Local News

Lawmakers question why airport to get such a large portion of the proposed room tax


A hand full of House members are questioning why the Lolo Administration’s 5% room tax bill has targeted the Port Administration Department’s Airport Division to be the recipient of this new revenue source, instead of spreading out it out to all ASG entities.
The room tax bill states that 75% of revenue earned from the proposed room tax —which targets hotel, motels, inns, and similar places of lodging — goes to the Airport Division while the other 25% remains with the ASG general fund account.

Whitehorn will receive restitution funds from man convicted of fraud


California based Whitehorn Construction, the company originally contracted by the American Samoa government for the airport road project, is to received more than $300,000 from the restitution payment Eric Campbell was ordered by the federal court to make to his victims.
Campbell, 50, of Florida was sentenced Monday, Mar. 24 at the Atlanta federal court to 57 months in prison, restitution of just over $1.9 million and placed on three-years supervised release.

Fed budget for the territories includes money for climate change adaptation


U.S. Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular Affairs, Esther Kia’aina told a U.S. committee that the new fiscal year budget for the Office of Insular Affairs works to empower U.S.-affiliated insular communities by promoting economic development opportunities, building governmental capacity and infrastructure, improving quality of life issues, and supporting adaptation planning and resilience in the face of climate change.

WestPac recognizes inaugural scholarship recipients

HONOLULU — The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council at its meeting this month recognized Fa’asalafa Kitiona of American Samoa, who studies marine science at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Keena Leon Guerrero of the CNMI, who is studying marine biology at Hawaii Pacific University.

Two proposed tobacco bills cite health risks as reason

One seeks to raise excise taxes, the other to regulate use of electronic cigarettes

Two bills have been submitted by the Lolo Administration dealing with tobacco products, one is a revenue bill, increasing the excise taxes on tobacco products , while the other would regulate the use of electronic cigarettes. Health risks are cited for both, as the reason behind their submissions.

ASTCA fiber optic and O3b services to begin soon

“It should be full speed ahead all the time,” says ASTCA

American Samoa Telecommunication’s acting marketing manager, Roy J.D. Hall III says high-speed Internet services will come with their Broadband Linking American Samoa Territory (BLAST) project — and with the 03b satellite services and testing that will be conducted in a few weeks. His presentation was made before an audience from the Chamber of Commerce and members of the public about ASTCA’s new services that according to Hall will benefit everyone — including the business community. 

What’s in stores, restaurants predicts our health

Of interest: US mainland has same trends

American Samoa is known for many things: the high number of US Army recruits, the exceptional amount of football talent, canned tuna fish, and sadly, having the highest prevalence of obesity (75%) in the world.
In the March 20 release of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), it was noted that “a nutritionally poor food and beverage environment of food retail venues has been suspected to be a community-level predictor of obesity.”

Sheldon Haleck to be laid to rest on Monday


Thirty-eight year old Sheldon Paul Haleck, who died after being taken into custody on a Honolulu downtown street, will be laid to rest Monday in Hawai’i.
Haleck passed away Mar. 17 and his farewell services will be Mar 30, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints chapel in Hawaii Kai (Oahu island) at 12 pm, after which he will be laid to rest at Hawaii Memorial Park in Kaneohe at 2 pm, according to a family announcement.

DOI awards scholarships for 2015 American Samoa Jr Statesmen

Source: US DOI media release

The U.S. Department of the Interior and The Junior Statesmen Foundation proudly announce the winners of scholarships to the 2015 Junior Statesmen Summer School.
The scholarships, funded by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, cover all tuition costs ($4,950 for Stanford and Princeton) and round trip transportation.

Polynesian gets another 30-day cabotage waver for Manu’a


The U.S. Department of Transportation has granted the Samoa government owned Polynesian Airlines request for another 30-day cabotage waiver exemption to operation American Samoa’s domestic flights, with the current exemption to expire Mar. 30.

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