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State roundup for October 3

Health insurance standards set

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii has set minimum standards for health care insurance plans that can be sold in Hawaii under new federal guidelines.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced the minimums at a press conference on Monday. Abercrombie says the minimums will help Hawaii lead the nationwide health care transition.

The minimums include things like ambulance services, hospitalization and prescription drugs. The guidelines will take effect in 2014.

Hawaii is among the states that bet correctly that the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold Obama’s law. The high court ruled in favor of the law in June.

U.S. Census data from 2010 show 7.7 percent of Hawaii residents are without health insurance. That’s the second-lowest rate in the country behind Massachusetts at 5.5 percent.

Suspect arrested in beating death

WAIANAE, Oahu (AP) — Honolulu police have arrested a 27-year-old man suspected of beating a man to death over the weekend in west Oahu.

Royce Gouveia was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Arthur Meyer.

Gouveia was arrested at the same Makaha address where a 26-year-old man was shot in the face last month.

800 tons of bad soil is removed

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — The state and federal governments say they’ve removed more than 800 tons of contaminated former sugar plantation soil in what is now a Kauai residential neighborhood.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawaii Department of Health said Monday the soil contained residue of arsenic and dioxin from pesticides that were stored and mixed at the site. The agencies filled the area with new clean soil and capped a drainage ditch with a concrete barrier.

The removed soil was safely disposed of at the Kekaha Landfill.

The neighborhood was built on the site of the old Kilauea Sugar Mill. Sugar cane farmers once mixed arsenic with pesticide to manage crops.

Marathon one of the largest

HONOLULU (AP) — Race officials expect the Honolulu Marathon in December to be one of the world’s 10 largest marathons, topping 30,000 entrants for the first time in 10 years.

Honolulu Marathon Association President Jim Barahal said in a Monday report that the race already has 4,000 more entrants than last year with just over two months left to register.

Barahal says he expects the race to generate at least $125 million in direct and indirect revenue.

Just over 19,000 entrants finished the marathon last year. Running USA says the New York City marathon set a world record with 47,133 finishers last year.

Honolulu’s race has already proven more popular among Hawaii locals. More than 11,000 have entered, compared with more than 8,000 last year.


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