UA-131046696-1 [slim_seo_breadcrumbs]

Hawaii Island News, 25 September 2009


(AP).  The state says it won’t lay off 22 plant quarantine inspectors as originally planned.  The state last month issued lay off warnings to 50 plant inspectors to comply with budget cuts imposed across state government.  Agriculture officials said yesterday they rescinded those warnings for 22 people after finding $1.8 million in new funding.

Hilo Circuit Court Judge Glenn Hara has refused to set aside the 1995 murder conviction of Tad Mason for the August 27th, 1991 strangulation death of Juliana Laysa.  Mason is serving a life sentence plus twenty years in an Arizona prison for the kidnapping and slaying of Laysa whose body was found in a cane field above the Alae Cemetery.

UH-Hilo chancellor for student affairs, Luoluo Hong, has confirmed that a student has contracted the swine flu. In an e-mail to students, faculty, and staff, HOng said there would be no change in university activities and the campus is operating normally. Those with sudden fever, coughing, and sore throats were urged to stay home.

The proposed China-U.S. Center at UH-Hilo has fallen victim to the weakened economy and no longer has a firm completion date.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”,  the developer is no longer sure what shape the final phase of the project will be, and will seek to partner with another company on the project.  Bridgecreek International president John Carlson says the world-wide slowdown in real estate has made it almost impossible to finance and move forward with residential contruction.

According to “Pacific Business News”, Kapolei-based Kiewit Pacific Company has been awarded a $32.1 million dollar contract by the U.S. Army.  The contract is for construction of two facilities at the Pohakuloa Army Traning Area on the Big Island.  The projects include a battle area complex and a tactical vehicle wash facility.  The project is scheduled for completion by December 2011.

The 1,000 plus acre affordable housing development in South Kohala known as “The Villages of Aina le’a” was blessed during a special ceremony held Tuesday.  Hawaii County Councilman Pete Hoffman told “Big Island Video News” that the project may mark the end of the recession on the Big Island because it will act as a positive influence on the otherwise dire economy.

The state Department of Eduction has announced that public school athletic events will not be affected by the recently announced teacher furlough days.  However, DOE officials  told the “Honolulu Advertiser” that things still could change pending the outcome of contract talks between the state and the Hawaii Government Employees Association and the United Public Workers.  School administrators belong to HGEA, while school custodians belong to the UPW.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency has stopped issuing passes allowing people to go beyond the boundaries of its Kalapana lava viewing area.  Civil Defense Administrator Quince Mento told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that he’s cancelled the pass issued to himself.  Certain researchers may go beyond the barricades and roped off areas.  These persons include staff of the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory and the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The Hawaii County Board of Ethics has delayed consideration of the ethics reform package endorsed by Mayor Billy Kenoi.  Board Chairman John Dill told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the panel plans to examine the mayor’s proposals in greater depth when it meets October 14th.

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