Local News

Climate-change adaptation: Designer reefs

Biologists are directing the evolution of corals to prepare them to fight climate change

Off the coast of American Samoa, the tropical sun beats down on a shallow tidal lagoon, heating the water to a sizzling 35 °C for a few hours each day. Such temperatures would kill off most coral reefs, and yet the Samoan lagoon hosts courtyards of antler-like branching corals and mound corals the size of refrigerators.

“The fact that they're there means they've adapted to survive,” says Steve Palumbi, a marine biologist at Stanford University in California. “The real question is: how did they do that and can all corals do that?”

Court Report


A 48-year-old Fagaitua High School music teacher from Lauli’i, facing charges on allegations of having a sexual relationship with his female student at school, was arraigned in High Court yesterday. Rose ‘Lose’ Auva’a was released last week on bail of $25,000 on charges of Rape, Sexual Assault, Sodomy, Deviate Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse first degree.

Woman jailed for two years after scamming travel agency for tickets

Full restitution of $12K must be paid as well

An Aua woman, who claimed she worked for the American Samoa Government to purchase airline tickets from J&J World Travel, was sentenced to serve 28 months in jail, pay a fine of $1,000 and pay restitution of $12,368.

Community Bank of American Samoa (IO) seeking input on local banking needs

In order to gain better understanding of the banking needs in American Samoa, the Community Bank of American Samoa (IO) is conducting a bank survey. Representatives will be on-island until April 25 to conduct this survey and further research the banking needs of local organizations in American Samoa.
The information gathered will provide Community Bank (IO) with a detailed insight into the banking needs of the business community, which will be valuable as it progresses through the process of gaining regulatory approval.


The American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA) is leading the celebration of Earth Day today. Earth Day is a national observance along with 192 countries globally as a reminder to keep our environment beautiful and to safeguard our natural resources. The theme for this year’s Earth Day celebration locally is “Keep American Samoa Beautiful.”

Tragic accident takes life of Mapusaga toddler


“It is with a heavy heart that I acknowledge the painful tragedy that occurred in our territory on the evening of Good Friday, that took the life of a 2-year-old girl from Mapusaga Fou,” said Commissioner of Public Safety, William Bill Haleck.
The toddler was run over by a vehicle driven by a relative, around 8p.m. At the same time, Haleck and the Traffic Division Commanding Officer, Lt Siaosi Aiono, issued a stern warning to every individual who has minor children in their home, to be cautious when reversing or driving into a garage or parking spot.

Sex ed should be part of health education in school


LBJ Medical Center’s program manager for the Family Planning clinic believes sex education, incorporated in health education, should be part of the public school curriculum.
Marilyn A. Pavitt-Anesi who also heads the division, says that data on teen pregnancy between 2011 and 2013 shows an increase of only point-three of one percent, but she believes there is more work to be done to bring these statistics down.

Finance Director explains DOE's Consolidated Grant


The local Department of Education has been awarded just over $17 million under the federal Consolidated Grant for ASG fiscal year 2014, which is the U.S. Department of Education’s federal fiscal year 2013, and the grant expires in the autumn of next year, says ASDOE deputy director of finance Russell Aab.
Based on a USDOE report to the federal Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA), Samoa News reported last month that in FY 2013, the ASDOE was obligated $17.16 million under a Consolidated Grant to the Outlying Areas.

Porotesano named NMSAS volunteer of the year


The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa’s 2014 Volunteer of the Year award goes to Charity Anna Porotesano, a third grade teacher at Matafao Elementary School who also served as one of the four panelists for the recent 2014 Hokule’a high school competition.

DPS Commish & Deputy go on record about Deputy job


Neither Commissioner of Public Safety William Bill Haleck nor Deputy Commissioner Leiseau Vaito’elau Laumoli agree with the attempted move by the Lolo and Lemanu Administration to dissolve the Deputy Commissioner position. Haleck also told Samoa News “the Deputy Commissioner position should not be a political appointee.”

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