Local News

Pair pleads guilty to sexual assault of 16-year old


The woman and man charged in separate cases of sexually assaulting the same girl on the same night, and on separate occasions, have been sentenced to serve 20 months in jail as part of their five years probation. The woman and her co-defendant Nicholas Kuka each entered into plea agreements with the government.
In the interest of protecting the victim’s identity, Samoa News will not name the woman defendant in this case, as she is closely related to the victim and lived in the same house with the victim when the incident occurred.

ASDOE employees offended after assigned to clean restrooms


Department of Education employees working at the main office are offended by a “reminder” notice sent out by ASDOE Director Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin Finau detailing their responsibilities, which include cleaning up the restrooms and the “telephone schedule.”
In a letter sent to all DOE employees working at the main office in Utulei, Vaitinasa told them that from time to time there is a need to be reminded of their responsibilities in the office to make work easier and healthier.

Community Briefs


There seems to be blatant disregard or lack of emphasis on our supervisors and managers to enforce ASG employees taking Leave without pre-approval, says Human Resources Director, Nu’utai Sonny L Thompson. Last month the HR Director pointed out that nearly a year ago “we issued a stern warning against employees taking Leave without pre-approval from your immediate supervisor, or in the case of Division Heads, the Deputy Director or myself.”

Rejected applicant disputes hiring of new DOE deputy


Department of Human Resources Director Nu’utai Sonny L Thompson has asked the DOE Director Vaitiniasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau, “to cease and desist” from any and all activities surrounding the position of Deputy Director of Administrative Service & Finance for her department. This follows a grievance filed with HR by DOE Program Director Elia Savali who claims that someone has been selected while he has yet to be interviewed.

Illegal wire-transfer worth $1 million+ returned to ASG


American Samoa Government’s more than $1 million, which was illegally wire-transferred from one of ASG’s accounts at Bank of Hawaii to the Vietnam International Bank nearly four years ago, has been returned to the government’s bank account.

Lawsuit filed in Honolulu in death of Sheldon Haleck


Through its defense attorney, the City and County of Honolulu has asked a federal court to “dismiss with prejudice” a civil lawsuit filed by relatives of a Samoan man who died after being arrested by police.
The Samoan man, Sheldon Paul Haleck, is the son of American Samoa’s former police commissioner William Haleck, who along with Sheldon’s wife and other relatives are plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Oct. 20 at the federal court in Honolulu.

Community Briefs


Army Pvt. Silaumea J. Turituri and Army Reserve Spc. Ilaisa M. Sialoi have graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

Pediatric dept without services of Dr. Marrone

Saleapaga refuses to negotiate

Chief Medical Director, Dr Iotamo Saleapaga is standing by a non-negotiable contract offered in compensation for Chief of Pediatric Services, Dr James Marrone. The contract was offered back in April of this year and no new contracted has been forthcoming since, making today Dr Marrone’s last day.
The Hospital Chief Executive Officer Taufete’e John Faumuina in response to Samoa News queries has confirmed this.

After Cyclone Tuni


Department of Public Works crews and equipment were out early Saturday morning clearing up the roads and also in Gataivai where a landslide affected the residence of the CCCAS pastor that is located next to the church. This follows the heavy rain and strong winds Friday night from the Tropical Storm Tuni that passed south of American Samoa on Saturday. The Tropical Storm Warning was cancelled at 5:28 p.m., Saturday, after a night and day of flooding and power outages around Tutuila.

Tropical Cyclone Tuni careens toward Niue

Niue's government issued an alert for the country's residents on Saturday advising them to board up their homes and stock up on supplies as Tropical Cyclone Tuni moved towards the island, a day after it caused flooding and landslips in Samoa and American Samoa.

The category one cyclone intensified on Sunday as it slowly moved at about 17 km/h through Tonga's northern waters and was predicted to pass within 60 km of Niue overnight, with the island's meteorology department saying there was a chance it could veer off course and hit the country directly.

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