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Hawaii Island News, 10 September 2009


Hilo District Judge Barbara Takase has scheduled a preliminary hearing date for a Wainaku man accused of raping and drowning a 5-year old girl on Sunday.  Anthony Serges Poulin will appear in court Friday at 1:30 pm to face charges of second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree sex assault, plus abuse of a family member in the death of Javieanne Win.  Poulin remains in custody in lieu of one million dollars bail.

Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong has introduced a bill to ban rental cars from Waipio Valley.  Yagong told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the increased access of rental vehicle traffic into Waipio Valley creates unsafe conditions as well as an unnecessary and significant burden to the already heavy traffic in the valley.

Keaukaha resident Wade Kalili has taken his dispute with the Hawaii Electric Light Company to the street.  Kalili told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the utility has overcharged him by tens of thousands of dollars over the past five years due to a faulty meter and someone else tapping his line.  Kalili said HELCO charged him $15,166.48 last year.  After his meter was changed, Kalili’s bill fell to $500.  Kalili wants to get some of his money back.  Curtis Beck, HELCO’s energy services manager, said the utility is working with Kalili to resolve the issue.

Enrollment at UH-Hilo reached a new all-time high for Fall 2009.   Opening enrollment figures from the University of Hawaii System show UH-Hilo’s fall enrollment increased to 3,996–a gain of 210 students.  UH-Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng says the increased enrollment “validates the quality of UH-Hilo’s educational product and the committment of our faculty, staff, and administration to meet the needs of our students.”

Donna Smith, the executive vice president of E. K. Fernandez Shows LLC, tells “West Hawaii Today” that animals and other farm element will not be present when the Fair opens today on the runway of the Old Kona Airport Park.  Smith says the board of directors of the Big Island Farm Bureau decided that the bureau would not participate this year.  Despite the shift in focus, the Fair will feature the traditional favorites, including the midway rides, nonstop live entertainment, carnival rides, and a variety of tasty foods.

(AP).  Aquaculture farmers in Hawaii are now able to apply for federal  stimulus money to help offset high feed prices experienced by the industry last year.  State agriculture officials say the USDA has allocted $150,000 as Hawaii’s portion of the $50 million in feed stimulus funding.  The grants are administered through Hawaii’s Aquaculture Development Program.

(AP).  Two veteran members of Congress from Hawaii are applauding the health care speech that President Obama delivered last night.  Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye and Representative Neil Abercrombie say they support a “public option” which would provide insurance from the U.S. government to people who can’t get coverage from private providers.