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SEN. SAOLE MILA PASSES AWAY, DESCRIBED AS A “HUMBLE PERSON”

reporters@samoanews.com

Sen. Saole Mila, who is described by a fellow senator as a “humble person” passed away Wednesday this week in Seattle, Washington where he along with his wife were visiting family, according to a family chief and also confirmed by others relatives contacted by Samoa News yesterday. The cause of death is unknown at this time.
 



Budget submission will be in ‘electronic’ form, says Budget director

FY 2016 budget for most ASG entities set 10% less than last year
fili@samoanews.com

The Fono reconvenes Monday following a two and a half week recess, which was to save session days while awaiting the Executive Branch’s submission of the fiscal year 2016 budget. According to Office of Program Planning and Budget director Catherine D. Saelua, she is looking at sending the budget to the Fono next week and it will be sent in electronic format.
 



Community Briefs

reporters@samoanews.com

ROTARY HOLDS ANNUAL CHANGEOVER NIGHT
 
The Rotary Club of Pago Pago held their annual Changeover of Club Officers for the 2015-2016 Club year at the Sadie Thompson Inn last Saturday evening.
 
The banquet was well attended with member’s family and friends. In addition to introduction of the incoming Club Officers, Past President, Mrs. Jacqueline Hall was honored and recognized as the Club's newest Paul Harris Fellow and Past President and Treasurer Jim Mahoney was recognized as Rotarian of the Year.
 



Amata takes part in VA bill floor debate

Source: Media Release, Aumua Amata's office

For the hotly contested floor debate on H.R. 1994, the VA Accountability Act, which split Members largely along party lines, House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL), who managed the debate for the Majority, selected Amata as one of only eight speakers to speak in support of the measure during the half-hour allotted to the majority side.
 



Local child with serious heart condition needs medivac

Hawaiian Air cannot take him, and Hawai’i hospitals refusing case
joyetter@samoanews.com

“Unfortunately, LBJ does not get involved with medivac arrangements because of financial reasons,” was the explanation given by hospital Chief Executive Officer, Taufete’e Faumuina in response to Samoa News queries with regard to the case of an eight-year-old boy who has been in the Intensive Care Unit for three weeks, fighting for his life as he suffers from heart problems, and cannot be taken on the Hawaiian Airlines.
 



Faoa is legal counsel for Retirement Fund, hired by former board

Says recused himself from current investigation of Fund’s director
joyetter@samoanews.com

The former Retirement board hired former board member Faoa Aitofele Sunia as the fund’s legal counsel last year, said American Samoa Government Employees Retirement Fund Director Luatua Filisouaiga Ta'afua. who has been placed on 30-day annual leave.
 
This has also been confirmed by Acting Director, Caroline Wendt, responding to Samoa News queries, and while she and Luatua both declined to divulge his salary, several of the board’s members confirmed that he's working on an $80,000+ salary per year.
 



ASCC research aims to improve taro crop

Scientists still cannot explain the 1993 arrival in these islands of the taro leaf blight, a leaf disease caused by a fungus, but once here, it quickly spread by wind and rain to all of American Samoa and Samoa, decimating all the traditional varieties of taro grown here at the time. Fortunately, disease-resistant varieties of taro from Asia and other parts of the Pacific were subsequently introduced to all of Samoa to replace the traditional varieties, but research continues in pursuit of new species of taro ideally suited to our unique environment.



Local Head Start gets $2.3 million grant

Source: Media Realse, Aumua Amata's office

Congresswoman Aumua Amata, announced that U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has awarded a $2.3 million dollar grant for American Samoa’s Head Start Program.
 



Community Briefs

blue@samoanews.com

FONO SAMOAN FALE IN NEED OF REPAIR
 
The head of Congresswoman Aumua Amata’s local office, HC Pulu Ae Ae Jr., says he is appalled at the condition of the Fono’s Fale Samoa, and he wonders why nothing is being done about it.
 
Pulu, a former faipule for Ma’oputasi, told Samoa News that the leaky roof at the Fale Samoa has been a longstanding problem, and attempts to address it have never been successful.
 



New ASPA wells achieve 95.5% of targeted production, thus far

Goal: to eliminate need for Boil Water Notice
joyetter@samoanews.com

The five new wells the American Samoa Power Authority has been working on since last year July are now at 90% says Matamua Katrina Mariner, ASPA’s Water and Wells Engineer.  Responding to Samoa News questions, Matamua stated the project had been proposed to locate and drill for new, good quality groundwater resources to ensure ASPA customers have  sufficient good water supply to enable them to lift the boil water notice that’s been effective for several years now.
 



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