State roundup for November 26
House speaker still not decided
HONOLULU (AP) — State Rep. Marcus Oshiro says it’s not clear yet who will lead the state House despite an announcement by former speaker Rep. Joe Souki that he has the votes to reclaim the post.
Oshiro said in a statement Friday the organization of the House won’t be official until 51 members vote at the start of a new legislative session in January.
The Democrat says there’s still time to consider who is best to lead the House. Oshiro served as House Finance Committee chairman in the most recent session.
Oshiro says it concerns him Souki has offered leadership positions to members of the Republican minority in exchange for their support.
Souki, a Democrat, said Wednesday he’s forming a coalition with Republicans and will return as House speaker.
Oahu gun sales may set record
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Police statistics suggest gun sales on Oahu could set a record this year.
As of Oct. 31, the number of guns sold was just under 21,000, on pace to surpass the record 23,400 sold in 2011.
Gun and gun store owners said they believe anticipation of President Barack Obama’s re-election has led to a spike in the sale of firearms on the island.
Young Guns owner Dale Hayama said he’s seen business grow since Obama was first elected in 2008.
Some fear the potential for stricter gun laws in an Obama administration while others suspect crime will increase with him in office.
Oahu church seeks new home
HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii congregation is searching for a new home after a roof collapse amid heavy rains at the high school auditorium where it holds services.
The New Hope Christian Fellowship has used the Farrington High School auditorium for its weekend services for several years. Founder and senior pastor Wayne Cordeiro says the site was unusable at first, but the church cleaned it up and has pumped tens of thousands of dollars into renovations.
Cordeiro says the school is allowing the church to use the gymnasium temporarily.
The Department of Education has said all events scheduled for the auditorium have been canceled until alternative sites can be found.
No one was hurt in Friday’s collapse.
USS Michael Murphy arrives
PEARL HARBOR, Oahu (AP) — The Navy’s newest destroyer has arrived in Hawaii.
The USS Michael Murphy was greeted by hundreds of people, including 30 Navy SEALs, hula dancers and a brass band, as it arrived in Pearl Harbor on Wednesday.
The 510-foot ship was named after Lt. Michael Murphy of Long Island, N.Y., who became the first American awarded the Medal of Honor during the Afghanistan War.
After a 2005 ambush in a mountainous region, a wounded Murphy was credited with risking his own life by moving into the open for a better position to transmit a call for help.
After a two-hour gunfight, Murphy and two fellow SEALs were dead.
Eight other Navy SEALs and eight members of the Army’s elite Night Stalkers were then killed when their helicopter was shot down.
Man held after holiday chase
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police say a 40-year-old man was taken into custody after military and Honolulu police chased his vehicle from the Aliamanu Military Reservation.
U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii says military police were called to the complex shortly after noon on Thanksgiving. The man’s wife reported that her husband was acting suicidal and had fired shots into the wall of their home.
When military police arrived, the man was in his vehicle and headed toward the Moanalua Freeway.
Police gave chase east on the H-1 Freeway and Kalanianaole Highway, which had to be shut down for about an hour in both directions. He was not armed when taken into custody.
Police say the man was brought to Tripler Army Medical Center.
Abercrombie asks public land agency to delay steps
HONOLULU (AP) — Gov. Neil Abercrombie is asking the Public Land Development Corp. to put off any action on pending rules while the state fully considers and addresses public concerns about the agency.
The governor said in a statement Friday he’s asked the organization’s board to postpone any meetings until the concerns are considered.
Critics say the law creating the agency — passed last year — allows land to be developed without zoning rules or other restrictions.
The governor says he doesn’t want the potential for the corporation to accomplish public good to be lost because the state failed to account for reservations.
Abercrombie says his administration will do its best to alleviate public concerns. But he says the Legislature created the agency and will be the ones to decide its future.
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