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Hawaii Island News, 09 September 2009


(AP).  A 30-year old Big Island man has been accused of raping and drowning the 5-year old daughter of his girlfriend.  Anthony Serges Poulin is charged with secon-degree murder, abuse of a family or household member, and two counts of first-degree sexual assault.  Police Captain Randall Medeiros said that Poulin’s bail was set for one million dollars.

A Delaware company is proceeding wit plans to convert five miles of Ka’u coastline into a new community.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-HErald”, Nani Kahuku Aina LLC wants to build thousands of homes, along with government services, private businesses, an airport, and several resorts on 16,457 acres of vacant land.  The company’s Kahuku Villages would stretch from the Mamalahoa Highway to the ocean.

Public school enrollment on Hawaii Island continues to decrease as parents consider other alternatives for their children.  The latest figures published by the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” show the island has 23,671 students, down 301 from the same period last year.  Hilo High School Principal Bob Dircks says fewer incoming freshmen make up a large part of the loss.  Dircks believes students can choose to attend a number of places for their education, including home schooling and charter schools.

The Hawaii County Council will hold a public meeting on Monday at 6:30 pm to reorganize itself and switch various leadership positions.  The council reversed an earlier reorganizational plan becuse the “West Hawaii Today” newspaper brought suit, claiming the council violated the state’s “sunshine law”.

A Hawaii Island man accused of engaging in illicit sexual contact with a 12-year old girl after he traveled to California has appeared in court to answer the criminal complaint.  If the court finds Waimea resident Richard David Mitchell guilty of the charges, he could spend up to 30 years in prison.

Police Lt. Mitch Kanehailua tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that a man found dead September 1st in the yard of his Hawaiian Paradise Park home committed suicide.  An autopsy report concluded that Victor Bajor died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The controlled brush fire planned for today by Mauna Kea Access Road and Saddle Roak has been cancelled.  The fire has been rescheduled tentatively for Thursday.

(AP).  The Maui County Council has voted to ban shark tours.  Councilwoman Jo Anne Johnson says the bill is a sign of respect for Native Hawaiians who consider sharks to be sacred.  The bill also raised a safety issue because fish parts are used to attract the sharks, potentially changing their natural behavior.

(AP).  A new Hawaii law meant to support local farmers could cost taxpayers.  The law gives up to a 15 percent preference to locally grown products when state agencies buy agricultural products.  Elizabeth Haws Connally, who lobbied for the measure for the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, says the law uses the state’s purchasing power to encourage local agriculture.  But some feel the law could hurt local farmers in the long term.

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