Thursday, October 17, 2019

Kealohas close to plea deal, drone plans for Maui, teachers' association seeks flavored vape ban, opposition mounts to Kahuku wind farm, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Katherine and Louis Kealoha
Kealohas close to reaching a plea deal for remaining federal charges. The Kealohas are reportedly close to making a plea deal with federal prosecutors on financial fraud and other charges. Hawaii News Now.

Federal prosecutors offer Katherine Kealoha plea deal. Federal prosecutors have offered to reduce their recommendation for the length of Katherine Kealoha’s imprisonment by a few years and will dismiss multiple charges against her if she agrees to plead guilty to two felony counts in a bank fraud prosecution and a misdemeanor charge in a separate drug-related case, according to one of her attorneys. Star-Advertiser.

New plea offer for Katherine Kealoha. Renewed negotiations for Katherine Kealoha and the federal government. One of her attorneys says both sides met Wednesday with a new offer on the table. KHON2.

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The Hawaii State Teachers Association wants lawmakers to ban all flavored tobacco products to help protect their students. The Department of Education banned electronic smoking devices back in 2015 but teachers report the problem continues to show up on campus. KITV.

State Sen. Kai Kahele criticizes Tulsi Gabbard for missing House vote on Syria. State Sen. Kai Kahele (D-Hilo) is criticizing Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for failing to show up to vote today on a House resolution that condemns President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Democrats To Hold Presidential Primary April 4. The Democratic National Convention has approved how the local party will select delegates. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Kiewit’s Payments On Hold Pending Findings Of Rail Investigation. State finance officials rejected more than $30 million in payments to Kiewit Infrastructure West this past quarter because they believe the former rail contractor may be part of the federal criminal probe into the multibillion-dollar transit project. Civil Beat.

Wind turbine protesters gear up for a drawn-out battle in Kahuku. Opponents of the construction of eight wind turbines in Kahuku are preparing for a drawn-out fight against the project, which they say will have detrimental health effects for residents and farmers of the rural town. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s Green Energy Projects Search For Ways To Navigate Community Opposition. A number of new solar and wind projects are needed in Oahu to replace the last coal-fired plant, which is scheduled to close in 2022. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Acquire More Military-Style Equipment. The local ACLU criticizes the purchase of equipment like the $580,000 Lenco Bearcat armored vehicle as encouraging local police to adopt a “warrior mentality.” Civil Beat.

Council aims to silence excessively loud mopeds. Councilman Tommy Waters, who introduced the measure, says mufflers are required on motor vehicles but under the current law it excludes mopeds. KHON2.

Affordable housing options expanding in Kakaako. Affordable housing is expanding a foothold in one section of Kakaako with construction about to begin on a 42-story tower offering mainly midpriced condominiums. Star-Advertiser.

This playground is within permitting guidelines. But still, safety concerns linger. Realtors often highlight the kids-friendly playground at the upscale Waikalua Bayside project along Kaneohe Bay. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Council passes climate resolution despite doom and gloom from Chung. The Big Island is officially facing a climate crisis, according to a resolution unanimously passed Wednesday by the Hawaii County Council. Tribune-Herald.

Three dozen protest bombing at Pohakuloa Training Area. About three dozen activists gathered at the main gate of the Pohakuloa Training Area on Wednesday to protest continued bombing and shelling on the sprawling U.S. Army base, which regularly hosts life-fire training exercises for Hawaii-based soldiers and Marines. Star-Advertiser.

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Mayor Kim reassures protesters that TMT equipment won’t be snuck up the mountain. After fears that law enforcement could come in soon to clear the protest camp at Mauna Kea, Mayor Harry Kim and protest leaders say there’s assurances Thirty Meter Telescope equipment will not be sneaked in. Hawaii News Now.

UH regents unveil Maunakea resolution. A new resolution proposed by members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents would establish deadlines for the decommissioning of several Maunakea telescopes and set groundwork for future educational programs on the mountain. Tribune-Herald.

UH Regents Maunakea Governance Report Calls For 12 Specific Action Items. The findings and recommendations of the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents' Maunakea Governance Permitted Interaction Group have been published. Big Island Video News.

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Change paves way for more indoor amusement facilities. Indoor amusement facilities such as fitness and martial arts centers, pool halls and game rooms will be allowed in commercial and industrial zones under changes the County Council approved Wednesday. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Drone officials plan to submit new application. Project officials plan to resubmit an application for the Hawk30 program, which is seeking to use agricultural lands on Lanai to develop and test two high-altitude platform drones. Project is also expected to undergo environmental review. Maui News.

UH: Forest Conservation Could Save $1.4M to Maui Water. Preventing the degradation of the native forest and facilitation of conservation efforts could save the local water utility up to $1.4 million and make important contributions to local water supplies in East Maui according to research conducted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. Maui Now.

County files complaint over Haiku zip line. Company accused of breach of the settlement pact. Maui News.

Kauai

Full closures on Kuhio Highway near Hanalei. Emergency full closures on Kuhio Highway at mile marker 1 (the hill approaching Hanalei Bridge) will be hourly for about 30 minutes between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the top of each hour today and Friday. Garden Island.

Hourly full closures for emergency slope work on Kuhio Highway at Hanalei Hill. KHON2.

Grave site search going high-tech. Radar technology will be used this Sunday at the Hanapepe Filipino Cemetery to help a team of Kauai researchers determine where the unmarked mass grave of 16 Filipino sugar cane workers lies. Garden Island.

Kauai is coming up on peak fledging season for the endangered Newell’s shearwater and other seabirds, and that means it’s peak fallout season, too. Garden Island.

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