Local News

Angry over longliner ruling, senators call to involve UN


The United States is ruling American Samoa as a colony without taking into consideration input from territorial leaders, and American Samoa should look at taking this issue up with the United Nations, which looks after the interests of the people of the remaining non self-governing territories of the world.

Amata and DOI asst. sec. Kia'aina spar over issues


Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas, Esther Kia’aina and Congresswoman Aumua Amata’s exchanged remarks in what could be viewed as ‘straight talk’ about the positions that the U.S. and American Samoa are taking regarding federal regulatory matters and policies, including funding, during a House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing held last week in Washington D.C.

Update: Langford pleads guilty to fraud and bribery in federal court


The former director of the ASG Department of Human Resources, Evelyn Langford, has pled guilty to two charges at the federal court in Oakland, California for accepting more than $200,000 from an official of Native Hawaiian Holding Company (NHHC), which was awarded a multi-million dollar contract under the federal National Emergency Grant program of the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).

Malaeimi couple held on allegations of assault


A couple, in their 40s, has been arrested and are being held behind bars on a no bail status on allegations that they assaulted a man who was stabbed in the neck during an altercation.
Tuasivi and her husband Sionesipa Faoliu of Malaeimi spent Sunday in jail, and the couple is facing charges of third degree assault and public peace disturbance, however the Attorney General’s office is looking at filing additional charges in this matter.

Lack of local school bus service due to nine of the buses being ‘in the shop’

Senate urges DOE to get a maintenance plan in place

Department of Education is hopeful that its ten new buses will arrive on island before the current school year ends, and also hopeful that nine of the buses currently being contracted to a local company for repairs will be back in service soon.

ASG sues Casamar, citing breach of contract

Casamar has sued ASG for breach of lease

The American Samoa Government has filed a lawsuit against Casamar Inc for breach of contract. The ASG suit was filed last month few days after Casamar sued ASG, Port Director Taimalelagi Dr Claire Tuia Poumele (in her individual capacity) Purse Seine Samoa, Greg Stuart and others for damages for declaratory relief, trespassing, and breach of lease among other charges.

Lolo: ASG reduction of hours is “last resort”

All options will be explored for cash flow problems

The American Samoa Government’s cash flow has dropped more than 50% due to many factors, says Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, which may lead to a reduction of hours for ASG employees — but not until the administration explores all the options they have.
Responding to Samoa News queries at his office yesterday, the governor stated that ASG’s cash flow has decreased tremendously and it’s affecting the government’s operation.

Longliner exemption rests with U.S. Sec. of Commerce


The U.S. Secretary of Commerce will need to approve a decision made last week by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council to allow locally based U.S longline vessels to fish in a certain portion of the Large Vessel Prohibited Area (LVPA), which is reserved  only for local alia, which are vessels less than 50 feet long.

Governor’s memo focuses attention on mismanaged grant funds


In a letter to all ASG departments and agencies last week, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga has says the Treasury Department has been told to no longer accept expenditures of grant funds not “officially specified” under the grant’s drawdown, in order to stop the “unanticipated” burden on the government’s General Fund, which has contributed to its negative balance.

Lolo administration proposes hotel occupancy tax


The Lolo and Lemanu Administration in an effort to support and improve the operations of the Pago Pago International Airport, is proposing a bill for the establishment of a hotel occupancy tax. The bill was introduced in the Fono last week, and according to the measure, “the terms include but are not limited to inns, motels, tourist homes or courts, lodging houses, rooming houses and apartment houses.”

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