National Roundup

Hawaii
Consumers sue potato chip maker over use of 'Hawaiian' brand

HONOLULU (AP) - A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the maker of potato chips sold under the brand name Hawaiian, claiming the chips made in Washington state are misleading customers.

Michael Maeda of Honolulu and Iliana Sanchez of Los Angeles filed the suit last month, alleging Pinnacle Foods Inc. is using false and deceptive advertising and fraudulent and unfair business practices, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.

They claim they and consumers like them would not have purchased the chips, or would have paid significantly less, if they knew the snacks were made outside of Hawaii and without ingredients from the state.

Tim's Cascade Snacks, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Specialty Foods, sells Hawaiian Kettle Style Potato Chips in several flavors. It also sells onion rings under the Hawaiian moniker. The chips and rings are made in a factory in Algona, Washington, according to the suit.

The chips' packaging does not say the snacks are made in Hawaii. But the lawsuit claims Maeda and Sanchez thought they were purchasing authentic potato chips from Hawaii because of that same packaging.

The packaging features images of hula dancers wearing grass skirts and lei or others in traditional Hawaiian dress in front of iconic Hawaii landscapes.

An attorney for Pinnacle Foods, which is headquartered in New Jersey, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The suit was originally filed in state court, but the company moved the case to federal court last week.

Virginia
GOP, eyeing Supreme Court, seeks 2019 ­Virginia primary delay

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republicans have asked a federal court to delay Virginia's 2019 primary schedule for three months to enable the U.S. Supreme Court to settle a redistricting lawsuit.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox also formally asked the court Wednesday to suspend efforts to redraw 11 House districts found to be racially gerrymandered. A court-appointed expert is scheduled to file a redrawn map by Dec. 7.

Republicans have appealed the gerrymandering ruling to the Supreme Court in an attempt to prevent a more Democratic-friendly map. A Supreme Court ruling isn't likely to come until May or June. Legislative primaries are scheduled for June 11. Cox wants them rescheduled to Sept. 10

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday he hopes the outstanding legal issues are quickly resolved.

Hawaii
Hawaiian princess amends trust amid ­ongoing court battle

HONOLULU (AP) - A 92-year-old Native Hawaiian princess has changed her trust to ensure her wife receives $40 million and all her personal property, including her Chihuahua "Girlie Girl," according to court records.

Abigail Kawananakoa inherited her wealth by being the great-granddaughter of James Campbell, an Irish businessman who made his fortune as a sugar plantation owner and one of Hawaii's largest landowners.

Native Hawaiians, who consider her a princess because she's a descendent of the family that ruled the islands before the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1893, have been closely watching the ongoing legal wrangling over her trust because they are concerned about the fate of the foundation she set up to benefit Hawaiian causes.

Kawananakoa's lawyers said in court papers filed this week she amended her trust. They want a judge's approval for the changes amid a court battle after she suffered a stroke.

In September, Judge Robert Browning ruled Kawananakoa lacks the mental capacity to manage her $215 million trust and appointed First Hawaiian Bank to serve as trustee and removed Jim Wright, her longtime attorney who stepped in as trustee after last year's stroke.

Kawananakoa said she's fine, fired Wright and then married Veronica Gail Worth, her girlfriend of 20 years. She attempted to amend her trust to remove Wright and replace him with three others, including Worth.

Removing a trustee is less complex than replacing one, Browning said in not allowing her to select new trustees.

She now wants to create a new foundation that will benefit Hawaiians and exclude board members appointed by Wright. "I will not contribute any further assets to that foundation because I do not want those individuals having anything to do with my trust, my estate, and any charitable gifts I make during my lifetime or at my passing," she said in the amended trust.

The current foundation is asking a judge to appoint a guardian for Kawananakoa.

The foundation is also concerned about artifacts, including a key to King Kalakaua's crypt, the amended trust says will be given to Worth, said Rosie Goo, an attorney representing the foundation.

"It is our understanding that these are museum-quality artifacts that she had intended to be in a museum," Goo said. "This is not what she chose for herself when she was fully in control of her decision-making."

Michael Lilly, an attorney for Kawananakoa, said he couldn't comment on the foundation's court filing. Meanwhile, the bank is still deciding whether to accept the trusteeship, he said.

Kawananakoa "is in fine health," he said.

Virginia
Doctor pleads guilty to large-scale opioid ­distribution

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A northern Virginia physician faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to using his pain clinic to illegally distribute more than 600,000 oxycodone pills.

Sixty-five-year-old Shriharsh Laxman Pole operated the Excel Medical Clinic in Woodbridge, even though his license had been suspended by the Virginia Board of Medicine for improper prescription of opiates.

Prosecutors at federal court in Alexandria say Pole worked with a nurse practitioner, 63-year-old Janelle Hibson of Fredericksburg, and another physician to prescribe oxycodone and other opiates, despite signs of drug-seeking behavior from patients.

Hibson has already pleaded guilty in a separate case. Pole admitted to conspiring to distribute controlled substances Wednesday after other charges were dropped. His sentencing was set for March.

Published: Fri, Nov 30, 2018

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