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State / In Brief

* Hawaii

July 23, 2012
The Associated Press

Exercise sinks ship off coast of Kauai

HONOLULU - The former USS Kilauea is the latest ship sunk as part of the Rim of the Pacific exercises in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

The ammunition ship commissioned in 1968 went down in water nearly 15,500 feet deep 63 miles off the coast of Kauai on Sunday morning.

Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander Commodore Stuart Mayer said the "HMAS Farncomb's success reminds us yet again of the invaluable role submarines play in modern warfare."

The Navy says the exercises allow crews to gain proficiency in live firing.

Two other ships were sunk during the exercises this month.

Environmental and costs concerns had prompted the Navy to observe a moratorium on using old ships for target practice.


$12.7M grant for Hawaiians' housing

HONOLULU - The federal government will award Hawaii a $12.7 million grant to provide affordable homes for Native Hawaiians.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds will be administered by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to build affordable homes and provide other housing support for Native Hawaiians.

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono says that historically the wait for Hawaiian homelands property has been disappointing and frustrating for families.

She says the block grant recognizes the challenges that low-income families face in finding affordable places to live.

In 2000, the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant was established under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act.


Feds to take over safety regulation

HONOLULU - The federal government will temporarily take control of parts of Hawaii's authority to regulate workplace safety.

In response to federal concern about staff reductions in the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division, the state has agreed to let the Occupational Safety and Health Administration step in.

The 2009 reductions led to the division not being able to conduct as many inspections.

The agreement announced last week by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations will temporarily suspend the division's enforcement authority in specific industries. OSHA will assume enforcement control until the state can improve. The division will resume control over industries as it rebuilds during a three-year period.

The state says enforcement responsibilities will be clearly divided to prevent confusion over which agency is regulating an industry.



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