Writer's historic grass hut restored
HONOLULU - A grass hut memorial to famed author Robert Louis Stevenson has been restored and is reopening to the public nearly 90 years after the original hut was first sold.
The "Little Grass Shack" reopening comes eight years after the previous hut was flattened in a windstorm.
The famous author of "Treasure Island" spent six months living in Hawaii and many hours of his time at a grass hut in Waikiki, near the home of Princess Kaiulani.
A Salvation Army official outbid a farmer for the hut in 1926, then moved it to Manoa onto Salvation Army grounds.
Fewer students to lose bus service
HONOLULU - The number of Hawaii public school students who will lose bus service will be far lower than projected.
A proposal had called for more than 20,000 students to lose school bus service because of an expected $20 million deficit.
State Department of Education officials on Tuesday recommended eliminating service for about 4,000 students. The Board of Education then voted to divert an additional $1.5 million in federal funds so that fewer students will lose service.
2 new laws aimed at justice reform
HONOLULU - Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said the state is taking the next step in bringing back inmates housed on the Mainland with two new laws.
Abercrombie signed two bills Wednesday based on recommendations by a group reviewing Hawaii's criminal justice system.
The new laws would allow probation for second-time felony drug offenders, reduce probation for certain felonies and limit prison terms for first-time parole violators.
Other changes include increasing the amount of victim restitution from 10 to 25 percent and eliminating delays in pre-trial risk assessment for flight and reoffense. Hawaii's pretrial process is one of the longest in the nation.
Hawaii spends $45 million a year to house about 1,700 inmates on the Mainland because of crowded state facilities.