State briefs for May 1

Dogs attack mom, child near Children’s Discovery Center

HONOLULU — Two dogs attacked a mother and her 1 1/2-year-old daughter last week near the Children’s Discovery Center in the Kakaako neighborhood of Honolulu.

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The attack happened Thursday as the family was waiting for the center to open.

The mother, Brandy Bennett, is recovering from her injuries, which include bruising, scratches and a bite mark on her legs.

Bennett said she and her daughter were walking in the park near the center when two medium-sized, caramel-colored poi dogs rushed toward them.

Bennett said she held her daughter as high as she could during the attack so the dogs couldn’t harm the child.

“Honestly, I’m so traumatized that I do not want this to happen to anyone else again,” Bennett said.

Bystanders managed to get the dogs away and called 911.

Bennett said the dogs ran off to a nearby tent.

Managers of the center have long been concerned about homeless encampments that have sprung up on streets surrounding their building. At one point in 2015, more than 300 people were living in the surrounding Kakaako neighborhood.

The city and state have since helped people find housing and periodically conducted “sweeps” to move people out of the area but camps persist.

Lawmakers approve ‘monster’ house home inspection bill

HONOLULU — A bill making it a misdemeanor to lie to government investigators or inspectors during building inspections won approval from both houses of the state Legislature.

Tyler Dos Santos-Tam of HI Good Neighbor, which was formed to combat large-scale, or “monster,” houses, praised the bill as another “key enforcement tool” against unscrupulous owners and contractors seeking to hide the intent of their structures.

The bill’s language makes it a misdemeanor to “knowingly make a false statement in written, printed, electronic, or oral form, to a state investigator or a county inspector during an investigation into compliance with any state law, rule, or regulation or any county ordinance, rule, or regulation.”

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People convicted of the criminal misdemeanor could spend up to a year in jail and face fines of up to $2,000.

The bill is now awaiting action from Hawaii Gov. David Ige.

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