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Friday, January 30, 2015         

Hawaii News

A federal judge is allowing a shipping company to pay $600,000 in restitution to environmental organizations as part of a sentence for spilling molasses in Hono­lulu Harbor.

The tip of a lava flow upslope of the Pahoa fire and police stations has remained intermittently active this week while holding its slow-moving pace established about four weeks ago.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said Monday the latest lava flow moved 50 yards overnight after almost a week of little activity.

The path of the lava oozing from Kilauea Volcano remained uncertain Friday as the flow sat not far from Pahoa's main highway.

Legislative leaders from the Hawaii House of Representatives say they plan to focus on fixing infrastructure, encouraging business and increasing participation in government in the new legislative session.

Two breakouts of lava upslope were crusting over Thursday, while the newest flow front heading toward Highway 130 showed signs of widening but had not advanced during the past few days.

As the most recent lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano showed no advancement on Wednesday, two Hawaii island legislators were preparing to propose several bills that they hope will reduce the ill effects of the so-called June 27 lava flow.

A group of voters has renewed its request for an investigation into state Rep. Calvin Say's qualifications to serve.

The new leading edge of the Puna lava flow from Kilauea Volcano that was advancing toward the area's main highway has slowed down significantly during the past few days.

The new leading edge of the Puna lava flow is still active but moving gradually downslope, while weather conditions may be conducive for more brush fires this week.

Friends, patients and colleagues gathered on a Hilo street in a show of support for a doctor accused of improperly charging Medicaid for drug testing of pregnant women.

A breakout of lava heading toward Pahoa's main highway advanced 70 yards Sunday. Hawaii County Civil Defense reported the original flow front remains stalled, while the new breakout has moved to within 700 yards of Highway 130, west of the Pahoa police and fire stations.

The state of Hawaii will correct the process after discovering it didn't hold Senate confirmation hearings for newly appointed deputy directors of state agencies as it should have.

Australian golfer Robert Allenby says he was robbed, beaten and dumped in a park after missing the cut in the Sony Open, leaving him with cuts and a deep scrape on his forehead.

The lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano moved markedly closer to Pahoa's main highway on Saturday. The new breakout had advanced downslope below an area near the original flow front, which remains stalled.

A north-side breakout of lava flowing toward Pahoa from Kilauea Volcano advanced 100 yards Friday while county officials contained two brush fires and a local business announced plans to return to Pahoa Marketplace.

The lava flow inching toward Pahoa caused two brush fires Thursday that continued to burn about 350 acres into the evening. Both fires started from the active lava flow and were burning in a northeast direction, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

The nonprofit raising money for President Barack Obama's future library has picked up the pace of its fundraising, with up to $4.4 million rolling in during the final months of 2014, records released Thursday show.

Hawaii has been awarded a grant worth nearly a half-million dollars to help it protect its native forests and drinking water supply, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.

A lava-sparked brush fire, which covered about 300 acres, ignited at about 1 p.m. Tuesday west of Highway 130, about 1.5 miles from the Ainaloa subdivision, Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said.

A Hilo attorney has proposed using a helium-filled airship to ferry passengers over active lava if molten rock from Kilauea Volcano crosses Puna's highway, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Tuesday.

The Hawaii County Fire Department was managing a lava-fueled brush fire Tuesday near the stalled flow front in Pahoa. The fire covered about 150 acres.

A Hawaii County panel has approved spending nearly $300,000 to study how geothermal energy development affects Native Hawaiians.

Hokule‘a, the traditional voyaging canoe from Hawaii, continues to push farther south than it's ever been — and its crews continue to explore more of their seafaring roots as they sail down the New Zealand coast.

Hawaii County Civil Defense said Friday that an assessment will be made about whether the $3.9 million Pahoa Recycling and Transfer Station, currently used by the public for lava viewing, can be reopened.

A narrow two-fingered flow of lava about 1.6 miles upslope of the Pahoa Marketplace moved 50 yards from Wednesday to Thursday. These two breakouts are active along the northern margin of the flow and are heading north-northeast, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

A breakout lava flow upslope of the stalled front on Wednesday appeared to be taking a different path toward Highway 130, heading south of a farmers market in Pahoa and north of Pahoa Marketplace.

The platters sold at stores in Arizona, Southern California, Hawaii and Nevada have sell-by dates of Jan. 7.

Coffee growers on Maui are bracing for a destructive beetle to eventually make its way to the island. The coffee berry borer has been wreaking havoc on Hawaii island for years. The pest made its way to Oahu in December.

Mother Nature rattled Hawaii island with a pair of small earthquakes Monday as lava breakouts continued upslope from the stalled flow front in Puna and scores of Hawaii Electric Light Co. customers remained without power in the aftermath of an intense storm over the weekend.

The presiding judge in a Hawaii lawsuit over needles found in a Burger King sandwich is upholding a decision that ordered the retired soldier who filed the suit to pay nearly $8,500 for skipping a settlement conference.

While lava flowing toward Pahoa Marketplace continued to stall, Hawaii County Civil Defense reported some activity Monday at an upslope breakout area.

With his wife and child close at hand, Army Maj. Chad Wrigles­worth battled skin cancer for more than a year before dying at age 37.

A Maui homeowner was ordered to repay nearly $30,000 in welfare benefits that authorities said she received while working.

Diamond Head, the extinct volcano that has become synonymous with Wai­kiki Beach, isn't going anywhere, but much of the sand that both locals and visitors enjoy has vanished.

President Barack Obama, his two-week vacation in Hawaii over, will travel to Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee this week to draw a connection between actions his administration took early in his presidency and increasingly positive economic trends in sectors such as manufacturing and housing.

A Hawaii island legislator has announced plans to seek support for proposed lava-relief measures when the Legislature convenes for its 2015 session later this month.

Hawaii's Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force will recommend that licenses for marijuana production centers and dispensaries be offered in 2017, according to the state representative overseeing the group.

A virus that killed eight cats on Maui over the summer appears to be dormant, a veterinarian said.

President Barack Obama has preached economic opportunity and equal access to education as cornerstones of the legacy he wants to leave behind.

The front of the so-called June 27 lava flow from Kilauea remained stalled Thursday morning, but a breakout along the south margin of the flow remains active and advanced about 20 yards since Wednesday afternoon, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Pahoa residents enjoyed a bit of temporary relief Wednesday when the leading edge of the lava flow heading toward the area's main highway and marketplace stalled.

Since returning to his childhood home this month on vacation, President Barack Obama has spent a good part of most days cloistered with three peo- ple whose company puts him at ease.

The Japanese New Year tradition of mochi-pounding lived on in Pahoa last week despite the threat of lava.

A couple getting married near the Kane­ohe golf course where President Barack Obama played on Sunday learned the hard way that the big day rarely goes exactly as planned.

Air quality, lost business and access to basic needs are among the top concerns of about 800 Hawaii island residents contending with a lava flow inching toward Pahoa's main highway.

A Maui man who used his fist to stop a suspected shoplifter was ordered Wednesday to complete 200 hours of community service but will be spared a felony conviction and a jail sentence.

The front of the lava flow coming from the Kilauea Volcano advanced another 10 yards Sunday. Hawaii County Civil Defense said the front of the flow remains active but sluggish, moving 15 yards on Saturday after stalling for five days.

After almost a week of no activity, the lava flow front endangering a Pahoa shopping plaza advanced about 15 yards on Saturday.

Hawaii County officials continued Friday to monitor breakouts of lava upslope from the Kilauea Volcano flow front that stalled Monday afternoon. The leading edge of the June 27 lava flow remained about 0.4 mile from Pahoa Marketplace.

Hawaii's Gov. David Ige has appointed five Cabinet members. Ige says all of the appointees have a leadership style that will move Hawaii forward for the benefit of the public. Some are staying on from the previous administration.

The lobby of the Hilo Nani­loa Hotel has been moved down a floor, signaling that long-awaited renovations to the 383-room building have begun. Oahu-based developer Ed Bushor said he's optimistic they will obtain a loan to pay for an estimated $12 million in improvements.

The Makawao History Museum has moved to a new location to gain more exposure within the Makawao community.

They each turned a moment of violence into a call to action. For James Brady that moment came when he was shot and wounded by a would-be presidential assassin. For Chung Eun-yong it was the killings of his two children during the Korean War.

What do two world leaders do when they find themselves on the same Hawaiian island on Christmas Eve? If you're President Barack Obama and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, you round up a few aides and make common cause on the golf course.

A blizzard warning was extended until 6 a.m. Thursday for the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Snow on the mountains is common, but a blizzard is unusual.

A lawsuit was filed against the state Department of Human Services on behalf of two boys the suit says were sexually assaulted while in foster care.

A Hawaii island man assumed the role of "judge, jury and executioner" in a 2013 slaying, a judge said Monday in handing him a life sentence for second-degree murder.

In a major course shift to the Hoku­le‘a's journey around the world, the canoe's escort vessel, the Hiki­ana­lia, will sail home early to Hawaii next year and be replaced by a boat capable of towing craft across vast ocean stretches, Polynesian Voyaging Society officials say.

Cameras on drones have provided spectacular videos from Kauai, but residents are filing complaints when the unmanned aircraft fly too close.

In 1997 a devastating flash flood hit Fort Collins, Colo., killing five people and causing $200 million in damage.

Lava from the flow almost took over the village's main road in October before stalling 480 feet away. Now it's heading toward a marketplace vital to the community's well-being.

Maui County film and tourism officials are planning to produce a safety video to be played at airports and in hotel rooms throughout the island to help educate tourists on ocean- and hiking-related dangers.

Severe arthritis in Marlina Tinoco's knees, ankle and back had forced her to take time off from work as a grocery cashier in 2012, but with only temporary disability insurance and her boyfriend's job loss, she fell behind in her rent and utility bills.

Hawaii County Civil Defense officials opened Railroad Avenue at noon Saturday to provide an alternate emergency-access route in and out of Pahoa as the Kilauea lava flow continues to advance toward the area's main highway.

Tempering his historic Cuba policy shift with a dose of realism, President Barack Obama said Friday that change might not come quickly to the communist island. He suggested Congress will keep the U.S. economic embargo in place until lawmakers can gauge the pace of progress in the "hermetically sealed society."

One of three alternative emergency-access routes in and out of the Pahoa area will open Saturday as the Kilauea lava flow continues toward the area's main highway.

A state judge has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to exempt state employees and contractors from county and state laws banning aerial hunting.

Some Molokai residents are hailing four arrested fishermen as heroes for protecting their island's resources from outsiders. Four Molokai men pleaded not guilty Thursday in a Maui courtroom to allegedly boarding a vessel in May and threatening the people on board, a group of divers from Oahu.

Gov. David Ige described the Pahoa community as being "upbeat" as it contends with ongoing threats tied to the so-called June 27 lava flow. "It's very encouraging to see the community come together," he said.

Hawaii County plans to appeal a federal judge's ruling invalidating a county law restricting genetically modified crops on the island. The County Council voted 5-4 to appeal the ruling, West Hawaii Today reported Thursday.

A steady stream of about 1,000 visitors made their way to see cooled lava near the Pahoa Recycling and Transfer Station Wednesday.

An area for viewing cooled lava will open in Pahoa on Wednesday, even as a breakout from Kilauea Volcano continued advancing toward a shopping center and prompted the closure of a gas station.

Two Hawaii brothers are selling T-shirts commemorating a Big Island lava flow as a way to make money in case the molten rock burns down their auto parts store.

The store will begin removing equipment and initiate various shutdown procedures on Tuesday. It will be shuttered after it closes Thursday evening, its parent company announced.

Prosecutors on Tuesday charged a 30-year-old man with second-degree attempted murder in the stabbing of a 23-year-old woman in a Kailua home invasion.

Burglaries, car break-ins and stolen vehicles all fell in November in Hawaii island's Puna district after invading lava prompted Mayor Billy Kenoi to declare a state of emergency that includes increased penalties for some crimes committed there.

Gas prices dipped below $3 a gallon in some parts of Oahu for the first time in seven years. But the state still has the highest gas prices in the nation, followed by Alaska and New York.

The front of Kilauea's so-called June 27 lava flow advanced about 225 yards in a north-northeast direction from Friday to Saturday morning. The flow front remained about 1.7 miles upslope of the Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road intersection.

John York, who owns a small printing business here, nearly fell out of his chair the other day when he opened his electric bill. For October, he had paid $376. For November, with virtually no change, his bill came to $788, a staggering increase of 110 percent.

Montana has never been known as a black-tie place. But this winter, when lawmakers arrive at the state Capitol, they will have to abide by a new dress code: No more jeans. And female lawmakers "should be sensitive to skirt lengths and necklines."

Allistair and Lina Sione were enjoying lives of quiet contentment, raising their two little boys in American Samoa, when they found out she had cancer. They made the move to Hawaii this summer "with a mission to beat my advanced stage 3 breast cancer," she said.

A new study estimates nearly 270,000 tons of plastic is floating in the world’s oceans. That’s enough to fill more than 38,500 garbage trucks.

Developers working on redevelopment of Mayor Wright Homes have suggested a hotel could help pay for the changes to the aging housing project.

Crackling sounds resonated underfoot while geologists walked along the stalled lava flow along the fence line of the Pahoa Recycling and Transfer Station on Monday afternoon. "Lava is sharp, even though it's not hot," warned Janet Babb.

People living in Hawaii island communities where coqui frogs have become established are growing tolerant of the amphibians. Emily Kalnicky studied 85 private properties in 12 communities across the island in 2008.

One of the last remnants of Maui's plantation era is getting closer to receiving historic status. The Old Kahului Railroad Building has been nominated to the Hawaii and national registers of historic places.

As hundreds of onlookers watched from shore, six Pacific canoes converged Sunday for a rare beachside reunion to celebrate how far they've come and to honor Hoku­le‘a.

The Nature Conservancy has acquired a conservation easement to preserve a 922-acre area with an ancient forest and disappearing stream on Hawaii island. West Hawaii Today reported last week that the land will serve as an outdoor ecology laboratory for students at UH Hilo.

A new Honolulu law will make it easier for the city to remove abandoned vehicles from front yards or get rid of fire hazards like dead wood and overhanging trees.

Rocky Seaman and Stacey Holokahi are Hawaiian single moms who keep up a grinding pace of working and taking care of their children on top of pursuing college degrees that might be the ticket to a better life.

The video is simple: A Maryland woman sneaks up to surprise her Marine husband, arriving at a Cali­for­nia base after he served a year in Af­ghani­stan. She stands directly in front of him for about a minute before he realizes she's there.

Three U.S. cities that President Barack Obama once called home are trying to outdo one another as the competition to host his future presidential library comes to a close.

The path the leading edge of lava flow from Kilauea Volcano will take as it continues to ooze toward a marketplace in Pahoa remains uncertain.

A new fence now in place on Kauai's North Shore is expected to protect endangered birds and rare native plants from cats and other predators. The fence protects an 8-mile section of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, The Garden Island newspaper reported this week.

Kauai's mayor has vetoed a bill that would have likely resulted in higher property taxes for agricultural lands used to research genetically modified crops.

The so-called June 27 lava flow crept closer to Pahoa on Thursday but at a slower rate, with the ribbon of molten rock reaching a forested area where the terrain is less steep.

As a ribbon of lava continued to advance Wednesday toward Pahoa, Hawaii County Civil Defense officials were planning to meet Thursday with businesses and shop owners whose buildings may be in harm's way.

Opening statements were postponed Wednesday in a federal trial against a man accused of stealing the home mailbox of the Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha.

The new lava flow front above Pahoa advanced an additional 400 yards Tuesday, but scientists expect the flow to slow over the next few days as it approaches less-steep terrain and the amount of lava feeding the flow lessens.


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