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Hawaii Island News, 20 October 2009


Fire rescue crews are continuing their search for a Kailua-Kona woman who has been missing since Sunday morning in the coastline area of the Ocean Thermal Lab.  A vehicle belonging to Tomoko Ioh was found unattended Sunday evening near OTEC.

(AP).  At a time when President Barack Obama is pushing for more time in the classroom, his home state of Hawaii has created the nation’s shortes school year.  Hawaii public schools will close on most Fridays for the rest of the school year under a union contract that whacks 17 days from the schedule for budget-cutting reasons.  The first furlough Friday is this week.

(AP).  Six of seven units of Hawaii’s largest state employee union have ratified a new two-year contract that calls for 42 furlough days through June 2011.  The Hawaii Government Employees Association announced the vote last night after three days of voting.  The union represents about 29,500 state workers, many of them white-collar employees.

Hawaii County police are investigating a burglary over the weekend at Ka’u High School.  According to police, someone broke into a classroom and took nine black Lenovo laptop computers valued at $4,491.  Those with information on this case should call police.

A recent county audit has found the lack of program goals, internal controls, and effective communication has prevented efficient use of more than $50 million in highway maintenance money.  Legislative Auditor Colleen Schrandt tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” her critique of the Highway Fund will be presented before the county council’s finance committee this morning at 9:30.

A hurricane warning could be issued for Johnston Island today as Tropical Storm Neki approaches the island southwest of the Big Island.  The National Weather Service says Neki is well to the southwest of the state and presents no threat to Hawaii.

Former Honolulu Police Department Deputy Chief Warren Ferreira has been appointed Director of Campus Security at UH-Hilo.  A resident of Hilo, Ferreira brings more than 40 years of law enforcement and security experience to the University.  Following his retirement from the Honolulu Police Department, he served as corporate director of security for Outrigger Hotels.

The State Board of Land and Natural Resources has given initial approval to a plan to faarm-raise ahi and is expected to issue a formal permit on Friday that would allow a tuna farm 3 miles west of the Kohala coastline.  According to data quoted by the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the fish would be held in up to 12 unteathered ocean spheres, consisting of aluminum and polyethylene cages 165 feet across and sumberged 65 feet below the ocean surface.  Each cage would hold up to 20,000, 100-pound tuna and would produce 1,000 tons of ahi each year.

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