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First Iva “Alofa” memorial scholarships awarded

jeff@samoanews.com

A memorial scholarship was awarded in memory of Iva Pisia Salazar, who passed away last August, to graduates Shane Chen and Setoga Siatu'u during the graduation for Registered Nurses earlier this month.
 
The $500 Iva "Alofa" Pisia-Salazar Scholarship awards will assist the two men who are pursuing their education for bachelors degrees.
 
According to Nina Salazar, the late Iva’s daughter, “August 2014 marks the first year that Iva "Alofa" has spent in Heaven, but her legacy continues.”
 



Tests, survey results indicate need for dual language instruction

fili@samoanews.com

Education Department director Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau shared last week with senators results of two tests and one survey conducted by the government as DOE makes preparations for the use of dual language — Samoan and English — classroom instruction for public schools.
 



Tax revenue collection projected downward for FY 2015

joy@samoanews.com

“Although overall tax collection has been strong this year — in part due to the restoration of lost tax revenues connected with ASPA being a fuel supplier, and an increase in tax audit activities — tax revenue collection is projected to be 5% lower next year versus the previous fiscal year,” said Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga. He said this is mostly due to the 9% reduction in individual income taxes due to the large number of non-filer individuals.
 



Community Briefs

blue@samoanews.com

SOFIAS DONATE TO LBJ DIALYSIS UNIT
 
Making good on their promise that proceeds from the recent Mr. American Samoa pageant, which they sponsored will go towards the dialysis unit of the LBJ Medical Center, the Society of Faafafine in American Samoa (SOFIAS) presented a check of $2,000 last week to representatives of the dialysis unit and LBJ Hospital CFO Pauline Gebauer.
 



ASPA’s rates jeopardizing ASG stand on min wage

fili@samoanews.com

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has called for a further reduction in electric rates — up to 10¢ — saying the reduction would among other things support the government’s position on the minimum wage, to not increase it in Sept. 2015, according to the cover letter for the fiscal year 2015 budget, submitted to the Fono last week.
 
While, ASPA’s budget is more than $109 million — it is a decrease of about $32 million from the current fiscal year — and this is due mainly to the fact that ASPA is out of the fuel supply business.



DPS Commissioner tells officers he is proud of them, despite bad press

fili@samoanews.com

Despite what the news media says about the Department of Public Safety, the department is still investigating cases and sending them to the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution, according to Police Commissioner William Haleck during his brief comments at last Thursday’s DPS award recognition ceremony for outstanding officers of the quarter.
 
The commissioner acknowledged during his remarks that even police officers are not exempted from being investigated or prosecuted — as this has occurred before, with a recent case now pending in court.



Tofaeono plea agreement accepted by High Court

joy@samoanews.com

Chief Justice Michael Kruse has accepted the plea agreement between the government and the hospital’s former Business Manager, Jennifer Tofaeono. The plea agreement, which was under advisement last week, has Tofaeono pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit felony stealing, amended from the stealing count. The initial charges filed against Tofaeono were tampering with evidence, stealing and embezzlement. Prosecuting this matter is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop.
 



Hospital and Health Dept sign $3MIL contract for Electronic Health Record system

System mandatory under Medicare/Medicaid
joy@samoanews.com

The American Samoa Medical Center Authority and the Department of Health have entered into a multimillion dollar contract with Medsphere Systems Corporation, which will be installing a comprehensive electronic health record system in the territory — a completion date was never mentioned during the more than hour long presentation at the American Samoa Community College Lecture Hall, last week Thursday.
 



OHS July 4 holiday weekend report: 10 accidents, no fatalities

blue@samoanews.com

Eleven vehicles and two pedestrians in Fagatogo and Maleimi were involved in accidents during the long July 4th holiday weekend.
 
According to information from the DPS Office of Highway Safety, between July 4 and July 7, a total of six cases were uploaded into their data system: one personal injury case and five incidents involving property damage.
 



Joey Iosefa listed among Doak Walker Award candidates

DALLAS – University of Hawai'i senior running back Joey Iosefa was among the early group of players selected to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Doak Walker Award, announced by the PwC SMU Athletic Forum. The award is presented annually to the nation's top college running back.



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