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Fono to begin joint budget review on Monday

fili@samoanews.com

The Fono’s joint-review of the American Samoa government fiscal year 2016 budget is scheduled to last for two and a half weeks, starting next week Monday. The proposed FY 2016 budget totaled just over $417 million.
 
Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman Sen. Laolagi F.S. Vaeao and House Budget committee chairman Rep. Timusa Tini C. Lam Yuen recently sent a letter to ASG Budget and Planning Office director Catherine D. Saelua about the scheduled hearings to begin on Aug. 31, with the Fono budget the last one to be reviewed on Sept. 16.



Local residents file opposition to Longliner exemption

Cite overfishing
fili@samoanews.com

Two local residents who are also fishermen have voiced objections to a federal proposal to allow large longliners, which are 50 feet and over, to fish in the current Large Vessel Protected Area (LVPA) preserved for the small longliner, or the local alia fleet.
 
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council had recommended to allow large federally permitted US longline vessels to fish in the LVPA, which extends seaward approximately 30-50 nautical miles offshore from the islands of American Samoa.
 



American Samoan pleads guilty in second attack in AZ

A former Northern Arizona University football player serving 40 years in prison for a 2001 rape has pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault in another case.

Pisa Magele, 36, was first arrested in December 2001 after an NAU student told campus police he had raped her in her dorm room. Magele was 11 years into a 40-year sentence with the Arizona Department of Corrections for that rape when a grand jury indicted him in January 2014 on two counts of sexual assault for attacking another NAU student two months before his arrest.



Federal tax fraud sentence postponed to October

fili@samoanews.com

Based on a request by the US government, the sentencing of tax fraudster Pepe Anetipa has been continued for 30 days at the federal court in Anchorage, Alaska.
 
Anetipa, 58, was charged under a 28 count indictment handed down last year for making false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims against the federal government. Federal prosecutors allege that Anetipa filed falsified tax returns, using tax information from local residents to fraudulently obtain more than $200,000 in IRS refund checks.
 



Bonds’ proceeds deposited into a New York bank

Sale of Series B Bonds delayed due to negative publicity flooding the airwaves
joyetter@samoanews.com

As of 2a.m., Thursday morning, a total of $55.2 Million was deposited into a New York bank, says Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, who further stated that all the proper documents for the bonds are in place and taken care of, except the one of the three series, which is allocated for the charter bank, which will not be finalized until sometime next week.
 



DOH employee claims “no grounds for termination”

Accuses director of harassment, bullying
joyetter@samoanews.com

Mickey Reynolds, Federal Grants Management Specialist over the Health Resources and Services Administration grants of $1.4million awarded to DOH, has alerted their division financial integrity auditors following an email sent by DOH Employee Vasati Ieremia, a Quality Assurance and Improvement Manager, after she was allegedly terminated by the DOH Director, Motusa Tuileama Nua.
 



‘Off Island Referral’: Fa’amaonia sa malaga Mase & Tofaeono

ausage@samoanews.com

MASE: Ou te le i pepelo
 
I ripoti na tauaao e le Komiti o le Falema’i a le Senate i le taeao ananafi ua fa’amaonia ai, sa i ai taimi na malaga ai Leilua Mase Akapo ma Dr. Victor Tofaeono i tupe a le polokalame o le ‘Off Island Referral’, e ui sa fa’ailoa e Mase i luma o le Senate i le iloiloga sa faia i le vaiaso na te’a nei, e leai se taimi na malaga ai i ni tupe a le polokalame.
 



Homeland Security probes alleged human trafficking

joyetter@samoanews.com

The Department of Homeland Security is looking into a possible “human trafficking” case after a Fijian woman filed an official complaint against her sponsor and the woman she was living with for the last three months while making $80 weekly, working six days a week and alleging that she was verbally abused.
 
The investigation into this matter has been confirmed by DHS officials.
 



“Junk bond” purchase has Senators riled — after the fact

Chair of Retirement Board signed off on the deal this week, according to a senator
fili@samoanews.com

Once it’s confirmed that Retirement Fund board vice chairman Sonny Thompson is back on island, the Senate Retirement Committee will immediately move to schedule a hearing on the bond-purchase deal that Sen. Galeai M. Tu’ufuli says is being “shoved down our throats” by those who were involved in the purchase — an action which has outraged several senators who want to question the Retirement Fund board.
 



Taunuu atugaluga a le Fono i le alii Kovana

ausage@samoanews.com

O le feiloaiga fa’apitoa a le afioga i le alii kovana ia Lolo Matalasi Moliga ma ta’ita’i o le Fono Faitulafono i le taeao ananafi, na fa’aoo aloaia ai loa e ta’ita’i o le fono i le alii kovana, atugaluga o afioga i senatoa ma faipule, e fa’atatau i le mataupu lea o loo vavao ai le fono ma le atunu’u i tupe o le pone faapea ai ma le puipuiga o tupe a le Ofisa o le Litaea.
 



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