Local News

Family pleas for help in rescue efforts to find Babar Suleman

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Family and friends of Babar Suleman made a public plea for help in the search and rescue efforts.

Babar and his 17-year-old son Haris were flying around the world when they crashed off the American Samoa coast Thursday morning. The pair was attempting to break a Guinness World Record. Suleman was trying to become the youngest pilot to make the trip in 30 days.

Haris’ body was found, but there have been no signs of Babar.

Cost-U-Less is open


After making major improvements to health and safety issues cited early this week by the Department of Health, the popular Cost-U-Less was reopened after 12-noon yesterday with final DoH inspection set for early next week.
Cost-U-Less was ordered temporarily closed on Monday — for five days — by health officials following an inspection that found the facility had “unsanitary conditions”. The inspection also came on the heels of public complaints to DoH of rats in the store-warehouse.

Samoan woman pleads guilty to passport fraud in Alaska


Under a plea agreement with the US government, Maualuga Leaana, aka, Sialei Leaana yesterday “pled guilty to passport fraud” before U.S. District Court Timothy M. Burgess, and sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 20, federal prosecutor Thomas Bradley told Samoa News.
The case involves a woman from Samoa who used a “counterfeit” American Samoa birth certificate to obtain a U.S. passport, according to a federal prosecutor in Alaska.

ASCC completes accreditation Self-Study

At its meeting on Friday, July 18, the Board of Higher Education (BHE) gave its approval to a document the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) has spent the better part of eight months preparing. With the Board’s approval, ASCC may now submit its Self-Study to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), a division of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

LBJ Board forces CEO to resign immediately

Calls his Evaluation Performance “Unacceptable”

“We have not been officially informed of the hospital board’s decision regarding the hospital’s CEO position,” said Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, who is the Acting Governor, in response to Samoa News queries earlier this week. Lemanu told Samoa News that he only found out when checking his mail and he came across the letter to end the CEO’s contract.
He then declined to further comment on the matter while he awaits a briefing from the board, saying “I don’t want to micromanage the decision by the hospital board.”

Tri-Marine: Pacific Tuna Treaty should be "priority"


Tri Marine International has called on the Obama Administration to make a “priority” on the federal government’s agenda, the Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries with Pacific Island countries, giving U.S. fishing fleet access to the Pacific region.
As previously reported by Samoa News the American treaty negotiations with Pacific Islands nations failed to reach a deal during negotiations of the Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries (also known as the South Pacific Tuna Treaty) held in Auckland, New Zealand two weeks ago.

Search and Rescue has not yet found Babar Suleman

Family members arrive tonight on Hawaiian Air

It’s unclear if the American Samoa Government’s Search and Rescue teams will be suspended after 72 hours in the search for the remains of 58-year Babar Suleman who was traveling with his son on an around-the-world flight, said Director for Homeland Security Utuali’i Iuniasolua Savusa.
The 72-hour limit expires today at 6pm.
The single engine Beechcraft, carrying Suleman and his 17-year-old son crashed around 9:50pm Tuesday night, a mile out from the Pago Pago International Airport.



A man, believed to be in his 30s jumped just after 8:30a.m. today from the third floor of the Executive Officer Building, hitting the ground floor of the EOB Atrium.

Two eyewitnesses told Samoa News at the scene that the man is reported to have a mental disability. Many people were on the ground floor and some of them were giving police their eyewitness statements.

One person, who works at the EOB, said he has seen this man almost daily at the EOB, but there hasn’t been any problems in the past.

Update: USCG and Marine Patrol resume search for Babar Suleman


The U.S. Coast Guard says some of the debris from the single-engine plane which crashed Tuesday night in the waters off American Samoa’s main island of Tutuila, has been located and collected by territorial officials.
Honolulu based Coast Guard spokesman Gene Maestas told Samoa News this morning that while the search has not found “a whole plane, we have spotted debris such as a wheel, part of the fuselage and personal items such as duffle bag and other items”.

Lots of family activities during Nat'l Fishing and Boating Week


National Fishing and Boating Week opened yesterday at the Dept. of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR) compound in Fagatogo. The event is in conjunction with Youth Month (July) and it is a project that is being spearheaded by the DMWR, working with the Pago Pago Charters of American Samoa and the Game Fishing Association to promote recreational fishing.

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