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Missing fishermen found by police boat from Samoa — tired, hungry — alive

joy@samoanews.com

“We are thankful for our Heavenly Father’s guidance and protection upon us, we are safe,” said Tauaveave Lagai of Ofu Manu’a, one of the four fishermen who was lost at sea for over ten days, during an interview with Samoa News yesterday via telephone to Apia, Samoa.
 



Togiola kicks off Congressional campaign at Utulei Beach

"I will help find that contribution, that our generation should… give to our democracy"
fili@samoanews.com

Congressional candidate, former Gov. Togiola Tulafono, has called on the current generation to do more to contribute to American Samoa and “our democracy” just like our forefathers and ancestors did over the last 114 years.
 
Togiola was speaking last Saturday during his first public political rally, which was also part of his official campaign kick off at Su’igaula o le Atuvasa at Utulei Beach. Those in attendance at the rally included supporters, friends, and family members such as Togiola’s cousin, Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga.



‘Best Dance Crew’ finale is this week

Six groups remain, who will it be?
blue@samoanews.com

The six remaining groups competing in American Samoa’s Best Dance Crew (ASBDC) contest breathed a sigh of relief last week when the show’s host, DJ J-Smooth announced that all six of them will be moving on to perform this coming Thursday, during the ASBDC finale set to be held at the Governor H. Rex Lee Auditorium in Utulei at 7 p.m.
 
Two groups were supposed to be eliminated last Thursday.
 



Mata’u sentenced for stealing Tri-Marine payroll

joy@samoanews.com

A former security guard charged in connection with breaking into the Tri Marine office and stealing over $40,000 was sentenced to pay back the company’s money in the amount of $23,000 with monthly payments of $400 for five years.
 
Sentencing for Filoiali’i Mata’u was handed down by Associate Justice John Ward II last Friday.  Mata’u pleaded guilty to stealing last month. During sentencing, the defendant sought the court’s leniency and apologized for his actions, for violating the laws of American Samoa.
 



DOE launches initiative to prepare students for 21st century careers

joy@samoanews.com

The Department of Education has launched the initiative to develop educational programs and work based opportunities that will prepare the students for future careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This is due to the increasing global demand for skilled workers in the STEM fields, said DOE Director Vaitinasa Salu Hunkin.
 



Community Briefs

blue@samoanews.com

ECE HEALTH ASSESSMENTS BEGIN TODAY
 
Beginning today, health assessments will be conducted for all students enrolled in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program. Instead of having the parents take their children to one of the local Health Centers, this year, the medical professionals will be visiting the local ECE centers and classrooms.
 



U.S. House law calls for renewable energy action plan for insular areas

fili@samoanews.com

The U.S. House has passed federal legislation calling on the U.S. Department of Interior to develop an action plan to address the renewable energy needs of insular areas and U.S. freely associate states.
 
Sponsored by U.S. Virgin Islands Congresswoman Donna Christensen and co-sponsored by other island delegates including Congressman Faleomavaega Eni, the measure [H.R. 83] which was passed last week by voice-vote, is now with the U.S. Senate for consideration.
 



“Campaign Nonviolence” Symposium at ASCC tomorrow

September 21 —27 has been designated as the kick off week for the national movement of "Campaign Nonviolence.” Initiated by the California-based Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, Campaign Nonviolence is described as a long-term movement to bring the concept of nonviolence into the national mainstream and to build a culture of peace free from war, poverty, and the climate crisis.
 



Fono finds funds to pay Gov and Lt Gov salary hikes

House bill for raises still in committee
fili@samoanews.com

Money to fund the proposed increase in the salaries of the governor and lieutenant governor is the only major change that both the Senate and House have made to their respective versions of the fiscal year 2015 budget, which is scheduled to go through a third and final reading today in both chambers.
 
When the Fono Joint Budget Committee approved the final FY 2015 budget early last week, two major changes were made: $65,000 to pay the hikes for the governor and lieutenant governor, and $370,000 for Medicaid matching funds.
 



Revenue from General Fund used for Enterprise shortfall

Lawmakers find out that’s “nothing new”
fili@samoanews.com

A surprising pattern emerged during the Fono's Joint Budget Committee for fiscal year 2015 budget hearings — one in which money from the ASG General Fund was “transferred-in” to cover shortfalls for some entities under the Enterprise Fund, which are supposed to be self-generating revenue operations of government.
 



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