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Hawaii Island News, 22 September 2009


Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi wants to sell $8.2 million worth of Hamakua land to help balance the county budget.  Real Estate agent Dave Lucas tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” he remains sketptical of any major land sale during the current economic downturn.  Lucas contends that many properties are selling for pennies on the dollar and he doubts if the county can get top dollar for its Hamakua lands.  Hawaii County Finance Director Nancy Crawford says there have been several calls from interested buyers, but, so far, there are no firm offers in hand.

KTA Superstores may reconsider plans to renovate its downtown Hilo store and remove an adjacent building.  KTA vice president of adminstrative services, Andrew Chun, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that difficulty in getting county approvals, the ongoing recession, and some unforeseen operational expense have contributed to a delay of the project.  Chun says all options are being considered, noting that the original $500,000 estimate has expanded to an estimate $1.8 million.

Motorists may soon get more time when they use certain loading zones in Hilo.  A bill the county Copuncil passed last week would allow 15 minutes to unload materials, up from the current 5 minutes allowed in loading and unloading zones.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the bil will now go to Mayor Billy Kenoi for his approval.

(AP).  A local partnership is using $2.7 million in federal stimulus money to restore the Pelekane Bay watershed, which has been overrun by nonnative plants and animals.  The project is one of two Hawaii habitat restoration efforts and one of just 50 selected nationwide from 814 proposals to receive stimulus funding from the National Oceanic Atmoshpheric Administration.

(AP).  The University of Hawaii-Hilo has moved up three spots in the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association poll to number 22.  The Vulcans improved to 12-0 with weekend victories over Pacific West Conference rivals Chaminade University and BYU-Hawaii.

Police believe a love triangle has resulted in two people landing in the hospital with stab wounds and another in jail for a violent death.  Detective Walter Ah Mow of the Kona Criminal Investigation Division told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that Sean Patrick Mitchell of Ocean View was arrested at about 2 am Saturday following the incident which took place in a Captain Cook home.  Mitchell faces charges of second degree attempted murder, second degree assualt, and third degree criminal property damage.

A 29-year old Hilo man was killed Friday evening in a moped crash on the 200 block of Iwalani Road.  According to police reports, Jason Garcia lost control, ran off the road, and hit a concrete driveway ramp shortly before 6:30 pm.  Garcia was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.  Police believe alcohol may have been a factor in the  accident.  Garcia was not wearing a helmet.

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