UH task force issues report on $200K loss
HONOLULU — A task force investigating the University of Hawaii’s botched attempt to hold an athletic department fundraiser concert says the school was scammed out of $200,000 because those involved in financial transactions for the concert lacked judgment.
The task force also blamed the loss of money on the failure of those involved in the financial transactions to take overall responsibility.
The task force submitted its report to the university’s Board of Regents on Thursday.
The department tried to put on a Stevie Wonder concert as a fundraiser. The school paid $200,000 to a promoter as a deposit, but learned after it began selling tickets that neither Wonder nor his representatives authorized the show.
A North Carolina man will be arraigned in federal court next week on charges he scammed the university.
Hawaii jobless rate drops to 5.5 percent
HONOLULU — Hawaii’s unemployment rate is hitting a new four-year-low.
The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Thursday Hawaii’s jobless rate dropped 0.2 percentage point in October to a seasonally adjusted 5.5 percent.
The state’s jobless rate was at 5.7 percent in September — its lowest mark since 2008.
Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September.
Navy reconsiders putting Poseidon jets in Hawaii
HONOLULU — The Navy is reassessing putting 18 P-8A Poseidon jets at Kaneohe Bay on Oahu.
According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the Navy announced in 2009 that it was making some changes. It planned to base five Poseidon squadrons and a fleet replacement squadron at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida, four squadrons at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington and three squadrons at Kaneohe Bay.
The Navy says it now will prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement looking at just Whidbey and Jacksonville in a move that would save $300 million.
The aircraft were expected to bring 904 personnel and about $150 million in upgrades to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay.
Sen. Inouye falls at his home
WASHINGTON — Hawaii’s Sen. Daniel K. Inouye had a quick trip Thursday to Bethesda Naval Hospital after falling at his home.
Inouye’s Washington office says the 88-year-old Democratic senator sustained a minor cut to the back of his head and did not lose consciousness.
He was taken to the hospital as a precaution, where he was treated and released. The senator was back home and resting Thursday afternoon.
UH, OHA help for Native Hawaiians eyeing college
HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs are offering free presentations on resources and financial aid available to Native Hawaiian students interested in attending college.
They’ll make 18 presentations on Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii islands over the next two months.
The presentations will include a brief workshop on filling out financial aid applications and strategies on earning scholarships.
The sessions are part of a statewide initiative to bring Native Hawaiian scholarship opportunities to underserved communities.
UH and OHA are working together with a federal program called GEAR UP Hawaii on the project.
The first sessions will be held in Waimea, Kona and Hilo and the Big Island during the last week of this month.
More information is available at www.hawaii.edu/aha.
State to update public on plans for Kailua marshes
HONOLULU — The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will update the public on its plans for the Kawainui and Hamakua marshes on Oahu.
The department is updating a 1994 master plan for Kawainui Marsh. The new plan will incorporate Hamakua Marsh and hillside next to it.
The updated master plan will guide department and public use of the area.
An open house and public meeting are scheduled for Thursday starting at 6 p.m. at Le Jardin Academy in Kailua.
Officials will update the public on developments since the first public meeting was held last year. They’ll also ask for public input.
Kawainui Marsh is the largest remaining wetland in Hawaii.