Gas prices continue upward trend
Hawai'i gasoline prices continued to climb this week, according to AAA Hawaii's Weekend Gas Watch.
The average price for a gallon of regular rose by 2 cents from last Thursday to $3.43.
• In Honolulu, the average price is $3.33, up 1 cent from last week, 5 cents higher than last month and $1 higher than this time last year.
• In Hilo, the average price is $3.53 a gallon, 5 cents more than last week, 15 cents higher than last month, and $1.04 more than this time last year.
• In Wailuku, the average price is $3.79, 1 cent more than last week, 1 cents more than last month, and $1.23 more than last year.
FIRM WILL HELP BUSINESSES CUT ENERGY USE
Hawai'i information technology veteran Bruce Campbell has launched Hawaii Green IT, a consulting firm that helps businesses reduce their energy consumption.
Campbell, a 40-year Hawai'i resident and graduate of Punahou School, says he was inspired by Hawaii's Clean Energy Initiative and the state's high cost of electricity.
The initiative aims to cut the state's dependence on foreign oil and calls for 70 percent of the state's energy to come from renewable resources by 2030. For more information, go to www.hawaiigreenit.com.
ISLES GETTING $16.6M IN HEALTH CARE RELIEF
Hawai'i will get more than $16 million in federal funding to help offset the cost of providing prescription drugs to residents eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the Obama administration will forgive $4.3 billion in health care payments owed by states to the federal government through the end of the year. Hawai'i's share is $16.6 million.
"We believe today's action will help states as they struggle to maintain Medicaid and other budget priorities in these difficult economic times," Sebelius said.
The relief is made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The law granted a temporary increase in the amount states receive from the federal government to help pay for Medicaid programs.