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State roundup for October 10

$1.2 million for vets’ cemetery

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s federal lawmakers say the state is getting a $1.2 million grant to expand a veterans cemetery in Kauai.

The grant for Kauai Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe comes from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s part of $47 million in funds distributed to 15 states.

Officials say it will be used to add 4,500 grave sites and six acres to the cemetery.

UH West Oahu chief is retiring

HONOLULU (AP) — The chancellor in charge of University of Hawaii-West Oahu plans to retire at the end of the school year.

Gene Awakuni said he plans to move onto other projects after representing the university before the state Legislature next year.

Awakuni says his goal when he took the position in March 2005 was to get the West Oahu campus built and start a four-year degree program. He says he accomplished that when the campus opened in August.

SHPD reports reform progress

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s Historic Preservation Division says it’s carried out some reforms required by the National Park Service but still must complete others.

The park service mandated the changes after its investigators found evidence of mismanagement at the division. The park service said two years ago it would start withholding more than $500,000 in annual federal grants to Hawaii unless the division fixed the problems.

The shortfalls included a failure to maintain a readily accessible historic properties database. Hawaii also had unqualified people reviewing federal projects affecting historic properties.

The division said Monday it has a plan to develop a document database. It’s also working to fill several vacant positions, including Maui archaeologist and librarian. The division must hire people for these jobs by June 30.

Kiaaina to be deputy at DLNR

HONOLULU (AP) — Gov. Neil Abercrombie is appointing former congressional candidate Esther Kiaaina to be the deputy director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The governor’s office said Monday Kiaaina will start work at her new position next week.

Kiaaina most recently competed in the race to be the Democratic Party’s nominee to represent Hawaii’s second congressional district. She lost the primary election to former Honolulu councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Kiaaina replaces Guy Kaulukukui, who resigned in August. The department is headed by Board of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William Aila.

Kiaaina has served as chief advocate of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and a land asset manager of The Kamehameha Schools’ land assets division.


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