State roundup for November 6


Ruling reversed on Kauai dam

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Kilauea Irrigation Company is responsible for defending the state against lawsuits brought in the aftermath of a deadly 2006 Kauai dam break, a state appeals court has found.

The state Intermediate Court of Appeals ruling says Kilauea Irrigation has a responsibility to defend claims against the state regarding care and maintenance of the Ka Loko dam and spillway prior to the disaster, the Garden Island reported Tuesday.

Seven people were killed after the dam collapsed and hundreds of gallons of water rushed downhill. Various lawsuits were filed after the break. Some are still pending. Then-primary landowner James Pflueger pleaded no contest to reckless endangering in the criminal case.

The ruling sends the Kilauea case back to Circuit Court. The company didn’t file a challenge to the state’s appeal.

A permit at the time allowed Kilauea Irrigation to construct, operate, repair and maintain a water transportation system within the Ka Loko ditch right-of-way and the Puu Ka Ele stream. The permit required “due care” regarding public safety and to indemnify the state from claims of damage, injury or death arising from failure to maintain the permit.

Kauai hospital funding is OK’d

HONOLULU (AP) — The state Senate is approving more than $7 million in emergency funding for Kauai’s publicly funded hospitals and clinics.

Lawmakers passed the legislation Tuesday during a special session called to consider a measure on gay marriage.

The measure now goes to the governor for approval.

A Senate news release says emergency funding will ensure the facilities that make up Hawaii Health Systems Corporation’s Kauai region remain operational through the spring of 2014. Those facilities include Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital, Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital and three clinics.

Snake is found in Chinatown

HONOLULU (AP) — The state Department of Agriculture says a live snake was found on a sidewalk in Honolulu’s Chinatown.

A pedestrian found the snake Tuesday morning on a sidewalk in front of an apartment complex. The snaked was over turned over to police, which notified the agriculture department.

Agriculture inspectors were dispatched to pick up the snake. Officials identify the reptile as a nonvenomous rainbow boa constrictor. It is 2-and-a-half feet long.

Snakes are illegal in Hawaii because they have no natural predators in the islands and can wreak havoc on the state’s environment.

The state’s amnesty program allows illegal animals to be turned in with immunity from prosecution.

 

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