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Newswatch

For Saturday, June 4, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:



Housing agency inefficient, audit says

A state audit faults the Hawaii Public Housing Authority for “erratic” oversight, leading to backlogs in repairs, unit turnaround and rent collection.

The Office of the Auditor released its findings Friday in a report covering 6,195 public housing units across the state.

The audit says 9,000 families on waiting lists for housing wait between two and five years before they can move in.

The report also says the Public Housing Authority must work to operate its properties as businesses by doing a better job of monitoring rent revenues to accrue capital for long-term asset preservation and growth.

Groups get grants to help veterans

Two Hawaii community service organizations that aid homeless veterans have been awarded nearly $600,000 in federal grants.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that Network Enterprises will receive $293,000 and Mental Health Association in Hawaii will get $300,000.

The grants are part of $28 million awarded nationwide to help provide job training to some 17,000 veterans who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

The 122 grants are being awarded under the department’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said in a statement that many don’t realize a disproportionate number of Hawaii’s homeless are veterans.

Grants to aid seniors

Community groups may apply through June 30 for grants from the Internal Revenue Service to operate tax-assistance programs for seniors and taxpayers in underserved areas. The programs are Tax Counseling for the Elderly and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Go to www.irs.gov and click on “Newsroom.”

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Head injuries killed girl

WAILUKU » An autopsy on an 8-year-old Maui girl killed by a rockslide at Haleakala National Park shows she suffered a fatal cranial injury.

The top of Sophia DeLoria’s head had been injured and she also had minor cuts on her body, the Maui News reported Friday.

Park service officials are investigating.

Sophia and her family had just visited Waimoku Falls on the Pipiwai Trail Tuesday when the rockslide happened.

Service arrangements were pending.

Legislators hold meetings

Hawaii County lawmakers are meeting in their communities to tell residents about bills passed during this year’s legislative session.

Rep. Cindy Evans and Sen. Josh Green held a legislative update Friday at Waikoloa School cafeteria.

Reps. Mark Nakashima, Jerry Chang, Clift Tsuji and Bob Herkes are scheduled to attend a meeting Tuesday at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

They will answer questions on key bills, including the state budget, capital improvements, a mortgage foreclosure overhaul and county issues.

House Finance Chairman Marcus Oshiro also will attend to discuss the budget and how the Legislature closed a $1.3 billion projected shortfall.

Landfill is reopened

Kauai County officials have reopened the Kekaha Landfill, closed temporarily yesterday because of wet and windy weather.

Public works officials said it is safe again for the public to return to the facility.

For more information, call the Solid Waste Division at 241-4839.






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