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Update: USCG and Marine Patrol resume search for Babar Suleman


The U.S. Coast Guard says some of the debris from the single-engine plane which crashed Tuesday night in the waters off American Samoa’s main island of Tutuila, has been located and collected by territorial officials.
Honolulu based Coast Guard spokesman Gene Maestas told Samoa News this morning that while the search has not found “a whole plane, we have spotted debris such as a wheel, part of the fuselage and personal items such as duffle bag and other items”.

Eyewitness to plane crash tells of sorrow over being unable to help


American Samoa was the headquarters yesterday for the search for debris from a single engine Beechcraft, carrying a man and his 17-year-old son that crashed around 9:50pm Wednesday night, a mile out from the Pago Pago International Airport.
The victims have been identified as Babar Suleman and his 17-year-old son Haris, who took off last month on a world-spanning journey to raise money for charity. They’d planned to spend 30 days flying to cities around the world, including London and Istanbul.

Family: Teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (AP) -- Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren't achieved without taking chances.

"Why does any explorer undertake the necessary risks in order to accomplish their dream? Because that person has a drive, they have a focus, and they have a need to explore that dream," he wrote in a July 15 blog for The Huffington Post.

UPDATES: Private plane crashes after take off from Pago Pago Int'l Airport


A private pane went down in American Samoa waters leaving two dead, according to Marine Patrol officers sent to sea close to midnight with a search and rescue team.
The first body was brought in around 1:15 am at the wharf before the marine officers went back to search for a second body. Apparently the plane had just taken off from the Pago Pago International Airport, said Airport Police.
The Department of Public Safety’s Marine Patrol officers suspended their search for the second body about 4am this morning. 

LBJ board moves to appoint Taufete’e as Acting CEO

Joseph Davis Fleming served with forced resignation notice

The LBJ Hospital Board has appointed board member Taufete’e John Taufete’e as Acting Chief Executive Officer for the hospital, a move which occurred after hospital board member Faimealelei Anthony Allen yesterday served hospital CEO Joseph Davis Fleming with a forced resignation notice asking for his resignation by 4p.m. yesterday.
Faimealelei told Samoa News that this move was approved by the board several weeks back however, they waited until Fleming returned to the island to serve him with the notice.

U.S. territories exempted from some of Obamacare


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) has exempted American Samoa and other U.S. territories from certain Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, provisions dealing with health insurance issuers in the insular areas.
Congressman Faleomavaega Eni made the revelation in a news release last Friday, following a July 16 letter from USDHHS’ Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services to insurance commissioners for the governments of the territories.

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.

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