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Leone sub station shooting pled down to misdemeanor

3 released for time served, 4th stays in jail on separate drug charge
Samoa News staff translation

In the latest twist regarding the government’s case against four men accused of shooting at the Leone police substation two years ago, possible jurors were dismissed as the government reached a plea agreement with the defendants, who pled guilty to one-misdemeanor count with three of the defendants released from the Territorial Correctional Facility, where they have been held for more than a year.

Tafuna Football Program banned from next playoffs

Neither JV or Varsity can win a championship title 2017-18 season

The American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) had a board meeting a few days after this year’s championship game, to discuss matters on the violence that Tafuna High School students and supporters cause every year they make it to the big games.

Meth bust in Fagatogo


A police surveillance of a home in Fagatogo, where crystal methamphetamine, or ice, was allegedly sold, resulted in the arrest of a fa’afafine or transgender person, who goes by the name of “Nicole”, and it was neighbors who alerted police about Nicole’s activities.
Nicole is identified in court documents, as Falaniko Stowers — and is referred to as a male in court documents, but is also identified as a “fa’afafine” with the name of Nicole.

Update: Minimum wage alternatives for U.S. Congress

Focus is to keep pace with territory’s cost of living increases & decreases

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has suggested to the US Congress “two basic approaches” for increasing American Samoa’s minimum wages to keep pace with the cost of living in the territory and eventually equal the federal minimum wage.
The investigative arm of the US Congress provided the two alternatives in a 110-page report released last Friday in order to comply with a provision of the October 2015 federal law, which raises American Samoa’s minimum wage by 40 cents every three years beginning Sept. 30 of last year.

Some info in Leone shoot up case allegedly erased

Ordered by Commissioner Save police officer testifies
Samoa News staff translation

In a new twist in the government’s case against four men accused of shooting at the Leone police substation two years ago, a police detective testified that he was told by Police Commissioner Save Liuato Tuitele to erase some information from the police report on the shooting.

Fisheries treaty allows how many days to purchase

Can be paid semi-annually, cost of days locked-in for 4 years

The US purse seiner fleet can choose the number of fishing days to purchase under the newly signed six-year Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries, in which the US fleet pays $12,500 per fishing day, says American Tunaboat Association (ATA) executive director Brian Hallman.
The Treaty document, also known as the South Pacific Tuna Treaty, was signed between the US government and 16 Pacific island nations on Dec. 3 in Nadi, Fiji (Dec. 2 in American Samoa.)

South Pacific Tuna Treaty signed over the weekend

U.S. State Dept. says it provides “important economic benefits” for American Samoa

The US State Department has confirmed a newly signed Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries with sixteen Pacific island nations is now in place for six year and signing of the document allows the continued operation of the US fleet in the region.
Signed Dec. 3 (Saturday) in Nadi, Fiji, the State Department says the continued operations of the fishing industry provide “important economic benefits” for American Samoa, according to a department statement over the weekend.

Local min wage alternatives presented to U.S. Congress

Minimum wage increases could be reduced or suspended based on economic indicators

The investigative arm of the US Congress has recommended two alternatives for raising the minimum wage in American Samoa to keep pace with the local cost of living and reach the federal minimum wage level.
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) had already provided Congress with one alternative included in provisions of a federal bill enacted into law in October 2015, in which the minimum wage was raised by 40 cents effective Sept 30, 2015 instead of the previously mandated 50 cents.

In tradition of “fa’aaloalo,” Savali Talavou Ale will again be Speaker of the House

It appears that the House Speakership’s race, when the new 35th Legislature is sworn in come January next year, will have only one candidate, current House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale, who will  — for the second time — run unopposed.
And the consensus decision for Savali came at special meeting two weeks ago, where incumbent faipule along with faipule-elect were in attendance, according to information received by Samoa News early this week.

Layoffs likely at ASPA in the coming new year

ASPA is planning to cut about $150,000 per month from overhead

American Samoa Power Authority Executive Director Utu Abe Malae has confirmed layoffs are planned for early next year for the government’s semi autonomous agency, which he says has accumulated too much accounts payable over the years.
While the total number of employees to be laid off was not immediately clear nor the actual date of the lay off, Utu said that ASPA is planning to cut about $150,000 per month from payroll, goods and services.

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