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Big Island Weekend News, 01/02 August 2009


The Moku O Hawaii Outrigger Association hosted the 2009 HCRA State Championship on Saturday along the Hilo Bayfront. A total of 57 halau from around the state participated in this year’s competition.

The Hawaii State Department of Health is conducting public presentations through August for the state’s new Network of Care Website ( Meetings will be held on Tuesday, August 4th, 9am, at the Liquor Control Office in Kailua-Kona. The Hilo meeting will follow that same day at 2:30 pm in the Office of the County Clerk.

(AP). An 81-year old Big Island man who pleaded no contest to charges that he sold marijuana has been sentenced to 30 days in jail. Leovegildo Mercado claimed he was using marijuana for medicinal purposes. Police found 506 marijuana plants, nearly five pouds of dried marijuana, and weapons in his Pahala home.

The Hilo residency program for new doctors has gained the support of Governor Linda Lingle. According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the governor sent a hand-written letter and a check for $1,000 from her own money after she found out about efforts to keep the program alive. The residency program has received $122,000 in private donations and a similar amount from Hawaii County in the past several months.

The Board of Land and Natural Resources has extended the closure of a natural reserve area that includes the Kilauea Pu’u O’o vent. State officials say the trail will remain closed because of increased lava activity and increased sulphur dioxide levels.

(AP). Hawaii coach Greg McMackin is being suspended for 30 days and voluntarily taking a pay cut for making a derogatory comment while he was describing Notre Dam’s chant before last year’s Hawaii Bowl. McMackin addressed reporters on Friday after meeting with athletic director Jim Donovan and Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw to discuss last Thursday’s incident.

(AP). A Maui man who led a brief occupation of Iolani Palace last year has been convicted of simple tresspass. James Akahi had stood trial on the more serious charge of burglary for entering the palace last August 15th. Honolulu Circuit Court Judge Richard Pollack imposed the maximum sentence of $1,000.