State roundup for November 20
State destroying diet supplement
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s Department of Health is asking stores to give up supplies of a dietary supplement that’s under investigation for possible ties to hepatitis and liver failure.
The department said Monday it’s collecting bottles of OxyELITE Pro with plans to destroy them on Tuesday.
The supplement is used for weight loss and muscle-building. It comes in pill and powder form.
Health officials say there have been 36 cases of hepatitis and liver failure where use of the supplement has been the only common factor.
Inspectors have inventoried nearly 330,000 capsules and more than 520 pounds of powder that were pulled from store shelves. Officials say the retail value of that product is about $250,000.
Overcrowded prisons mulled
HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Public Safety Department wants to hear how it can overhaul crowded jails and prisons.
The department issued a formal request for ideas on Friday and will take comments until Dec. 16. Nothing is set and the department is looking at options, spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said.
One possibility is replacing Oahu Community Correctional Center in Kalihi with a new prison that would have more beds and facilities.
The department is studying increasing the number of beds from 950 to 1,125. It houses about 1,000 inmates, well over capacity, Schwartz said.
Brower: I’ll keep smashing carts
HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii state legislator says he plans to continue using a sledgehammer to smash shopping carts used by homeless people in Waikiki despite strong criticism.
Rep. Tom Brower says reactions have been mostly positive in his strategy to address homelessness by seizing or destroying stolen shopping carts
Mental Health America of Hawaii director Marya Grambs says what Brower is doing is unconscionable. She said Brower is terrorizing people and modeling that it’s OK to commit violence.
Institute for Human Services director Connie Mitchell says Brower could incite street violence and people don’t believe they’re being respected.
Brower estimates he has smashed 30 unmarked carts and returned six with logos to stores.
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