State / In Brief

The Associated Press

Observatory case goes to Supreme Court

HILO — The case of whether or not an astronomical observatory can be built on land claimed to be sacred by Native Hawaiians is on its way back to the state Supreme Court.

The high court accepted an appeal this month of a lower court ruling that vacated the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory’s sublease for 6 acres on Mauna Kea.

The state land board denied a Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner’s request for a contested case hearing for the sublease in 2014. A Hilo Circuit Court judge ruled in December that the land board should have granted the hearing.

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Controversy involves new superintendent

HONOLULU — The woman selected to lead Hawaii’s public schools is at the center of a nearly $1 million controversy with her current district in Arizona.

Auditors have found Gilbert Public Schools over counted enrollment figures under Christina Kishimoto’s leadership. Because Arizona schools get state funding based on student attendance, the state overpaid the district $962,767.

The over counting started before Kishimoto took over leadership of Gilbert’s schools and continued the two years she was there, former Gilbert Public Schools Board Member Julie Smith said.