Friday, May 1, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Friday morning edition

State House and Senate budget negotiators are close to an agreement on a state budget that would cut general-fund spending by about $800 million over two years and eliminate some state jobs.

Hawai'i's governor would need to obtain approval from two-thirds of each house of the Legislature before selling any state lands, under a bill agreed to by House and Senate leaders in conference committee yesterday.

Legislation that would reduce controversial high-technology tax credits in Hawaii was sent to the House and Senate floors yesterday after lawmakers meeting in a conference committee agreed on a compromise.

The head of the Honolulu city department whose employees are under criminal investigation for an overtime scam said he has changed procedures to avoid future fraud.

School officials acknowledge the availability of soap and paper towels has been spotty in school restrooms because of vandalism and theft.

Family members of a Honolulu attorney are mourning his sudden death. Craig Kimsel, 48, was gunned down in a home in Kailua Tuesday night.

The south end of the Big Island will get a mobile medical van using federal Homeland Security grant funding. The van is authorized by the sole surviving bill from Ka'u Rep. Bob Herkes' vog package, which he submitted this legislative session.

Saying there's still too much up in the air at the state level, Mayor Billy Kenoi is keeping his amended budget plan under tight wraps until his May 5 presentation to the Hawaii County Council.

Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole has resurrected her proposal to allow people to live in tents while building a permitted home.

The U.S. Coast Guard released reports Thursday on two fatal touring catamaran accidents that occurred in Hawaiian waters less than four months apart in December 2006 and March 2007.

The Hawaii Republican Party was gearing up this week to continue making an example out of state Rep. Joe Bertram III with a television ad and automated phone calls to voters after the South Maui Democrat stood up for a friend convicted of trying to sexually prey on children.

An annual inspection and notices from a property management company left residents of Hualalai Elderly Housing fearful that they would be evicted from their homes and left with nowhere to go.

After months of anticipation, the grand opening of the new St. Regis Princeville Resort has been postponed to Oct. 1.