Thursday, April 24, 2014         

Hawaii News

A no-kill animal shelter in Kapo­lei is offering a limited number of low-cost sterilizations beginning Thursday to introduce a nonsurgical neutering method called "Zeutering" for male dogs.

For Gerilyn Pinnow, every dollar that goes to treat her son's autism is one less she's able to save for her daughter's college education.

A partially paralyzed Maui man who claimed airline workers forced him to crawl on and off flights in 2012 has settled his lawsuit against Delta Air Lines, his lawyer said Monday.

You can trace the genetic makeup of most corn grown in the U.S., and in many other places around the world, to Hawaii.

Hundreds of surfers and rowers honored Hobie Alter's request Friday by paddling out in the Pacific in his memory.

KAHULUI » The state's last remaining sugar company has been researching alternatives to burning leaves off its sugar cane crop before harvest. But Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. said it hasn't found an alternative yet.

Hawaii lawmakers are weighing whether insurance companies should be required to cover more treatments for infertility and to update a law that some say discriminates against unmarried women.

For political and emotional drama, it's hard to top this: U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino­uye, the most beloved and respected figure in Hawaii state history, makes a deathbed request to name his successor in Washington.

HILO » The Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii island would host drone training flights for up to 12 weeks a year under a proposal to relocate unmanned aircraft to the state from California.

Hawaii lawmakers are heading into the final stretch of their legislative session, and the fates of many bills have been decided thanks to the passing of a major deadline.

A federal judge is not inclined to dismiss a lawsuit alleging Hawaii discriminates against those with limited English skills by making it difficult for them to obtain a driver's license.

Attorneys for the inmates say about eight stopped eating Sunday to protest isolation in a segregated unit and conditions that include a lack of clean underwear, loss of family visits and maggots in food.

Hawaii lawmakers are preparing for an onslaught of bills to move through their chambers this week, in advance of a legislative deadline to pass bills out of the second chamber.

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa » Officials in American Samoa on Friday ordered all public schools in the U.S. island territory closed after nearly 2,300 students and more than 100 teachers contracted pink eye.

A key state House committee advanced a bill Thursday evening that limits the state's liability on public lands, relieving outdoor enthusiasts worried that litigation fears could lead to parks being shut down.

WASHINGTON » Beating expectations, President Barack Obama's health care overhaul was on track to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance on deadline day Monday, government officials said.

NEW YORK » In every region of America, white and Asian children are far better positioned for success than black, Latino and American Indian children, according to a new report appealing for urgent action to bridge this racial gap.

Anticipation has repeatedly turned into frustration in the search for signs of Flight 370 as objects spotted from planes in a new search area west of Australia have turned out to be garbage.

When he was a young man, Hobie Alter had a clear vision of his future: He didn't want a job that would require hard-soled shoes, and he didn't want to work east of Pacific Coast Highway.

The roar of the hillside collapsing was so loud that Robin Youngblood thought an airplane had crashed. But when she looked out the window of her mobile home, all she saw was a wall of mud racing across her beloved river valley toward her home.

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard is sponsoring two Hawaii robotics events this summer. The first will bring together sailors and high school students at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The sailors will share naval experiences and how technology is implemented on Navy ships.

Hawaii officials are launching a pilot project in this year’s election to give some polling-place workers shorter shifts instead of the 14-hour days they’ve worked in the past.

Following a closed-door meeting Tuesday with a key Hawaii lawmaker, Hono­lulu police reversed their objection to a potential change in state law that would make it illegal for officers to have sex with prostitutes.

A man accused of killing and dismembering his victim, then disposing of the body parts near Mili­lani Mortuary, appeared in court Monday via a videoconference from Oahu Community Correctional Center.

Premiums are going up on nearly 14,000 federally subsidized flood insurance policies in Hawaii as Congress looks to get a federal program out of a $24 billion hole.

WASHINGTON » What's on the new Common Core-based exams? More than 4 million kids in U.S. schools soon will have a clue. Field testing begins this coming week in 36 states, including Hawaii, and the District of Columbia on assessments developed by two different groups of states.

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. » A Southern California Marine training site could lose 8 percent of its personnel as part of the expected drawdown of troops in Afghan­istan, officials said.

A federal appeals court is giving a Hawaii man another chance to argue that he should be allowed to carry a gun in public — a privilege rarely given to people in the state.

Honolulu police officers have urged lawmakers to keep an exemption in state law that allows undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes during investigations, touching off a heated debate.

Lawmakers in the state House of Representatives have advanced a proposal to raise the minimum wage more slowly than what the state Senate had suggested.

Details in the autopsy report of Hawaii's former health director who died after a plane's ocean landing reveal how traumatic the ordeal was for her. The report says 65-year-old Fuddy was a "rudimentary swimmer" who never swam in the ocean.

It's rare for the federal government to seek the death penalty in a state like Hawaii that doesn't allow it. Only seven of 59 inmates currently on federal death row are from states that didn't have the death penalty at the time the sentence was imposed.

After deliberating for about two weeks in what's been described as Hawaii's biggest crystal meth­am­pheta­mine case, jurors convicted a California man of a conspiracy to distribute 400 pounds of the drug to the islands.

A Hawaii island papaya farmer is suing for relief from new registration requirements for growers of genetically modified crops.

Guests aboard a naval refueling ship thought they were going to see some drills and learn more about life as a Canadian sailor on the Pacific. Instead, they got a firsthand view of their loved ones in action as the sailors battled an engine fire.

Steve Keauopualani Alexander • Ethel Chang Au • Edmund Francis Austen • Marian Yanagihara Chang • Lillian T. Chinen • David Moku Gapero • Elbert Henery Gunter • Rae-Ann Nohealani Hall • Raymond Gail Hauser • and more

Because they know how miserable people are, warm-weather destinations in Cali­for­nia, Arizona and Florida have stepped up their enticements. Trains and billboards in Chicago have been plastered with ads showing beaches and pool scenes.

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA » The state of Alaska has filed a petition to remove some North Pacific humpback whales from protections granted under the federal Endangered Species Act, saying the whales are thriving and no longer need them.

Screenwriter Eric Bercovici knew he was not the first choice to adapt "Shogun," the blockbuster 1975 novel by James Clavell about an English seaman marooned in 17th-century Japan. Bercovici, who worked on the Paramount lot, read the novel anyway.

JAKARTA, Indonesia » Indonesia is now the world's largest sanctuary for manta rays, after officials were persuaded by evidence that the gentle giants known for delighting tourists are worth more alive than dead.

Crimes such as pumping pool water into the ocean and dumping trash on roadsides would be prosecuted better if Hawaii establishes an environmental court, advocates and regulators told state lawmakers this week.

Weeks of slow, soaking rain are helping the grass grow again on the western slopes of Maui and Hawaii island, giving cattle ranchers hope they may at last escape a punishing drought brought on by years of below-normal rainfall.

Committee hearings are slowing at the Hawaii state Legislature, so in the coming four-day week, the usual monsoon of public debate will taper to a fine mist.

Its frisky four strings are the sound of Elvis' "Blue Hawaii," of Tiny Tim tiptoeing through the tulips and lately, beyond all reason, of a popular "Bohemian Rhapsody" cover.

Even though Hawaiian is one of the official languages of the state, residents won't be able to take driver's license exams in the language until next month. The state Department of Transportation is preparing to make Hawaiian an exam language at the end of March.

A bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Hawaii died in committee Thursday, but state lawmakers advanced a measure that could decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of the drug.

Of all the ants in all the world, Hawaii had to get bitten by this one. Hawaii lawmakers on Monday advanced a bill aiming to study and kill the little fire ant, a hard-stinging pipsqueak that threatens the state's economy and ecology.

There was something unusual about three mannequin heads found inside a UPS parcel being mailed from San Bernardino, Calif., to Hawaii: They each had two pounds of meth­am­pheta­mine stuffed inside them, authorities said.

Hawaii could see more micro apartments, housing for seniors, and rental properties if bills that lawmakers approved in committee Wednesday become law.

Lying to police who are investigating a crime would become at least a misdemeanor under a bill Hawaii lawmakers are advancing. Honolulu police officers told members of the House Public Safety Committee on Thursday that they support the measure because witnesses who mislead police can hamper investigations and can get innocent people thrown in jail.

Hawaii would exempt groceries and medical services from its general excise tax if bills advancing through the Legislature become law. Lawmakers heard a chorus of support Thursday from policy analysts, poverty advocates and the food industry for the proposal to stop taxing groceries.

One minute, Jennifer Jones was stopping to help the victims of a one-vehicle crash she witnessed while driving on the H-1 freeway. The next, she was a victim herself, after she says the driver of the wrecked SUV jumped into her car and sped off, leaving Jones on the side of the road with one of his injured passengers.

High sugar consumption might double the chance of dying from heart disease, according to a study that adds to evidence that high levels of the sweetener in processed foods and drink are bad for a person's health.

As Jesse Siozon waited for his grandfather's funeral to begin, beneath the orange and blue tarps that serve as the roof for the storm-damaged Santo Niqo Church, he spoke of a double loss.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told law students at the University of Hawaii law school Monday that the nation's highest court was wrong to uphold the internment of Japa­nese-Americans during World War II but that he wouldn't be surprised if the court issued a similar ruling during a future conflict.

The state Senate is considering a bill that would designate Kahoolawe as the resting place for unknown or "inadvertently discovered" Native Hawaiian bones when those remains can't be reburied nearby.

When Bruno Mars takes the stage at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., this chilly Sunday to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show, in front of the biggest audience he's ever played to, he can take some solace that his set only needs to be about 12 minutes long.

Hawaii lawmakers want to swat down a pair of invasive pests: the coffee berry borer and the little fire ant. Despite their quaint names, the insects pose considerable threats to Hawaii's fragile environment.

HILO » A small bomb exploded Thursday outside an auditorium at Hilo High School, prompting a brief campus lockdown but apparently causing no injuries, authorities said.

With the arrival of today's deadline for lobbyists to report how much money supporters and opponents spent to influence Hawaii's same-sex marriage decision, critics say the state disclosure system is among the weakest in the nation and prevents a timely and complete tally.

PORTLAND, Ore. » A federal grand jury has indicted eight Portland men accused of transporting women across state lines to engage in prostitution.

SEOUL » As the Lunar New Year holiday approaches, Seoul's increasingly well-heeled residents are scouring store shelves for tastefully wrapped boxes of culinary specialties. Among their favorite choices: imported wines, choice cuts of beef, rare herbal teas. And Spam.

KIHEI, Hawaii » A surge in shark attacks on Maui over the past year, including two fatal ones, hasn't stopped people from surfing and swimming in the warm ocean waters that surround the Hawaiian Island.

MELBOURNE, Australia » Activists have sprayed graffiti on the historic home of the 18th-century British explorer Capt. James Cook to protest against Australia's national day.

WAILUKU » People using a new Maui transportation system for disabled riders complained to a County Council panel this week about long wait times, untrained drivers and the service's recently installed computer system.

A Hawaii man who pleaded guilty to falsely reporting a possible airplane hijacking was sentenced Thursday to a year and a half in federal prison.

WASHINGTON »Congress sent President Barack Obama a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill Thursday, easing the harshest effects of last year's automatic budget cuts after tea party critics chastened by October's partial shutdown mounted only a faint protest.

SOUDERTON, Pa. » Two thick blankets wrapped in a cloth tie lay near a single pillow on the red leather sofa in Phuong Lu's living room.

LIHUE » A retired car dealer's medical ailment is delaying his sentencing for a Kauai dam breach that swept seven people to their deaths in 2006. James Pflueger told the Garden Island newspaper a leg condition is preventing him from traveling from Honolulu to Kauai for the sentencing, which was scheduled for next week.

KONA » From the moment the bill to ban genetically engineered crops on Hawaii island was introduced in May, it garnered more vocal support than any the County Council here had ever considered, even the perennially popular bids to decriminalize marijuana.

WAILUKU » A Hawaii man has filed a $300 million copyright infringement lawsuit, claiming the "Matrix" trilogy of science fiction films has striking similarities to his screenplay. Playwright Thomas Althouse of Maui claims 166 instances in the movies are similar to parts of his 1992 screenplay, "The Immortals."

A judge has dealt federal prosecutors in a Hawaii meth ring trial a setback by ruling that the government was "sloppy" and "tardy" in providing discovery materials to the defense.

Fourteen people accused by federal prosecutors of involvement in a street gang's sprawling prostitution ring that spanned dozens of cities and states entered not-guilty pleas Thursday.

A Hawaii man was sentenced Tuesday to 30 days in federal detention for lying on his 2-year-old daughter's passport application so he could take her on a trip to Mexico without her mother's knowledge.

HILO » A Hawaii County councilwoman is introducing a bill to ban all genetically modified crops on Hawaii island, despite new limits already being implemented through a bill passed a month ago.

CHICAGO » Icy, snow-covered roads and high winds made travel treacherous Sunday from the Dakotas and Michigan to Missouri as much of the nation braced for the next winter wallop: a dangerous cold that could break records.

President Barack Obama is planning his return to Washington after two weeks in Hawaii for a holiday vacation. White House officials say that the president and his family expect to depart Hawaii tonight.

WASHINGTON » President Barack Obama has called Hawaii his refuge, and so it has been throughout his political life. In 2006, Obama used the family Christmas holiday there to decide whether to run for president. For the past two weeks, he has been recharging on Oahu after an unpleasant year in the job.

Kenji and Hiromasa Ozawa, a father and son vacationing on Oahu, spent Christmas morning hiking up Diamond Head.

President Barack Obama paid a visit late Thursday afternoon to the cemetery where his grandparents are interred, then took his daughters to Hono­lulu Zoo.

A former Maui police officer who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in 2008 has agreed to pay her $20,000 to settle a civil lawsuit.

LIHUE » The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is starting to register volunteers on Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island for an annual humpback whale count.

Karen Baylis, a visitor from British Columbia, said she saw three men trying to lift the beached whale back into the ocean at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Baylis was sitting on the balcony of a nearby condominium with her nephew and rushed down to help the men.

After signing several bills — including the federal budget and defense bill — President Barack Obama and the first family hiked the Manoa Falls trail Thursday.

President Barack Obama stepped away from the seclusion of his quiet Hawaii vacation for what's become a Christmas tradition: paying tribute to U.S. troops and the sacrifices their families make during the holidays and throughout the year.

HILO » The University of Hawaii is putting on hold a request for new Mauna Kea leases while it conducts an environmental impact study.

For first lady Michelle Obama, a joyous Christmas Eve tradition briefly ran up against the harsh realities of a world where all is not calm and bright.

Kelly-Ann Laulani Valentine Costales • Caroline Linda Dunn • Chrysologus Flores • Jamie Toshio Furuichi • Mack Nobuyuki Hamabata • Hisako Hamakawa; and more

Though he's been crippled by a stroke and needs a wheelchair, 68-year-old Joseph is the primary caregiver for his wife, who hasn't been able to eat, talk or move independently for almost 30 years since suffering a series of incapacitating strokes.

The wreckage of a plane that crashed off Molokai was brought to Honolulu Harbor on Wednesday. Makani Kai Air owner Richard Schuman said a salvage dive team was able to recover the plane's single engine.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa says she expects more lawmakers and others to begin thinking about the United States refocusing on the Asia-Pacific region in terms of economics and other issues besides national defense.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Maui County Wednesday alleging discrimination, saying it didn't hire a 45-year-old to be a police officer because of his age.

One of the first things the pilot in a fatal crash off Molo­kai did after being released from the hospital was climb into the cockpit of an airplane.

SAN DIEGO » Environmental organizations filed a lawsuit Monday against the National Marine Fisheries Service to demand it force the Navy to consider alternatives to its five-year plan that will intensify its sonar use off Southern Cali­for­nia and Hawaii.

American Savings Bank executive Jennifer Capps Cook made a point of flying in from her Kauai office just to wrap Christmas presents for needy families with several colleagues Friday at the downtown Honolulu branch.

Miley Cyrus twerked her way to the top of the charts, and Justin Timberlake returned to music after a seven-year hiatus, but another artist owned music in 2013: Bruno Mars. Billboard announced Friday that the pop crooner is the year's top overall artist.

What it's about: As ceremonies close out a Dec. 7 memorial at Pearl Harbor, an aging wheelchair-bound veteran begins to leave when he is approached by another vet armed with an old military-issue service pistol.

When President Barack Obama marched into the White House briefing room with his Hawaii birth certificate in April 2011, he said, "I know that there's going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest."

WAILUKU » Developers are reviving a plan for a Central Maui housing development that would include 450 multifamily units, retail and office space, and a 15-acre park.

LIHUE » Advisories warning Kauai residents about brown water that may contain hazardous substances should be issued faster and in more detail, according to an environmental group.

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