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State / In Brief

October 19, 2012
The Associated Press

UH faculty senate delays confidence vote

HONOLULU - The University of Hawaii's faculty senate has delayed a confidence vote on the university president.

Faculty members voted 30-20 Wednesday to postpone the vote after hearing a recommendation from the senate's Committee on Administration and Budget. The committee advised faculty members that the confidence vote on M.R.C. Greenwood was premature.

Greenwood addressed the faculty and told them that she was confident that she had acted properly when faced with the athletic department's botched Stevie Wonder fundraising concert.

Lawmakers earlier this month grilled Greenwood about the concert, which it turns out the singer never authorized. The university is trying to recover a $200,000 deposit from a company that claimed to represent Wonder.


Coast Guard finds men adrift for 5 days

HONOLULU - The U.S. Coast Guard has found three fishermen 70 nautical miles west of the Pacific atoll of Tarawa after they had been adrift at sea for five days.

The Coast Guard says crew aboard a C-130 airplane stationed at Air Station Barber's Point on Oahu spotted the fishermen Thursday. A nearby boat was taking them to Tarawa, which is part of the island nation of Kiribati, about 2,400 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Lt. Gene Maestas, a Coast Guard spokesman, says the fishermen are from Kiribati. The Coast Guard responded after U.S. officials received a call for help from regional rescue authorities.


State wants company to pay for overpass

HONOLULU - The state wants a trucking company to pay for repairs to a pedestrian overpass in Honolulu that was struck and damaged Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation said that the preliminary cost of the repairs is between $200,000 and $300,000. The agency says the repairs could take months, and it wants Tibbits Trucking to pay. DOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter says the company also could be fined for failing to obtain a permit for hauling the forklift.

The crash happened about noon Tuesday when the forklift took out about a 30-foot section of the pedestrian bridge over Moanalua Road where motorists enter the Moanalua freeway.


15 Hawaii species facing endangered list

HONOLULU - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing protecting 13 Big Island plants, a picture-wing fly and a shrimp as endangered species.

The agency said Wednesday that invasive plants, agriculture, urban development and feral animals like pigs, sheep and goats are threatening the plants and animals by destroying their habitat.

It's accepting comments on the proposal through Dec. 17.

More than 400 species around Hawaii are already listed as endangered or threatened.


Funding to help revitalize neighborhood

HONOLULU - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarding a $300,000 grant to a public-private partnership aiming to revitalize the neighborhood around Kuhio Park Terrace and Kuhio Homes in Honolulu.

The Hawaii Public Housing Authority and its private development partner, the Michaels Development Co., on Tuesday said their application was one of 17 selected from a pool of 72.

The state and the Michaels Development Co. are working together on a $135 million project to rehabilitate the Towers at Kuhio Park. It's the first phase of a multiyear revitalization program for Kuhio Park Terrace and Kuhio Homes.


Appeals court upholds Oahu rail contract

HONOLULU - A state appeals court is upholding Honolulu's handling of a half-billion-dollar contract for the construction of a commuter rail line.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said Wednesday that the Intermediate Court of Appeals affirmed the city's decision to disqualify one of the bidders, Bombadier Transportation USA Inc.

The city last year awarded Ansaldo Honolulu a $574 million contract to build rails cars and an operating system. Ansaldo will also operate and maintain the trains after the rail line is built.

HART CEO Dan Grabauskas says the city's contract award had been upheld by state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, a state Circuit Court and the state Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Ansaldo Honolulu is a unit of the Italian construction and engineering company Finmeccanica.



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