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State roundup for September 23

Lagoon reopens after big spill

HONOLULU (AP) — Keehi Lagoon is open for business about two weeks after a molasses spill fouled the water and killed thousands of fish.

The lagoon reopened for recreational and commercial activities Saturday, but business is sluggish.

State officials had closed the lagoon to ocean recreation on Sept. 13, five days after a pipe leaked up to 1,400 tons of molasses into Honolulu Harbor.

More than 26,000 fish and other marine species suffocated and died as the molasses spread about 5 miles west of Waikiki’s hotels and beaches.

Greg Longnecker says he lost thousands of dollars in revenue when his jet ski business was shut down for ten days because of the spill.

His business X-treme Parasail reopened Saturday but there weren’t many customers. He hopes business will return to normal soon.

DOE recognizes top employee

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii school administrator who developed teacher effectiveness training used as a model statewide has won the Department of Education’s Employee of the Year award.

The department says Donna Therrien’s program started in the 2012-2013 school year, when she took initiative to provide the training for teachers in 16 schools.

The training offers strategies to help teachers boost student achievement.

Six members of the Kaala Food Services Team won team of the year.

The team serves food to about 450 students, 75 staff and students in Head Start.

About 85 percent of Kaala students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Department officials say the team has been introducing the students to new, healthy foods the past three years.

The awards were given Friday at the Hawaii Capitol.

Electricity rates drop for Oahu

HONOLULU (AP) — Residential electricity rates for Oahu have fallen to their lowest level in three months, unlike the rates for the other islands.

Hawaiian Electric Co. says a decline in fuel costs is the reason rates for Oahu this month declined.

A typical Oahu household using 600 kilowatt-hours of electric per month is paying a little above $200 in September. That is about $7 lower than in August.

A HECO spokesman cited a drop in the price of low-sulfur fuel oil, which makes up half of a customer’s bill.

Oahu is the only island where that type of oil is burned for power generation.

Officials say rates were the highest on Kauai.


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