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Utility to develop 6 hydro projects

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative said its board of directors has approved agreements with Free Flow Power Corp. to pursue the joint development of six hydroelectric proj­ects proposed for the island.

Under the terms of the agreements, FFP has transferred ownership of the six previously announced hydroelectric proj­ects to KIUC. KIUC will oversee the development of the six and potentially several more proj­ects, the utility said in a news release.

"These agreements are an important step to ensure that any hydroelectric proj­ects developed on Kauai are owned and controlled by the people of Kauai and operated in a way that serves their best interests," said David Bissell, KIUC chief executive officer.

Free Flow Power has filed six preliminary applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In March the agency approved the first of the preliminary permits for a proj­ect on the Wai­lua River.

The other applications are still pending before the commission.

Parking rates will increase at Hawaii airports

The state Department of Transportation says parking rates are due to go up at airports statewide starting May 1 to help raise funds to pay for airport improvements.

Daily rates at Hono­lulu Airport will climb $2, to $15. Parking rates at neighbor island airports are due to increase $1, to $10 per day.

Fuel-efficient cars help lift auto sales

DETROIT » U.S. sales of new cars and trucks rose in March, helped by a brighter jobs outlook and rising sales of fuel-efficient vehicles.

New vehicle sales rose 11 percent at General Motors, 16 percent at Ford, 23 percent at Honda and 27 percent at Nissan, all aided by sales of smaller, more efficient cars and crossovers, which look like truck-based SUVs but don’t use as much gasoline and are more nimble because they are built on car underpinnings.

Of major automakers, only To­yota Motor Corp. reported a decline, nearly 6 percent.

Dish, Icahn join Blockbuster bidding

NEW YORK » Several bidders are set to duke it out for Blockbuster Inc. at a bankruptcy auction in New York on Monday. They reportedly include Dish Network Corp. and billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

The movie-rental chain has received several bids other than the opening bid of $290 million from a group of debt-holders made in February. Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.

Dish and Icahn have each submitted a bid, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Dish Network declined to comment. Icahn could not immediately be reached for comment.

Company to close 73 movie theaters

AMC Entertainment Inc., the second-largest U.S. cinema operator, will close 73 underperforming screens and auditoriums in six locations in the U.S. and Canada. AMC does not operate in Hawaii.

The decision will result in a charge of $55 million to $60 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, the Kansas City, Mo.-based exhibitor said yesterday in a regulatory filing. The company will continue to operate 89 screens at those locations.

The closely held company expects future savings to exceed the loss in attendance and revenue, according to the filing. AMC operated 5,203 screens in 361 U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to a March 7 statement.

On the Move

» Graham Builders has announced that Faith Yama­gi­shi, vice president of operations and controller, and Faye Ing, construction manager, have earned the Certified Green Professional designation. 

» McNeil Wilson Communications has promoted David Pet­tin­ger to account executive of the public affairs division from account coordinator. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

CORRECTION

» Daily parking rates at neighbor island airports are due to increase May 1 by $1 to $10 a day, not $9 as reported on Page B6 Saturday.

 

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