Community Briefs



Charity Ann  Porotesano, a student at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa was informed this week by the college president of being named a 2012 Truman Scholar, a scholarship program named after the former U.S. President S. Truman and administered by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

In a Mar. 28 letter, college president Dr. Raynard S. Kington informed Porotesano of being a scholar, which is a scholarship that “recognizes your potential for leadership in public service.”

“So while it is a great honor in itself, I believe you have it in you to make it a stepping stone to even greater achievements,” Kington wrote. “You have made the Grinnell community very proud, and I expect we’ll be even prouder of you in the years to come. I look forward to following your career, wherever it takes you.”

Porotesano’s profile on the Truman foundation website states that she studies political science and will graduate in the spring of 2012. Her passion is advocating for educational opportunities for American Samoans and her career goal is “education reform”.

She enjoys attending classes, asking questions, and Wikipediaing random topics, especially those pertaining to European history.

Porotesano is among the 54 new Truman Scholars selected out of  587 candidates nominated by 292 colleges and universities. They were chosen by sixteen independent selection panels on the basis of their academic and leadership accomplishments and their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.

According to the scholarship foundation, each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government.


A new airline called Samoa Air, based in Apia, Samoa plans to offer direct flights between Savai’i island and Pago Pago.

Radio New Zealand International reports Thursday that the up and coming airline will also provide Samoa’s domestic air link between Upolu and Savai’i islands.

Samoa Air is owned by former Polynesian Airlines pilot Chris Langton and his family.  Langton is in Fiji to arrange for the delivery of two aircraft bought off Air Pacific. The airline is set to start operations on May 1.

It’s unclear as to when the airline, which also plans to operate sight seeing flights in Samoa, starts operating flights between Tutuila and Savai’i.

Polynesian had previously operated flights between Upolu and Savai’i but later dropped the route due to the lack of profitability.

The last airline to operate direct flights between Pago Pago International Airport and Maota International Airport on Savai’i was also called Samoa Air, which was under the leadership of then local businesswoman Connie Porter.  Porter’s airline launched the Savai’i-Tutuila route using 19-seater twin-otter aircrafts several years ago but the service was dropped a few years later and they pulled out of American Samoa altogether.


In a Mar. 26 memorandum, Gov. Togiola Tulafono appointed Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau as acting attorney general while Attorney General Fepuleai A. Ripley Jr. is off island from Mar. 26th until Fepuleai “returns to work.”

No date on the memo as to when Fepuleai returns to the territory or why he is off-island. The governor asked all government agencies to provide support to Folau.

The deputy AG is also the government lead prosecutor in the majority of criminal cases.


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