Local News

Female sex offender released from prison


Chief Justice Michael Kruse released Carmen Hunkin from jail after she pled guilty in a sex case involving a minor boy. Sentencing was handed down last Friday by Kruse, who was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judges Muasau Tofili and Faamausili Pomele.
Hunkin of Leone, 35 years old, was facing charges of rape, deviate sexual assault, sexual abuse first degree, sodomy and child endangerment. However in a plea agreement with the government, defendant pleaded to sexual abuse first degree.

Dr. Moreli Niuatoa confirmed to Board of Higher Ed. unanimously

Fielded questions regarding same-sex marriage first

While his position is “neutral” on same-sex marriage, Kanana Fou Theological Seminary president Dr. Moreli Niuatoa, who is also a church minister, told senators that he will not perform a same sex marriage if asked to do so by a same-sex couple.

Tri Marine’s Hamby: We’re trying to save our fishery

“The issue is where fishing occurs, not conservation”

Tri Marine International’s multi million dollar investment in American Samoa was “blindsided” by the Obama administration’s decision to expand the Pacific Remote Island Marine National Monuments and reduce fishing days in the US EEZs and on the high seas, says Joe Hamby, the chief operating officer of Tri Marine, whose local operations include Samoa Tuna Processors Inc. cannery.

Fono News


Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga’s nomination of local businesswoman Edda L.B. Wyberski as a member the Immigration Board was introduced last Friday in both the Senate and House. Confirmation hearings for both chambers are set for tomorrow morning, starting at 7:30a.m. with the House, to be followed 30 minutes later in the Senate.

Overzealous Coast Guard inspections concern Lolo


Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has called on the US Coast Guard to be sensitive to American Samoa’s dependency on the tuna industry when performing their duties and urged the Coast Guard to work together with the territorial government to better serve the people.

Senators hear about Mase’s and Dr. Tofaeono’s 7 trips

Mase says he will reimburse LBJ for two of his four trips

After a hospital report confirmed he had traveled four times under the off island medical referral program, LBJ Medical Center board chairman Mase Akapo told senators last week of his plans to reimburse the referral program for two of those trips.
This information came during Mase’s closing remarks at last Thursday’s Senate Health/LBJ Committee hearing, where the board chairman called for a closed-door hearing to further assert federal laws — HIPAA Privacy Rules — which protect the privacy of a patient.



A Korean man was saving up to return to his homeland in Korea after living in the territory for over 40 years, yet the dream faded when he was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer and is now undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. This led to his children reaching out to the public for assistance, given the financial restraints, says Sinafoa Kim-Mua one of his daughters.

Fono to begin joint budget review on Monday


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

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.

Virtual marine sanctuary experience launches


NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) will be launching  a 'virtual experience' next Thursday, Sept. 3 from 9 a.m.- 11 a.m. at the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center in Utulei.
NMSAS outreach and education coordinator Apulu Veronika Molio'o Mata'utia Mortenson explained that during the special event, the audience will be able to virtually explore a 360-degree panoramic view of dives and hikes at five of the six sites that make up the local Sanctuary system.

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