Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Drier but more turbulent, thanks to El Nino, state plans for furlough Fridays, other top news

Thanks to El Nino conditions, islanders can expect drier-than-normal conditions during Hawaii's upcoming wet season but more tropical storm activity in the Central Pacific -- with the possibility of hurricanes in the next 40 days, climate experts say.

With our state still very much into hurricane season, experts at the National Weather Service are advising residents to be prepared in the event a storm affects our islands.

Hurricane Neki continues to strengthen this morning as it churns toward the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

The Office of the U.S. Trustee is challenging the average $2,527.38 hourly rate being charged by a consultant for Hawaiian Telcom's bankruptcy case.

Need a marriage license? Unemployment insurance? A camping permit? A copy of your birth certificate? Plan ahead, because these state services will no longer be available on many Fridays.

The state on Tuesday released the schedule of furlough days departments will begin taking.

Public schools can restore some of the classroom instruction time that could be lost during furlough days for teachers, through a complicated exception process to the state Board of Education.

A plan to farm-raise ahi in giant "Oceanspheres" received a positive recommendation from the state, despite some skepticism over how it would work.

Hawaii County's lack of program goals, internal controls and effective communication have prevented efficient use of more than $50 million in highway-maintenance money, a recent county audit has found.

The Hawaii Supreme Court has affirmed that Maui County Council Member Sol Kahoohalahala is a resident of Lahaina -- not Lanai, the district he represents.

It’s always about the money.