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State roundup for April 24

Hirono dines with Obama, other women senators

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono is eating dinner with President Barack Obama at the White House along with all female senators.

Hirono was one of 20 senators invited to the Tuesday night dinner. The group dined on Alaskan halibut and peach pie.

The dinner is part of Obama’s efforts to improve communication with Congress.

Last week, Obama shared a meal with a dozen Senate Democrats at a hotel near the White House. He’s hosted two similar dinners for Senate Republicans in recent weeks.

Dog stranded on ledge is rescued

HONOLULU (AP) — A dog was stuck for days on a Honolulu hillside before residents took matters into their own hands and rescued the animal.

KITV-TV ( reports that the dog was stuck on a ledge in the Aliamanu Military Reservation. Residents began hearing the dog barking in distress on Saturday.

Numerous attempts failed to find the dog. However, on Monday Divina Rocco and her husband, Roy, hiked up the other side of the hill and spotted the brown dog with the white feet.

Military police and animal services were called but without the right equipment the dog couldn’t be rescued. That’s when Roy Rocco and some fellow Schofield’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team soldiers took action.

They got rappelling gear and rescued the dog, which was brought to the Hawaiian Humane Society.

Maui attorney disbarred for ethical violations

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — A Maui attorney has been disbarred because of multiple ethical violations in 14 cases.

The Hawaii Supreme Court order concerning Steven Songstad takes effect May 17.

The Maui News ( says the state Office of Disciplinary Counsel has ordered Songstad to pay restitution of more than $18,000 for misappropriating client funds.

Songstad has represented clients in both civil and criminal cases. The 66-year-old lawyer was admitted to the Hawaii bar on Oct. 17, 1975.

Smithsonian ranks Lihue 18th best small town

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — The town of Lihue on the island of Kauai has made the list of Smithsonian’s “20 Best Small Towns to Visit” for 2013.

The Garden Island ( reports that in the April edition of the magazine Lihue is rated 18th. Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, says it’s nice to see the Smithsonian recognize the town in its monthly publication with a circulation of 2.1 million.

Kanoho says the island has several special attractions within close proximity, including the Kauai Museum, Grove Farm Homestead Museum, Kilohana and the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center.


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