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State / In Brief

September 16, 2012
The Associated Press

$10.6M in federal grants for education

HONOLULU - Hawaii will receive more than $10 million in federal grants for Native Hawaiian education.

Hawaii's congressional delegation in Washington, D.C., announced last week that the money will go to 17 new programs and initiatives that support the education of Native Hawaiians.

The funding was awarded competitively to nonprofit organizations including schools, universities and churches.

Recipients include Partners in Development Foundation, Program for Afterschool Literacy Support and Keiki O Ka Aina Preschool Inc.


Bank to refund fees over technical snafu

HONOLULU - Bank of Hawaii says it will reverse overdraft fees charged to customers who incurred them because of a technical glitch.

The bank said Friday that 7,800 of its Visa debit cardholders experienced the incorrect overdrafts. Bank of Hawaii spokesman Stafford Kiguchi tells Hawaii News Now that some account holders were able to freely use their cards while some older transactions hadn't been deducted from their accounts.

Kiguchi says the two-week-old problem is resolved and the bank apologizes for the error.

If customers have questions about their account they can call 888-643-3888.


State admits paying $80K to a dead man

HONOLULU - Hawaii has paid more than $80,000 in workers' compensation benefits to another dead man.

The state Labor Department said the money was improperly paid on behalf of a Big Island man who died two years ago.

The fraud comes to light after Hawaii News Now recently reported the state paid nearly $400,000 to a former Kauai man who has been dead for more than 20 years. His daughter has been indicted for collecting his checks by forging his signature on eligibility documents.

The state said an unidentified person submitted phony eligibility documents in the Big Island case.

State Labor Department Director Dwight Takamine said steps are being taken to prevent future fraud. Notarized documents will soon be required to receive benefits.


Group set to probe 12 reports of coqui

HONOLULU - The Oahu Invasive Species Committee is investigating 12 reports of coqui frogs submitted by people who participated in a "Go Out and Listen Night."

The committee said in a Facebook post Thursday that 133 people participated in the coordinated effort to listen for the frogs.

The committee had asked Oahu residents to go outside and listen for the frog's nocturnal mating call on Wednesday between 7:30 and 8 p.m.

The committee said what starts out as one mating call could quickly turn into "an earsplitting chorus" if the frogs aren't reported immediately.

Coqui frogs reproduce quickly in Hawaii because they don't have natural predators here.



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