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State roundup for May 12

Smoke forces return to LAX

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A United Airlines flight has arrived safely back at Los Angeles International Airport after smoke was reported in the cockpit and cabin during a flight to Hawaii.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says United flight 1296 landed without incident at 11:38 a.m. Saturday, about three hours after it took off.

United spokesman Charles Hobart says nobody was hurt.

The Boeing 757 was headed for Kona International Airport with about 150 people on board when the smoke was reported by crew members.

Fire Department engines and ambulances sent to the airport as a precaution were released after the safe landing.

Hobart says passengers will be transferred to other flights and the aircraft will undergo a thorough inspection by maintenance crews.

OCCC module will be tented

HONOLULU (AP) — A module at Oahu Community Correctional Center needs to be tented because of a bedbug infestation.

The state Department of Public Safety says the module houses up to 120 furlough inmates who leave for work and return daily.

The module is tentatively scheduled to be tented this week. Inmates will be relocated to other parts of the facility.

Deputy Director of Corrections Max Otani says officials are making efforts to keep the bugs from returning.

Other steps at eradication over the past month have included replacing mattresses and bedding, killing bugs with sprays and enforcing hygiene maintenance.

Kauai may cut preservation

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Kauai County Council members, facing a budget crunch, have advanced a bill that would cut funds for preserving natural spaces.

The measure would cut the property tax set aside for the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund.

That share of property taxes would fall from at least 1.5 percent to at least 0.5 percent. According to Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s budget proposal, that would work out to a drop of about $850,000 in the next fiscal year.

The County Council could adopt the measure next week after the Planning Committee passed it by a 4-1 vote.

Committee members said they were torn between the need to balance the budget and their desire to protect a vital, voter-approved fund.

“This is a sacred cow,” councilman Tim Bynum said of the Open Space Fund, “but I’m actually considering letting some of it go because we need to behave fiscally responsibly.”

The lone opposition vote in the committee was cast by Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, who said cutting from the fund could lead to complacency in preserving the island’s natural spaces.

“This is a fund that, if you start taking from it, you’re going to get used to taking from it,” Yukimura said. “I think we need to learn how to live with us putting aside — like putting aside for a college fund or a financial reserve. It’s a discipline that we need to get used to, and we need to figure out how to do it every year.”


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