Regional News


story from the S.T.A Newsletter compiled by Su’a Hesed Ieremia

The reigning Miss Pacific Islands, Latafale Auva’a is full of energy and bright ideas. The 20-year old is passionate about education, and is on a mission to achieve that and many of her other goals and activities for the next 12 months.

“I’d like to assist schools by donating books and reading with students,” said Latafale.

Hawaii women's prison inmate fails to return from day pass

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Women's Community Correctional Center inmate Grace Tagaolo failed to return to the facility from her furlough day pass Friday night.

Honolulu State Sheriffs and police were notified after Tagaolo didn't return at her scheduled time at 9 p.m.

The 29-year-old was serving time for Ownership of a Prohibited Firearm, Reckless Endangering, Terroristic Threatening and Assault. Escape 2 is expected to be added as a new charge. Her next parole hearing was scheduled for February.

Samoa's ruling party reconciles after dispute

Samoa's ruling Human Rights Protection Party has held a meeting to reconcile differences following a public disagreement between the Prime Minister and one of his MPs.

Earlier this week, Tu'u'u Anasi'i Leota ignored calls by Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi to resign after he questioned the government's credibility over proposed amendments to the National Provident Fund's death benefit.

However, Talamua reports the party has now reconciled following a three hour caucus meeting in Tuila'epa's office that was meant to have decided Tu'u'u's fate.


Walt Disney Animation WStudios has turned the searchlight on Samoa in their global casting call for a key role for their upcoming feature ‘Moana’. The comedy-adventure, set 2,000 years ago in Oceania is about a spirited teenager who learns that the future of her people is in jeopardy.

Along with a loveable pot-belly pig and a legendary hero, Moana searches for a mythical island, traversing the open ocean and encountering mystical sea creatures and underworlds on an action packed quest to save her world and make her ancestors proud.

Possible jobs excite N.Z. envoy

New Zealand’s Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, Shane Jones, is optimistic about the future of employment opportunities in Samoa.

He is particularly positive about the prospects of jobs for Samoans in American Samoa with the US$70million Tuna Cannery Plant opened by Tri Marine International last weekend.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer in Apia, Mr. Jones said the benefits of the Pago Pago cannery would inevitably spill over to Samoa in terms of employment.

Luatuanu’u, Samoa crash kills young man

A 22-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital for serious injuries when the vehicle he was travelling went over a cliff at Luatuanu’u has died.

The man was one of four people travelling in a Mazda heading from Saoluafata to Apia when the accident occurred.

Acting Police Commissioner, Fauono Talalelei Tapu, said the man died from “injuries sustained” during the accident.

The accident happened at the “sharp bend at Luatuanu’u,” he added.

Fauono said the vehicle was too fast and instead of making the turn drove straight into the sea.

Fiji Met service keeping an eye on two potential cyclones

Fiji's Met Service says it is keeping a close watch on two weather systems that have the potential to develop into cyclones this coming weekend.

Acting Director, Aminaisi Tuiraki, says one tropical disturbance is currently to the west of Samoa and models are predicting a moderate to high chance of it becoming a tropical cyclone at it moves closer to the two Samoas and Niue over the next 48 hours.

He says a warning for strong winds and rain has already been issued for Samoa and American Samoa.


Reprinted with permission

Like many of us, Linnea Garcia-Tatupu is conflicted about football.
The game allowed the men in her life to fulfill their dreams, to achieve at the highest level of a profession, starring in the NFL. Her husband, Mosi, made it to the Pro Bowl. Her son, Lofa, did so twice. They both won national championships at USC and both went to the Super Bowl as pros.
Last weekend, Mosi was enshrined in the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame.

Polynesian Cultural Center dedicates Poly football Hall of Fame exhibit

Laie, Hawaii – The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) on Oahu’s North Shore dedicated its new Polynesian Football Hall of Fame exhibit gallery on January 24 at a ceremony honoring the six inductees for the class of 2015.

Apple growth amazes Samoa farmer

Did you know that apples do grow and fruit in Samoa? Ask Tanumalala man, Julius Fruean, and he will proudly tell you.

Mr. Fruean has not only grown two apple trees, they have also started to bear fruit.

“They are growing very well at my residence,” he said. “I didn't think they would grow.

“But it has been the most amazing feeling after these two apple trees that I planted in the last five years, produced fruit.”

Fruean said there is no special formula in planting apples. He is also not sure if he is the first to have planted apples in Samoa.

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