State roundup for October 8
GMO, pesticide bill up for vote
LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Kauai officials are set to consider a proposal to regulate pesticide use and farming of genetically modified crops.
Kauai’s county council is slated to vote today on a bill that has provoked emotionally charged public hearings and a march against GMO’s that attracted large crowds.
The bill proposes to require large-scale growers to disclose pesticide use and the presence of GMO’s.
It also suggests setting up buffer zones to distance pesticide use around schools, hospitals and homes and posting signs in areas near pesticide application sites.
Supporters of the ordinance say it’s needed to protect public health and the island’s environment. Opponents argue that the proposed rules would hamper agribusinesses operating on Kauai and that growers were already regulated by federal agencies.
Maui hospital plan advances
WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — Developers have secured financing to build what would be the first new hospital on Maui in six decades and the first new hospital in the entire state since the mid-1990s.
An unidentified global real estate investment trust has committed to finance West Maui Hospital and Medical Center, Brian Hoyle, the president of Newport Hospital Corp.
Newport plans to build the facility on 15 acres in Kaanapali. The desired property is currently zoned for agricultural use and would need to be rezoned, he said. Construction could begin in 2015 if all goes according to plan.
The hospital will have a 24-hour emergency room, operating room and 25 acute care beds. It will also have space for 40 nursing care beds.
No new hospital has been built on the island since Maui Memorial in 1952.
North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea on the Big Island, constructed in 1995, was the last new hospital to be built in the state.
Woman dies in Kaau Crater fall
HONOLULU (AP) — A woman has died of injuries suffered in a fall along the Kaau Crater Trail.
KITV-TV reports the woman was in her 20s.
Honolulu County firefighters say the woman just before 11 a.m. Saturday fell 30 to 35 feet from a ledge near waterfalls.
Emergency Medical Services personnel pronounced her dead about an hour later.
The woman was with two other hikers.
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