State roundup for November 19
President set to honor Inouye
HONOLULU (AP) — The late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye will be among 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to be presented by President Obama this week.
The White House said the president will bestow the nation’s highest civilian honor to this year’s recipient at a ceremony on Wednesday. The recipients include former President Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.
Inouye, who died last year at the age of 88, will receive his posthumously.
Inouye was a World War II hero who became the first Japanese American to serve in Congress, representing the people of Hawaii from the moment they joined the Union.
Legislator fights Oahu cart blight
HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii legislator frustrated with the problems connected to Waikiki’s homeless people problem has been packing an unusual tool — a sledge hammer.
Democratic Rep. Tom Brower returns stolen shopping carts to stores if they’re clearly marked but smashes and recycles them if they’re not.
He says he’s returned four carts and pounded 20 others into recyclable metal. If carts contain a person’s belongings, he places the contents on the ground and confiscates the cart.
Brower said he’s not conflicted by his actions. He said no one can morally object to taking a cart that was clearly stolen.
State homeless coordinator Colin Kippen says vigilantism is not safe. He also says someone taking carts could be committing theft.
Wind farm fire sparks lawsuit
HONOLULU (AP) — The insurance company that paid $2.4 million to cover losses from a wind farm fire is suing manufacturers that built parts of its battery system.
Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London paid to cover losses at First Wind’s Kahuku wind energy project following a fire May 23, 2011.
The fire destroyed one of 10 power modules. A second fire that August destroyed the battery system and knocked out service for more than a year.
The lawsuit names Dynapower Co., which built power inverters in the battery system, and Electronic Concepts Inc., which manufactured capacitors used in inverters.
ECI operations and engineering manager Joe Bond says capacitors were not at fault in the fire.
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