Categories
Hawaii Headlines

Hawaii flags lowered to honor Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg

The Maui News

U.S. and Hawaii flags will be flying at half-mast to honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday of cancer.

In ordering the lowering of the flags, Gov. David Ige said Friday that the flags will remain at half-mast until the date of Ginsburg’s interment, which has not yet been determined.

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a giant in advocating for justice and equity,” Ige said. “Justice Ginsburg visited Hawaii several times, and it was clear that her values were closely aligned with those of our community.”

Other Hawaii leaders offered their condolences.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said Ginsburg “was a brilliant jurist.”

“In devoting her life to advancing equality and justice for all, she made our country a better place and blazed a trail for women in civic life,” he said.

He also called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “respect her final wish and wait to confirm her replacement until a new president is sworn in.”

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald called Ginsburg “a legal giant, a brilliant jurist who tirelessly worked to ensure that our nation’s promise of justice for all was kept.”

“She was also a courageous and inspirational role model, both professionally and personally,” he continued. “We were honored to have her visit the Hawaii Supreme Court on several occasions. Most recently, she visited our court in 2017, when she met with the justices and members of the bar, and then graciously spoke about her experiences and her love of Hawaii with law clerks and staff attorneys.”

Categories
Hawaii Headlines

University of Hawaii-Manoa looks at program mergers, cuts to academic offerings

All segments of the campus were challenged in April to develop plans

HONOLULU (AP) — The University of Hawaii at Manoa is considering merging, realigning or cutting some academic programs as the school faces a budget gap.

The ideas from a team of administrators were labeled as suggestions to begin discussions among faculty and other stakeholders, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.

All segments of the campus were challenged in April to develop plans producing 5 to 15 percent cost savings. Administrators have discussed ways to streamline, reduce administrative costs, invest in new growth areas and phase out degrees with little demand.

The proposals include eliminating the Public Policy Center and the Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Other ideas include dropping bachelor’s degrees in religion, journalism, dance and German and some advanced degrees attracting few students.

Approved changes would not take place until at least the new fiscal year starting in July.

“It is important to emphasize that our suggestions were never meant to be the last word,” Provost Michael Bruno wrote to faculty last week. He characterized the proposals as the “beginning of an open conversation.”

Bruno sent a message assuring students that changes would take time, and they would graduate before any degree program is terminated.

The proposed closure of the Public Policy Center, part of the College of Social Sciences, came as a surprise because of its activity during the coronavirus pandemic.

The center produced five reports on subjects related to the virus including how the state can mitigate the crisis and Hawaii residents’ assessments of pandemic restrictions.

Director Colin Moore said he believes the center plays an important role for the state and its closure would not be an effective way to trim the budget.

“We are a very small center that has a big impact,” Moore said Tuesday. “Most faculty have separate affiliations with their departments, so we don’t understand how this would save money. And we think it would reduce the capacity of the state to evaluate policy issues, which I think we need now more than ever.”

Categories
National Sports

Green Bay Packers still wary despite sweeping Detroit Lions in 2019

By STEVE MEGARGEE
AP Sports Writer
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The past two games between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions exemplified the biggest difference between these two teams.
Green Bay has an uncanny ability to win close games. Detroit keeps finding new ways to lose them.
The Packers swept their two regular-season meetings with the Lions last year despite never leading either game until Mason Crosby made a game-winning field goal as time expired. They meet again Sunday in Green Bay’s home opener.
“It was pretty much a miracle that we were able to win both those games,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said.
The Lions are trying to bounce back after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to Chicago last week.
That marked Detroit’s 10th consecutive defeat, a skid that began last November.
“It doesn’t matter if you lose it, win it, win it by 10, lose it by 10, whatever it is, lose a close one, win a close one,” Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “You’ve got to move on to the next one. Shoot, lucky for us, Green Bay gets our attention pretty quick.”
Green Bay went 9-1 last year in games decided by eight points or fewer before opening this season with a 43-34 victory at Minnesota. Detroit had a 2-0-1 record early last season with a pair of three-point victories, but has since gone 1-9 in games decided by eight points or fewer.
The Lions have lost 11 games they led in the fourth quarter under Matt Patricia, who became coach in 2018.
Detroit will have a tough time building a lead against a Green Bay offense operating at peak efficiency. Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns without an interception against the Vikings. Davante Adams caught 14 passes to tie Don Hutson’s 78-year-old franchise single-game record.
But the Packers are taking nothing for granted.
“Quite frankly, they should have won last week,” LaFleur said.
Here are some things to know heading into the Lions-Packers game:
ALEXANDER’S ENCORE
Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander will have a tough time matching what he accomplished last week. Alexander had a sack, interception and safety against the Vikings to become just the fifth player in the past 20 years to achieve all three of those things in the same game.
FAMILIAR FOE
Stafford has thrown for 5,186 yards against Green Bay, the most of any Packers opponent. He has thrown 34 touchdown passes against the Packers to tie Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for first place among all Green Bay foes.
The Lions are 7-11 against the Packers in the games Stafford has played.

Categories
National Sports

Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions beset by injuries

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay and Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark won’t be available Sunday for their NFC North matchup at Lambeau Field.
The Lions’ injury report released Friday listed Golladay out for Sunday’s game as well as cornerback Desmond Trufant, guard Joe Dahl and tight end Hunter Bryant.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur had said earlier Friday that Clark wouldn’t be playing in the Packers’ home opener. Clark was knocked out of a season-opening 43-34 victory over the Minnesota Vikings because of a groin injury.
“I know he’s doing everything in his power to be back as quickly as possible, but he won’t be able to play this weekend,” LaFleur said.
Bryant, Golladay and Trufant are dealing with hamstring injuries. Dahl has a groin injury.
Golladay didn’t play last week after catching 65 passes for 1,190 yards and an NFL-leading 11 touchdowns to earn a Pro Bowl invitation last year.
Clark’s absence leaves Green Bay without its best defensive lineman.
Green Bay also won’t have wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (knee), guard Lane Taylor (knee) and linebacker Randy Ramsey (groin) on Sunday. LaFleur said Monday Taylor would likely miss the rest of the season.

Categories
Minnesota Sports

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

CHICAGO (AP) — Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo López.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
___
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Categories
Minnesota Headlines

Bodies of all 3 plane crash victims recovered from quarry

GREY CLOUD ISLAND TOWNSHIP, Minn. (AP) — The bodies of all three victims on board a single-engine plane that crashed last weekend have been recovered from a water-filled quarry in Washington County, sheriff’s officials said Friday.
The third victim was recovered Thursday night, authorities said. The sheriff’s office identified two victims recovered earlier, 60-year-old Larry Schlichting, of Eagan, and 24-year-old Lucas Knight, of North Mankato.
Their plane went down on Grey Cloud Island near Cottage Grove Sunday. Some wreckage of the plane has been recovered.
Cottage Grove police and sheriff’s offices in Hennepin, Carver, Ramsey and Dakota counties assisted with recovery efforts as well as the Department of Natural Resources from Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Authorities have said the recovery work has been difficult because of the large debris field in the quarry and the water’s depth of 70 feet.

Categories
Minnesota Headlines

Armed residents confront COVID-19 testing team in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A team of health workers conducting random COVID-19 testing was recently confronted by armed residents in a Minnesota neighborhood, though state officials have not said when or where the incident occurred.
Health officials have been doing random testing of households in 180 Minnesota communities since Monday to help understand how COVID-19 is spread. The state hasn’t said where the studies are being conducted.
Minnesota Department of Health spokeswoman Julie Bartkey told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the team did the right thing by leaving the situation and notifying a site coordinator.
“The vast majority of neighborhoods have been friendly, but we will continue to monitor for concerns as we move through different areas of the state,” Bartkey said. “It could have been a simple misunderstanding, we simply don’t know.”
The workers from the state Department of Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are wearing credentials as they knock on doors. Households are chosen at random, and state officials have encouraged participation if asked. The study includes an interview and testing for active COVID-19 infections as well as antibody testing that would indicate a previous exposure.
The incident came to light after at least two Twin Cities-area police departments posted an email from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety on their social media accounts. The message said: “a team of MDH and CDC examiners was recently confronted by a group of armed citizens while out in a neighborhood.”
Minnesota reported an additional 1,099 cases of the coronavirus on Friday, and eight new deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 87,807 confirmed cases and 1,950 deaths since the pandemic began.

Categories
Minnesota Headlines

Minnesota begins early voting as candidates visit the state

By STEVE KARNOWSKI Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The battleground state of Minnesota began voting in the presidential election on Friday as polling stations opened in every county and local officials began mailing out huge piles of absentee ballots to make voting safer amid the pandemic.
Jason Miller, 33, a painter from Minneapolis, was at the front of the line at the early voting center in heavily Democratic Minneapolis, where officials said 44 people voted in the first half hour after polls opened. Proudly wearing his “I Voted Early” sticker on his face mask, Miller said he arrived at 7:15 a.m. to vote against President Donald Trump.
“Probably many times over the last four years I had thought, ‘I’m going to be the first dude in Minnesota to say ‘no way’ to this guy,'” Miller said after voting for Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
The state got its head start on voting on the same day that Trump and Biden scheduled dueling campaign stops in northern Minnesota, with Trump hosting a rally in Bemidji and Biden visiting a union training center in Duluth.
Secretary of State Steve Simon said interest in voting early was “sky high.” According to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, a majority of Trump supporters plan to cast their ballots on Election Day, while about half of Biden’s backers plan to vote by mail.
At the Minneapolis voting center, officials put coronavirus protections in place, including plexiglass dividers and plenty of hand sanitizer. Poll workers kept voting booths wiped down with disinfectant. Compliance with state health guidelines requiring face masks in public indoor places appeared to be 100%.
Simon said he expects about a third of the state’s electorate to vote early, either in person or by absentee ballot. Over 900,000 residents had requested absentee ballots by Friday. Simon said he expects around 1.2 million absentee ballots to be cast by Election Day with a total turnout of around 3 million to 3.1 million. By comparison, about 618,000 voters took advantage of absentee and early voting in 2016 with a total turnout of just under 3 million.
Under court-ordered pandemic rules, witness signatures aren’t required and absentee ballots can be postmarked as late as Election Day. Officials will then have seven calendar says to count them as they trickle in. That means voters have a “guaranteed cushion,” but that Minnesota won’t have complete results until Nov. 10, Simon said.
Voters must understand “that it is literally by design, it’s not anyone’s fault, and it’s not the result of anyone falling asleep at the switch,” he said. He stressed that even without 100% of the final results for a week, “I suspect that we will have a large majority of the outcomes known, the winners known, either on election night or shortly thereafter.”
Simon said he’s confident that the U.S. Postal Service will be able to handle the surge of absentee ballots, despite reports of turmoil within the system.
“One of the jokes that they made with us a couple times is, ‘This is nothing compared to the holidays,'” he said. “Even if everyone sent their ballot on the same day, it wouldn’t come close to the daily traffic that they get on any single day during the holiday period.”
Voters can also hand-deliver their absentee ballots, or a trusted person can deliver a ballot for them if certain rules are followed, he said. Voters can track their ballots on the secretary of state’s website, MNVotes.org, to see whether and when it arrives.
Kasono Mwanza, 32, an actor from Minneapolis, said he requested a ballot be mailed to his home but decided he just wanted to vote, so he cast his ballot for Biden in person on Friday morning.
“The last four years have been, for the lack of a better word, interesting,” he said. “And I think that we need change, in a good way, a positive way that details science and actual facts and empathy. I think those things are important. People want to know that they’re being cared for.”
___
AP’s Advance Voting guide brings you the facts about voting early, by mail or absentee from each state: https://interactives.ap.org/advance-voting-2020/

Categories
Minnesota Sports

Wild captain Koivu’s long run comes to an end in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Mikko Koivu’s extraordinary career with the Minnesota Wild is over.
General manager Bill Guerin said Friday the team will not resign the 37-year-old Finn, whose contract is expiring.
Koivu is the only full-time captain the club has had — he was appointed in 2009 after the role was rotated monthly over the first nine years of the franchise. He is the all-time Wild leader in games, assists, points and several other categories,
Koivu returned from reconstructive right knee surgery for a 15th season and had four goals and 17 assists in 55 games while playing mostly on the fourth line.
“His hard work, dedication and team-first mentality will be extremely difficult to replace in our lineup,’ Guerin said. “Off the ice, Mikko’s impact in the State of Hockey was immeasurable as he went out of his way to make a positive impact on so many people in our community, including his charitable contributions to Children’s Minnesota.”
Koivu was drafted sixth overall in 2001 and made his NHL debut on Nov. 11, 2005. He is the first player to play all 1,000 NHL games with Minnesota.
Earlier this month, the Wild acquired center Nick Bjugstad from Pittsburgh for a conditional selection in the 2021 draft. The 28-year-old Bjugstad, who has 97 goals, 110 assists and 681 hits in 439 career NHL games, will be asked to fill the role of a checking center.
Guerin followed that move by this week trading 35-year-old veteran Eric Staal to Buffalo after he spent the last four seasons with the Wild. Speaking with reporters Friday, Staal said the makeover caught him by surprise.
“I just thought that the year would start and we’ll see how the year goes and if they wanted to move on maybe it would be a deadline-type thing,” Staal said. “So I guess that’s more along the lines of why it felt a little bit out of the blue.”
Staal, who spent the first 12 years of his NHL career with Carolina, was asked about his move to Minnesota in 2016 and what he will cherish the most.
“Well, I think coming here initially the first year it was shoveling off the pond behind my house and having an outdoor rink for my kids,” said Staal, who is Canadian. “And then obviously just on-ice was awesome with the types of teams that we had here and the guys that kind of let me be me and I fit in nice and obviously found success, went to a couple All-Star Games. A lot of milestones. There’s a lot of memories that I’ll keep for a long time.
“But I think the biggest thing was just that excitement and that passion that maybe had faltered a little bit,” he said. “I got that back just shoveling the outdoor rink.”

Categories
Minnesota Headlines

Trump and Biden hit unlikely battleground state of Minnesota

By WILL WEISSERT and STEVE PEOPLES Associated Press
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A solidly blue state for the past half century, Minnesota became an unquestioned presidential battleground on Friday as President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden fought for working-class voters in dueling events that marked the beginning of early voting.
Their campaigning was knocked off front pages and broadcasts in the state and nationally Friday night by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, But before that, their contrasting styles and stances during the day and evening gave fresh signs of the campaign to come in the final weeks before Election Day.
The candidates steered clear of the state’s most populated areas near Minneapolis to focus on blue-collar voters, some of whom shifted to Republicans for the first time in 2016. Trump went to Bemidji, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of Minneapolis, while Biden campaigned in a suburb of Duluth, on the banks of Lake Superior and close to the Wisconsin border.
Biden railed against Trump’s inability to control the pandemic, casting the president’s reluctance to embrace more serious social distancing safeguards as “negligence and selfishness” that cost American lives. Trump, before leaving the White House, said as he has many times that “we’ve done a phenomenal job” against the virus and predicted mass vaccinations by spring.
Biden, at a carpenter union’s training hall in Minnesota, emphasized his plans to boost American manufacturing.
“It’s time to reward hard work in America and not wealth,” Biden declared with roughly a dozen workers looking on.
“When the government spends taxpayers’ money, we should spend that money to buy American products made by American workers and American supply chains to generate American growth,” Biden said. He promised to invest $400 billion in federal money over his first term to ensure more products are made in America.
Trump, meanwhile, predicted victory in Minnesota in November despite the state’s long history of backing Democratic candidates.
“Forty-six days from now we’re going to win Minnesota and we’re going to win four more years in the White House,” Trump told thousands of supporters at the regional airport in Bemidji.
Since narrowly losing Minnesota in 2016, Trump has emphasized the state in hopes that a victory this year could offset losses in other states. He has visited regularly and kept a close eye on issues of particular importance to rural corners of the state. He’s reversed an Obama administration policy prohibiting the development of copper-nickel mining and has bailed out soybean, corn and other farmers who have been hurt by trade clashes with China.
More recently, he’s embraced a “law and order” message aimed nationally at white suburban and rural voters who may be concerned by protests that have sometimes become violent. That’s especially true in Minnesota, where the May killing of George Floyd by a police officer sparked a national reckoning on racism.
But for all the work Trump has put into the state, it may elude him again in November.
A series of polls over the past week show Biden has built a consistent lead in Minnesota. And in the 2018 midterms, Democratic turnout surged in suburbs, small cities and even on the Iron Range, across the blue-collar mining towns that were once labor strongholds but had been trending Republican.
David McIntosh, president of the conservative Club for Growth, which has produced anti-Biden ads, said Minnesota may help the Trump campaign build momentum.
“They’re looking beyond the poll numbers and seeing the potential there,” said McIntosh, a former congressman from Indiana. “It’s always smart strategy to go on offense somewhere.”
In 2018, Democrats flipped two suburban congressional districts, took back control of the state House by winning suburban Trump-voting areas and came within one seat of winning control of the state Senate. Democrats won every statewide race that year, even as they lost a rural congressional district.
Trump’s path to Minnesota success likely depends on finding more votes in rural, conservative areas –- running up the score beyond his 2016 tally. It’s a strategy he’s trying to pull off in other states and it depends on a robust field operation with the money and time to track down infrequent or first-time voters. That could be a tall order since Minnesota already has one of the nation’s highest voter turnout rates.
“I don’t think they’re there,” said Joe Radinovich, a Democrat who lost a bid for a northern Minnesota congressional district in 2018. Radinovich noted the major organizational challenge and expense in tracking new voters, making sure they’re registered and getting them to vote – especially during a pandemic. “We have relatively high turnout already. Most people vote. I just don’t think it’s there. I think those people showed up in 2016,” he said.
In 2016, Trump won that district, which includes the Democratic city of Duluth, by 15 percentage points. But in the midterms two years later, Radinovich lost by just under 6 percentage points.
Still, Trump has spent more than a year building a sizable Minnesota ground game. Republicans are out knocking on doors and interacting personally with voters in ways that Democrats mostly have not, preferring online operations because of the coronavirus.
The president’s reelection campaign announced this week a $10 million ad buy in a series of states, including Minnesota. It has spent nearly $17 million on advertising in the state since last October, compared with almost $6.3 million for Biden over the same period, according to a review of Kantar/CMAG data by The Associated Press.
Democrats warn that Biden still may have his work cut out for him.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said the Trump campaign has far outpaced Biden in local yard signs — which indicates enthusiasm but may not ultimately affect the outcome.
“One of the things the Trump campaign has been very good about is visibility in Duluth, but also in areas around Duluth,” Larson said.
After Biden’s speech, his motorcade rolled into downtown Duluth, where he stepped out onto a brick plaza in front of Little Angie’s Cantina and Grill and began to elbow bump and chat with passersby.
Within minutes, a crowd of around 200 gathered, virtually all of them in masks except for two men in Trump hats. It was the largest in-person crowd Biden has had since the pandemic exploded in March.
One man yelled from a deck above the plaza, “Go home, Joe!”
Two women closer to Biden responded, “You are home, Joe.”
___
Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writers Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis and Aamer Madhani in Bemidji, Minn., contributed to this report.