Tuesday, February 2, 2010

UH spring enrollment highest ever, lawmakers eyeing Hurricane Relief Fund for schools, political season kicks off and other top Hawaii news

The recession and a lousy job market continue to fuel enrollment at the University of Hawai'i, which yesterday reported its highest-ever student count for a spring semester.

The University of Hawaii reports opening enrollment for the 10-campus system for the spring 2010 semester was 55,761 students.

A Board of Regents subcommittee is recommending that the University of Hawaii take in more out-of-state students as a way to increase revenue and enhance UH's reputation.

In a first pass at resolving teacher furloughs, the Legislature yesterday moved ahead on bills that would divert money from the Hawai'i Hurricane Relief Fund but delayed action on a proposal to increase taxes or take money from the rainy day fund.

A state Senate committee on Monday approved taking millions of dollars from the state's hurricane relief fund to reduce the number of public school furlough days.

Three state Senate committees passed two bills to end budget-cutting closures at public schools and restore instructional days by taking money from the Hurricane Relief Fund.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann has declined to formally announce whether he is running for governor, but his exploratory committee has raised $2.3 million and already spent $300,000.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann is still not an official candidate for governor, but his unofficial campaign treasury is the richest of the potential candidates.

Election officials report brisk business across the state with potential candidates taking out nomination papers to run in the 2010 election.

The 2010 election season is officially underway as Monday marked the first day candidates can start filing for office.

The last time Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann introduced a measure limiting plastic bags, the administration vetoed it as being too broad.

A mobile medical van could be serving South Kona and Ka'u residents within months, following 10 years of effort by state Rep. Bob Herkes.

Organizers are calling it Waikapu's "Field of Dreams."

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