Divisive bid to build telescope in Hawaii faces new hearing

FeaturesAssociated Press

A $1.4 billion project to build one of the world's largest telescopes in Hawaii is facing a second round of construction permit hearings amid intense protests.

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Native Hawaiians and others say building it on the Big Island's Mauna Kea mountain will desecrate sacred land.

The proceedings known as contested-case hearings are set to begin Thursday and expected to last until next month.

Numerous parties are participating, including a group of Native Hawaiians who support the telescope. Dozens of witnesses are expected to testify. It's not clear when the retired judge overseeing the hearings would issue a ruling.

Telescope officials are looking for alternate sites in case the telescope can't be built in Hawaii.