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State / In Brief

November 27, 2012
The Associated Press

Governor proposes elections by mail

HONOLULU - Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is proposing legislation to have all voters cast their ballots by mail.

The governor said in a statement Monday that he will propose a bill as part of his legislative package that would move Hawaii toward 100 percent mail-in voting.

Abercrombie is also asking Attorney General David Louie to investigate the Office of Elections and the circumstances that resulted in a shortage of paper ballots at many Oahu polling places during the Nov. 6 general election.

He says the shortage is a serious problem that has tarnished the election process and eroded public confidence.

Oregon and Washington state conduct entirely mail-in elections.

The state elections commission will discuss the general election during a meeting today.

Commission members are appointed by state House and Senate leaders.


Guns sell at record-setting clip on Oahu

HONOLULU - Honolulu Police statistics suggest gun sales on Oahu could set a record this year.

As of Oct. 31, the number of guns sold was just under 21,000, on pace to surpass the record 23,400 sold in 2011.

Gun and gun store owners told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that they believe anticipation of President Barack Obama's re-election has led to a spike in the sale of firearms on the island.

Young Guns owner Dale Hayama tells the paper he's seen business grow since Obama was first elected in 2008. He says he saw a 30 to 40 percent surge in sales after Obama won a second four-year term earlier this month.

Some fear the potential for stricter gun laws in an Obama administration while others suspect crime will increase with him in office.


Man snorkeling at Hilton resort dies

HONOLULU - A man who was snorkeling at Honolulu's Hilton Hawaiian Village lagoon has died.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser says that the man, believed to be in his 50s, was taken by ambulance Sunday in critical condition to Straub Medical Center, where he died.

An autopsy was to be done Monday afternoon to determine the cause of death.


Scientists studying chemical weapons

HONOLULU - University of Hawaii scientists are studying chemical weapons the Army dumped in deep water off Oahu decades ago.

The Army-funded researchers said Friday that they're sending submersibles to collect samples near munitions at depths of 600 feet or more.

The submersibles will gather sediment, water and biological samples near weapons and at control sites. They'll analyze the samples for explosives and chemical agents.

The military used the ocean as a dumping ground for munitions between 1919 and 1970. Records show that the Army dumped 16,000 bombs five miles south of Pearl Harbor after World War II.

The Army plans to publicly release a report on the data, but doesn't expect the report will be ready before January 2015.

The study expands on research done in the same area a few years ago.


Church seeks home after roof collapses

HONOLULU - A Hawaii congregation is searching for a new home after a roof collapse amid heavy rains at the high school auditorium where it holds services.

Hawaii News Now reports that the New Hope Christian Fellowship has used the Farrington High School auditorium for its weekend services for several years. Founder and senior pastor Wayne Cordeiro says the site was unusable at first, but the church cleaned it up and has pumped tens of thousands of dollars into renovations.

Cordeiro says the school is allowing the church to use the gymnasium temporarily.

The Department of Education has said all events scheduled for the auditorium have been canceled until alternative sites can be found.

No one was hurt in Friday's collapse.



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