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State roundup for January 4

Feds approve health exchange

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government has given Hawaii conditional approval for running its own state-based health exchange.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that Hawaii has made significant progress toward setting up its own exchange and can go forward under the Affordable Care Act.

The federal agency says to date 20 states and the District of Columbia have been conditionally approved to partially or fully run their own health exchanges. Hawaii, as well as California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah, joined those states Thursday.

Under the health care law, the federal government can step in and establish exchanges in states where none exist. Some states, including Alaska, are opting to allow the federal government to do that.

Health services are expected to begin in 2014.

Native moth’s decline studied

HONOLULU (AP) — University of Hawaii researchers say the decline of a native moth species is likely correlated with the introduction of parasitic wasps and other non-native insects.

The native leafroller moth was widespread across the main Hawaiian Islands in the early 1900s. It was one of the most common native moths in Hawaii.

But populations have since declined dramatically.

The moth is now thought to be extinct on Oahu and Kauai but is still found from Molokai to the Big Island.

The moth can feed on many native and non-native grasses so the researchers say the loss of native food sources is unlikely to limit the species.

The study by Adam Vorsino and other UH scientists was published Wednesday in the online journal PLOS ONE.

Woman dies in traffic collision

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — A Haiku woman was killed on Maui when the car she was riding in collided with a pickup truck.

Police say 61-year-old Constance Scott was killed Tuesday night in Kahului.

Scott was taken to the Maui Memorial Medical Center and died at 8:05 p.m.

The 64-year-old driver of the sedan also was injured. Police said he remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Police said the accident occurred as the sedan was traveling north on Kahului Beach Road and tried to make a turn and was broadsided by the truck. The 31-year-old man who was driving the pickup and his passenger, a 35-year-old man, did not suffer any injuries.


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