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NEWS FLASH - May 14, 2011 12:30 p.m. HST

Visitor Industry Walk Collects Record Amount

WAILUKU, MAUI – The Maui Hotel & Lodging Association recently celebrated 33 years of giving back to the community with its annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk on Saturday, May 14. An impressive 2,100 walkers gathered at the War Memorial Soccer Field for a fun morning of exercise, camaraderie, good food, great prizes and fabulous entertainment. At the end of the day, an impressive total of $406,380 was raised for to benefit Maui County charities. (Last year, the event raised $357,000).

The bulk of the participants included visitor industry workers, non-profit agencies and business representatives. Many of these hard working walkers begin their fundraising efforts months prior to the event by collecting individual pledges, hosting bake sales, chili & stew cook-offs, benefit luaus, car washes, even dunking booths and concerts.

Top individual fundraiser was Mitch Mitchell who collected $33,800. The Grand Wailea took in top honors of the property bringing in the most with $50,015. Bank of Hawaii was the business who raised the most at $8,615. Winning the award for non-profit raising the most was repeat-awardee Hale Makua who collected $59,382. Property raising the most per capita was Kahana Falls at $233 per employee.

“This year, we raised more funds than any other year in the 33-year history of the Charity Walk on Maui! We are extremely proud to host such a successful fundraising endeavor which brings together the visitor industry and the Maui community in grand style. And most importantly, all monies raised on Maui County, stays in Maui County,” said Carol Reimann, Executive Director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association. “Our ability to provide for Maui’s non-profits – especially during tough economic times - is a direct reflection of the integrity & philanthropic conviction of the fine businesses in the visitor industry. And Maui has always done it in grand style – our island continues to raise more funds per capital than any other island in Hawaii.”

The Visitor Industry Charity Walk is a statewide event that takes place on Maui, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. The Charity Walk is one of Hawaii’s largest single-day fundraiser with thousands of walkers and typically raises over $1million annually to benefit charity. Funds will continue to roll in throughout next month and a final tally will be announced in August.

Mark your calendar for next year’s Visitor Industry Charity Walk – May 12, 2012.

For additional information, please contact the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association at 244-8625 or .

(Report Provided by the Maui Hotel and Lodging Association)

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NEWS FLASH - May 14, 2011 5:40 a.m. HST

Maui Woman Dies As Truck Tumbles Down Cliff

A Maui woman died from injuries suffered in a vehicle crash early this morning in north Maui. Police say that a 2005 Dodge pickup truck was travelling north along Kahekili Highway, 1.6 miles north of Waiehu - when the vehicle failed to negotiate a curve and the truck left the road.

Police say the vehicle tumbled down a steep embankment. An occupant, 22 year-old Tiare Franco of Haiku, was ejected from the vehicle during the crash and died at the scene. Another occupant fled after the crash scene.

The involvement of speed, drugs and alcohol are being investigated as possible contributng factors in the crash. This is Maui Count's fourth traffic fatality on 2011 compared with seven at this time last year.

(Information Provided by Maui Police Department)

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NEWS FLASH - May 14, 2011 5:20 a.m. HST

Early Morning Fire Closes Baldwin Avenue

A cane fire closed Baldwin Avenue in Pa'ia early this morning. The fire was reported to be burning both above and below Pa'ia School around 1:30 a.m. The road was closed while firefighters worked to control he fire.

The road was reopenedat 4:05 a.m. No word yet on the cause of the blaze or if any injuries were involved. No damage has been reported.

(Information Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - May 13, 2011 12:40 p.m. HST

Flags To Fly at Half-Staff Sunday to Honor Fallen Heroes

HONOLULU – In observance of Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week Governor Neil Abercrombie today ordered that all Hawai'i flags at all State offices and agencies as well as the Hawai'i National Guard are to be flown at half-staff alongside U.S. flags from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, May 15, 2011.

President Barack Obama proclaimed May 15, 2011, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and May 15 through May 21, 2011, as Police Week. In his proclamation the President states:

“I call upon all Americans to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also call on Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half staff from their homes and businesses on that day.”

(Report Provided by the Office of Governor Neil Abercrombie)

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NEWS FLASH - May 13, 2011 9:05 a.m. HST

Accident Closes Mokulele Highway at Dairy Road Intersection

(Editor's Note: The scene was cleared and the highway reopened at 10:25 a.m.)

A traffic accident this morning at 8:45 a.m. has caused Police to close Mokulele Hwy (311) between Kuihelani Hwy (380) and Hookele St, Kahului.

No word on the extent of any injuries, or when the busy intersection will reopen.

(Report Provided by the Maui County Office of Information)

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NEWS FLASH - May 13, 2011 6:35 a.m. HST

HMSA Rates Climbing - Again - But Not as Much

Hawaii Medical Service Association has received state approval to boost premiums in July by a lower rate than initially proposed for 9,600 small businesses that employ 89,110 workers.

The state's largest health insurer will implement an average rate increase of 3.7 percent instead of the 4.2 percent it had initially requested March 22 from the state Insurance Division, said Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito.

The Insurance Division denied the initial rate request because "there were some provisions in the initial filing in calculations that we didn't agree with," Ito said.

The department estimates the decrease will result in about a $3 million savings to small businesses.

"That's substantial in terms of gross savings, but to each individual employer it's relatively small," said Tim Lyons, president of the Hawaii Business League, which represents 900 small businesses. "Nevertheless we'll take what we can get. In this economy that's about the only thing I've heard that is going down except for profits."

Preferred Provider Plan
2011 3.7%*
2010 7.6%
2009 12.7%
2008 9.9%
2007 7.2%
2006 4.2%
HPH Plus
2011 3.7%*
2010 15.5%
2009 4.0%
2008 11.5%
2007 5.5%
2006 8.6%

*All rate increases are now combined into a universal pool to smooth out volatility.

Source: HMSA

The increase applies to all three HMSA plans: Preferred Provider Plan; Health Plan Hawaii Plus, its health maintenance organization plan; and CompMED plan, a program that features higher deductibles and lower benefits.

This is the smallest rate hike in at least five years for HMSA's community-rated groups that renew health plans on July 1. HMSA boosted rates for its dominant preferred provider plan 7.6 percent in 2010, 12.7 percent in 2009 and 9.9 percent in 2008.

"It's a significant drop in the rate increase from 2010,"?Ito said. "The division hopes this will provide much-needed relief to small businesses."

HMSA said in March that it needed its initial proposed increase to offset recent experience with rising health and drug costs. The rate affects approximately 93 percent of its small-business groups.

Steve Van Ribbinck, HMSA's chief financial officer, said yesterday the lower rate will result in a $3 million reduction in revenue for the insurer and that he could not predict whether the approved increase would cover future health care costs.

For the first time, HMSA is unifying rate increases of its three health plans to limit volatility that had been prevalent in recent years, putting all three plans into one big risk pool.

HMSA, which had 693,683 members at the end of February, has 10,300 small-business groups that employ 124,236 members.

Reach Kristen Consillio at

(Report Provided by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

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NEWS FLASH - May 11, 2011 6:45 a.m. HST

Legislature 'Batting Average' Less Than .100

Fewer than one in 10 bills introduced this year has been passed by the Hawaii Legislature.

The Legislative Reference Bureau said lawmakers approved 252 of 3,224 bills introduced before the annual legislative session concluded last week.

Of bills that passed the Legislature, 49 have become law already, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie has vetoed two.

Abercrombie must either approve or veto the rest of the bills by July 12, the 45-day mark after the Legislature's adjournment.

Resolutions that lack the force of law also were approved by the Legislature.

Lawmakers adopted 187 resolutions of 918 introduced.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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NEWS FLASH - May 10, 2011 7:05 p.m. HST

Studios Dealt Setback By Lawmakers

Tax credits intended to lure motion picture and digital media productions to Hawaii aren't becoming law.

A measure proposing the tax credits failing to clear the Legislature before it adjourned last week.

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. had appeared before lawmakers to ask for the tax breaks, which were sought by Relativity Media and Shangri-La Industries to build production facilities on Oahu and Maui.

Gooding filmed "Outbreak" in the islands in 1992.

Supporters of the tax credits said they would create new jobs and spur the economy in Hawaii.

But lawmakers were wary of any proposals that would cost the state government money at a time when it's struggling to make ends meet.

(Report Provided by The Associated Press)

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Breaking News Archives

NEW: Maui TV News Breaking News stories are now being archived. Each month (or more frequently if needed) we will save an archive of all the Breaking News stories covered to date on this page. And you can use the search box in the upper right corner of this page to locate a specific story or topic. Now available:

May 2 - 11, 2011

March 30 - April 16, 2010

March 19 - 30, 2010

March 11 - 19, 2010

March 4 - 11, 2010

February 25 - March 4, 2010

February 9 - 25, 2010

February 1-8, 2010

January 2010

December, 2009 (partial)


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