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State roundup for September 25

Kaiser Hawaii gives $122,000

HONOLULU (AP) — Kaiser Permanente Hawaii is providing more than $120,000 in grants for community health initiatives.

Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice will receive about $41,000 for an effort to maximize participation of eligible residents in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Earned Income Tax Credit. According to Kaiser, Hawaii’s low participation in these programs ranks 46th nationwide.

Hawaii Primary Care Association will receive a $40,000 grant for a child and adolescent mental health initiative.

Hawaii’s Department of Education will receive $22,000 to promote daily physical activity and overall school wellness.

Hawaii Theater for Youth will receive $20,000 to integrate healthy eating and active living messages into its upcoming original theatrical production of “Peter Rabbit and the Garden.”

College may not stay accredited

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Community College has been warned it could lose its accreditation.

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges placed the Kalihi school on warning accreditation status after an evaluation visit last fall.

Chancellor Erika Lacro said the college will remain accredited while it sorts out issues raised by the visit and nothing will change for students, including their financial aid.

“We just internally need to focus ourselves on the issues our team found, which is a good thing because our institution will be a better place after that,” Lacro said.

The most serious criticism has to do with more than 100 faculty members teaching online courses.

“The college should compare the instructional quality of face-to-face and distance education courses and develop a strategic plan for distance education,” the accrediting panel wrote.

3 Oahu schools receive honors

HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education has recognized three Oahu schools for academic excellence or for improving academic achievement.

The department announced Tuesday that Blanche Pope Elementary in Waimanalo, Nuuanu Elementary and Waikiki Elementary are named 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

They are among 236 public and 50 private schools nationwide to earn the distinction. They will be honored at a recognition ceremony in November in Washington, D.C.

The schools were selected from 420 nominations nationwide.

The Hawaii Department of Education says the three Oahu schools were nominated because of their dramatic improvement in test scores or for achieving in the top 10 percent of schools in the state in reading and math.

Missing Oahu inmate located

HONOLULU (AP) — A missing inmate who was on work furlough has been found and is at Oahu Community Correctional Center.

The state Department of Public Safety says Ernest Vierra was located Monday night in Kapolei.

Department spokeswoman Toni Schwartz says deputy sheriffs and the U.S. Marshals Service Task Force Fugitive Team worked various leads that led to his arrest.

He was reported missing after a headcount at the Laumaka Work Furlough Center on Friday morning. The center is a block away from the jail.

Schwartz says Vierra was considered on “community custody status,” the lowest custody level.

He was serving time for second-degree robbery and unauthorized control of a vehicle. He’s now facing a second-degree escape charge.


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