Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Wednesday morning edition

"A handful" of people in the Islands — including one arriving from Mexico — are being tested for swine flu, state health officials said yesterday. None of the cases has been confirmed, state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park emphasized yesterday at a Capitol press conference.

The Lingle administration is giving public employee unions until Friday to accept furloughs of up to 37.5 days a year or face unilateral action by the state, according to state union leaders.

Hawaii's visitor arrivals plummeted 16.6 percent in March, which marked a full year of declines for the state's lead tourism industry, according to preliminary research released today by the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

Puna Rep. Faye Hanohano has mailed 1,200 newsletters accusing the University of Hawaii of desecrating Mauna Kea by allowing telescope development on the sacred summit.

A federal judge has sentenced a 27-year-old man from Washington who police said was the head of a conspiracy to distribute cocaine on the Big Island.

Clear Channel Radio Hawaii on Tuesday announced it is changing some of its radio personality teams and letting go some others.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has put Lanai City on its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The old section of Lanai City, built for pineapple workers in the 1920s, is described as "the last remaining intact plantation town in Hawaii," by Richard Moe, president of the National Trust.

The Maui County Council Budget and Finance Committee on Monday voted 7-0 to recommend a $549.7 million budget for 2010, with cuts in spending that reflect the county's tight economy.

The prospect of using sugar cane to produce ethanol and electricity remains uncertain for Gay & Robinson Inc. as financial concerns force the historic Westside company to seek out a different crop. Corn is in.