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Court Report


Former cashier for GHC Reid Co. Ltd., Stephania Sulusulu admits to misappropriating over $11,000 in funds belonging to the company, following a plea agreement that was accepted in the High Court last Friday.
Sulusulu, who is 37, was facing two charges of embezzlement for which she pled guilty to one embezzlement charge while the other charge was dismissed upon her plea of guilt.

Community Briefs


The Sanctuary Advisory Council of the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa will meet Wednesday, March 4, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm in the Rotunda Room of the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center in Utulei.

Get Into Your Sanctuary program kicks off with a bang


Over 100 local residents, including students from 13 different public and private elementary and high schools were at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center last Friday to be part of the Get Into Your Sanctuary (GIYS) program launch, spearheaded by NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS).
Tents representing each of the sites under the NMSAS system were set up in the Ocean Center parking lot for students to ask questions and get more information.

Hawaii police officer arrested after bicyclist killed

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — A 30-year-old police officer on Hawaii's Big Island was arrested and placed on administrative leave after he hit with his car and killed a bicyclist visiting from Michigan

Hawaii Island police officer Jody Buddemeyer was arrested on suspicion of negligent homicide in connection with the death Sunday morning of Jeffrey Sunow, 63, of West Bloomfield, Michigan, according to West Hawaii Today, a newspaper in Kailua-Kona.

Samoa court can't hear case of man imprisoned with child

A lawyer in Samoa has criticized the court system after another adjournment in the case against a man who was imprisoned by police with his three-year-old son.

Leulua'ialii Olinda Woodroffe, who is the accused man's lawyer, says the case is complicated and has faced harmful delays.

The imprisonment of the child earlier resulted in the suspension of three police officers, and at the local court hearing, Leulua'ialii made further accusations against the police, including driving an unlicensed vehicle.

Leulua'ialii says the trial was transferred to the district court.

Thai Union faces tough antitrust review for Bumble Bee deal

Thai Union Frozen Products is facing a rigorous antitrust review as it attempts to acquire Bumble Bee Foods thanks to its high market share, a strict regulatory climate and the consolidated nature of the canned tuna industry, lawyers told Undercurrent News last week.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has likely already begun reviewing the implications of a tie-up between Bumble Bee and Thai Union-owned Chicken of the Sea. A well-placed tuna industry source told Undercurrent the DOJ has contacted the company to discuss the deal.

Help at hand for Insular Areas to develop “robust professional health care workforce”


A U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (USDHSS) official has told a meeting of federal and territorial leaders that they are prepared to help the insular areas build their healthcare work force.
USDHSS director of Global Health Affairs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Kerry Nessler was speaking at last week’s meeting of the federal Interagency Group on Insular Areas (IGIA) and was a presenter on the Workforce Development panel discussion.

WestPac says territories also need help with fishing management


The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council recommends that federal resources should also be directed to the U.S. Pacific territories to “enhance their fishing management capacity.”
This is one of the Council’s suggestions outlined its a 4-page response, submitted by executive director Kitty Simonds, to the U.S. Presidential task force on illegal fishing, which sought public comments on several recommendations, to combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud.

Hawaii group moves to change shipping regulations governed by Jones Act


While American Samoa is exempted from the U.S. build federal requirement provision of the Jones Act, two states and two territories are hoping to be given a similar exemption, through a proposal being worked on by the Honolulu-based Hawai’i Shippers’ Council (HSC), according to the group’s president Michael N. Hansen, who is hoping that American Samoa will support their move if and when the proposal goes through the U.S. Congress.

Gabbard hires chief of staff with no government or Congressional experience

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's decision to hire a childhood friend with no experience working in government or Congress as her chief of staff is “bizarre” and “unusual,” political insiders said Thursday.

Gabbard announced this week that Kainoa Ramananda Penaroza, 30, will be her third chief of staff in just two years.

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