Local News

Obama signs amended wage hike legislation


President Barack Obama yesterday signed into law federal legislation, which gives workers in American Samoa a 40 cent per hour minimum wage hike.
Federal law mandated that the next 50 cent wage increase was to go into effect on Sept. 30, 2015, but the federal legislation reduces the wage hike down to 40 cents per hour for all 18 different industries in the territory.

DPS recommends filing criminal charges against former DOC project manager


The Department of Public Safety is recommending that criminal charges be filed against former Department of Agriculture grant writer Michael McDonald.
This is in connection with $9,494 in federal grant funds that was supposed to go to the DOA but instead, ended up in his business account.

Greenpeace launches global campaign against Thai Union Group canned tuna products

Thai Union owns US based Chicken of the Sea

Environmentalist group Greenpeace International has launched a global campaign urging consumers and investors to avoid canned tuna products by Thai Union Group, which owns US based Chicken of the Sea, a major competitor to StarKist Co., which operates StarKist Samoa cannery in American Samoa.

Shortage of classroom materials sparks questionable ‘fundraising’ activities


The move by Tafuna Elementary School, Parents Teachers Association (PTA) to collect a dollar from each student to purchase desks, chairs and textbooks does not sit well with parents who contacted Samoa News, while the Department of Education is saying it’s not allowed.
Parents who spoke to Samoa News on condition of anonymity stated that this is a problem to them, given that the government’s main focus should be on the development of education.

Retirement Fund chair says he did not stop audit

Says the ASGERF audit will reveal ‘who's right, who's wrong’

ASG Employees Retirement Fund board chairman Va’anatiu Tofala Iafeta told senators the reason he ordered that an audit of the Fund be delayed is because several issues - including the scope of work for an audit - are not clear.  He also says to save the Fund money, an internal audit should be conducted by the local government’s Internal Audit Office, not the off island auditor.
He did insist that he wants to move forward with the audit.

Deep concern locally about proposed NCAA ruling

Island athletes in danger of missing out on exposure and recruiting

The American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) with the Department of Education are throwing in their support to stop the proposed ruling for the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) who will be voting in just a few weeks to exempt Football Subdivision (FBS/FCS) coaches from working at non-institutional football camps.

Plans afoot for local HOSA association

The American Samoa Area Health Education Center (ASAHEC) is pleased to announce its efforts to launch the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) State Association and support the affiliation of local HOSA chapters in schools during this 2015-2016 school year. In June, Sailitafa Samoa, ASCC-ASAHEC Program Director and Magdalene Augafa-Leauanae, DOE Health Coordinator attended the HOSA 2015 National Leadership Conference, Anaheim, CA to experience firsthand the engagement and energy of HOSA members and their advisors.

Possible partnership in the pipeline between National University of Samoa and ASDOE

ASDOE: Local teachers with B.Ed degrees are not specialized in ‘content area’

In an effort to increase the number of public high school teachers with degrees in content areas like Math, Science, and English, the local Department of Education is looking to the National University of Samoa for a possible partnership.
Targeting NUS comes after a US-based company certified that a Bachelor of Education degree from the Samoa university is up to par and equivalent to a US Bachelor of Education degree.

Court denies motion in Gold Conda armed robbery case


The Trial Division of the High Court has denied a motion to withdraw the guilty plea made by one of the three men charged in connection with the Gold Conda armed robbery case last May.
Falefatu Asi and his co-defendants Alatuna Simi and Samuelu Wright, have been held on bail of $100,000 each, and each defendant has been charged with first-degree robbery and stealing.

Senate will no longer allow Thompson in its chamber

Gaoteote: ASGERF seat occupied by Thompson is a ‘waste’

Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie declared yesterday that “as long as we are sitting here” and the world comes to an end, the Senate does not accept and will not allow in its chamber, ASG Employees’ Retirement Fund Board of Trustees member Sonny Thompson, who is also the government’s Human Resources director.
Gaoteote’s statement was made during a Senate Government Operations hearing, where Retirement Fund board chairman Va’anatiu Tofala Iafeta was called as a witness to answer questions on matters pertaining to the Fund.

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