Local News

Biz Beat: Hope House Thrift Shop selling great bargains for a good cause


If you’re looking for great bargains and quality items, and you want to spend your hard-earned dollar knowing that it will go towards something useful, then head over to the Hope House Thrift Shop in Fatu o Aiga, where you’ll find a great selection of clothes and shoes for men, women, and children, as well as other miscellaneous items like kitchen utensils and books.
Right now, there are also Halloween decorations and costumes up for sale at affordable prices.

Arts Fiafia underway at the Hayden Museum


Local artists will be showing off their creations this week during the “Arts Fiafia” program, hosted by the American Samoa Council on Arts, Culture and Humanities to celebrate various Samoan culture forms and arts.
The week-long celebration kicked off yesterday and will conclude this Friday.

Local girl flies high as commercial pilot


Laura Faamoe Ale-Englebrecht recently completed a two-week electronic training course, following a month of formal training in full flight simulators covering normal emergencies including engine failures, in-flight fires, four exams, and six-day trips to ensure her overall readiness to carry passengers on Delta Airlines’ new 330 Airbus.
Ale-Englebrecht is the daughter of the Territorial Administration on Aging (TAOA) Director Tifi Ale and Mrs. Fujiyama Nomura Ale of Leloaloa.

Homeland Security, DoH sure they can handle Ebola


The men in charge of the territory’s First Responders — Director of Public Health Motusa Tuileama Nua and Homeland Security Director Utuali’i Iuniasolua Savusa have confidently told Senators that with the preparations that are in place, American Samoa is ready in case there is an appearance of the deadly Ebola virus in the territory.
The directors were testifying before the Senate Health Committee, which was chaired by Senator Mauga Tasi Asuega.

Man behind bond fraud that killed Whitehorn cuts plea

Faces 20 yrs in prison, fines and restitution

The instigator of a forged construction bond scam in which one of the victims was Whitehorn Construction — the original contractor of the multi-million dollar Airport Road project — has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors at the federal court in Atlanta, Georgia.
Eric D. Campbell, who is in federal custody, was indicted in May this year by a federal grand jury in Atlanta, charging him with three counts of wire fraud; two counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Pay hikes for top officials, office allowance raises automatically rejected as special session ends


The two bills — one to increase by $10,000 across the board the office allowance of all Fono members and another to hike the annual salaries of the governor and lieutenant governor — have been automatically rejected since the Special Session ended yesterday with the measures failing to be be presented to the floor to be voted on by the House.

Suleman family hires private firm to continue search for father’s remains


The Suleman family has contracted Global Diving & Salvage, a diving company, to continue the search for the body of Babar Suleman, who was killed with his son, Haris, when their Beech aircraft crashed into the ocean just off of Pago Pago International Airport on July 23, 2014. The body of Haris was recovered soon after the crash, however the body of the father was never found.
A three-man diving team arrived in the territory last Friday night, says Director of Homeland Security, Utuali’i Iuniasolua Savusa.

Samoan woman who pled guilty to passport fraud sentenced in Alaska


A Samoan woman who pled guilty to passport fraud at the federal court in Fairbanks, Alaska for using an American Samoa birth certificate to — among other things — obtain a U.S. passport, has been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay more than $30,000 in restitution.
Maualuga Leaana, aka, Sialei Leaana was initially charged at the federal court in Fairbanks with one count of passport fraud, nine counts of false claims of being a U.S. citizen and one count of aggravated identify theft.

Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act signed into law


Lt Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga — as Acting Governor — signed into law on Friday the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Lemanu pointed out in his letter to lawmakers that this is an important piece of legislation, and expressed his appreciation to the Fono for passing this measure.
SORNA closes potential gaps and loopholes that existed under prior laws and generally strengthens the nationwide network of the sex offender registration and notification program, he noted.

Attorney General proposes increase in immigration fees


Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale is proposing to increase current fees for certain immigration services through the American Samoa Administrative Code process, and the public has until Oct. 27 to comment on the amendments.
Talauega is also seeking to increase the immigration bond for citizens of certain countries and this new hike will be effective next month. The new proposed bond hike does not include Samoa, Tonga or the Philippines, as bonds for these three countries will remain the same.

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