State roundup for November 28

State to inspect roofs at facilities

HONOLULU (AP) — The state will be conducting roof inspections at state facilities following a collapse at a high school auditorium.

The Farrington High School auditorium roof collapsed on Friday amid heavy rains. Officials say there had been no reports of major problems. No one was hurt. The state now has decided to conduct inspections of roofs at schools, designated disaster shelters and other state facilities.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie told reporters Monday that the state will expedite inspections of roofs that are aging, due for replacement or in need of repairs.

New air service to Australia

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaiian Airlines is launching a new route to Australia.

Starting on Tuesday, Hawaiian began flying nonstop between Honolulu and Brisbane three times a week.

Brisbane is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, a marine park of shallow reefs supporting sharks, coral, fish and many other species. It’s also the gateway to rainforests, Outback territory and the Gold Coast.

Brisbane is Hawaiian’s second destination in Australia. The airline also offers daily flights between Honolulu and Sydney.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates the route will generate $83 million in visitor spending and $9 million in tax revenue for the islands each year.

Man beaten with tree branches

WAIANAE, Oahu (AP) — A man was seriously injured after several people on Oahu reportedly beat him with tree branches.

The 47-year-old man was taken to the hospital in serious condition very early Tuesday morning.

Emergency Medical Services say the man was beaten on Plantation Road in Waianea.

Kauai smart meters proceed

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Kauai’s electric utility is more than halfway finished with a project to replace older mechanical meters with “smart meters” that allow utilities and consumers to use energy more efficiently. The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has installed 17,500 meters so far.

The new meters will help the utility accommodate more renewable energy in the grid.

The cooperative aims for Kauai to get half of its energy from renewable sources by 2023 such as biomass, hydro power and solar.

The smart meters allow a utility to remotely read customers’ meters, connect and disconnect service. They’ll provide customers with information on their energy use that can guide them to use energy more efficiently.

“We don’t have to go out and read meters,” said Jim Kelley, KIUC communications manager. This in turn protects KIUC employees from a number of situations, including dealing with dogs or other potentially hazardous conditions, he said.


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