State briefs for July 26

Gabbard sues Google, says free speech violated

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is suing Google for $50 million, accusing the internet company of suspending her advertising account in the hours after last month’s debate because it was trying to silence her.

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Tulsi Now Inc., a campaign committee for the candidate, says in the lawsuit filed Thursday in California that Google violated the Hawaii congresswoman’s right to free speech. The lawsuit says Google didn’t provide “a straight answer” for suspending her ads account.

Google spokesperson Riva Sciuto says in a statement that its automated systems that flag unusual activity triggered a suspension and that Gabbard’s account was quickly reinstated. Scuito denied that Google has a political bias.

Gabbard says Google’s actions “should be of concern to all political candidates and in fact all Americans.”

Marine arrested at Air Force base faces military charges

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AP) — Military authorities say a detained Marine had firearms, a silencer, body armor and ammunition in his pickup truck when he tried to enter an Air Force base near Omaha.

Pfc. Ali Al-Kazahg is charged with carrying a concealed weapon, communicating threats and other crimes. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney. A Marine Corps spokesman says the 22-year-old Al-Kazahg is in custody in Hawaii, where he’s assigned to the 3rd Marine Logistics Group.

Authorities say Al-Kazahg was on leave when he was stopped at an Offutt Air Force Base gate on May 31. Guards had spotted his name on a law enforcement notice of people considered capable of doing harm. The notice says he told another Marine that he would “shoot up” his battalion if he were disciplined for misconduct.

Kauai beach park reopens after repairs

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — A Kauai beach park has reopened following a $6 million repair project, a report said.

Black Pot Beach Park in northern Kauai welcomed visitors Monday for the first time in over a year.

An overflowing river in Hanalei Bay washed vehicles into the water and destroyed restrooms and roads in April 2018. City officials have been working on repairs ever since.

The repair project included a new roundabout, parking lot, drop-off and pickup zones, and landscaping changes to enhance the ocean view, park officials said.

There are also temporary portable restrooms located at the park, which will be replaced with new units, officials said.

Many residents seemed to appreciate the repairs.

“It’s more organized and cleaner,” Malaa Aceret said.

One notable difference is that parking on the beach is no longer allowed, an environmental impact change meant to avoid potential oil and fluid leaks.

“It’s always been a nice beach,” resident Irineo Sepulveda said. “I’d say it’s really picked up in the last 10 years, though.”

Maui beaches have highest number of spinal injuries

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — A state trauma registry lists Maui as the location of the highest number of spinal injuries at Hawaii’s beaches, a report said.

The Hawaii Trauma Registry names Maui County as the location of seven of the state’s top 15 spinal injury-prone beaches.

The Maui community of Makena led the state with 40 recorded spinal injuries from 2009 to 2017, which includes injuries at the area’s Big Beach, Little Beach and six unspecified locations.

“Hopefully, we are able to get the message out and try to prevent spinal injuries,” said Jeff Later, trauma program manager at Maui Memorial Medical Center. “It’s such a preventable thing, but the impact on the person and their family can be big.”

Hapuna Beach on Big Island had 31 recorded spinal injuries, the second highest in the state.

Maui’s Kaanapali Beach was tied with the Big Island’s Laaloa Beach and Oahu’s Sandy Beach for the third highest with 20 spinal injuries each.

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The statistics do not include other types of injuries that occur to beachgoers.

There are about 20 types of spinal injuries that can lead to neck, head and back pain, swelling and bruising, difficulty breathing, numbness and paralysis, or death, Later said.

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