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Archive - Jan 12, 2012 - Article (News Story)

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LBJ submits request for $15M in supplemental funds

fili@samoanews.com

LBJ Medical Center has submitted to the government a $15 million supplemental budget for fiscal year 2012, while the Senate moved swiftly to have a $3 million appropriation bill approved to assist the cash-strapped hospital, which is faced with an unexpected expenditure for FY 2012 with the addition of the Emergency Medical Service.



Solofa trial: Feds claim bribery, conflict of interest

fili@samoanews.com

Federal prosecutors claim that — prior to the school bus spare parts scheme — former Education Department official Paul Solofa was involved in an “overtime payment” scam involving mechanics and other workers at the DOE Bus Division.



Old coins live until Friday in Samoa

The Central Bank of Samoa has extended its expiry date for the use of old coins. CBS Manager of Banking and Cooperate, Fui Malaeoalii Sootala Pua, confirmed this yesterday saying “this is because more people still have not exchanged their old money for the new ones.”

People now have until Friday of this week to use or exchange their old coins. However the old $2 note will no longer be legal tender after 27 January. Fui said the old coins will be sold as scrap metal to international buyers.



FIJI: Kevin Rudd rejects regime's 'publicity stunt' reform

SYDNEY —Australia will need to see real change in Fiji before it considers lifting sanctions on those responsible for the 2006 coup and senior interim government appointees, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said yesterday.

Rudd told Radio Australia that while the lifting of Public Emergency Regulations was welcome, more concrete changes are needed.

"What we have is a whole pattern of behaviour on behalf of the regime towards its church leaders, trade union leaders, political opponents and the media," he said.



HALF OF WRECKED CARGO SHIP SINKING IN NEW ZEALAND

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Half of a cargo ship that ran aground on a New Zealand reef three months ago began sinking into the ocean Tuesday, and debris and some oil were drifting from the wreck.

The stern section of the Rena began slipping from its previous position on the Astrolabe Reef in the morning and was about three-quarters submerged by noon New Zealand time, Maritime New Zealand spokesman James Sygrove told The Associated Press.

"The front 30 meters (100 feet) is still above the waterline, but the back section and the bridge are all under the water," he said.



Dateline change causes confusion for passengers

reporters@samoanews.com

The Samoa international dateline change last month — wherein the nation of Samoa moved to the other side of the dateline — has caused confusion for some of Polynesian Airlines passengers, according to the airline’s local station manager Toe Loia.

Speaking with Samoa News, Loia said the first three days the company had to reshuffle some of the flights because the passengers were confused.



Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

JAMES BARLOW

The government’s case against former ASCC instructor James Barlow, who is facing several charges, including Driving Under the Influence (DUI), careless driving, driving without a driver’s license, endangering the welfare of a child, and aiding minors to break the law, has been rescheduled for two weeks.

The request came from the defendant’s lawyer Mark Ude. District Court Judge John Ward granted the motion and rescheduled the matter for two weeks.



American Samoa’s Inter Island Air planes grounded

The grounding of two aircraft belonging to American Samoa’s Inter Island Air has left many passengers stranded in Apia.

A spokesperson for Inter Island Air says their planes have not been flying since the weekend to Manu’a and to Samoa since Monday.

One aircraft is down with mechanical problems at Samoa’s Faleolo Airport and the other is grounded for reasons the airline has declined to reveal.

Stranded passengers are reported to have to go to Fagalii Airport in Apia every day and wait for available seats on Polynesian, which is heavily booked.



Samoa police investigate death of former HRPP MP

The police in Samoa are investigating the death of a 69 year old man, Leva’a Sauaso, who was a former ruling HRPP party MP.

Leva’a Sauaso represented the constituency of Aiga ile Tai in Parliament from 2001 to 2006.

A 22 rifle found behind the deceased at his private home at Vaitele on Wednesday night has been taken for forensic examination, and police investigations continue.

The former MP was banished from his village of Apolima more than five years ago.



Samoa farmers dissmiss talo threat

Shady talo(re)sellers at the Fugalei market maybe causing consumers problems but it apparently is not a cause for concern for some farmers. Bundles of 10 medium sized talo used to sell for $20, now you only get “four or five” according to some consumers.

And consumers are pointing the finger at shady resellers going out to villages and buying talo then reselling them at the Savalalo market and roadside stalls at “ridiculous prices”.