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Court Report


Chief Justice Michael Kruse sentenced John Latianara last Friday to time served, as part of his seven years probation. Defendant was initially charged with burglary and stealing, however in a plea agreement with the government he pled guilty to stealing and upon his guilty plea the government moved to dismiss the remaining count. He accepted the plea agreement and the burglary charge was dismissed.
Kruse sentenced him to time served and he was released last Friday.

Fono News


The Senators will not vote on the latest nominee to the Retirement Board, businessman Tony Togia’i until they get to the bottom of the status of board member Sonny L Thompson, given that he is among the four trustees who are members of the Fund — although research uncovered that he was not a contributor until the last pay period.

LBJ: Fewer employees, higher salaries, cutback on supplies

Board chair says they’re “achieving goals in a timely manner”

The LBJ Hospital has a high degree of accuracy in their revenue system and they have reduced their debts by 80%, according to a letter signed by chairman of the hospital board Mase Akapo, and sent to the governor last month.

Food Stamp recipients get $200 bonus in benefits


Great news for all of the recipients of the American Samoa Nutrition Assistance Program (ASNAP) as they will receive a one time bonus of $200 for this month, according to an announcement made in a statement issued by the Department of Human and Social Services (DHSS) Director Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona.
According to the statement the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service has approved a one-time payment of bonus benefits for all recipients of the American Samoa Nutrition Assistance Program (ASNAP) generally known as the Food Stamp Program.

Female sex offender released from prison


Chief Justice Michael Kruse released Carmen Hunkin from jail after she pled guilty in a sex case involving a minor boy. Sentencing was handed down last Friday by Kruse, who was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judges Muasau Tofili and Faamausili Pomele.
Hunkin of Leone, 35 years old, was facing charges of rape, deviate sexual assault, sexual abuse first degree, sodomy and child endangerment. However in a plea agreement with the government, defendant pleaded to sexual abuse first degree.

Dr. Moreli Niuatoa confirmed to Board of Higher Ed. unanimously

Fielded questions regarding same-sex marriage first

While his position is “neutral” on same-sex marriage, Kanana Fou Theological Seminary president Dr. Moreli Niuatoa, who is also a church minister, told senators that he will not perform a same sex marriage if asked to do so by a same-sex couple.

Tri Marine’s Hamby: We’re trying to save our fishery

“The issue is where fishing occurs, not conservation”

Tri Marine International’s multi million dollar investment in American Samoa was “blindsided” by the Obama administration’s decision to expand the Pacific Remote Island Marine National Monuments and reduce fishing days in the US EEZs and on the high seas, says Joe Hamby, the chief operating officer of Tri Marine, whose local operations include Samoa Tuna Processors Inc. cannery.

Fono News


Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga’s nomination of local businesswoman Edda L.B. Wyberski as a member the Immigration Board was introduced last Friday in both the Senate and House. Confirmation hearings for both chambers are set for tomorrow morning, starting at 7:30a.m. with the House, to be followed 30 minutes later in the Senate.

Overzealous Coast Guard inspections concern Lolo


Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has called on the US Coast Guard to be sensitive to American Samoa’s dependency on the tuna industry when performing their duties and urged the Coast Guard to work together with the territorial government to better serve the people.

Senators hear about Mase’s and Dr. Tofaeono’s 7 trips

Mase says he will reimburse LBJ for two of his four trips

After a hospital report confirmed he had traveled four times under the off island medical referral program, LBJ Medical Center board chairman Mase Akapo told senators last week of his plans to reimburse the referral program for two of those trips.
This information came during Mase’s closing remarks at last Thursday’s Senate Health/LBJ Committee hearing, where the board chairman called for a closed-door hearing to further assert federal laws — HIPAA Privacy Rules — which protect the privacy of a patient.

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