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Hawaii Island News, 12 October 2009


A 19th century priest whose courageous work with Hansen’s Disease patients on Molokai has been likened to the efforts of those battling the stigma of AIDS was elevated to sainthood Sunday by Pope Benedict XVI.   Among the 10,000 pilgrims packing St. Peter’s Basilica was Hawaii resident Audrey Toguchi, an 80-year old retired school teacher whose recovery from lung cancer a decade ago stunned her doctor and was ruled a miracle from Father Damien by the Vatican.

Police tell the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that they’ve wrapped up their investigation into a Puna woman’s death and have turned the case over to prosecutors.  Captain Randall Medieros said police believe they know who killed 21-year old Kaycee Smith and why.  Medeiros said the investigation is complete and the name of the suspect has been turned over to the prosecutors for their review.

Police are investigating reports from the Hilo International Airport that green lasers were aimed at aircraft cockpits Wednesday and Thursday evening.  Police say it is dangerous to aim laser pointers at any aircraft.  Those with leads in this case should call police at 935-3311.

Big Island State Senator Dwight Takamine and Big Island State Representative Mark Nakashima will host a community meeting with State Librarian Richard Burns at the Laupahoehoe Library on Wednesday, October 14th, at 5:30 pm.  They’ll be discussing plans for restricting library hours, partial closures, and how community efforts may help to sustain current library services.

The County’s Traffic Division wants to make sure that island streetes are safe for trick-or-treaters this Halloween by distributing reflective bags to children and by asking you to report street lights that are not working properly.  Big Island school children from kindergarten to fifth grade will each receive a reflective Halloween trick-or-treat bag as part of a traffic safety program.  If a street light in your neighborhood isn’t working, call the Department of Public Works at 961-8341.

Motorists are advised that the wooden Kawainui Stream Bridge on the Old Mamalahoa Highway Scenic Route north of Hilo will be closed for repairs beginning today, October 12th.  Residents should us the Hawaii Belt Road to get to Kulaimano and Kukuikea.  Repairs are expected to be completed by early December, weather permitting.  For more information, call the Road Work Hotline at 334-9559.

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Please submit your public service announcements at least two weeks ahead of time.  You can send community notes and events to: or to our fax line–935-0396.