State roundup for December 18

Kauai considers meter payments

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Voters on Kauai will decide in a special election whether people who refuse to install new smart meters to monitor electricity use should pay for a utility to read and service the old meters.

A special ballot election starting Jan. 3 will determine who will pay the estimated $340,000 per year. The board of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative will decide the language of the final bill before its members decide.

The utility would charge about $10 per month in fees approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Residents against the bill say the utility is trying to manipulate its language to swing voters to vote for it.

“The process is a charade, it’s a farce,” said Jonathan Jay, who drafted a petition against the proposal.

Spokesman Jim Kelly of the cooperative says the language can be changed. He said the board will take a second vote next week.

The mail ballots are due Jan. 25, Kelly said.

Police seize game machines

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police have seized three game machines from a Wahiawa restaurant and arrested an employee on gambling charges.

Police on Monday removed the sweepstakes machines from L&L Drive-Inn on Kamehameha Highway and took a manager into custody.

Winnie Cheng, 37, was booked on counts of promoting gambling and possession of gambling devices. They are misdemeanor charges.

Cheng posted $200 bail and was released.

The distributor of the sweepstakes machines contends the machines are legal.

Cheng has a court hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 14.

L&L president and CEO Eddie Flores says all L&L locations are independently owned. He says the company plans to investigate the franchise in Wahiawa.

59 teachers get certification

HONOLULU (AP) — Dozens of Hawaii teachers have achieved National Board certification.

The state Department of Education says the certification is considered the highest mark of accomplishment in the teaching profession.

The department announced Monday that 59 teachers achieved the certification this year, bringing Hawaii’s total to 469.

National Board President and CEO Ronald Thorpe says only a small fraction of the country’s teachers are board-certified.

According to the state, Hawaii has experienced the fastest growth in the number of National Board certification over the past three years.

The department says becoming National Board-certified involves a rigorous, performance-based, peer-review process that’s similar to board certification in other fields, such as medicine.


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