Local News

US-DOL team to explain new labor law that goes into effect in Dec.


A US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division team will be in the territory early next week to meet with private and government sector workers and employers to explain a new federal labor salary pay rule, which goes into effect on Dec. 1 this this year.
USDOL-WHD district director for the Honolulu office, Terence J. Trotter will be traveling to Pago Pago with USDOL assistant district director Min Mark and the federal agency’s community outreach coordinator Herbert Lee.

Small quake gives territory a shake, no tsunami


An earthquake, which occurred in the Tonga region, was felt in American Samoa just after 9a.m. Saturday local time, but “no tsunami threat” to the territory.
Metrologist Carol Baqui with the National Weather Service in Tafuna says the quake occurred in the Tonga, about 175 miles southwest of Pago Pago with a magnitude of 5.8. The quake occurred around 9:09a.m and that they have received “numerous” public phone calls, she said.

Fined longliner is not a Tri Marine vessel, says agent


Tri Marine International, owner of locally based Samoa Tuna Processors cannery, says the longline fined this past week by ASG Customs for undeclared cigarettes is owned by a Taiwanese company, which supplies fish for the local canneries.
Samoa News reported Friday that Tri Marine paid a hefty fine of $10,200 for undeclared cigarettes that were uncovered during a search of the vessel by Customs agents.

Family scholarship fund awards deserving Pacific Islanders in Hawai’i & Cali

They hope to expand it to include Tutuila and Manu’a students in near future

The children of a Samoan couple who had placed emphasis on the value of a good education have banded together to form a scholarship fund to honor their parents.
The Taito and Ruta Alofaituli Scholarship is open to seniors who plan to enroll in college during the upcoming Fall 2016 semester. High school graduates who are Hawaii or California residents with at least one parent of Pacific island descent are eligible to apply.

USDOT grants Talofa Airlines’ request to operate between 2Samoas and Tonga


The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has granted the application by Samoa-based Talofa Airways Limited for an exemption to operate flights between the two Samoas as well as Tonga, and USDOT has tentatively approved issuing a foreigner carrier permit for the start-up airline, which has already secured two aircraft for the proposed air service.
In March this year, Talofa Airways filed an application with USDOT for exemption authority and a foreign carrier permit, pursuant to federal law. The airline plans to use small 9-seat planes for its service.

Lab analysis: April fish kills probably caused by a virus


Most of the small fish kills reported by the Department of Marine and Wildlife in April this year “were probably caused by a virus” and this was the conclusion of the laboratory analyses conducted by Dr. Thierry Wok and his colleagues of the US Geological Survey-Biological Resources Division, according to DMWR director Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga in a DMWR news release yesterday.

CDC awards American Samoa $150,000 to help battle Zika

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Funding is stopgap measure to help states respond to emerging threat, protect pregnant women
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will award $150,000 to the American Samoa to fight the Zika virus. The award is American Samoa’s share of about $60 million CDC is awarding to states, cities, and territories to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika virus disease and adverse health outcomes that can result from Zika infection, including the serious birth defect microcephaly.

Community Briefs


Collections for the Customs Division of the Treasury Department saw a boost of over $10,000 yesterday after Tri Marine paid a hefty fine of $10,200 for undeclared cigarettes that were uncovered during a search by Customs agents.



As a precautionary measure, Bar-S Foods Company has issued a recall on approximately 372,684 pounds of hot dogs and corn dogs made with chicken and pork, possibly contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.


According to CNN, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) made the announcement on Tuesday. At the time, no illnesses or adverse reactions due to use of the products had been reported.


Kruse: Immigration Lookout List is “still broken”

Convicted rapist returns, caught 6 years later when applies for change of sponsor

After reviewing a special report filed by the Chief Probation Officer in the High Court yesterday morning, about how a convicted rapist found his way back into the territory, Chief Justice Michael Kruse told the court that according to the report, it seems like “our Lookout List under the supervision of the Immigration Office is still broken.”

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