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State / In Brief

October 6, 2012
The Associated Press

Live Hawaiian values, Sen. Akaka urges

HONOLULU - U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka told a crowd at the Native Hawaiian Convention in Honolulu that it's important to remember to live Hawaiian values and draw courage from those that came before.

Akaka told attendees in a speech Thursday that they should focus their work on advancing Hawaiian self-determination and self-sufficiency. He encouraged those listening to strive to extend aloha in all they do, saying they'll find aloha returned to them.

Akaka spoke at the convention for the last time as a sitting senator. The 88-year-old is retiring in January.

He quoted Queen Liliuokalani as saying there was time to save the heritage of Hawaiians and one must never cease to act because of a fear of failure.

The senator says the queen's words have guided his conduct and service.


HSTA ends mediation process with state

HONOLULU - Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie says the union representing the state's public school teachers has walked away from mediation over a contract dispute.

Abercrombie said in a statement Thursday night that the state was informed by the federal mediator that the Hawaii State Teachers Association will no longer participate in the process.

Union President Wil Okabe declined to give a reason the union ended mediation. Okabe says the union will provide a detailed accounting of what led up to the breakdown in the coming weeks.

Abercrombie says he's disappointed and that the state can't negotiate with people who aren't willing to talk.

Teachers are currently working under a last, best and final offer after their contract expired in June last year.


Man admits shaking, hitting 2-year-old

HONOLULU - A 22-year-old man has pleaded guilty to shaking and hitting his 2-year-old son, causing permanent brain damage.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Marcel Reno Highwalking pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to assault.

Highwalking agreed to serve 10 years in prison when he's sentenced in February.

Prosecutors say Highwalking was a stay-at-home dad living in military housing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam when the assaults happened.

His wife was assigned to the base.


Greenwood topic of a UH board meeting

HONOLULU - The University of Hawaii's Board of Regents will discuss President M.R.C. Greenwood during a special meeting next week.

Greenwood is the only item on the board's agenda for the meeting Friday.

The board will discuss Greenwood in an executive session closed to the public.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday that Greenwood is ill.

Lawmakers questioned Greenwood earlier this week about the university's botched handling of a Stevie Wonder concert planned by the athletic department as a fundraiser.

The concert wasn't authorized by the singer or his agents. The university wired $200,000 to a company claiming to represent Wonder, only to hear later from the artist's real agents. The university hasn't been able to recover the money it wired.


Defendants in Oahu blast plead not guilty

HONOLULU - Two men indicted over last year's deadly fireworks explosion at an Oahu bunker plead not guilty.

The two men and their employer, Donaldson Enterprises Inc., are accused of treating hazardous wastes without a permit.

Director of operations Charles Donaldson and project manager Carlton Finley entered their pleas Thursday.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that an attorney for Donaldson Enterprises entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the company.

KITV reported that Charles Donaldson said the explosion and the resulting deaths are a terrible, tragic event. He said it was an accident and nothing leading up to the explosion was criminal.

The April 2011 blast in Waikele killed five Donaldson employees.



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