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Hawaii Island News, 26 August 2009


Tropical Storm Hilda remains on a west-southwest course with little change in intensity.  Early this morning, the storm was about 500 miles southeast of Hilo.  Hilda has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.  The storm is moving toward the west-southwest at near 9 mph.  A weather graphic of this storm is available on our station website.  Just click on the hurricane tracker icon.

A rally to support a single payer health care system will be held today from 5 pm to 7 pm at Hilo’s Mooheau Park Bandstand.  those who attend will be able to sign petitions that will be presented to Hawaii’s congressional delegation before Congress reconvenes in September.

Department of Public Works representative Noelani Whittington tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the county is replacing flashing light crosswalks with pole-mounted warning beacons to improve safety.  Three Hilo crosswalks and one on Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona had flashing lights embedded in the pavement.  Whittington says those lights were more than five years old and were considered obsolete.

Hard economic times are having a serious impact on private schools in Hawaii County.  St. Joseph School Principal Victoria Torcolini tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that her school has lost at least 30 students because some parents have lost their jobs.  Torcolini says her job is to show parents there is value in a private education.  Haili Christian School, Parker School, and Hawaii Preparatory Academy have all lost students because of the current economic crisis.

Hilo District Judge Harry Freitas tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that wo families involved in a contentious relationship following the slaying of Cameron Mauga last October 5th have agreed to a mutual restraining order for three years.  Desmond Lewi’s trial is set for February 8th.  He is free on $50,000 bail.

(AP).  The state land board this week considers whether to grant a hearing to Native Hawaiian and environmental groups challenging the University of Hawaii’s management plan for Mauna Kea.  The groups question whether the board followed laws protecting the wekiu bug and rare species.

(AP).  A former UH-Hilo athletic director has filled a $10 million lawsuit alleging that school officials discriminated against her based on race, gender, and age.  Kathleen McNally alleges that she was forced out in retaliation for her complaints about violations to Title IX, the federal law that requires equal access to educational programs and activities.

(AP).  Native Hawaiians gathering at a convention in Honolulu are rallying around pending federal legislation intended to give them more control of their future.  A crowd of more than 1,000 people gave a standing ovation Wednesday in support of Democratic U.S. Representative Neil Abercrombie’s address seeking a government-sanctioned Hawaiian entitiy.

Hawaii policitcal leaders are mourning the loss of Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, who died of brain cancer overnight.  Flags are at half-stff at the U.S. Capitol, at all federal buildings, and at the White House.