By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - The nonprofit organization that wants to build a giant telescope atop a Hawaii mountain has selected an alternate site in case it can't be built on land many Native Hawaiians consider sacred.
Thirty Meter Telescope officials announced Monday a site in the Canary Islands, Spain, as the primary alternative to Hawaii.
The TMT International Observatory says Hawaii's Mauna Kea is still the preferred location. Telescope officials say they will forge ahead to obtain approval to build it on conservation land.
The project is stalled amid intense protests. The state Supreme Court last year invalidated the project's construction permit and sent the matter back for a new contested-case hearing. The hearings have been moving slowly since they started on Oct. 20.