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State / In Brief

November 15, 2012
The Associated Press

State and HSTA resume contract talks

HONOLULU - The state Department of Education says a state negotiating team and the teachers union are resuming contract talks.

The department says negotiations with the Hawaii State Teachers Association started again Wednesday.

Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi and Board of Education representatives joined the initial discussion on state proposals for a two-year contract starting next year.


Elections panel to meet on ballot issue

HONOLULU - The state Elections Commission will meet next month to discuss problems that occurred on Election Day when numerous polling places on Oahu ran short or ran out of paper ballots.

The meeting is set for the week of Dec. 10.

Chief Election Officer Scott Nago sent commission members a four-page memo last week that included a detailed explanation of what led to the Nov. 6 shortages.

Nago says the shortages were the "result of a deficient model" that was used for ordering ballots.

He says the problem was compounded by a failure to follow safeguards to modify the order or reallocate existing ballots before Election Day. The problem was made worse on Election Day when ballots didn't get to where they were needed.


Pick for federal bench a Native Hawaiian

HONOLULU - President Barack Obama has nominated a federal prosecutor and Native Hawaiian to serve as a U.S. District Court judge for Hawaii.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono said Wednesday that Derrick Kahala Watson would become the only Native Hawaiian judge in federal court if he's confirmed by the Senate.

Watson became an assistant U.S. attorney in Honolulu in 2007.

He's been civil division chief for the past three years.

He's also been a federal prosecutor in Northern California and a partner at a San Francisco law firm.

Watson received bachelor's and law degrees from Harvard and is a 1984 graduate of Kamehameha Schools.

Sen. Daniel Inouye urged his colleagues to confirm Watson's nomination. He says Watson has consistently displayed exemplary legal acumen, integrity and fairness during his decade as a federal prosecutor.



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