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Cost-U-Less closed by DoH: “Unsanitary conditions” cited


Department of Health has closed down well known local wholesaler, Cost-U-Less’ store due to “unsanitary conditions,” says Dept. of Health official Papali’i Marion Fitisemanu. The company has been given five working days to address the health and safety issues cited by health inspectors.
Papali’i told Samoa News after 5p.m. yesterday that DoH had last week advised the store to correct health issues identified by health inspectors, who conducted a site visit following many public complaints to DOH.

One death from suspected mosquito borne illness


A young man has died from an illness outbreak, which the Department of Health and LBJ hospital have detected as an illness with symptoms that include fever, rash and joint pains, according to a health alert issued by DoH Director, Motusa Tuileama Nua.
There have been “more than 100 patients with several hospitalizations and one death which have occurred on Tutuila in the past 20 days,” says the health alert, titled: “Dengue-like Illness.”

US fishing fleet faces uncertain future in the Pacific


American Tunaboat Association (ATA) executive director Brian Hallman says ATA is disappointed that ‘no deal’ was reached at the conclusion of American treaty negotiations with Pacific Island nations, and that leaves the United States tuna fleet without fishing access to the Pacific Ocean in 2015.
The negotiations on the Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries (also known as the South Pacific Tuna Treaty) were held in Auckland, New Zealand from July 9-12.

ASPA’s rates jeopardizing ASG stand on min wage


Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has called for a further reduction in electric rates — up to 10¢ — saying the reduction would among other things support the government’s position on the minimum wage, to not increase it in Sept. 2015, according to the cover letter for the fiscal year 2015 budget, submitted to the Fono last week.
While, ASPA’s budget is more than $109 million — it is a decrease of about $32 million from the current fiscal year — and this is due mainly to the fact that ASPA is out of the fuel supply business.

DPS Commissioner tells officers he is proud of them, despite bad press


Despite what the news media says about the Department of Public Safety, the department is still investigating cases and sending them to the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution, according to Police Commissioner William Haleck during his brief comments at last Thursday’s DPS award recognition ceremony for outstanding officers of the quarter.
The commissioner acknowledged during his remarks that even police officers are not exempted from being investigated or prosecuted — as this has occurred before, with a recent case now pending in court.

Tofaeono plea agreement accepted by High Court


Chief Justice Michael Kruse has accepted the plea agreement between the government and the hospital’s former Business Manager, Jennifer Tofaeono. The plea agreement, which was under advisement last week, has Tofaeono pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit felony stealing, amended from the stealing count. The initial charges filed against Tofaeono were tampering with evidence, stealing and embezzlement. Prosecuting this matter is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop.

DBAS files 12th 1602 civil suit


The Development Bank of American Samoa (DBAS) has filed their latest civil suit with the High Court against one of its customers who failed to comply with conditions of the section 1602 housing program contract. To date there are a total of 12 civil cases, including the new one against Eddie and Bernadette Fruean.
According to the court documents, in December 2010 the Frueans were awarded an $85,000 section 1602 grant.

Gov “cannot in all good conscience” submit LBJ’s proposed FY2015 budget

FY2014 budget for hospital submitted instead — for now

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has declared that LBJ Medical Center is “reaching crisis proportions” requiring greater scrutiny of the budget for the territory’s only medical center. The hospital’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal has been kept by the governor at the FY 2014 ceiling level, saying he cannot in good conscious submit the additional $28.8 million requested by the hospital in its budget request.

Revenue projection for FY2015 has over $2Mil drop


A slight drop of 2% in the FY2015 proposed ASG budget is due to less money seen collected “in the tax revenues, fees and permits, as well as charges for services being offset by increases in licenses and permits, miscellaneous, and transfers in revenue categories between the current and next fiscal years,” said Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga in his FY 2015 budget cover letter. The FY2015 budget was sent in PDF form to the Legislature for budget approval, yesterday morning.

TCF police officer found guilty of assault in jury trial

Police brutality against inmate witnessed by fellow officers

Guilty was the verdict rendered by a jury of five women and two men in the case of Police Officer Sianava Nu’usila, who was facing charges of third degree assault and public peace disturbance. The officer, who works for the Tafuna Correctional Facility, was charged earlier this year with misdemeanors on allegations of police brutality of an inmate who had escaped from jail.
The presiding District Court Judge, Elvis Pila Patea, has scheduled sentencing next month for the officer, who’s out on his own recognizance.

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