AMERICAN SAMOA HEADLINE NEWS

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Friday, June 18, 1999 The Samoa News

PARENTS QUESTION SPENDING FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS

PAGO PAGO--Two parents are raising serious concerns over the spending by the Special Olympic officials of public donations from a golf tournament and telethon plus the spending of a $21,000 from the Department of Education (DOE).

According to the parents, the Special Olympic Telethon held last year brought in about $39,000, while the golf tournament netted $10,000, but they claim that information has not been fully disclosed.

The parents also allege that there has been no clarification of how the money was to be spent, including the $50,000 donation from the Director of the Department of Education.

LAWMAKER TO BE FLOWN TO HAWAII IN MEDICAL EMERGENCY

PAGO PAGO--A lawmaker is in serious condition at the LBJ Medical Center and is expected to be taken to Honolulu later today on a specially equipped aircraft.

"There is a dire need to medivac my colleague to a better equipped hospital in Honolulu that handles these type of cases," said Rep. Muavaefaatasi Ae Ae, Jr., regarding Rep. Malualii Liusa A. Young, reportedly in serious condition at the LBJ's ICU.

Rep. Young was flown to Tutuila this week from Ta'u and was taken directly by ambulance to LBJ, said Muavaefaatasi last night after he returned from the hospital.

House Speaker Aina Saoluaga T. Nua also confirmed that Rep. Malualii is in the hospital.

He and Rep. Muavaefaatasi said last night in two separate telephone interviews that the lawmaker will be flown to Honolulu later today.

UNLICENSED POKER MACHINES HAVE UNTIL JULY 1ST TO SHUT DOWN

PAGO PAGO--A newly created "working group" was given the task yesterday to verify, cross check and confirm all licensed poker machines in American Samoa from three separate lists now in the hands of the government.

The "work group," made up of personnel from the Department of Commerce (DOC), Attorney General's Office (AG) and the Department of Public Safety was formed yesterday afternoon following a meeting of leaders from the three departments.

The three cabinet members were instructed by Governor Tauese Sunia recently to enforce poker machine laws in accordance with the 1989 mandate and the enforcement is to be in place by July 1st, according to a government source.

POLYNESIAN AIR REFUNDS $3,000 TO JUBILEE FOR AIRFARES

PAGO PAGO--"Good customer services and compassion for the traveling public" was the reason behind Polynesian Airlines' decision to refund to the Fono more than $3,000 it received from the Jubilee Committee.

"There was no pressure in our decision to refund some of the money to the Fono," said Vaitoa Hans Langkilde, local manager for Polynesian Airlines.

Instead, Vaitoa told Samoa News yesterday that the decision was based on "our customer service and compassion for the traveling public in fulfilling our commitment to the people of American Samoa to provide adequate air-service between the two countries under the umbrella theme: the Airline of both Samoas."

The refund follows two House Investigative Committee hearings on Polynesian Airlines' role during the Jubilee Celebration last year. The Jubilee Committee paid the airline $6,000 for 30-members of the Tonga Rugby team to participate in a rugby match, but the group canceled at the last minute last year.

DOE DECIDES TO ADVERTISE EARLY FOR TEACHING POSITIONS

PAGO PAGO--As part of its reform program and to improve American Samoa's public educational system to try to meet the challenges of the new millennium, the Department of Education (DOE) has moved to fulfill a gap that has long been ignored and has prompted numerous complaints in the Fono by lawmakers from the Manu'a Islands.

That gap in public education is the need to staff schools in Manu'a, especially Manu'a High School, with qualified teachers at the beginning of the school year, instead of filling the empty posts in the middle of the term.

Lawmakers from Manu'a in the Senate and the House, especially in the House, have voiced their displeasure with DOE over the last two years for not keeping its promises to the lawmakers and students in Manu'a to staff teaching positions for the most important subjects, such as science, math and English.

During the 1998-99 school year, House Speaker Aina Saoluaga T. Nua and Rep. Puaopea Paopao have continuously voiced their frustrations with DOE officials concerning schools in Manu'a because teaching positions were not filled. Even near the end of this past school year, the Speaker claims that DOE had yet to hire a math teacher.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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