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State mails 247 ballots overseas

The state Elections Office sent 247 general election ballots last week to military and other eligible voters living overseas using FedEx or Express Mail.

Under an agreement between the state and the U.S. Justice Department, state elections officials had until last Friday to send absentee ballots to military members and other U.S. citizens living overseas.

Under a new federal law, states must send absentee ballots no later than 45 days before the general election. This year that deadline was Sept. 18, the same day as Hawaii’s primary election — the latest in the nation. However, Hawaii was granted an extension to bring it into compliance with the Military and Overseas Voter Act, a new federal law to ensure troops serving overseas and other eligible voters can cast their ballots as long as they are returned by Nov. 2.

A spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command has said there are 11,000 service members assigned to Hawaii who are deployed and eligible if they are registered voters here and have requested an absentee ballot.

The new federal requirement will cost the state $3,000.


Gas up and help out

Special Olympics Hawaii’s Fueling Dreams fundraiser with Tesoro Hawaii continues today from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tesoro employees are joining law enforcement and military volunteers to pump gas and clean windshields while collecting donations at Tesoro stations including Kailua, Kapahulu, Kapolei, King and Cooke streets, Mililani Mauka, Town Center of Mililani, Palama, Pearl City and Salt Lake on Oahu; as well as in Kona and Bay Front (Hilo) on the Big Island.



Maui airport repairs to be done at night

WAILUKU » The state Department of Transportation says the repaving of the main runway at Maui’s Kahului Airport will be done at night so airport operations will not be affected.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor told the Maui News on Wednesday that the runway is "perfectly safe now."

Because of runway deterioration, Gregor said the old pavement must be removed and new pavement installed.

Acting Transportation Director Michael Formby said core samples are being taken from the runway to see what needs to be repaired. He said it is too early to say how much the repaving project will cost.

Formby said the work could start in 18 months to two years.


UH-Hilo gets $2.5 million federal grant

About $2.5 million in newly announced federal grant money will go toward the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono said Wednesday the money will support efforts to create a new on-campus living/learning center.

She said the money also will go toward activities that boost graduation rates.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education.

About $2 million of the money will be used to renovate a campus housing facility and establish the Hale Kanilehua Living-Learning Center.

The remaining $500,000 will go to programs for first-year student seminars, mentoring, tutoring, leadership development and Hawaiian language learning.


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