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Gusting winds and heavy rains grounded ferry travels between the main islands today, Thursday 16 January 2020.

Safety concerns for the travelling public and the crew forced the Samoa Shipping Corporation to cancel all travels.

The 5.00am weather advisory from the Met Office for the day noted an  ‘….active convergence zone continues to remain within the vicinity of Samoa with heavy downpour and gusty activities.’

The Seventh Day Adventist Church College, Lalovaea, school dux award of 2019 went to 18-year-old Commerce student, Angellyn Fa’aleiua.

Her coveted academic award was presented at the school prize giving today at Lalovaea.

 The annual end of the year event was postponed from last year 2019 by the measles epidemic and it was combined from primary up to the college levels.

Samoa Rugby Union is determined to increase women’s participation in rugby around the country, in keeping with World Rugby edict of actively promoting and improving women’s rugby around the rugby playing world.

With that in mind, SRU rugby development division, has this week called for entries for its first women’s tournament for the start of the decade.

After twenty years, Brother Kevin O`Malley returns to Samoa. He has been appointed President of St. Joseph`s College, as well as the CEO of the College`s Governance Board.  Initially the positions will be on a part-time basis until his current contract with the Catholic Education Office in American Samoa is completed in early July, 2020.

A combined team of Samoan overseas general practitioners, surgeons and anesthetists, mostly from New Zealand, are rounding up their final week of a two weeks voluntary help out at the TTM Hospital to give the local staff a working break.

Consulting surgeon in Adelaide, Australia, Leafitaitu Dr Jimmy Eteuati is at the 7-member team

His team is the second to follow in on a two weeks voluntary work arrangement under the Samoan Doctors Worldwide Volunteer Service (SDWVS).

Local

The Minister of Cabinet responsible for the seasonal workers programme in Samoa, Lautafi Selafi Purcell, has called for national prayers as Australia battles its worst bushfires in history.

Lautafi made the appeal while giving assurances earlier in the week that the close to 700 seasonal workers from Samoa working in the country are safe and well.

He said contingency measures are usually in place to ensure the safety in the farms the workers are employed in.

By Deidre Fanene

Three months old baby boy, Salvation Hicks, became victim number 82 in the measles death toll list after more than a week putting up a fight to live, while in critical condition at the TTM Hospital, Moto’otua.

His 27-year grieving mother Lisa Tupu-Hicks, watched, prayed, cried and cried some more, as she kept watch over her son and tried to will him back to life.

A Cook Islands donation of NZD$84,000 will be added to the Measles Epidemic Recovery Fund in Samoa.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna, personally presented a cheques this week.for the amount, to High Commissioner Leasi Tommy Scanlan, in New Zealand

Mr Puna was in Auckland and handed over the gift at the ‘Fale o Samoa’ in Mangere.

The Samoan community in the Cook Islands raised the money in a radiothon in Rarotonga.

Local

The battle to save lives will long be remembered as a once in a lifetime experience for the medical profession in the 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa.

But the same moment will also be shared by a group of dedicated medical professional as faraway as Norway in Europe, Israel in the Middle East and Japan in the Asia region.

A ground level view from downtown Apia of the Mt. Vaea location where the controversial fireworks to usher in 2020 will take place close to midnight tonight.

Safety concerns are reported from families of the Palisi residential area, close to the firework location.

The Taumeasina Hotel resort will be the second selected location for the fireworks at sea level.

By Roving Reporter

After the first 30 minutes of driving off from the Salelologa Wharf, certain sights are quick to draw the interest in the passing scenery, along the south side of the big island

Villages layout along the coastal front where the road runs, homes, people, gardens, trees and the lush green landscape are the first to easily register.

By Roving Reporter

Going off to the plantation, chasing after wild pigs or carrying home a bunch of coconuts tied to the ends of a wooden staff to make it easier to carry on the shoulders, are all part of daily living in the villages.

All it takes is a ride around the coastal roads in the villages to see a part of life you won’t see in the modern township the citizens of Apia are living today.

By Roving Reporter

The majority who have driven the roads on the Big Island will agree that they are to a larger extent better than in Upolu.

Pot holes are far and in between so you are spared the agony of swerving like a nifty footed rugby player, on the roads of Apia.

There are also less traffic to squeeze and dodge your way through – thank goodness.  The drive is mostly straight ahead and easy on the engine and the tyres.

By Staff Writer

The measles epidemic state of emergency is now lifted and the attention shifts immediately to the recovery state.

The 2 weeks extension made it 6 straight weeks since Samoa was placed under a state of emergency and was due to run out out on Sunday 29th of December 2019 after.

The measles epidemic run has slowed down markedly it no longer warrants any further extension.

By Staff Writer

The opening of a shop on Christmas Day was a rare sight for many who drove past the row of business houses on Wednesday afternoon at the Salufi section of the Town Clock St.

 But it was business as usual for one shop on the day.  The street however was  practically deserted on the section of the road that stretches from the Town Clock to the traffic lights at the end of the street at Taufusi.

By Deidre Fanene

A 7.4lb baby girl was officially the first newborn to be delivered at the TTM Hospital in the early morning of Christmas Day at 1.49am on Wednesday morning.

The proud parents are Trina and Alaivaa Loli of Faleasi’u and Leauva’a.

Registered mid-wife Tiara Tuulua who delivered the child with assistance from senior mid-wife Seuila Ale joined the couple in celebration.

By Staff Writer

A day after Christmas and still travel between Upolu and Savai’i are booked solid both ways.

Mid-afternoon sailing yesterday on Thursday by the smaller ‘Fotu o Samoa’ barge from the Salelologa end of Savai’i to Mulifanua in Upolu was full but with breath space.

The turn around trip from Mulifanua to Salelologa was packed tight.

By Staff Writer

There were no measles related deaths recorded by the Ministry of Health in three straight days.

Twenty four hours updated resports from December 22,23,24 did not record any fatalities.

The measles epidemic and the state of emergency has not stopped the season of culture with the recent  bestowal of 40 new family ‘matai’ titles at Sakalafi, Salelologa.

Bestowal ceremonies of chiefly titles are common at the end of year holiday season.  The timing is ideal for family members both in and outside the country to attend.

When mortuary assistant and heath porter, Kerisimasi Teo, started at his new job at the TTM Hospital 4 months ago, he never imagined having to deal with the tragedy of children dying every day.

He was slowly settling into his new job when the measles epidemic struck.

Instead of the normal flow of mostly adult bodies, children were being wheeled in daily from the measles.

Behind them would be parents and other family members struggling with their emotions.

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