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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.

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.

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