Regional News

Apple growth amazes Samoa farmer

Did you know that apples do grow and fruit in Samoa? Ask Tanumalala man, Julius Fruean, and he will proudly tell you.

Mr. Fruean has not only grown two apple trees, they have also started to bear fruit.

“They are growing very well at my residence,” he said. “I didn't think they would grow.

“But it has been the most amazing feeling after these two apple trees that I planted in the last five years, produced fruit.”

Fruean said there is no special formula in planting apples. He is also not sure if he is the first to have planted apples in Samoa.

Samoa students sit “SAT” for the first time


History was made at Pesega College on Saturday, January 24, as the U.S. University/College Admissions exam, the SAT, was administered in Samoa for the first time, according to a statement issued by the US Embassy in Samoa. 
”Sixteen students from several schools around Samoa sat the four-hour test, which assesses students’ readiness for University.  The SAT exam provides a path to opportunities, financial support, and scholarships, and fulfills one of the major requirements in the U.S. University application process.”

Samoa police probe money missing from bank

The Police investigation into a complaint from a woman against an employee of a local bank is continuing.

This was confirmed by the Acting Police Commissioner, Fauono Talalelei Tapu, who said the complaint was made to them through the woman’s lawyer.

The name of the complainant is being withheld.

But the woman’s lawyer had made the complaint in a letter.

“Once this was received, it was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Division for an investigation,” said Fauono.

Proposal to legalize medical marijuana in CNMI

A bill to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in the Northern Marianas has been pre-filed by Senator Sixto Igisomar.

Senator Igisomar says such legalization is now less controversial than a few years ago as Colorado and Washington have joined other states in approving marijuana for recreational use.

There are 24 states, including the territory of Guam, that have enacted laws to legalize marijuana.

In 2012, a bill to legalize marijuana also pointed to potential revenues for the CNMI in addition to medical benefits.

Interior Assistant Secretary Kia’aina seeks climate change coordinator for the OIA

OIA media release

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Assistant Secretary for the Insular Areas Esther Kia’aina has established a new Climate Change Coordinator position in the Department of the Interior to help leaders of the U.S. insular areas plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change in their respective jurisdictions. 

Fight over lottery game lands man in Samoa court

A man who operates a lottery game, referred to locally as “ponesi” (bonus) has landed in Court after a woman claimed he has not paid her all her winnings.

Foimai Tapuolo, who is represented by lawyer, Edelma Niumata, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft against him.

The charge was brought upon him by the Police after Rosa Ainu’u lodged a complaint.

Prosecuting on behalf of the Police is Fetu Lagaaia while presiding over the matter is Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu.

Lady Naomi scare as rough seas rule

Close to a hundred passengers on a Lady Naomi voyage from American Samoa to Samoa were stuck on the ferry for almost 20 hours.

The ferry arrived from Pago at midnight on Friday (Samoa time) but the majority of passengers did not get off the boat until well past midday Saturday.

Local authorities had to use a small boat to transfer the passengers to the Samoa Ports Authority’s Marina where they were cleared by Immigration and allowed to go home.

Samoa gov't cracks down on child labor

Shops and businesses be warned!

Selling goods to young people who should be in school and encouraging them to re-sell it is illegal and it could land you in jail.

That’s the combined message from the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Police as they step up the enforcement of the country’s Compulsory Education Law.

With most students returning to school next Monday, the Ministries will have three teams of officials monitoring areas where young street vendors are known to congregate instead of going to school.

Samoa inmate: What happened to the cash?

The Acting Commissioner of Police, Fauono Talalelei Tapu, has rejected a claim by a former inmate that Police officers who arrested him took a large sum of money that was in his bag.

The claim was made by 50-yearold Sione Ta’ateo, who was jailed for three years, over the theft of $860,000 from the Samoa National Provident Fund’s Pension scheme Office.

In an attempt to clear his name, Mr. Ta’ateo visited the Weekend Observer to express his disappointment at claims that he had used the money in question.

Samoa talo exports more than triple

Talo exports from Samoa to New Zealand have more than tripled, increasing from four to fifteen containers a month.

The rise in exports is being credited as a result of the Samoa Manufacturers and Exporters, or SAME, trade show in Auckland in November last year.

The president of SAME, Tagaloa Eddie Wilson, says figures on export earnings from 2013 were at 1 point 4 million US dollars, and has risen to about 4 million dollars at the end of last year.

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