Thursday, June 25, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Thursday morning edition

Matson Navigation Co.'s top unionized officers could strike tomorrow -- putting a crimp in Hawaii's delicate supply chain -- if they do not reach accord during scheduled talks with the shipping company today.

Crew members, including captains, on Matson Navigation Co.'s trans-Pacific cargo ships have authorized their union to call a strike if a contract agreement is not reached.

Moderate to "exceptional" drought conditions have gripped much of the state, leaving firefighters prepping for a potentially busy summer of brushfires and spurring calls for water conservation on the Neighbor Islands.

Swine flu is spreading through the community, with 205 confirmed cases in the past week, the state Department of Health reported.

Ten Hawai'i students and two chaperones remain in quarantine in South Korean hospitals over swine flu concerns and likely will not be cleared until tomorrow or the weekend, officials with the Korean consulate in Honolulu said.

The United Public Workers yesterday filed a complaint against Gov. Linda Lingle and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann with the Hawai'i Labor Relations Board, seeking to prevent them from talking publicly about potential layoffs and contract negotiations.

Taking the first official step of her weeks-long promise, Gov. Linda Lingle signed yesterday an executive order to force tens of thousands of state employees to take three unpaid days off each month, starting in July.

People who have been illegally living on state-owned land next to the Kahului Airport runway have been asked to move by day's end or face criminal trespassing charges, state officials said.

Only one more week until Oahu drivers experience a big change in how they drive. Beginning next Wednesday, cell phone use while driving is banned unless you use a hands-free device.

Hawaii County government gets high marks for its financial controls over more than $34.6 million in federal funds, according to its most recent outside audit.

Consolidated Resorts Inc. appeared headed for bankruptcy on Tuesday, and employees of its activity desk subsidiary Lahaina Ticket Co. were told it was shutting down.

The bulldozers are busy in the corner of land where the Pahoa Bypass diverges from Old Government Road, a.k.a. Pahoa Main Street.

Student numbers for fall are up sharply at both the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College -- and the main reason appears to be the slumping economy

Dismayed and surprised are how the teachers describe their reaction to the news that Waters of Life Public Charter School has lost its charter.