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At long last, MV Sili repaired

Scheduled to sail to Manu’a today
fili@samoanews.com

Port Administration plans to have the MV Sili sail to the Manu’a island group today, after the government vessel, which has been down since last month, underwent repairs, now totaling more than $200,000, following an incident at the Faleasao Wharf on Ta’u Island.
 
For more than two weeks Samoa News has received complaints from Manu’a residents over the lack of ocean transportation service— for more than a month— with a Faleasao resident saying last week Friday that stores on Ta’u Island were running out of food supplies.



Gov't should play smaller role in overall economy says Workforce Investment Board

Public sector should enable growth via incentives and proactive policies
fili@samoanews.com

Although the public sector will play a “smaller role” in the overall economic development of American Samoa, a government workforce board is advocating a “proactive government” to implement innovative and enterprising solutions for the territory’s economic viability for the 21st century, according to the American Samoa State Unified Plan.
 



Retirement Fund projected to bankrupt in 2040 if nothing done, says Fund chair

Increased contribution is “most effective” way to address problem
fili@samoanews.com

Increasing the contribution by both employee and employer to the ASG Employees Retirement Fund is the “most effective” way to address the unfunded liability of the Fund, and was recommended by the Fund’s off island actuary and investment consultant, says Retirement Fund board chairman Va’anatiu Tofala Iafeta.
 



Toddler death investigated by police, delaying burial

Police say delay is common in these cases
joyetter@samoanews.com

The delay in the release of the body of a toddler by the Department of Public Safety who is conducting an investigation, is not sitting well with the family who wants to give their child a proper burial, as it’s going on four weeks since the toddler has passed away. Samoa News understands that the police are still conducing their investigation into the death of this toddler, “as usual procedure”.
 



ASCC Student selected for D.C Internship

American Samoa Community College (ASCC) student Ms. Vaimalu Vaiau recently received word of her acceptance to a 10-week summer internship in Washington D.C. with the national organization Asian Pacific American Advocates, which goes by the acronym OCA. Ms. Vaiau’s internship begins in early June and will last until mid-August. OCA will cover her travel expenses and also provide her with a stipend during the internship.      
 



Community Briefs

reporters@samoanews.com

ZIKA UPDATE: STILL 14 CONFIRMED CASES
 
In the latest update on the Zika virus outbreak, the Health Department says there were 541 suspected cases as of Apr. 28, with 126 cases tested — including 59 pregnant women.
 
 And so far, 14 cases remain confirmed — six of them pregnant women — through laboratory testing.
 
Pregnant women remain the focus of DoH’s awareness campaign, with Zika prevention kits available at DoH, free of charge.
 



Negotiations for Tuna Treaty crawling slowly forward

“Dissolution of this Treaty would be devastating to U.S. fleet”
fili@samoanews.com

Representatives of the US fishing fleet voiced their disappointment that no formal agreement was reached last week in Fiji, where the discussions took place for a new South Pacific Tuna Treaty between the US and 17 Pacific island nations. They are saying that while the meeting did “inch” them forward in negotiations, however much more needs to be sorted out. There is no new meeting for further discussions currently scheduled.
 



New business in Tafuna hard hit by burglar

SSAB warns other businesses, thieves are currently targeting the Tafuna area
joyetter@samoanews.com

Newly established business Samoa Stationary and Books (SSAB) on Tafuna Airport Road took a hard hit when someone broke into their store over the weekend, leaving with cash and smart phones, and damaging the store’s building and other equipment in the process — at an estimated total value of more than $6,000.
 



NMFS proposes new rule regarding fishery observers

Expected to be yet another financial setback for beleaguered U.S. fleet
fili@samoanews.com

A new fishery rule that the federal government is moving to implement is expected to deal another financial blow to the US purse seiner fleet, which is already faced with stiff competition from foreign vessels such as the Chinese fleet, who are subsidized by their  government, China.
 
US National Marine Fishery Service (NMFS) has proposed a rule which would require Observers to be on board US purse seiners fishing in the western and central Pacific ocean (WCPO).
 



Court Report

Samoa News staff translation

REGGIE VA’AVALE
 
The Pre trial conference hearing for Reggie Va’avale is scheduled for July 7 after he entered not guilty pleas to two charges during his arraignment last Friday in High Court.
 



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