$2.8M to improve Kona Airport
Gov. Linda Lingle has released $2.8 million for improvements at Kona Airport.
Improvements will include construction of covered walkways in the terminals, an additional security lane, new apron lights and a new access gate for disabled passengers.
The project is part of the administration's 12-year, $2.3 billion Airports Modernization Plan.
In a news release, Lingle said the improvements will help reduce wait times at security checkpoints and increase weather protection for passengers in the terminals.
Construction is scheduled to begin next month and completed in December.
Passport rules and fees change
Starting this month, minors under age 16 must have the consent of both parents to obtain a U.S. passport, and passport fees are going up by $3.
The cost of obtaining a passport is now $100 for adults and $85 for children under 16. The fee for a mail-in passport renewal went up to $75 from $67.
To show parental consent for minors obtaining passports, both parents must accompany the child to execute the passport application, or one parent may sign and submit either a notarized statement of consent from the other parent or evidence of sole legal custody.
To locate your nearest Passport Acceptance Facility, visit iafdb.travel.state.gov.
Hawaiian program grants offered
More than $9.5 million in federal funds is available as grants for innovative education programs for native Hawaiians.
Officials expect to award more than 20 grants ranging from $250,000 to $950,000 annually for up to three years. The competitive-grant process ends on March 10.
"These Native Hawaiian Education Act grants are vital to improving the educational opportunities for native Hawaiians," said Colin Kippen, executive director of the Native Hawaiian Education Council, established under federal law.
Previous grants have served students in public schools, native Hawaiian charter schools and higher education. The funds have gone to early education, curriculum development, science, math and native Hawaiian language programs, with an emphasis on Hawaiian culture.
Applications are available at www.ed.gov/programs/ nathawaiian/applicant.html.
For more information, visit www.ed.gov/legislation/ FedRegister/announcements/2008-1/012508b.html.
4 schools to get improvements
The state will spend $3.4 million for improvements at four Oahu public schools.
Most of the money, $2.5 million, will pay for a new library and media center at Waialua Elementary, Gov. Linda Lingle said in releasing the funds. The project should be completed in September 2009.
Other projects include upgrades to a fire sprinkler system at Shafter Elementary and an access road at Roosevelt High, as well as improvements to Kapolei High's athletic complex such as visitor bleachers, an announcer's booth, restrooms, and ticket and concession booths.
Practice graduate exams for free
Oahu residents who are considering applying to graduate or professional school may take a practice admissions test on Feb. 23 at no cost, sponsored by Honolulu Kaplan Test Prep.
The practice exams offered are the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, DAT, OAT and PCAT. Kaplan will give the exams under timed conditions, and students will receive their scores and detailed feedback on their performance, including an analysis of their strengths and weaknesses.
Check-in begins at 8 a.m. at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Richardson School of Law. For more information or to register, visit www.kaptest.com/practice or call (800) KAP-TEST.
Police, Fire, Courts
Surfer hospitalized in near drowning
A man in his 20s was in critical condition yesterday after he nearly drowned off Waikiki.
Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic said the man, who was surfing by the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, was taken to Straub Clinic & Hospital at about 9:30 a.m.
Boy hit by vehicle in lot at stadium
A 7-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle yesterday in the Aloha Stadium parking lot after the Pro Bowl.
The boy ran out in front of the vehicle at about 4:10 p.m. as it was traveling at about 5 mph, police said.
A 65-year-old man driving the vehicle was not injured.
Police said the boy complained of pain in his left ankle and was taken to Tripler Army Medical Center.
Man is found dead at park on Kauai
A 47-year-old man was found dead yesterday at Hofgard Park in Waimea, a Kauai County news release said.
A passer-by noticed the man under a picnic bench at about 10 a.m. Police found the man unresponsive and not breathing.
The man was homeless and had no visible signs of injury, the release said. An autopsy has been scheduled.
Driver dies after rear-ending truck
A 52-year-old Pahoa man died Saturday after rear-ending a pickup in Mountain View.
Big Island police said that at 5:03 p.m. the driver of a Honda sedan hit a Ford pickup waiting to turn left from Hawaii Belt Road onto Kukui Camp Road.
The first driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was taken to Hilo Medical Center and died at 6:04 p.m.
The 26-year-old Mountain View man driving the truck escaped injury.
Police have not released the deceased's name, pending notification of next of kin. An autopsy has been scheduled.
It was the fifth Big Island traffic fatality this year compared with six at this time last year.
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call officer Andres Fojas at 961-8889.