is prosecuting. 

Arguments heard in citizenship case

The question of whether people born in American Samoa have a constitutional right to US citizenship is now in the hands of three federal judges, presiding in the case of Tuaua v. United States, a landmark case addressing issues of citizenship in US territories.

Late start to processing tax refund checks

The processing of tax refund checks has been delayed due to equipment and software problems caused by lightning a few weeks ago.  

Sale of local cabbages still banned

Farmers have been asked to up the amount of fruits supplied to the School Lunch Program due to the off island shipping delays.  

Charter bank bill nears final hurdle

The administration bill to establish a government owned bank moves closer to passage.

Hawaii federal court will monitor confinement

Home confinement in American Samoa for Tiotalaga John Kruse and wife Elaine will be monitored by the Hawaii federal district court in the same manner as other federal offenders with restitution obligations.

Next vessel from US due in Feb 22

Wholesalers, retail stores and businesses awaiting goods from the United States are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next container vessel from the mainland.   

There were fewer felony prosecutions in 2014

The Attorney General’s Office filed fewer felony cases in 2014 compared to the previous year.  

Lemanu urges cooperation to solve delays

Lt Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga has urged representatives of government, shipping agencies, and the US Coast Guard to work together in making sure vessels from neighboring Samoa are cleared to enter port in a timely manner. 

Police also getting pay raises

It’s not just teachers who are getting  pay raises. Police officers are also in line for pay hikes.  

Tua Tupuola named to FCC committee

Local resident Tafaimamao Tua Tupuola has been appointed as a member of an advisory committee of the Federal Communications Commission.

Will OFI be free from politics?

The placing of the new Office of Financial Institution under Treasury has raised questions about the independence of the agency from government control. 

Save Liuato Tuitele is confirmed as Commissioner

Save Liuato Tuitele has been cleared to serve as the territory’s next Commissioner of Public Safety.   

No jail time for Kim and Samani

Business man Mike Kim and co-defendant Motau Samani have each been ordered to serve 5 years probation for first degree sexual abuse in connection with a 2010 incident involving a 17 year old girl.   

WIC clients affected by shipping delays

Mothers in the American Samoa Women, Infant, and Children Program are finding it difficult to find food items covered by their WIC checks due to the shipping delays on the west coast. 

More than 150 science projects entered in Elementary Science Fair

The Lee Auditorium is currently packed with poster boards, homemade experiments and nervous young scientists who are waiting to answer questions from judges about their science projects.

AG assures only 25% of revenues pledged to bonds

Senator Magalei Logovii is skeptical about an amendment to the American Samoa Economic Development Authority legislation which the Attorney General says is intended to provide assurance to investors that ASG will have the means to repay the ASEDA bonds.

TAs for meetings lasting a few hours stopped

Governor Lolo has told his cabinet that he will not approve travel authorizations for meetings that are only a few hours long but the airfare to the location of the meeting is several thousands of dollars, even if the grantor approved the travel. 

ASG sues Casamar for failure to abide by lease

The American Samoa Government has sued net repair company Casamar Inc., for failing to perform under its lease agreement.  

ASTCA is having cash flow problems

The American Samoa Telecommunications Authority is experiencing cash flow problems due primarily to an IOU of $700,000 for the ERATE program which provides internet service for schools.  

Senators hear from alia & longliners

Owners and operators of longline and alia vessels made their cases to senators today concerning a proposal to allow longliners to fish within 50 nautical miles from shore. 

Flag Day 2015 to honor Armed Forces

This year’s Flag Day is being dedicated to the all those who served in the US Armed Forces, past and present. 

Aumua supports bill to benefit small business

Congresswoman Aumua Amata spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives today to voice her support for H.R. 527, the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act.

Teacher to go on trial in August

The government’s case against a Fagaitua High School teacher accused of having sexual relations with a 16-year-old student is now set for trial in August. 

How home confinement will be monitored

As part of their home confinement, Chief Procurement Officer Tiotalaga John Kruse and wife Elaine are restricted to their residence every day from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. 

Raynor Whitcombe wins bodybuilding title

26-year-old Raynor Whitcombe of Tafuna and Pavaiai is the 2015 male spokesmodel for fitness company Bodyspace Bodybuilding.com. 

Senate passes bill to limit corporation sponsorship

Senators approved in final reading Friday an amendment to immigration law that would limit the ability of corporations to sponsor foreigners to live and work in the territory.  

Court approves work release for Tofaeono

The Trial Court last week granted former LBJ Hospital Business Manager Jennifer Tofaeono’s request for work release. The defendant is currently serving 20 months in jail for the theft of close to $51,000 from the LBJ. 

Indonesians impressed with Youth Center

A delegation from the Indonesian province of North Sulawesi, which donated $300,000 to construct the Youth Center in Pago Pago, arrived in the territory Friday to inspect the center. 

90% of SPED's $6.3 m budget is for personnel

The Assistant Director of Education for the Special Education Division. Jeneatte Vasai Tilo has explained that one reason why 90% of SPED’s nearly $6.3 million budget goes to personnel is because they have to contract specialists and professionals not available locally.

Shipping delays cause congestion on dock

The shipping delays affecting American Samoa as a result of a labor dispute in the west coast is not only affecting goods coming in, but is causing congestion on the main dock due to the pile up of hundreds of containers awaiting vessels to be shipped out

Polynesian seeks 6 month approval

Polynesian Airlines has filed a request with the US Department of Transportation for approval to continue flights to Manu’a for six months beginning March 1st. 

ASEDA tried to address all concerns about bank

Member of the American Samoa Economic Development Authority Utu Abe Malae said when ASEDA worked on developing legislation for a charter bank they considered all sorts of concerns and questions.

Governor attends meetings in D.C.

The governor is traveling off island next week with several members of his cabinet for meetings in Washington D.C. 

Local student found dead in Colorado

An 18-year-old Samoan female was found dead in her dorm room at the Colorado State University on Wednesday. 

Tuala-uta reps thankful for Fagaima repairs

Tualauta Representatives Vui Florence Saulo and Larry Sanitoa have expressed appreciation to the government and McDonnell Dowell for improvements to the Fagaima Road in Tafuna. 

Three candidates in Sua #2 election

Three candidates will be on the ballot for the special election for the House of Representatives seat for District #6, Sua No. 2.   

Lolo tells cabinet to lobby lawmakers

At yesterday’s cabinet meeting Governor Lolo Moliga told his directors to connect with their lawmakers and get their support to pass the government’s charter bank legislation. 
Photo: Thomas Nilsson

Amata calls for resolution to shipping delays

Congresswoman Aumua Amata signed a letter with 84 other House members to call for a quick resolution to negotiations between the International Longshore Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association.  

Local weightlifters train in New Caledonia

Athletes training for the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea say they are excited to represent American Samoa at the regional event. 

Speaker: my hand fell

At the end of today’s session, House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale directed comments to the media about coverage of what took place yesterday.  

House approves bank bill 16-1

The administration bill to set up a government bank to be called the Territorial Bank of American Samoa, has now passed the House of Representatives in final reading.   

Kruses' case referred to Honolulu

Spokesman for the FBI Honolulu Office Special Agent Tom Simon says the case against Tiotalaga John Kruse and his wife Elaine underscores the Honolulu FBI's commitment to investigating the misuse of federal funds in American Samoa and the Pacific. 

Group wants to study beach erosion

A group from the United States, Beach Recovery foundation wants to help the territory address beach erosion and their CEO and vice president are here to seek government approval for a pilot study on beach erosion at Utulei and Fagaalu. 

Be aware of expiry dates

Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce David Robinson says the Department of Health should be vigilant in making sure stores are not selling expired goods at a time when there are delays in the shipment of goods to American Samoa. 

Canneries coping with shipping delays

With the stalemate in negotiations between the union representing dock workers and the Port Maritime Association, and notice of a lockout within a week, there are worries that the shipping situation will get even worse.  

OPAD Director agrees with SPED review

The head of the agency which advocates for the rights of individuals with special needs has documented complaints of parents with children in Special Education.


FFAS donates to Youth Center

The Football Federation of American Samoa has donated $5,000 for the Youth Community Center which is being built a few yards away from the soccer facilities in Pago Pago. 

Governor Lolo awaits info on CPO case before acting

Governor Lolo Moliga says he will await official notification about the case of Chief Procurement Officer Tiotalaga John Kruse before he makes a decision on the director. 

Governor seeks help from DOI & Congresswoman

The government has reached out to the Department of Interior and Congresswoman Aumua Amata for assistance with the delays in the shipment of goods to the territory due to the longshoremen’s work slow down on the US west coast.

Administration looks at paying increments

The administration is looking into paying out annual increments for eligible government employees. 

Speaker railroads bank bill

House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale ordered the House Commerce Committee Chairman Larry Sanitoa to report the bill to establish a charter bank to the floor for second reading today

Judge: not "cold-blooded intent" to steal funds

Chief Procurement Officer Tiotalaga John Kruse and his wife Elaine were spared any prison time in their sentencing in federal court today on charges of converting hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal use.  

Salary reclassification for teachers completed

A reclassification for public school teachers costing $5 million has been completed and is now on Governor Lolo’s desk awaiting approval.   

Only one company interested in shipyard

Only one company submitted a proposal  in response to the RFP for a company to partner with ASG to operate the shipyard at Satala.   

DMWR Director says grant was explained

Director of Marine and Wildlife Resources Dr Ruth Matagi-Tofiga says direct compensation for boat owners whose vessels were damaged following the 2009 tsunami are being distributed based on a survey conducted by DMWR and the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council.

CPO & wife will not serve jail time

Chief Procurement Officer Tiotalaga John Kruse and his wife Elaine will not serve any jail time.   

ASTCA donates $25,000 to ASNOC

The American Samoa Telecommunications Authority today donated $25,000 to the American Samoa National Olympic Committee to help with the construction of ASNOC’s multi-purpose training complex in Tafuna. 

Inmate files suit after electric shock

An inmate at the Tafuna Correctional Facility has sued the American Samoa Government for negligence.

Chamber of Commerce states position on bank

The American Samoa Chamber of Commerce understands why the administration has taken the lead to establish a government owned and operated bank but it has raised some issues that it feels should be further evaluated. 

Evelyn Vaitautolu Langford expected to enter plea

Former director of Human Resources and the Governor’s Authorized Representative for disaster recovery programs Evelyn Langford is expected to make a guilty plea at the federal court in California next month. 

ASVB partners with HA for discounts

Visitors to the American Samoa Visitors Bureau booth at the Travel & Adventure Shows in California this month can pick up a special discount e-certificate from Hawaiian Airlines for return travel to American Samoa.  

Woman admits to taking meth into TCF

A mother who tried to smuggle methamphetamine inside a bar of soap into the Territorial Correcitonal Facility has pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Sula Tui made the plea under an agreement with the government.  

Senate confirms Save by unanimous vote

Save Liuato Tuitele has received the unanimous support of the Senate to serve as Commissioner of Public Safety.  

Zions will only support government bank

While backers of the Community Bank have asked ASG to join forces with them in establishing a new bank in the territory, Treasurer Ueligitone Tonumaipe’a testified at a House hearing yesterday that ASG’s corresponding Bank Zion’s will only support a government bank.

Ex-grants manager sues ASG

The former grants coordinator for the American Samoa Government has sued ASG for back wages and the payment of annual leave, housing allowance and travel reimbursements. 

STP receives some equipment

Samoa Tuna Processors has received some of the equipment that it was waiting for and according to General Manager Herman Gebauer once the equipment is unloaded and installed they will begin a trial run.

Four take out petitions for Sua race

Four candidates have taken out nominating petitions for the special election for the House of Representatives for District #6, Sua #2.  

OPM says ASG not losing revenues from fuel

An official with the Office of Petroleum Management says the belief that ASG is losing revenues due to the continuous drop in the price of unleaded is simply not true. 

Fisheries Council helps with dock space

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is working with Port Administration on a dock space for longline vessels. 

Polamalu's Fa'a Samoa Initiative expands

Registration for the Troy and Theodora Polamalu Foundation summer youth program opens this week. 

Senators want to confirm OFI Commissioner

Senators want the Commissioner of the proposed Office of Financial Institution to be confirmed by the Senate. 

House approves bill that closes loophole

The House of Representatives has approved by a unanimous 16-0 vote an administration bill which controls the ability of corporations to sponsor aliens. 

FEMA awards $3.2 million for rock fall mitigation

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a grant of $3.2 million  for American Samoa for Rock Fall Mitigation Project.   

FAA tells ASG to assess old scrap metal yard

The American Samoa Government is being asked to conduct a site assessment of the location that was once used as a scrap metal yard to see if there are any environmental concerns that need to be resolved. 

Vet Clinic plans to resume village clinics

The Veterinary Clinic at the Department of Agriculture plans to restart its village clinics soon.  

Community Bank (IO) offers to join forces with ASG

The group that  has been trying to set up a new commercial bank, the Community Bank of American Samoa (IO) has offered to join forces with ASG to set up a new bank.
Photo: KVZK-TV

Ta'u Mai debuts tonight on KVZK-TV

Ta’u Mai the samoan version of Password will debut on KVZK TV Channel 2 at 7 tonight.  

DHR Director stops conversions unless...

Human Resource Director Sonny Thompson is putting a stop to short term contract conversion to career service employment. 

FBI is reviewing DPS request

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reviewing a written request from the Department of Public Safety for assistance in the investigation into the police shooting in late December which injured a police officer. 

Fishermen query $1 million grant

Alia fishermen have questioned the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council about the status of the $1 million fishery disaster relief grant that was supposed to compensate for damages to their alia boats following the 2009 tsunami.

ASG Tax Office gives free filing service

The ASG Tax Office is again providing tax preparation assistance for the public. 

National Marine Sanctuary questioned

The attorney general is being asked to review whether requirements for establishing the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa were met.

Request to broadcast Fono sessions

It’s a request that comes up at the start of a new legislature…that Fono sessions are broadcast live.   

Man accused of assaulting wife

A man who assaulted his wife in the presence of his children could face additional charges this week. 

Relief arrives on Cap Avatele

Store shelves should be restocked of goods which had run out or in short supply due to the work slowdown on US west coast ports.   

Longliners operating at a loss

Senators learned the challenges faced by the local longline fleet in a presentation by an official of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council Eric Kingma Friday.  

Chamber on effects of shipping delays

The Chamber of Commerce says the effects of the lonsshoremen’s work slow down on the US west coast raise some important issues for the administration to address.  

Proposed FY2016 OIA budget totals $643.6 m

President Obama has proposed a Fiscal Year 2016 budget of $643.6 million for the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (OIA). 

Raynor competes in bodybuilding finals

Local boy Raynor Whitcombe departs tonight for a bodybuilding competition that could make him a spokesmodel for a fitness company Bodyspace or bodybuilding.com. 

Casamar sues ASG over lease termination

A company that provides net repair services for the tuna fleet has sued the American Samoa Government over the termination of their lease at the main dock in Fagatogo.

BOH will leave assets to any new bank

Bank of Hawaii plans to leave the assets from its local banking operations to whatever new bank will be setting up in the territory.  

Unleaded will be less than $3/gal

A gallon of unleaded gasoline will soon cost less than $3, the first time in many years. 


Former ANZ teller charged

A former employee of ANZ Guam Bank has been charged with embezzling more than $1,800 from the bank.  
Photo: Washington Post

Patriots 28 Seahawks 24

Super Bowl 49 the between New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks lived up to the hype.   

Committee wants to repeal sponsorship authority

Permanent residents will no longer be able to sponsor their immediate family members if an amendment supported by the Senate Judiciary Committee is approved.  

To amend LVPA or not is the question

Last night’s public hearing about a proposal to amend the Large Vessel Prohibited Area attracted not only alia and longline representatives but also businesses and communities that have a stake in what the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management will decide in March.

New leases stopped until FAA approves

The Federal Aviation Administration has told the American Samoa Government that pending FAA approval, ASG shall not allow new land uses or lease agreements in the 325 acre property that was initially meant for airport use.

GHC Reid donates $25,000 to ASNOC

The American Smaoa National Olympic Committee yesterday received a donation of $25,000 towards construction of its new gymnasium at the back of the Tony Solaita Baseball Field. 

Former DMWR boss and ex StarKist GM on LVPA

The former general manager of Starkist Samoa and former director of Marine and Wildlife Resources have asked the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council to approve amending the Large Vessel Prohibited Area to help the local longline industry. 

Study recommends permits on arrival

American Samoa can generate a lot more travel to and from Samoa if it allows visitors to obtain entry permits on arrival and negotiate similar liberalization for American Samoans visiting Samoa. 

Taylor Jessop receives offer from Air Force Academy

The Air Force Academy notified Congresswoman Aumua Amata’s office today that they are extending an Offer of Appointment to the United States Air Force Academy to Miss Taylor Va’alele Jessop to be a member of the Class of 2019.  

Reps plead with BOH to stay

Vice President and Branch Manager of Bank of Hawaii, EJ Ozu has reiterated that BOH has not set a date of departure and that it will remain until it’s confident the territory's banking needs are taken care of.   

Rainfall not letting up

Over four inches of rain fell overnight and the National Weather Service is continuing a flash flood watch for Tutuila and Aunuu until tonight and a warning for Manu’a.

Alia vs longliners at LVPA heairng

Operators and owners of alia and longline vessels continue to be divided over a proposal to allow longlines  to fish temporarily in areas designated only for alia vessels.  

DOE Director unhappy with reps

Director of Education Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin Finau takes on House Representatives who she says "ran to the governor" to stop changes to the Special Education Division which were supposed to take effect on Monday.  

KVZK-TV airs Super Bowl 49

KVKZ TV, the local NBC affiliate, will air the clash between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 49 on Sunday.

Renovated fish market opens

Fishermen now have a well equipped area at the Fagatogo market to sell their catches. 

'Revenue from non airport leases should be shared'

The Federal Aviation Administration says the revenue that the American Samoa Government earns from leases of government land initially dedicated for airport use should be shared with the airport to cover the airport’s capital and operating costs.

Tribute to former DOE Director

A man who left a mark on his students both in formal and theologian education has been honored in a House concurrent resolution.  

Heavy rains and gusty winds tonight

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Tutuila and Aunu’u islands until 7:00 tonight due to heavy rainfall from a trough over the Samoan Islands.  

Shipping delays bad for business

A local wholesaler says his sales has dropped dramatically because his business doesn’t have much to sell as a result of the work slowdown on the US west coast which has delayed shipments. 

Same judge will preside in Vaitautolu-Langford case

The federal judge presiding over the criminal case against Native Hawaiian Holding Company official Quin Rudin will also be presiding over the case against former Department of Human Resources Director Evelyn Vaitautolu-Langford. 

Weapons ordered by former Commish secured

Acting Commissioner of Public Safety Save Liuato says all of the weapons that were acquired in preparation for the arming of police officers are accounted for. 

Polynesian to continue Manu'a service

The US Department of Transportation has granted another 30-day cabotage waiver to Polynesian Airlines so it can continue flights to Manu’a next month. 

Repairs underway at Alava trail and road

The National Park advises that due to erosion issues, emergency repairs are in progress along the Mount ‘Alava trail and road for the next few weeks.

Change proposed to protect bond holders

As ASG awaits Fono approval to get into the banking business, the governor has submitted an amendments to ensure that pledged revenues for bond repayment is not touched unless the bond has been paid off.     

Measure seeks pay increments

Three lawmakers Larry Sanitoa, Vailoata Eteuati Amituanai and Puleleiite Tufele Lia’s Jr. are requesting the governor in a resolution introduced yesterday to lift the freeze and give eligible government employees their step increments in this fiscal year.

Deputy AG: Cops didn't abuse authority

Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop has confirmed that the police officers alleged to have assaulted a mentally ill 17-year-old resident of Pago Pago early last year have been cleared of wrongdoing. 

ASG owes road contractor

Meanwhile a senate hearing with Public Works this week brought out that ASG still owes a lot of money for old road projects.  
FAA briefing last year on audit

FAA audit of airport land finds non compliance

A federal audit of airport land revealed that American Samoa did not comply with federal grants guidelines when it allowed the transfer of land originally dedicated for airport use for non-airport related projects. 

Woman charged for having sex with minor

A woman was charged yesterday for allegedly having sex with a minor boy.

Senators have mixed opinions about bank

There was mixed reaction from senators today to an administration proposal to set up a government owned bank. 

Shipping delays cause food shortages

The School Lunch Program says it has enough supplies for the time being but if there;s any further delays to the arrival of freighters from the US west coast, they will run out.


LBJ faces serious shortfall

The LBJ Hospital is facing a serious budget shortfall. 

Democrats lose bid to reverse GOP

Majority Republicans on the U-S House Natural Resources Committee, swiftly defeated a Democratic proposal to keep separate subcommittees for insular issues versus those of Native American Indians and Alaskans.   

Samoana NHS cleans up tramway site

On  Saturday, students from the Samoana National Honor Society joined in the effort to restore the Utulei Tramway site.  

Attorneys learn from NAAG

Government attorneys are currently undergoing trial advocacy training provided by the National Association of Attorney’s General or NAAG. 

Iaulualo named VP of DBAS

Former Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives, Iaulualo Talia Faafetai has been voted by the Board of Directors of the Development Bank of American Samoa as the new Vice President of DBAS.


Feds say deterrent needed to crime in AS

Federal prosecutors in the 1602 criminal case against Chief Procurement Officer Tiotalaga John Kruse and his wife Elaine say a 24 month prison sentence for each of the defendants will serve as deterrent for future criminal activity in American Samoa.

SPED decentralization resisted

A plan by the Department of education to assign key leaders of the Special Education Program out in schools as part of corrective measures to address weaknesses identified in an independent review of SPED last year is being met with resistance.   

Woman faces sexual charges

A woman was charged yesterday for allegedly having sex with a minor boy. 

Support for ASG drug tests

There were repeated calls at a House hearing today for government employees to undergo random drug tests. 

Eight attorneys apply for Legal Aid CEO

The American Samoa Legal Aid Board is to make a final selection this week on who will be the legal aid services program’s executive director. 
Kruses unfinished 1602 project

Feds seek 24 months jail for CPO

The federal government is asking the federal court in DC to send Chief Procurement Officer Tiotalaga John Kruse and his wife Elaine to jail for 24 months and then place them on probation for three years.

Longline owners explain LVPA

House members got a crash course yesterday about fisheries regulations and the function of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

Man found dead at stadium

A regular jogger at the Veterans Memorial Stadium was found dead there yesterday morning.

Sen. Tuiasina pushes for repeal

Senator Tuiasina Esera wants a repeal of the immigration law provision which grants permanent residency to aliens who have resided here for 20 years and allows them to sponsor other people. 

Pastor charged with assaulting blind boy

The Independent Seventh Day Adventist pastor for Leone is being accused of assaulting a blind boy.
Malali Maiava

Call for community help to prevent tragedies

The Principal of Leone High School Peni Te’o says schools need all the help they can get from the community to prevent tragedies like the drowning that ended a 16-year-old girl's life last Friday. 

Tax Office says pastors income will be taxed

The Tax Office has served notice that Church pastors, priests and other clergy who receive income in various forms will have that income taxed.  

BOH manager to discuss plans

Members of the House of Representatives will have the chance to question the local manager of Bank of Hawaii EJ Ozu on Friday morning on when the bank plans to leave the territory and Boh’s views on the government’s charter bank.  

CPO's attorney argues for probation

Chief Procurement Officer Tiotalaga John Kruse is scheduled to plead guilty in federal court and his attorney has recommended that he not be given jail time.

ASM: ASG should not pursue cabotage waiver

Consulting company Air Strategy and Marketing Ltd., doesn’t think ASG should seek legislative action for cabotage waiver. 

NZ Ambassador urges sustainability

One of the guests who attended the inauguration of Samoa Tuna Processors new cannery in Atuu was New Zealand’s Ambassador for economic development in the Pacific Mr. Shane Jones. 

Sen. Galea'i raises doubts about charter bank

The Senate member on the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the group which has the power to float bonds to finance many government projects, has raised doubts about the administration’s plan to set up a charter bank. 

Tri Marine hopes for duty free access to Europe

The new Samoa Tuna Processors cannery at Atuu will not start production until next month.  

Suspect arrested for cousin's murder

Honolulu police officers arrested Dean Victor Matuu, 19, Saturday for the fatal stabbing of Frank Kapesi at Pacific Palisades. 

ASG talks to United Airlines & Alaska Air

Air Transport Marketing Study recommends that the American Samoa Government continue the dialogue with not only Hawaiian Airlines but also with United Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

Tafuna reconnected to Satala power plant

Power generators in Tafuna and Satala can now share power loads if need be with the completion of the American Samoa Power Authority’s tie line replacement project. 

OIA seeks Climate Change Coordinator

Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina has established a new Climate Change Coordinator position in the Department of the Interior.

Man arrested for 'touching' minor in church

From Anchorage Alaska, police arrested a Samoan man for inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl attending a Samoan church service.  

No response from NHHC to ASG civil suit

There has been no new development in the civil suit filed last year by the American Samoa Government against Native Hawaiian Holding Company and its top officials and NHHC partners that temporarily set up shop here. 

$70 million STP plant opens

The territory can lay claim to having the most modern tuna cannery in the world with the inauguration Saturday of the Samoa Tuna Processors cannery at Atuu.   

Catholic Education Week opens with Mass

A Eucharistic celebration at the Holy Family Cathedral yesterday opened Catholic Education Week In the territory.

17-year-old drowns in Sogi

A 17-year-old student at Leone High School drowned Friday after a wave dragged her into the ocean while she was sitting on rocks in Sogi.    

Plan recommends replacing undersea cable

The final version of what’s been regarded as the roadmap for the territory’s economic development is now out and copies of the report were distributed to lawmakers this week.

Reps react to funeral spending comments

Rep Fatulegaee Mauga has suggested that a bill be introduced to stop Fono information from leaking out. 
Photo: Thomas Nilsson

Aumua presses VA Committee on mismanagement

Congresswoman Aumua Amata  in her opening statement at the first hearin of the House Veterans Affairs Committee this week said solving veterans issues are very important to her. 

Semi finals of OFC soccer Saturday

The semi-finals of the OFC Men’s U-17 Championship kicks off tomorrow at Pago Park Soccer Stadium. 

BOH says it hasn't set a closing date

Bank of Hawaii has not set a date to close its operations in American Samoa.  

Territory celebrates new STP cannery

The territory celebrates a $70 million economic development project tomorrow with the inauguration of Samoa Tuna Processor’s tuna cannery at what used to be the Samoa Packing plant in Atuu.   
Photo: Johann Vollrath

Judges impressed with students' creativity

Judges at last week's Pacific Symposium for Science and Sustainability in Hawaii were impressed with the students representing American Samoa.

Twenty months for assault

An Asian man who slashed the arm of another man with a knife last year has been sentenced to five years probation for second degree assault. 

Governor supports DPS informant program

Governor Lolo has given his support to a confidential informant program for the Department of Public Safety as a way to solve crimes in the territory.  

Soliai: Fono shouldn't use people's money

Ituau Senator Soliai Tuipine has advised the Senate President that in future the Fono should not use government money on cultural presentations for funerals of lawmakers. 

Casamar Inc. is out of the main dock

ASG is allowing another company to use space on the west end of the main dock that’s being leased to Casamar Inc. so net repair services for the boating community can continue.    

Police on alert based on tip

Police officers have been told to be on alert and be conscious of their surroundings after a report reached officials of the Department of Public Safety that the police west substation is a target. 

Fono asked to confirm Save as commissioner

Governor Lolo Moliga has submitted for Fono confirmation his nomination of Save Liuato Tuitele as Commissioner of Public Safety.

Leiato title trial put on hold

The trial over the paramount chiefly title “Leiato” of Fagaitua has been put on hold while the parties attempt to resolve the dispute through the Office of Samoan Affairs. 

District #6 election set for March 20

A special House election to fill the vacancy left by the passing of House Representative Lemapu Talo Suiaunoa will be held March 20. 

How far does aumaga pule go?

Several suggestions were made at yesterday’s senate hearing into the recent police shootings for the Department of Public Safety to involve village aumaga or untitled men in police work. 

162 applications cleared under Amnesty Program

The Immigration Board has approved 162 applications under the amnesty program since the board began reviewing applications in mid November. 

Matagi & Rep. Timusa for Immigration Board

Governor Lolo Moliga has resubmitted for fono confirmation two nominees for the Immigration Board who were not approved in the last legislature.   

Murder trial of Siaumau set for March 24

A new date has been set in the murder trial of Siaumau Siaumau Jr., following a status hearing this morning in High Court.  

Alia owners seek training

A request made by alia owners to the US Coast Guard is for training on how to use safety equipment they will be required to have after October 15.

Committee not moving fast enough for Speaker

House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale is putting pressure on the chairman of the House Commerce Committee to move on the administration bill to set up a charter bank, the Territorial Bank of American Samoa.

Some families want bus stops removed

The Department of Public Works says several families with bus stops close to them don’t want them there anymore. 

Local fishermen land unusual fish

Several fishermen have taken a fish which they have never seen before to the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources this week.

ASG still negotiating $2.5 million payback

The American Samoa Government is still trying to negotiate with the US Department of Labor for repayment of $2.5 million in unallowable costs for the National Emergency Grant Program, which were spent by the Native Hawaiian Holding Company. 

Coast Guard explains mandatory inspections

About a dozen alia owners attended a session with the US Coast Guard this morning to explain the mandatory safety inspections that all commercial vessels have to pass effective october 15 this year.   

PBS returns to air this weekend

KVZK-TV expects to have the PBS channel back on air this weekend if all goes according to plan.   

Tornadic waterspout spotted in Manu'a

The National Weather Service says a video of what appeared to be a tornado occurring in Ofu yesterday morning is most likely a tornadic waterspout, which is associated with severe thunderstorms.

Changes made to airport road

There have been some changes made to the airport road project which were not included in the original scope of work.   

Man jailed for 18 months for felony driving

A man who was repeatedly caught operating a vehicle while his license is suspended was sent to jail for 18 months for several traffic offenses. 

Call for police to take drug tests

Get your house in order first, clean up that place.    That’ was the advice from Senator Galea’i Tu’ufuli to Acting Commissioner of Public Safety Save Liuato Tuitele at a Senate hearing this morning to discuss the recent police shootings. 

DPW told to tackle drainage first

Public Works has been urged to deal with the source of all that water which collects in the Tuala-uta area first or road repairs and new road construction in the district will be wasted.  

SSBCI program officially launched

The American Samoa's State Small Business Credit Initiative Program is anticipated to generate at least $105 million in new private capital for American Samoa's small businesses. 

21-yr old charged with rape of minor

A 21-year-old man who dated a 14-year-old girl has been charged with committing sex acts to the minor.  

TCF lieutenant reassigned after dismissal

An officer with the Territorial Correctional Facility has apparently admitted his involvement in the releasing of three inmates that were found with corrections officer Fatu Enari in a police van in the east side.

Fono farewells Rep. Lemapu Talo today

The body of the late Representative Lemapu Suiaunoa Talo will lie in state at the Fono guest house this morning.  

Feds charge former DHR Director

Former Director of Human Resources and Governor’s Authorized Representative for Disaster Recovery Evelyn Vaitautolu Langford has been charged in the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division with wire fraud and bribery.

Magalei questions use of revenues to pay bond

The use of ASG revenues as collateral for the American Samoa Economic Development Authority is making one senator nervous. 

Trough blankets American Samoa

After scorching heat the last several weeks, the rain has cooled things down but also caused flooding throughout Tutuila today.  

Surfer prevents tragedy at Leala

A boy who got swept out while swimming at Leala yesterday was saved by a man who lives near the beach.  

Tonga triumphs over Am Samoa

American Samoa lost narrowly to Tonga 2-0 yesterday in a thrilling match of the ongoing OFC Men’s U-17 Tournament being co-hosted by the territory. 

Charges against Enari & inmates dismissed

The corrections officer who was implicated of taking three inmates out of jail without authorization became a free man today. 

Sen. Galea'i wants action on police shootings

Senator Galeai Tuufuli wants the Fono to take a strong position on the recent shootings targeting police officers.   

Chamber congratulates administration

The American Samoa Chamber of Commerce has congratulated Governor Lolo Moliga and the administration for overseeing a fiscal year which broke records for putting the government in the black with more revenues than expenditures.   

Tiara Drabble wins 3rd place in Hawaii

Tiara Drabble of South Pacific Academy will be competing at the national Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in April after placing third at the regional science symposium in Hawaii this past weekend.  
Satele wearing tie

Lualemaga Faoa is acting secretary

Western District Governor Lualemaga Faoa is now acting Secretaray of Samoan Affairs after Governor Lolo Moliga placed Satele Galu Satele on leave.  

Top mental health expert helps task force

The task force appointed by the governor to come up with an integrated health system that will transform the delivery of health care in the territory taking advantage of benefits that the territory qualifies for under Obama care has the help of one of the leading experts in mental health.

Chief Justice hopes age limit is removed

Chief Justice Michael Kruse said he hopes the Fono will remove the provision that provides a retirement age for associate judges at 65. 

District #6 election date set after writ

Election Commissioner Tuaolo Fruean says the date for a new election to select a member of the House of Representatives for District #6, Sua number 2 will be set after Governor Lolo issues a writ of vacancy.  

STEM Festival promotes student interest

Students who showcased projects at the STEM festival Saturday used the opportunity to convince their peers to get involved in a STEM subject. 

Trade Academy operates under DYWA

One of the new initiatives by the Lolo Lemanu administration to build a local cadre of skilled tradesmen is the establishment of a Trade Academy.

DOA eyes bulb onions for export

More than 1,000 bulb onions have been planted in Manu’a in what the Department of Agriculture hopes would one day be a good export source for the territory.

OSU coach on recruiting mission

The defensive line coach from Oregon State University Chad Kauha’aha'a hopes to sign up a handful of local football players to don the Beavers uniform in the next school year.

Kauaha’aha'a says it’s been a busy and rewarding recruiting trip during which he’s met with the families of three recent OSU recruits from the territory, Fred Lauina of Tafuna, Noke Tago

Beware those not filing taxes

The Lolo Lemanu administration is considering ways to crack down on individuals and businesses who don’t file taxes.  

Flu, Chik & pink eye down

The spread of the flu, chikungunya and pink eye is on the decline. 

Nichols Brothers builds Manu'a vessel

Ice Floe, LLC dba Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) has been contracted by the Government of American Samoa to build a multipurpose vessel to travel between Tutuila and  the Manu’a Islands.

Sec of Samoan Affairs placed on leave

Secretary of Samoan Affairs Satele Galu Satele has been placed on leave by Governor Lolo Moliga so he could attend to solving problems in his village of Vailoa tai which have been festering for some time. 

More than 1,000 attend STEM Festival

Students as young as two -years old got a chance to build wheelbarrows made up of wooden sticks and strings, race tracks made up of colorful mini tubes, and learn and see up close how photo voltaic panels work.

Polynesian seeks extension of Manu'a flights

Polynesian Airlines has requested another30 day extension to cabotage exemption so it can continue domestic flights in American Samoa. 

ASPA installs 181 debit meters in Manu'a

181 debit meters have been installed in the Manu’a Islands to help residents there not only monitor their power usage but make it convenient for them to purchase power.

Fono honors Afimutasi Gus Hannemann

The House and Senate unanimously approved today a concurrent resolution paying tribute to Afimutasi Gus Hannemann for his service to the government and people of American Samoa.

One family using rental home paid by DYWA

Only one more family affected by the landslides and flooding last year is still getting housing assistance from the government.

Monday holiday honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Federal and local government employees will have a three day weekend as Monday is Martin Luther King Day.

AS loses to Tahiti

The Vanuatu national soccer team is leading the Group B Pool for the Oceania Football Confederation’s Under 17 Men’s Championships that’s being held in American Samoa. 

Senate confirms two judges

The Senate has unanimously endorsed two judiciary appointments made by Governor Lolo Moliga on the recommendation of Chief Justice Michael Kruse.  

18-yr-old seller gets 20 months

The 18-year-old woman who used the public highway as a restroom and later was found with cash, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia will serve 20 months in jail for drug possession. 

Safety inspections a must for vessels

Safety inspections by the US Coast Guard will be mandatory this year for all commercial fishing vessels including alia.   

Pres: Charter bank plan needs careful review

Senate President Gaoteote Palaie says while the territory is in need of another bank, the proposal for a charter bank should be thoroughly scrutinized and not be rushed through.  

DPS Police Academy began Monday

The latest police academy for the Department of Public Safety started on Monday with 16 people. 

Amata named vice chair

American Samoa’s freshman Congresswoman Aumua Amata Radewagen has jumped over several other Republicans with seniority to become Vice-Chair of the subcommittee that will handle insular affairs.  

Gasoline prices tumble some more

Enjoy it while you can…gas prices continue to tumble and the new price list for fuel products means you will be paying the lowest prices in six years 

US gives green light to SSBCI Program

The US Department of Treasury has given American Samoa the thumbs up to start its State Small Business Credit Initiative Program. 

Roadside fundraisers called traffic hazards

Senator Alo Faauuga says groups fundraising by the roadside should be stopped from running onto the road to collect money. 


Bill raises limit on small claims

A bill raising the limit for small claims cases from $3,000 to $7,500 has been resubmitted to the Fono.  

Man pleads guilty to sex charges

A 24-year-old man who performed sex acts to a 16-year-old whom he held against her will pleaded guilty to his crime. 

ASG to recruit more teachers from off-island

With the push by the Department of education to promote studies in STEM subject areas, it appears that ASG will be bringing in more teachers from foreign countries to teach these subjects.  

OIA releases $18 million for ASG

ASG’s money men can breath a sigh of relief.    
Crowd at last hearing

Another hearing set on LVPA

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council is having another public hearing to discuss a proposal to open some of the now closed waters surrounding American Samoa to help the struggling longline industry. 

Unusual sighting in the sky Saturday

Did you see something unusual in the sky Saturday night? 

2014 hottest in 60 years for Samoa

The Head of the Meterology Division in Samoa says 2014 was the hottest year in nearly 60 years for the islands. 

Lolo suggests probe of Retirement Fund

The funding capacity of the ASG Employees Retirement Fund to pay dropped from 80.77% in 2013 to 63.5% in 2014. 

Couple seeks stay in local 1602 case

The Trial Court has continued for 30 days a motion from one of the 1602 project owners to stay proceedings in the civil matter levied against them by the Development Bank of American Samoa. 

Fono honors former lawmaker & judge

Funeral services for a former senator, representative and associate judge, Tauanuu Faisiota of Seetaga, are being held today.  

STEM Festival this Saturday

Getting students and their parents hooked on science, technology, engineering and mathematics is the aim of an educational festival happening at the Samoana field  this Saturday.    

Tauiliili-Langkilde named to the bench

Governor Lolo Moliga has appointed attorney Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde to serve as judge pro tempore for the District Court. 
Reps. Sanitoa & Toeaina

Shootings & ASPA rates a concern in House

Tuala-uta lawmaker Representative Larry Sanitoa today called on the House Public Safety Committee to treat with a sense of urgency the recent shooting incidents in the Western District. 

Results from 1st day of U-17 OFC soccer

American Samoa lost its first game of the Oceania Football Confederation Men’s Under 17 Championship which officially opened yesterday at the Pago Park Soccer Field. 

DOH Director gives his side

Director of Health Motusa Tuileama Nua says the employment matter relating to former DOH program director Siitia Soliai-Lemusu is being referred to the Director of Human Resources for his review and final disposition. 

Cop has successful operation in Honolulu

The police officer who was injured in a shooting last month is recovering well after an operation in Honolulu to remove remaining pellets from his body. 

Board to review scholarship amounts

The ASG Financial Aid or Scholarship Board is being asked to review the amount of scholarship awards for students to continue higher education.

Employee takes on DOH Director

Director of Health Motusa Tuileama Nua has recommended the employment termination of a longtime DOH employee following work related differences and an email exchange that had the employee calling the director an “insane man.” 

Lolo resubmits bill to limit sponsorship

The governor is resubmitting to the Fono a bill which would limit the ability of businesses to sponsor aliens.  

Tuiasina calls for hearing on shootings

Senator Tuiasina Esera says recent shootings targeting police are of grave concern.   

House Committee chairs named

The House of Representatives now has twenty standing committees, seven more than in the last legislature.   

Governor urges Fono action on canneries

Governor Lolo Moliga has urged the Legislature to help secure American Samoa’s canneries which are being threatened by external actions beyond the territory’s control.  

Galea'i upset with Fono decorum & food

Senator Galea’i Tuufuli said the opening of the Fono yesterday was not dignified and respectful because it did not follow usual protocol.   

DOA continues cabbage ban

The Department of Agriculture is still banning farmers from selling cabbages to the School Lunch Program, local stores and near the roadside. 

Look out for the turtles please

The Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources is asking the public for help in reporting any threat to turtles after a large, old and healthy turtle was mauled to death as it was coming on to shore to lay eggs. 

Ex ASCC teacher jailed for 24 years

The former ASCC instructor who was convicted of sex offenses against three teen boys will serve a straight sentence of 24 years in jail for his crimes. 

Administration explores new airline

The Lolo Lemanu administration is exploring the possibility of establishing a local airline to fly between American Samoa and Honolulu and the mainland.  

Young scientists to present in Hawaii

Six high school students departed last night to represent American Samoa at the Pacific Symposium for Science & Sustainability in Hawaii. 

Cops cleared in assault of 17-yr-old

The police officers alleged to have assaulted a mentally ill 17-year-old resident of Pago Pago early last year have been cleared of wrongdoing. 

Tunupopo Alalafaga named as associate judge

Chief Associate Judge Logoai Siaki has retired and Governor Lolo has nominated Talking Chief Tunupopo Alalafaga of Ta’u village to replace him.