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Neighbor wanted Hawaii cop killing suspect evicted years ago

HONOLULU (AP) — Court documents say a neighbor of a handyman suspected of stabbing a woman and killing two Hawaii police officers wanted him evicted since at least 2014. The neighbor had a restraining order against the handyman and accused him of assault. The handyman's landlord had recently started the eviction process before he stabbed a woman Sunday and fatally shot two Honolulu officers. The home he lived in caught fire after the shooting and the blaze spread. Police believe he was in the home when it burned and said the remains of two people were found Tuesday. Hanel and his landlord were the only two people unaccounted for.


Hawaii governor promotes proposals for working families

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige outlined a plan to boost preschool education, housing and tax relief for Hawaii's families as he delivered his annual state of the state address on Tuesday. The Democratic governor and state lawmakers jointly announced the package of proposals last week before the Legislature convened. Ige says increasing the minimum wage to $13 per hour, together with tax relief, could result in an annual cash benefit of $4,400 to each worker.  On housing, he said leaders propose to build 17,000 leasehold homes on state-owned land in partnership with private developers.


Hawaiian Electric says solar power capacity grew in 2019

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaiian Electric Co. says it had a 21% increase in solar energy production capacity in 2019. West Hawaii Today reported the company says its solar capacity increased to 902 cumulative installed megawatts in 2019 from 745 megawatts in 2018. The company credited the increase to the completion of several grid-scale projects, along with thousands of new solar systems on rooftops. Residents who installed rooftop systems on Oahu, Hawaii island, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai rose from 74,331 in 2018 to 77,801 in 2019. The company says an estimated 3.5 million solar panels now produce electricity on the company’s five grids.


Underwater tire reef experiment in Guam to be cleaned up

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Scientists in Guam are trying to determine how to remove a man-made underwater mountain built out of vehicle tires 50 years ago. Pacific Daily News reports that Guam Environmental Protection Agency scientists hoped the tire reef would improve marine conditions in Cocos Lagoon and increase fish stocks, but has instead been left abandoned a mile from shore and about 20 feet below the water. Government officials say the 2,400-tire experiment is now considered trash and would cost $250,000 to clean up. The government received a federal grant to clean up the artificial tire habitats, but officials do not know where the second 350-tire habitat is located.


Tests find some early Arizona hemp crops have too much THC

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s budding hemp-growing industry is suffering growing pains as levels of THC that are too high force some farmers to destroy crops instead of harvesting them. Results of state Department of Agriculture testing have about 41% of the Arizona hemp plants failing due to too high a level of THC, the compound that gives marijuana its high. The Arizona Republic reports that growers in other states around the country have had issues managing the THC content of hemp plants, with crops in Hawaii and Nebraska also testing too high, but not as much as in Arizona's early months. Arizona in 2019 began issuing hemp-growing licenses to farmers under a law enacted in 2018, and harvesting started in late 2019.


Report: Tax collections in Hawaii increased by about 5%

HONOLULU (AP) — A new report shows tax collections in Hawaii were up by about 5% last year. Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that the state Department of Taxation sent the annual report in December to Democratic Gov. David Ige and the state Legislature. The report showed that $8.2 billion was collected in fiscal year 2019, which ended June 30, compared to $7.9 billion collected the year prior. Officials say revenue from the general excise tax and income tax accounted for most of the increase. The report also showed more than $1.7 billion was collected in other taxes.