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Hawaii NewsNewswatch


Late tax refunds will earn interest

A new law requires Hawaii tax refunds to be sent to taxpayers within 90 days, or else the state would pay interest on delayed refunds.

Gov. Linda Lingle signed the measure into law yesterday.

The law requires the state government to pay monthly interest at a rate of one-third of 1 percent of the refund amount if a tax overpayment is not refunded within 90 days.

The Legislature passed House Bill 1948 unanimously in April in response to the Lingle administration’s move to delay payment of this year’s refunds so the state could save about $294 million on paper.

Improved tax collections allowed the state to pay out $124 million worth of refunds already, but the remaining $170 million will not be mailed until the new fiscal year begins in July.



Horse abuser gets 40 days

LIHUE » A Kauai woman who prosecutors say left her horse sick and neglected has been sentenced to serve 40 days in prison.

Circuit Judge Trudy Senda said this week that Apryl Worthington’s behavior was not appropriate and that she deserved significant punishment.

Pictures of the horse, named Molokai, presented at the animal cruelty trial showed an oozing wound, an infection and other problems with the front legs.

Senda said an experienced horse owner should know better than to leave an animal in pain and agony during the heat of summer without food, water, shelter or medicine.

Worthington’s attorney, Dena Renti Cruz, said she did not intend to neglect or abandon the horse.


Opihi picker still missing

The Fire Department’s search for a missing opihi picker will resume at first light today.

Fire officials said yesterday’s search yielded no results nor any signs of the 41-year-old Big Island man who was reported missing Tuesday while picking opihi along King’s Landing shoreline in Waiakea. Big Island police identified the missing man as Joseph Pacheco Jr. of Hilo.


Man nabbed in fraud case

Big Island police arrested a 49-year-old Hilo man for allegedly scheming to steal thousands of dollars from an elderly Hilo woman.

The woman told police the man had charged her for work on her home that he allegedly had not completed.

Police arrested the man Tuesday. He was later released pending further investigation.


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