Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Top Hawaii Headlines: Tuesday morning edition

The Hawaii State Department of Health issued an alert to doctors statewide on Monday urging them to watch for swine flu in patients.

Hawai'i would get 300,000 doses of flu medicine if swine flu should reach the Islands, but state officials yesterday encouraged everyone to start making plans now to care for the elderly and the young for a potential outbreak.

Tourism officials in the islands said Hawaii is well positioned to offer an alternative to Mexico, where the swine flu appears to be concentrated.

State House and Senate budget negotiators agreed last night to use federal stimulus money meant for public education to help offset spending cuts to the state Department of Education rather than use the money to help close the state's budget deficit, as Gov. Linda Lingle has suggested.

State legislative leaders are moving into the last five days of the 2009 Legislature with no clear plans on how they will resolve the state budget shortfall and what funds they will use to fill the budget holes.

While environmental groups rallied at the state Capitol in support of a measure to prohibit building any new fossil-fuel power plants in Hawaii, at least one renewable-energy advocate urged lawmakers to proceed with caution.

The Maui County Council Budget and Finance Committee on Monday voted 7-0 to recommend a $549.7 million budget for 2010, with cuts in spending that reflect the county’s tight economy.

Young Brothers on Monday asked to intervene in the Pasha Hawaii application to the Public Utilities Commission to use its trans-Pacific transporter, MV Jean Anne, to carry vehicles and cargo interisland.

Members of an Oahu family who have been waiting 10 years for justice expressed relief Monday, after a jury found the man suspected of killing their loved one guilty of murder.

Time is running out for the construction of two more remotely operated underwater vehicles.

The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority is a landlord to roughly 40 tenants who use the facility for commercial and research purposes.

Federal stimulus funds will pay for a $7.3 million visitor center and replacement administrative building at the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge.

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