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State roundup for October 29

Maui in need of food inspectors

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — Maui doesn’t have enough food safety inspectors.

Maui District Health Office program chief Patti Kitkowski told The Maui News there are only three inspectors for the entire county.

They’re responsible for looking after more than 1,700 registered food establishments and temporary vendors that sell food on weekends or at special events.

The county hired two more inspectors from the mainland in recent years but Kitkowski says they left because of the high cost of living and low pay.

The FDA recommends that high-risk establishments be checked every four to six months. But Kitkowski says two years may pass between inspections on Maui.

She says the most common violations are lack of hand-washing, poor temperature controls, cross-contamination by raw or uncooked foods and vermin.

Woman shot to death in Waikiki

HONOLULU (AP) — Emergency responders say a woman is dead after an early morning shooting in Waikiki.

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services responded to a report of a shooting at about 4:30 a.m. Monday.

EMS spokeswoman Shayne Enright said paramedics arrived at an apartment on Ala Wai Boulevard and found a man and woman with gunshot wounds. Enright said the 33-year-old woman was dead. The 40-year-old man was taken to a hospital trauma center in serious condition.

Police are calling it an attempted murder-suicide.

Hyatt Regency getting overhaul

HONOLULU (AP) — The new owners of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa say they will spend more than $100 million to renovate the property.

Blackstone Group LP made the commitment after buying the leasehold for $450 million.

Hyatt area vice president and general manager David Nadelman says the renovation will bring Hawaii into the building and get Hyatt into the community.

The Hyatt Regency Waikiki was built in 1976 for $100 million by developer Christopher Hemmeter.

Nadelman says the renovations will include luxury pillow-top beds and bidet-style toilets.

The hotel also is considering new shower heads, televisions and radio frequency identification keys.

The renovations are to begin next year. It’s expected to take 18 months to make changes in the hotel’s 1,230 guest rooms.

California man to change plea in Hawaii drug case

HONOLULU (AP) — A Southern California man is expected to withdraw his not guilty plea in a federal case involving a package containing about six pounds of crystal meth sent to Hawaii.

Christopher Woolem is scheduled for a change of plea hearing Honolulu Monday. Defense attorney Richard Hamar says Woolem is expected to plead guilty.

Co-defendant Vyra Kaopua pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy with intent to possess and distribute methamphetamine. She agreed to help prosecute Woolem, of Santa Ana, Calif.

She says Woolem paid her several thousand dollars to accept packages of drugs sent to her West Oahu home.

FedEx security in April intercepted a package containing drugs that Kaopua signed for.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Beverly Sameshima says the crystal meth involved has a street value of $108,000 to $138,000.


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