Coast Guard says laser pointed at plane
HONOLULU - The Coast Guard said someone pointed a laser at a C-130 aircraft as it approached Kalaeloa Airfield in Honolulu.
Hawaii News Now reports that Coast Guard officials say the incident on Oahu occurred Tuesday night as the plane was approaching the runway.
The Coast Guard said it was the third laser-related incident on Coast Guard aircraft since October.
Man sentenced to 15 years in fatal crash
KAILUA-KONA - A Big Island man has been sentenced to the maximum prison term for a drunken-driving crash in south Kona that killed a Kealakekua woman and injured two others.
West Hawaii Today said 28-year-old Robert William Smith Jr. of Ocean View was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison. Third Circuit Court Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra ordered him to serve consecutively up to 10 years in prison for first-degree negligent homicide and up to five years in prison for habitually operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.
Smith pleaded guilty in December. Thirty-one-year-old Stella Corona was killed in the 2010 crash.
Lawmakers explore more breaks for films
HONOLULU - The Senate committee on the arts has approved a bill aimed at convincing more people to shoot films and TV shows in Hawaii.
Sen. David Ige introduced the proposal, which extends and increases tax credits for the film industry.
The arts committee approved an amended version of the bill Thursday. The Senate economic development committee approved the bill previously.
Ige said the high cost of shooting films in Hawaii deters moviemakers from coming.
He said tax incentives could help filmmaking grow to be a billion-dollar industry in the state.
Opponents of the bill say Hawaii's uniqueness is enough incentive to attract filmmakers.
Four years in fireworks trafficking case
HONOLULU - A Honolulu man is going to prison for four years for illegal fireworks trafficking, possession of a stolen firearm and structuring funds to avoid reporting currency transactions.
Senior U.S. District Court Judge Helen Gillmor on Thursday sentenced Brandon Haleamau as a result of his guilty pleas.
Gillmor also ordered Haleamau to forfeit nearly $350,000 in cash and three vehicles involved in his financial structuring.
U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni said that Haleamau imported commercial-grade display fireworks from China with a false declaration. She said he also illegally transported commercial- grade fireworks.
She said he structured financial transactions totaling more than $1.1 million to evade federal currency transaction reporting requirements. Federal law requires financial institutions to file reports on currency transactions over $10,000.
House passes watered-down shield law
HONOLULU - The state House of Representatives has passed a new shield law that offers fewer protections to journalists in Hawaii.
Hawaii's current shield law protects journalists from having to disclose their sources or unpublished notes with few exceptions. One exception is when there is strong evidence the information is necessary to investigate or try felony or defamation cases.
The proposal that passed the House on Thursday expands the exceptions to potential felonies, serious violent crimes or any civil case.
Rep. Gene Ward said the bill originally was written to simply extend the shield law and the amendments strip important protections for journalists.
Historic trading post building demolished
LIHUE - The remains of a historic building on Kauai that was destroyed in a fire have been razed.
The Garden Island reports that the Hanamaulu Trading Co., which housed the former Hanamaulu Post Office and several other businesses, was taken away by frontloader Wednesday.
The fire in December caused an estimated $1.3 million in damages.
Owners Deane and Joaquina Abben hope to rebuild. Joacquina Abben said the aim is to have the rebuilt structure look almost the same as the old one.
The couple are in the process of getting bids to rebuild.