Juvenile life terms without parole tossed
HONOLULU - Life sentences without parole for minors are now abolished in Hawaii.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill recently recognizing that children convicted of first-degree murder should be treated differently than murderous adults.
Advocates say children are impressionable and sometimes can't get out of horrific, crime-ridden environments.
Honolulu prosecutors argued the measure isn't fair to people who are born weeks apart from slightly younger perpetrators of the same crime.
Hawaii's new law follows a national trend. A group called The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth says states from Texas to Alaska have either eliminated or don't allow life without parole sentences for juveniles.
The governor also signed a measure that aims to reduce Hawaii's secure juvenile facility population in half over the next five years.
Oahu senior to serve on education board
HONOLULU - An incoming senior at Pearl City High School is now a member of the state's Board of Education.
Danson Honda was sworn-in by Hawaii's Supreme Court chief justice at a board meeting last week.
The Hawaii State Student Council selects a nonvoting student member on the governor-appointed board.
Honda is a state medalist in cross country and part of the Pearl City Charger Marching Band as a drum major.
Board Chairman Don Horner says Honda will be an important voice for the state's 183,000 public school students.
Family: Teen suspected in mom's death
HONOLULU - Honolulu police have apprehended a young man in the fatal stabbing of a woman in the Waimanalo area.
The suspect's name has not been released, but a family member said that he's the victim's 16-year-old foster son.
Samson Kaonohi said the victim was found stabbed to death Saturday morning in her home in Waimanalo, near the eastern end of Oahu.
Family members said the victim was a foster mother to many children over the years.
State at risk of losing nursing home funds
HONOLULU - Hawaii could lose up to $121,000 in federal funds for missing deadlines to inspect its nursing homes.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser said that more than a third of Hawaii's 45 nursing homes weren't examined within the time frame required by federal law.
That time frame is every 15 months, but the paper found inspections at 17 facilities were conducted an average of 20 months ago - and two of those homes went nearly three years without surveys.
Keith Ridley of the Health Department says some inspections were halted last year because of budget cuts. But he says inspections are set by the end of July. Hawaii has until the end of September to meet federal requirements and avoid losing funding.
Scientists find plastic rock on Big Island
HILO - Scientists say they've found evidence of plastic rock on a Big Island beach. The rocks are formed when melted plastic mixes with beach sediment, basalt fragments and other debris.
A report in the journal GSA Today says the result is a new type of rock called plastiglomerate. Partial lid containers contributed to 22 percent of the fragments. Fishing equipment was found in 20 percent of the samples.
Three researchers from the University of Western Ontario in Canada and Algalita Marine Research Institute in California authored the report.