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Hawaii Island News, 26-27 September 2009

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Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoli has announced that the County is developing a new service modeled on the popular Summer Fun program to provide supervised activities for school-age children during the 17 days that public schools will be closed  because of teacher furloughs.  Plans call for the County to open and staff gyms, community centers and other recreational facilities to operate  the new program from 7:45 am to 4:30 pm on teacher furlough days.  Parents would pay a fee of $5 to $10 per child per furlough day to cover some of the cost of the program.  The Boys and Girls Club of Hilo is setting up a similar program.

According to information released by Mayor Billy Kenoi’s office, Hawaii County employees spent $77,453 in  conferencd and out-of-state travel since July 1st.  Grants offset the total by $19,594. The mayor’s administration said employees took 34 trips during the first three months of the fiscal year, with 22 trips taken by employees such as police and prosecuting attorneys.  County Finance Director Nancy Crawford told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that travel is down dramatically since the county instituted an expense review committee.

Thirty-year old Anthony S. Poulin has pleaded not guilty of sexually assaulting and drowning his girlfriend’s daughter on September 6th.  According to Third Circuit Court records, Judge Glen Hara ordered a psychiatric examination to determine Poulin’s fitness for trial and ordered doctors to file their examination remarks by October 6th.

(AP).  The first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to serve in Iraq will be allowed to resign from the Army.  First Lt. Ehren Watada is to be discharged during the first week of October.  The Honolulu-born soldier refused to deploy to Iraq with his unit in 2006, saying the war is illegal and that he would be a party to war crimes if he served.  His court-martial ended in a mistrial.

The Department of Water Supply has issued a water conservation notice for Wednesday, October 7th, from 7 am to 4 pm for the area between the Sheraton Keauhou Resort to the Old Kona Airport Park.  The water restriction is needed while HELCO crews replace a transformer at the Kahalu’u Shaft Well.  During the power shut-off, the Department of Water Supply will not be able to pump water from the Kahalu’u Shaft to replenish the water tanks in the area.

The Department of Water Supply announces a water shut-off notice on Wednesday, September 30th, from 8:30 am to 12″30 pm for both sides of Komohana Street, between U’ilani Place and Mauna Iho Place.  The shut-off is needed to do a waterline connection for roadside improvements.

Third Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra has dismissed part of “West Hawaii Today’s” lawsuit agains the Hawaii County Council, but permitted the newspaper’s attorney to call its first witness during a preliminary hearing.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, Judge Ibarra continued the hearing into alleged violations of the  state’s sunshine law until October 16th.  Judge Ibarra cited an earlier State Supreme Court ruling on serial communications for his decision to dismiss part of the charges against the Hawaii County Council.

A man accused of beating another man to death will not get a bail reduction or supervised release.  According to 3rd Circuit Court records, this was the second time Judge Glenn Hara has refused to lower bail for Robert Eain Grant of Pahoa.  Grant is charged with the beating death of Daniel Martina.  Grant remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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