State roundup for May 16
Panel: Cachola misused funds
HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission is saying Democratic Rep. Romy Cachola has misused campaign funds.
Commission attorney Gary Kam says Cachola drove a Nissan Pathfinder purchased with campaign funds for non-campaign activities.
Cachola’s office referred questions to his attorney Michael Green, who did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Kam says the commission hired an investigator who trailed Cachola for a week in January and saw him driving the vehicle to work and church. Kam says it’s unusual for a candidate to buy a car for a campaign.
The Commission has asked Cachola to reimburse the campaign and pay fines totaling nearly $70,000.
They say Cachola also spent excessive amounts on meals and public relations from 2011 to 2013.
The case will be heard on June 18.
Unemployment drops to 4.4%
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii state officials say the unemployment rate on the islands was 4.4 percent in April, down from 4.5 percent in March and 4.8 percent in April last year.
The Department of Labor &Industrial Relations said Thursday that 3,300 jobs were added in nonagricultural sectors. About 1,600 jobs were in leisure and hospitality, while 600 were in education and health services.
Statewide, the total labor force was more than 660,000 people, including 631,000 who were employed and more than 29,000 unemployed.
Unemployment has consistently declined the last two years in Hawaii from 6 percent in April 2012. State officials say unemployment hasn’t been at 4.4 percent since August 2008.
Hokule‘a ants being eradicted
HONOLULU (AP) — One of the two double-hulled canoes set to leave Hawaii this month for an around-the-world trip will have to get rid of some stowaways first.
Crews on the Hokule’a spent Thursday fumigating the canoe to rid it of an ant infestation. Polynesian Voyaging Society officials say the ants were found last week as the canoe was being prepared for a 26-nation tour. Officials say they don’t want to introduce an invasive species to any port they’ll visit.
The canoe’s masts will be removed and it will be covered for the fumigation process at its Oahu dock.
The Hokule‘a and an escort canoe, the Hikianalia, will leave from Hilo later this month for the first leg of the trip, Tahiti.
Girl shot in head with pellet on Lanai doing fine
LANAI CITY, Lanai (AP) — An 8-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a pellet on Lanai is OK as police investigate where the projectile came from.
Maui police Lt. William Juan said Wednesday the girl was in a pasture on Lanai around sundown when a pellet struck her head. She was taken to Lanai Community Clinic for treatment, and released.
Authorities don’t know who fired the shot or whether it was intended to hit the girl. Juan says she was not trespassing when the incident happened on Saturday.
He says no one has come forward to claim responsibility. Police have classified the incident as an accident.
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