POSTED: Sunday, April 12, 2009

Eviction looms for Maui campers

KAHULUI, Maui » Officials say about 150 homeless people will be evicted from 40 to 50 illegal campsites located on state-owned land near Kahului Airport.

No date has been set, but the operation is expected to take place in the next couple of months.

Airport Manager Marvin Moniz said the encampments came to light when dogs from the area bit a child and a teenager in separate incidents in October and December.

About three dozen officials representing government and nonprofit agencies met Thursday to discuss assisting the homeless campers and to plan a cleanup of the 2.5-acre area.

State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tammy Mori said the illegal campers will be given at lease a month's notice of the impending evictions.


Air traffic increases over Ewa

Ewa residents can expect an increase in aircraft traffic during a temporary shutdown of some runways at Honolulu Airport between 2 and 10 a.m. beginning tomorrow through Friday.

The runways are being shut down for airfield maintenance, and the shutdown will send arriving and departing aircraft over Ewa Beach during those hours, the state Department of Transportation said in a news release.


Superferry costs jobs in Alabama

MOBILE, Ala. » Ship maker Austal USA has laid off 15 workers from its facility on the Mobile River and said it plans to cut another 47.

The company's vice president for external affairs, Bill Pfister, said Friday the cuts were due to the loss of an expected contract and work winding down on a second vessel for the Hawaii Superferry.

The fate of that ship is unknown because the Superferry suspended service last month after a state Supreme Court ruling said it could not operate before an environmental impact assessment is completed.

Superferry's first vessel left Hawaii and was to return to Austal's shipyard in Mobile, Ala., where it was built.

Austal said it still employs more than 1,000 workers at the facility.


VA bolsters UH nursing program

The University of Hawaii School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene has been selected to be a funded site for the Department of Veterans Affairs' Nursing Academy's Enhancing Academic Partnerships Program.

Hawaii Democratic U.S. Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye said Thursday in a news release that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki informed them of the selection.

The senators said the partnership will benefit UH nursing students and veterans across the Pacific. They said it will improve training, encourage innovation and develop new ways nurses can furnish care.

The university's proposal noted the partnership would admit an additional 40 students over the first three years and expand educational opportunities for students.


Schofield soldier memorialized

State flags in Kentucky will be lowered to half-staff tomorrow in honor of a 25th Infantry Division soldier who died 58 years ago in the Korean War.

Cpl. Lloyd D. Stidham of Beattyville, Ky., was one of four U.S. service members whose remains were recently returned to family members after they were identified by the Hawaii-based Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.

Stidham will be interred tomorrow at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville, Ky.

The four soldiers were assigned to Company C, 65th Combat Engineer Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, at Schofield Barracks.

On Nov. 25, 1950, Company C came under intense attack while holding a position south of the Kuryong River in North Korea. The soldiers were reported missing two days later.

A joint U.S.-North Korean team recovered the remains from a mass grave overlooking the river in 2000.