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State roundup for November 16

Jobless rate drops to 5.5%

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s unemployment rate is hitting a new four-year-low.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Thursday Hawaii’s jobless rate dropped 0.2 percentage point in October to a seasonally adjusted 5.5 percent. The state’s jobless rate was at 5.7 percent in September — its lowest mark since 2008.

Inouye checked out after fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hawaii’s Sen. Daniel K. Inouye had a quick trip Thursday to Bethesda Naval Hospital after falling at his home.

Inouye’s Washington office says the 88-year-old Democratic senator sustained a minor cut to the back of his head and did not lose consciousness.

He was taken to the hospital as a precaution, where he was treated and released. The senator was back home and resting Thursday afternoon.

Navy rethinks Poseidon plans

HONOLULU (AP) — The Navy may rotate Poseidon jets through Hawaii instead of basing them at a Marine Corps base in Kaneohe Bay.

The proposal would increase the number of planes based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington state.

The Navy is preparing a new environmental study for the idea.

The Poseidons are a military version of the Boeing 737. The Navy is replacing aging, propeller-driven P-3C Orions with Poseidons for surveillance, reconnaissance and submarine-hunting.

In 2009, the Navy decided to base five squadrons and a fleet replacement squadron in Jacksonville, four squadrons at Whidbey, and three squadrons at Kaneohe Bay.

But it now says basing the planes at two places instead of three “may best meet current requirements.”


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