Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Kenoi found not guilty in theft trial, HART executive director to be Hanabusa's chief of staff, PACs fuel fight in Honolulu mayoral race, Maui council defers polystyrene bill, building permit gripes in Hilo, Kauai fishnets feed H-Power, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

pool photo by Hollyn Johnson/Tribune-Herald
Kenoi hugs supporters after acquittal, pool photo by Hollyn Johnson/Tribune-Herald
In a stunning and unanimous verdict Tuesday, a Hawaii island jury took 24 hours to find Mayor Billy Kenoi not guilty of all charges related to personal and alcohol purchases that Kenoi billed to the county — and later repaid — from 2011 to 2015. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Billy Kenoi was acquitted of all remaining charges Tuesday in his criminal trial in Hilo Circuit Court. Tribune-Herald.

Jurors have found Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi not guilty of all theft charges against him. Civil Beat.

A Big Island jury found Mayor Billy Kenoi not guilty on all counts today on his alleged misuse of his county issued purchasing card. Hawaii Public Radio.

The decision, read in a Hilo courtroom at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, declared Kenoi not guilty on all counts. The mayor mouthed the words “thank you” to the jury. KHON2.

Not guilty. That's the verdict a jury handed down in Mayor Billy Kenoi's theft trial. KITV.

Mayor Billy Kenoi is not guilty. Big Island Video News.

Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi has been found not guilty on all counts for his alleged misuse of his county-issued purchasing card in a trial that questioned whether spending hundreds of dollars on whiskey and pineapple juice is a legitimate government expense. Associated Press.

The most sensational example of how Mayor Billy Kenoi used his county purchasing card never made it into the courtroom. Star-Advertiser.

Billy Kenoi’s future in politics is a hot topic again after the Big Island mayor was acquitted on all counts in his felony theft trial. Hawaii News Now.

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Mike Formby, acting executive director of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, will become Colleen Hanabusa’s chief of staff if she wins the general election Tuesday to fill the seat left vacant by U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, who died from cancer in July. Star-Advertiser.

The Hawaii Board of Education voted Tuesday afternoon to begin the search for a new schools superintendent to replace Kathryn Matayoshi. KHON2.

Hawaii voters have an opportunity to change the state’s constitution in ways that would affect how surplus tax revenues are used and the threshold for jury trials in civil cases. Civil Beat.

More than 100 foreign fishermen who work on Hawaii longline vessels that bring in tuna and swordfish to Honolulu piers have been sent back to their countries by U.S. Customs and Border Protection over the past decade for offenses such as drinking alcohol, performing work that they are not authorized to do, or straying too far from the piers. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

More than $2.5 million has been spent in the Honolulu mayoral campaign since the Aug. 13 primary election, about half of it from independent political action committees seeking to sway voters both for and against incumbent Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Star-Advertiser.

Super PACs Raise Over $1 Million In Honolulu Mayor’s Race. Two political action committees favor Kirk Caldwell while a third, funded by engineer Dennis Mitsunaga, is backing challenger Charles Djou. Civil Beat.

Until now, the money and the people behind an anti-Kirk Caldwell political action committee has been kept secret. Hawaii News Now.

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A new Hawaii Army National Guard unit took delivery of three Black Hawk medevac helicopters Friday at Kalaeloa Airfield, paving the way for a new capability within the islands’ reserve force. Star-Advertiser.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says it expects to hire two more employees at Kaena Point State Park Reserve to better protect nesting albatrosses that were attacked last year and help curtail other violations. Civil Beat.

As the supply of housing continues to diminish on Oahu, the cost of renting continues to climb, according to a report released Tuesday by real estate consultant Ricky Cassiday. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

It’s been a little more than a year since the county beefed up its staff and overhauled its building permit review process in an effort to speed up permits. But about a dozen people — primarily design professionals and construction contractors — on Tuesday laughed off a Public Works official’s contention that things are much better now. West Hawaii Today.

After being approved by Hawaii County Council late last month, a plan to improve connectivity in Upper Puna is now in the hands of the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Public Works. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Two proposals that would extend the ban on plastic bags to reusable ones and polystyrene food container products in Maui County were deferred Monday afternoon by a County Council committee. Maui News.

Most of the content in Mayor Alan Arakawa’s five bills aimed at curbing behavior by homeless people, such as going the bathroom in public or drinking in parks, is already enforceable by other county or state laws, said Maui County Prosecuting Attorney John D. Kim on Monday. Maui News.

An investigation of Hawaiian Airlines baggage handlers accused of stealing items from checked luggage in Maui has widened. Hawaii News Now.

Major Maui solar farms starting construction within weeks. Pacific Business News.

Kauai

A former psychiatric social worker at Kauai Community Correctional Center was forced out of her job for trying to protect female inmates from a warden who allegedly subjected them to sexual humiliation and discrimination, her attorney told jurors at the start of trial in her lawsuit Tuesday. Associated Press.

Protecting Earth’s oceans is paramount to survival on Kauai and two local organizations are providing an opportunity for residents to have a say in preserving their place. Garden Island.

It took just seven months to fill up another 20-foot Matson container with nets scavenged from Kauai’s beaches, and Saturday the debris will be shipped to Oahu. Garden Island.

Lanai

 Hokama faces political rookie for Lanai seat on the council. Maui News.