» Former Gov. Linda Lingle announced Tuesday that she is running for the U.S. Senate seat of Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka, who will not seek re-election in 2012. Lingle and former state lawmaker John Carroll are in the Republican primary, while U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case are the Democratic contenders.
» A massive college sports conference would be formed under plans announced Friday to merge the Mountain West with Conference USA. The University of Hawaii football program is to join the Mountain West next year and would be part of the 22-school conference.
» Veteran public relations strategist James Boersema was hired Monday as communications director for Gov. Neil Abercrombie, following the resignations the previous week by communications director Josh Levinson and his deputy, Laurie Au.
» People would be banned from keeping furniture, clothing and household items on sidewalks, in parks and other public property under a proposal advanced Tuesday by a City Council panel. Critics said the measure targets the homeless.
» Rising fuel prices drove Oahu electricity rates to a record this month. The bill for a typical family using 600 kilowatt-hours of electricity rose to $207.04, a $2.20 increase from September.
» Meanwhile, Hawaiian Electric Co. said Thursday that Oahu’s first utility-scale photovoltaic project is scheduled to begin sending electricity to the island’s power grid next year. The solar farm operated by SunPower Corp. in Ewa will generate enough power to supply 1,600 homes.
» Hawaii island Democratic Party members sued the state Reapportionment Commission Monday, saying the panel denied their island a fourth seat in the state Senate by improperly counting military members and other nonpermanent residents in crafting new political boundaries.
» State public school enrollment hit a six-year high of 181,213 students. Areas growing most were Leeward Oahu (2.1 percent increase) and Maui County (1.7 percent).
» President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill died Tuesday at the hands of Senate Republicans, but Obama and Democratic supporters promised additional votes on pieces of the plan. Senate Republicans introduced Thursday their own "Jobs Through Growth Act," which was largely a collection of prior GOP economic proposals.
» The trial of a man accused of trying to blow up a commercial airliner with a bomb sewn into his underwear ended Wednesday, just a day after it had begun, when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the accused, announced that he would plead guilty to all of the federal counts against him. Prosecutors and federal agents declared that the plea was evidence that the U.S. court system, as opposed to a military tribunal, could bring a suitable outcome to a terrorism case.
» Media interest in Herman Cain intensified as he cruised past Mitt Romney in an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. The former head of Godfather’s Pizza pledged to bolster his fledgling White House campaign, which has not had much of a presence in early voting states.
» Beatings, electric shocks and other forms of torture were administered to suspected Taliban fighters in some Afghan-run detention centers, the U.N. said Monday, even as the U.S. and others have spent billions to train police and security services. The abuse was not the result of Afghan government policy, but of individual actions that were mostly ignored by the security services, according to the 74-page U.N. report.
» The Nobel Prize in economics was awarded Monday to Christopher Sims and Thomas Sargent for their research in the 1970s and ’80s on the cause-and-effect relationship between the economy and government policy. Sims is a professor at Princeton University; Sargent teaches at New York University and is a visiting professor at Princeton.
THIS WEEK, OCT. 16-22
» Wednesday: The University of Hawaii, Cycle Manoa, the Hawaii Bicycling League and others are holding the first "BikeUHM" fair to promote bicycle transit, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., Hamilton Library Plaza. Call Phyllis S. K. Look, 956-9291.
» Thursday: The state Land Use Commission will hold a hearing on a request by D.R. Horton Schuler Homes to reclassify 1,525 acres of agricultural land in Honouliuli to urban use for its Hoopili residential project, 9:30 a.m., 235 S. Beretania St., room 204. Hearing will continue Friday at 9 a.m.
» Saturday: The Music For Life Foundation is inviting ukulele players of all ages and skill levels to participate in "Go For Da Record," a fundraiser and attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest ukulele ensemble (1,547 participants), 10 a.m. at the Waikiki Shell. Register at gofordarecord.org.
» Monday: President Barack Obama begins a bus tour of North Carolina and Virginia that runs through Wednesday.
» Tuesday: Israeli soldier Sgt. Gilad Schalit, held captive in Gaza for five years, is expected to return home.