Local News

Court Report


District Court Judge Elvis Pila Patea has set a bail of $15,000 for Mulu Maluia Jr who’s charged with first degree burglary and stealing. He made his initial appearance in court this week, and is represented by the Public Defender’s Office while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Robert J Pickett.

ASPA working around the clock to find & repair water leaks


Between January and June 2015 the American Samoa Power Authority (ASPA) reported 132 leaks and a total estimated water loss of 1,868 gallons per minute (gpm), as confirmed by ASPA CEO Utu Abe Malae.
Responding to Samoa News queries regarding the leaks, Utu said that fixing our aging water infrastructure is essential to developing a sustainable water system that provides reliable water supply for the community now and well into the future. He told Samoa News the ASPA water system consists of over 150 miles of water main pipes (4” diameter and larger).

New batch of tax refunds to be released today at 1pm


In a brief news release yesterday afternoon, ASG Treasurer Ueligitone Tonumaipe’a said the next batch of tax refund checks are ready to be issued to the public beginning at 1p.m. today (July 2).
All tax filings as of March 30, 2015 are included in the distribution, he said, but didn’t reveal the total amount of the latest tax refund batch.



Long before he graduated high school, Leafatia Faamanu always knew that he wanted to be successful. As a young boy growing up in a far back village in Samoa, he used to watch little fishing boats pass by on his way to fetch water from a shared ‘pool’ of freshwater for his family.


Surprise! “Tausani” conducts test flights to Fitiuta


After being down for over two years, the N684AS Tausani plane — formerly the Segaula, the government owned plane that was leased to newly established Tausani Airlines— was seen landing in Fitiuta twice this week. Samoa News was questioned by the Fitiuta residents, who were surprised to see the N684AS Tausani plane landing at their airport, and they asked as to when it will officially fly to Manu’a on a daily basis.

CoC prepares assessment of min.wage hike impact

Maintains its position — min. wages should be set locally, not federally

The Chamber of Commerce is preparing a response to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga's request for an assessment of the financial impact of minimum wage increases, with the next 50 cent hike per hour effective Sept.30.
In a letter Tuesday this week to Chamber chairman David Robinson, the governor requested an assessment, saying that the federally mandated minimum wage issue will go into effect and require a collaborative effort to develop a territory-wide position.

Lolo shares strategies for dealing with minimum wage with Congresswoman Amata


Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has shared with Congresswoman Aumua Amata his preference on dealing with minimum wage, in which the federal government would provide a subsidy to help pay for the federally mandated wage hikes.
However, if it's not feasible, the governor prefers the previous method, wherein  local wages were determined by a special industry committee under the purview of the U.S. Labor Department (USDOL).
The minimum wage of the territory is set to rise on September 30, this year.

Court Report


“The government has recently learned new information that prevents it from meeting its burden at trial,” says Assistant Attorney General Jessica Bargmann in her motion to dismiss their case against Yamasaki Bernard who is charged with rape, deviate sexual assault, sexual abuse first degree and burglary first degree, which are all felonies. The motion was filed earlier this month prior to the jury trial for this case.

"High Risk" status removed from two DHSS grants


The high risk status for the Department of Human and Social Service’s two grants from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention has been removed.

Police officer charged with assaulting pregnant wife


A police officer made his initial appearance on Monday in the District Court on charges of third degree assault and public peace disturbance on allegations that he assaulted his pregnant wife. He was summoned on misdemeanor charges, each one punishable with up to one year on jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both fine and jail time.
In the interest of protecting the victim’s identity Samoa News will not name the defendant in this case.

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