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State/In Brief

May 20, 2014
The Associated Press

Duke Aiona enters the governors race

HONOLULU - Former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona has made it official that he's running for governor.

Republican Aiona announced his candidacy Monday after filing papers with the state office of elections.

The race has echoes of 2010, when Aiona ran against Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie. Back then, Abercrombie handily beat Aiona.

Abercrombie filed papers to make his 2014 run official last week, and faces a primary challenge from Sen. David Ige.

Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who also ran in 2010, is running for governor as an independent.

Aiona says it will be a tough campaign, but he plans to get an early start bringing his message to voters. He says he will focus on homelessness and affordable housing in his campaign.

Aiona served as lieutenant governor of Hawaii from 2002 to 2010.


Governor makes Turtle Bay deal law

KAHUKU, Oahu - Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed legislation to preserve more than 665 acres of land on Oahu's North Shore.

The deal was reached with Turtle Bay Resort near the end of the legislative session. Lawmakers scrambled to adjust the budget and approved $40 million in revenue bonds.

Abercrombie signed the bill authorizing those bonds Monday.

The money will go to the resort to keep nearly 79 percent of the resort's land hotel-free. The City and County of Honolulu is chipping in $5 million and the Trust for Public Land is adding $3.5 million.

Abercrombie says the deal will protect pristine coastline from development and provide open space and access for everyone.


Oahu Dems agree to allow Har challenger

HONOLULU - One of the most vocal opponents in the Democratic party of legalizing same-sex marriage will have opposition in the primary election.

Oahu Democrats on Sunday decided to let a University of Hawaii-West Oahu instructor challenge state Rep. Sharon Har, who was one of 13 Democrats to vote against legalizing same-sex marriage.

Nicole Ferguson needed permission from Oahu Democrats since she recently moved to the district and is still registered to vote in another House district.

Another announced primary opponent for Har will be Michael Golojuch Jr., who is chairman of the party's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Caucus.

Har says she was expecting challenges in the Aug. 9 primary. She said that contested races are the spirit of democracy.


Skateboarder killed in crash on highway

KAAAWA, Oahu - Authorities say a skateboarder died when a vehicle hit him on a highway in Oahu.

Police say the 26-year-old Honolulu man was heading north on Kamehameha Highway in Kaaawa around 12:43 a.m. Sunday when he rode into the path of a vehicle going the same direction.

The skateboarder was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police records indicate that a 24-year-old Laie man was arrested at 1:35 a.m. near the crash on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant and first-degree negligent homicide.

Police say alcohol may be a factor in the crash.


UH-Hilo set to get first endowed chair

HILO - The University of Hawaii at Hilo is getting its first endowed chair.

The university said Friday Hilo dentist and University of Hawaii at Manoa faculty member Patsy Fujimoto is donating $500,000 to establish an endowed professorship in honor of her former history professor.

The professorship will be named The David C. Purcell, Jr. Endowed Visiting Chair in History.

It will allow the school to bring distinguished historians to campus.



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