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Archive - Mar 22, 2012 - Article (News Story)

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SIC calls for Medicare info, but gets Medicaid instead

fili@samoanews.com

The Medicaid office director Niuatoa Andy Puletasi stressed at the start of his Senate Investigative Committee hearing yesterday that he was never involved with the federal Medicare program and all financial records pertaining to this program as well as the federal Medicaid program are maintained by the LBJ Medical Center business office.

Both programs are funded by the U.S. Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). Niuatoa’s appearance before the SIC is part of the committee’s ongoing probe into the cause of the financial crisis faced by LBJ.



Defense in Mata’u case urges humane sentence

Says Julie Mata’u not “heartless thief” the government depicts
fili@samoanews.com

Defense attorney for Julie Matau is recommending a home confinement sentence for the former grant manager of the defunct U’una’i Legal Service Corporation that would allow the defendant to care for her family as well as her disabled brother, all living in San Francisco.



Gov: Need for fed policy framework is overwhelming

fili@samoanews.com

One of the meetings Gov. Togiola Tulafono attended while on his recent trip to Washington, D.C. was the Interagency Group on Insular Areas, where he presented his last written testimony to the group, summarizing conditions and trends in American Samoa as they relate to the focus of IGIA.

As noted in his testimony, he is barred by the American Samoa constitution from running for a third consecutive term.



Spay-Neuter clinics underway

reporters@samoanews.com

Rachel Baird, (L) a Registered Veterinary Technician, works with Pearl Talamoa of the local Department of Agriculture during the joint effort underway this week to spay and neuter nearly 400 dogs in the territory.



Fitiuta road reopens after repairs

Lieutenant Governor Faoa Sunia joined Fitiuta CCCAS Rev. Fa'avae Fa'ata'ita'i on Friday, March 16, 2012 to officially opened the $8.4 million road in Ta'u, Manu'a, which was damaged during Cyclone Heta in 2004 and again during Cyclone Olaf in 2005. The new road is 2200 feet long and includes 3100 feet of shoreline protection. It was constructed by McConnell Dowell Ltd. in 14 months.



Government finds couple “suitable candidates” for counseling program following child beating

reporters@samoanews.com

An Utulei couple charged for beating their 13-year-old daughter has entered into an agreement with the government.

The parents had been charged with public peace disturbance, third degree assault and child endangerment however the government has filed a stipulation to a non-judicial resolution with the couple.

Samoa News has withheld the names of the couple to protect the identity of their daughter.



Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

ASG DISMISSAL MOTION DENIED

The Attorney General’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit by two local companies after the government took apart a fishing vessel that wound up on government land following the 2009 tsunami has been denied by the Trial Division of the High Court.

The ruling issued Tuesday was signed by Associate Justice Lyle Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.



Nobles to carry out pongipongi tapu for new Tongan King

In Tonga, every noble in the country has been told to come to the Royal Palace with their estate for King George Tupou the fifth’s funeral, rather than coming in clans.

The late King’s burial was scheduled for next Wednesday but will now be held a day earlier at the request of the new King Tupou the Sixth.

The chairmain of the committee overseeing the King’s funeral, Lord Vaea, has met with some of the 33 Nobles earlier in the week to discuss the duties they’ll carry out.

Radio Tonga reports Lord Vaea says different clans have different roles, and nobles have their individual roles.



Samoa Customs officers admit porn involvement

Some of the six officers from the Customs Division accused of using state equipment to access pornography have confessed that they were engaged in the misconduct. Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Tu’u’u Ieti Taulealo, yesterday told the Weekend Observer that it is now up to the Chief Executive Officer of Customs, Pitolau Lusia Sefo-Leau, to make the final call.



Unhappy public not sure who to blame for high gas

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Families canceling vacations. Fishermen watching their profits burn up along with their boats' gasoline. Drivers buying only a few gallons of gas at a time because they can't afford to fill the tank.

From all corners of the country, Americans are irritated these days by record-high fuel prices that have soared above $4 a gallon in some states and could top $5 by summer. And the cost is becoming a political issue just as the presidential campaign kicks into high gear.