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Hawaii Island News, 05/06 September 2009


(AP).  The state Department of Health says Hawaii’s swine flu death count rose by four between June and August to 10.  Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo says one of the four was a 5 year old.  She says the case marks Hawaii’s first swine flu death involving a child.

Hawaii County’s Windward Planning Committee has issued a special permit needed to build a new Fire Department adminstrative complex in Hilo.  Those testifying against the permit believed a radio tower at the proposed facility would endanger the health of the community.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the complex will be built on 5.4 acres of land on the Hamakua side of the Mohouli Street Extension, about midway between Komohana and Kukuau streets.

Ken Fujiyama, the current lease holder for the Volcano House, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” he will hsut down the popular lodge in the first week of January for several months of rennovations.  Work will include some structural remodeling, roof repair, and the installation of fire suppression equipment.  When the lease expires December 31st, he’ll have five days to clean up and prepare for shutdown.  Fujiyama says he will try to move as many of the lodge’s employees as he can to Hilo, where he operates the Naniloa Volcanoes Resort and Nani Mau Gardens.

The state Department of Health is warning customers not to eat Kellogg’s Eggo Cinnamon Toast Waffles and Kellogg’s Eggo Toaster Swirlz Cinnamon Roll Minis due to possible contamination that could cause illness.

Douglas Dykstra has been selected as the recipient of Hawaii Community College Chancellor’s Award for his dedicated and outstanding service to the university.  Also known as the  Hawaii CC  ‘A’ali’i Award, it is given to an employee who served the college in an exemplary fashion, with grace and effectiveness despite many challenges and obstacles.  Dykstra was appointed recently as chancellor of Windward Community College.

(AP).  The state Board of Education has rejected a $5 million budge cut to the public library system that called for the temporary closure of branches and employee furloughs.  Without the cutback, libraries will operate as usual, pending the outcome of contract talks involving the state and unions that represent library workers.  The decision means that the Kealakekua Public Library will remain open until further notice.  The Holualoa Public Library was shut down earlier this year.  State Library Paul Mark tells “West Hawaii Today” that two fundraising efforts are underway to keep libraries open, but he is not sure if the funds raised could be used to pay for staffing costs.

(AP).  A judge on Kauai has ruled state law shields and protects an independent filmmaker from Hawaii Island from subpoenas in a property dispute.  A party to the suit wanted to see unpublished interviews and raw footage shout by Puna resident Keoni Kealoha Alvarez, who had been documenting Native Hawaiian burial practices.

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