Hawaii State News, evening edition, 04 Jan 2019

Welcome to the Friday evening edition of “Hawaii News Digest.”  Views expressed in this Hawaii News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Topics in this post come from the current edition of “Hawaii Business Magazine”, published in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Here are the details:

Accessed on 05 January 2019, 0448 UTC, Post 18213.



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Ige’s pick for AG is longtime litigator, who sometimes targeted state.
Gov. David Ige on Thursday appointed former federal prosecutor Clare Connors as the state’s next attorney general. Connors is a longtime litigator and is now a partner in the downtown law firm of Davis Levin Livingston. “She has the skills to defend the state in legal proceedings, provide outstanding legal advice and counsel, and manage the largest law firm in the state,” said Ige. Hawaii News Now. Star-Advertiser.KHON2. Big Island Video News.
Governor’s press release on appointment of Clare Connors: here.

DOE lied about school repair backlog, Luke says
House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke accused the state Department of Education of lying about the size of the statewide backlog of repair and maintenance projects at Hawaii public schools. The DOE told lawmakers in January 2018 that the school repair and maintenance backlog was $293 million as of 2017, which was a significant drop from $392 million in 2010. However, later in the year DOE notified some lawmakers that the true backlog was $868 million. Star-Advertiser.

House Finance Committee chair points tough questions at Ige’s administration
What started as a polite presentation on state finances turned into a grilling of two of Gov. David Ige’s senior aides Thursday. If the questioning is any indication of what’s to come, the 2019 session could be a long one for the Ige administration, whose budget will need the support of Rep. Sylvia Luke’s House Finance Committee and  Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz’s Ways and Means Committee. Civil Beat.

More pedestrians killed in accidents than drivers and passengers combined
In all last year, 43 pedestrians were killed in crashes statewide, according to preliminary figures from the state Transportation Department. Of those fatalities, 27 were on Oahu. By comparison, 38 people who were occupants of vehicles died statewide in 2018. Hawaii News Now.

Cannabis advocates hope to work with state to set rules for hemp
While the federal government did pass the Farm Bill on December 20 making hemp and its products legal, there’s still some confusion over how the state should set rules for this crop. KITV.

El Nino impacts likely 
There’s a high probability an El Nino will form and persist through the winter and spring, bringing with it threats to corals and farming concerns as well as an increased risk of wildfires. The presence of El Nino manifests in myriad weather irregularities including warmer ocean temperatures, less rainfall and weakened trade winds in the winter, as well as a higher likelihood of tropical cyclones in the summer. West Hawaii Today. 

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Until next time,

Russ Roberts