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Big Island News, 12 August 2009


(AP). A once furious Felicia finally has staggered into the Hawaiian Islands. Felicia once boasted Category 4 hurricane force winds of more than 140 pmh, but was downgraded to a tropical depression Tuesday with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. Forecasters say Oahu and Kauai could get up to 2 inches of rain today. An inch of rain is possible on Maui.

(AP). Living on the slope of the Kilauea Volcano can be expensive when it comes to homeowners insurance. The Hawaii Property Insurance Association was created in 1992 for homes in high risk lava zones, but it can cost homeowners almost four times as much to insure their homes. Only two companies, HPIA and Lloyd’s of London, write policies for the area.

The Hawaii County Board of Ethics will consider separate complaints lodged against Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole, alleging she has violated both county and federal law. Earlier, the board cleared Naeole of all prior wrongdoing claims. According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, some residents accuse Naeole of giving a “thumbs down” gesture during public testimony on June 16th that she should not be made County Council vice-chairwoman.

Detective Myra Iwamoto tells “West Hawaii Today” that police are still investigating the death of 38-year old Kelly Susan Stevens, whose unresponsive body was found on the rocks of Keiki Beach near the Honokahau Xmall Boat Harbor. Iwamoto says there was nothing at the scene to indicate foul play, but “we’re not ruling anything out.”

Hawaii County Fire Department officials are investigating the cause of an early Monday morning home fire in Ocean View. When county and volunteer firefighters arrived on the scene at 2:35 am, they found the 600-square foot single-family home fully engulfed in flames. Inspectors place the loss at $52,075.

A twenty-three year old Kailua-Kona man faces one year in jail and five years probation for second-degree homicide and first-degree negligent injury stemming from a September 2005 crash that killed a seventeen year old Kealakehe High School football player.In passing sentence on Isaac Vierra, Third Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Strance also ordered Vierra to pay $8.025 in restitution and fines and not operate a vehicle until his five years of probation are done.

Hawaii Island farmers who wish to obtain coverage for their 2010 crops must apply for the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program by September 1st. This deadline is for floriculture, ornamental nursery, Christmas Trees, turfgrass sod, seed crops, aquaculture, ginseng , and industrial crops. For details, call Lester Ueda at 933-8341.