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State / In Brief

November 23, 2012
The Associated Press

FTA: Oahu to get $1.5B for rail

HONOLULU - The Federal Transit Administration said it will provide Honolulu with $1.5 billion to build a rail line.

The FTA notified the Senate Committee on Appropriations of its plans. The law requires the FTA to notify Congress 30 days before it signs a full funding grant agreement.

Committee Chairman U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said Monday that the notification is an important step toward federal funding for Honolulu rail. He said the train line will bring welcome relief to West Oahu residents who spend too much time stuck in traffic.

The 20-mile rail line is expected to cost $5.5 billion to build. It will run from Kapolei to Ala Moana Center.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation will receive $200 million immediately after signing the agreement with the FTA.


Complaint tossed against clerk

HILO - The Board of Ethics has unanimously dismissed a complaint against the Hawaii County clerk.

West Hawaii Today reports that the complaint was filed by Tiffany Edwards Hunt, a reporter who runs a blog and monthly newspaper, saying that Jamae Kawauchi had stonewalled her when she tried to get election results.

Hunt based her complaint on the portion of the ethics code requiring that public officials treat everyone in a "courteous, fair and impartial manner."

Board member Arne Henricks, who is a retired judge, said the media and most people in public office don't get along, and "that's the way it should be."

Hawaii County is moving toward selecting a new county clerk. Kawauchi was in charge during the primary in August when 13 out of 40 polling places opened late.


Crash kills teen, injures others

HONOLULU - A teenage girl was killed and three other people were badly injured in a head-on crash on Oahu.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the accident occurred Tuesday afternoon when two SUVs collided in Honolulu's Ewa Beach neighborhood.

Police say they believe speed and alcohol were contributing factors in the crash that happened near the Ewa Pointe Marketplace.

A teenage boy was taken to Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. Another teenage boy was hospitalized in serious condition, and a 41-year-old woman also was taken to the hospital.


UH board reviews scam report

HONOLULU - The University of Hawaii's board says members are reviewing a report by a state Senate committee on the school's loss of $200,000 in a failed attempt to hold an athletic department fundraiser.

The Board of Regents said in a statement Wednesday that it shares the Senate's "desire to strengthen the University of Hawaii and improve its service to the people of Hawaii."

Many of the recommendations in the report by the Senate Special Committee on Accountability involved the board.

The lawmakers urged the board to clarify its roles and responsibilities, as well as those for the UH president and campus chancellors. They suggested the Legislature consider drafting bills to change the way board members are selected.

The lawmakers also called for an audit of the university's finances and management.


USS Michael Murphy in Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR - The Navy's newest destroyer has arrived in Hawaii.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the USS Michael Murphy was greeted by hundreds of people, including 30 Navy SEALs, hula dancers and a brass band, as it arrived in Pearl Harbor on Wednesday.

The 510-foot ship was named after Lt. Michael Murphy of Long Island, N.Y., who became the first American awarded the Medal of Honor during the Afghanistan War.

After a 2005 ambush in a mountainous region, a wounded Murphy was credited with risking his own life by moving into the open for a better position to transmit a call for help.

After a two-hour gunfight, Murphy and two fellow SEALs were dead.

Eight other Navy SEALs and eight members of the Army's elite Night Stalkers were then killed when their helicopter was shot down.



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