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State roundup for January 8

Airline to buy 16 new Airbuses

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaiian Airlines plans to further expand its fleet by buying 16 new Airbus planes.

The airline said in a statement Monday the A321neo will seat about 190 passengers. The planes will allow Hawaiian to open new markets and complement existing aircraft used on routes between the islands and West Coast.

Hawaiian says its pilot and flight attendant unions must sign agreements covering operation of the new planes to complete the deal. Hawaiian plans to add 1,000 jobs to accommodate the aircraft if they do. The single-aisle plane will carry fewer passengers than the 294-seat Airbus A330 and 264-seat Boeing 767 jets Hawaiian currently flies between Hawaii and the West Coast.

But it will carry more than the 123-seat Boeing 717 the airline uses on interisland routes.

Honolulu home sale prices down

HONOLULU (AP) — Home sale prices in Honolulu were down slightly in December, but condominium sale prices were up by double digits.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors said Monday that the median price for a condominium in December was $335,000. That’s up 17.5 percent over the median price in December 2011.

Single family homes on Oahu were sold at a median price of $600,000 in December, down 0.8 percent from $605,000 in December 2011.

Board President Kevin Miyama says the number of overall sales increased during a typically slower time in the market. He says that’s a good indicator of continued recovery in the market. For all of 2012, median prices were up 7.8 percent for single family homes and 5.8 percent for condos.

Toddler nearly drowns at hotel

WAIKIKI, Oahu (AP) — A 3-year-old boy was taken to a hospital after nearly drowning in a hotel pool on Oahu.

The toddler was taken to the hospital in serious condition late Sunday night. Officials say the incident happened at approximately 10:44 p.m. at the Sheraton Waikiki.

Ex-officer gets jail in pot case

HONOLULU (AP) — A former Honolulu police officer who pleaded guilty to helping his girlfriend sell and grow marijuana has been sentenced to eight months in jail.

Michael Steven Chu asked his family to forgive him in court on Friday and said he hopes to become someone they can be proud of. Chu also said he will never commit such a crime again and is dedicating his life to helping others.

The judge gave Chu until Feb. 13 to turn himself in. Chu’s girlfriend, Athena Sui Lee, will be sentenced next month. Federal authorities say Chu and Lee were carrying bundles of cash and materials for growing plants indoors when they were arrested in April as officers carried out a search warrant.


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