Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Records tampering charges tossed in Kenoi trial, jurors see video, Hawaii may lose its lone GOP state senator, Honolulu accessory dwelling unit permits up, Thirty Meter Telescope hearing all about religion, petrel chicks planted on Kauai, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Kenoi's attorney, Todd Eddins, cross examines forensic accountant James Cigan during Kenoi's trial Monday in Hilo Circuit Court. Pool photo HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald
Embattled Hawaii island Mayor Billy Kenoi won a partial — but still stunning — victory Monday when three misdemeanor charges related to tampering with government records were dismissed, leaving Kenoi to face five remaining criminal charges over misuse of his government purchasing card. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Billy Kenoi’s three records tampering charges were dismissed Monday in his criminal trial for alleged misuse of a Hawaii County purchasing card. Kenoi still faces two counts of second-degree theft, two counts of third-degree theft and one count of false swearing. Tribune-Herald.

State Circuit Court Judge Dexter D. Del Rosario dismissed three of eight counts against Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi based upon insufficient evidence after the state rested its case. KITV.

A small victory for Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi after a judge tossed out several charges against him. KHON2.

Watch the full Billy Kenoi video shown to the jury here

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The self-described “Lone Ranger,” state Sen. Sam Slom, may be making his last ride. He is the only Republican in Hawaii’s 25 member state Senate. Civil Beat.

Bonterra Solar, which at one time was one of the largest and fastest-growing solar energy companies in Hawaii, has shut down, Pacific Business News has learned.

State to use Volkswagen settlement funds for energy projects. Pacific Business News.

Oahu

Many of your neighbors want more useful information about crimes happening in their communities. Some have asked the city for the information multiple times since 2014. But the Honolulu Police Department largely has ignored the requests. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu police are adding a new way to communicate with communities. The Honolulu Police Department on Monday announced a partnership with Nextdoor, a private online social network designed to connect neighbors. Star-Advertiser.

TV Spots — And One Big Print Ad — Spice Up Mayor’s Race. Incumbent Kirk Caldwell lets others do the talking, while challenger Charles Djou appears with his wife — and in uniform. Civil Beat.

Early walk-in voting opens at 2 Oahu sites. Star-Advertiser.

An Oahu farmers cooperative has received a $249,000 federal grant to help other local small farmers sell what they grow. Star-Advertiser.

Defining Downtown Honolulu Isn’t As Easy As You’d Think. Historic charm, urban bustle, convenience and homelessness in a place of uncertain borders. Civil Beat.

The city is working to speed up the approval process for Oahu homeowners who want to add an accessory dwelling unit on their properties. Hawaii News Now.

A new education center features artifacts from Japanese Americans who were confined at the Honouliuli Internment Camp in the ’40s. Associated Press.

Hawaii

Opponents of the Thirty Meter Telescope proposed for Mauna Kea spent much of Monday quizzing a planner on the project about his understanding of Native Hawaiian religion and the nature of “sacred lands” during the second day of a contested case hearing for the telescope. Star-Advertiser.

Day two of the Thirty Meter telescope contested case hearing began in Hilo on Monday. Big Island Video News.

Judges, attorneys and community leaders gathered to formally break ground for the Kona Judiciary Complex on a scraped-down section of lava near the Makalapua Shopping Center on Monday. West Hawaii Today.

The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau is closing its Hilo office next month. Tribune-Herald.

Incumbent Democrat Nicole Lowen, who represents Kona’s 6th District in the state House of Representatives is asking voters to elect her to a third consecutive term. Republican challenger Bruce Pratt will ask them to reconsider. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

McKelvey defends House seat against GOP challenger. Maui News.

Several Iao Valley residents living along the Wailuku River, who describe themselves as “the lost seven,” fear their properties and road may erode away if emergency repairs do not begin soon, but it is unclear who  ultimately will pay for the work. Maui News.

Pavement striping will prompt alternating lane closures on Mokulele Highway between North Kihei and Kamaaina roads this week, according to the state Department of Transportation. Maui News.

Kauai

The last chance to register for voting in the general election opens today with early voting at the Lihue Neighborhood Center, and in this election there’s a twist: ballot selfies. Garden Island.

The 20 Hawaiian Petrel chicks that were transferred to their new home at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge Monday were tucked, fluffy and healthy in the their new manmade burrows in an effort that was documented for the first time using social media. Garden Island.