Matson raises fuel surcharge
HONOLULU - The largest shipping company that carries goods to Hawaii from the Mainland is raising its fuel surcharge after recently decreasing it three times.
Matson Navigation Co. announced Friday that the surcharge will increase by 5 percentage points.
Citing rising bunker fuel prices and other energy costs, Matson is increasing the surcharge from 40.5 percent to 45.5 percent for Hawaii service starting Feb. 26.
The company made downward adjustments in August through October because of declines in bunker fuel prices.
Matson officials vow to monitor prices and adjust the surcharge accordingly.
Shoppers could pay more for bags
HONOLULU - Single-use shopping bags cause so much unnecessary harm to the environment that some lawmakers want to attach a fee or tax to every paper or plastic checkout bag in the state to discourage their use.
The House Committee on Environmental Protection deferred two such shopping bag bills Thursday, but Chairman Denny Coffman said a third will be scheduled for a hearing soon.
Coffman, D-Keauhou-Ho-nokohau, says he wants to make sure the committee moves a bill that can be implemented without creating conflicts between state agencies.
House Bill 2821 requires businesses to collect a 10-cent fee each time a customer is given a disposable bag.
Most of the fee revenue would be earmarked for clean-water projects and watershed protection.
Delays in work on rail to cost millions
HONOLULU - Construction delays on the first segment of Honolulu's rail project will cost the city millions.
According to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the city will agree to a new change order worth about $15 million to Kiewit Infrastructure West Co.
A previously approved $4 million change order adds to the increase, which puts the new price from $483 million to nearly $502 million.
According to a letter from the Federal Transit Administration, the city was overly optimistic that federal funding would be approved for an environmental impact statement in order to begin final design work in early 2010.
But approval was only obtained last month.
The city says contingency funding will cover the cost of the Kiewit change order.
Guilty plea in bank embezzlement case
HONOLULU - A former First Hawaiian Bank employee accused of stealing millions of dollars over a decade has pleaded guilty to embezzlement.
Hawaii U.S. District Attorney Florence Nakakuni announced that 52-year-old Lani Ann Miho entered the plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.
Authorities say Miho, who worked for First Hawaiian as a branch manager and personal banking officer, created 56 accounts in various names.
She used the accounts to withdraw money and paid off the balances with funds from other recently opened accounts.
According to court documents, Miho fraudulently repaid some of the more than $2 million in funds she obtained, leaving the bank with a net loss of more than $609,000.
Miho's sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 4.
She could face up to 30 years in prison.