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Hawaii Island News, 23 October 2009


(AP).  Hawaii’s teacher furloughs will begin today as planned after a federal judge refused to block the budget-cutting move.  U.S. District Judge David Ezra said Thursday that halting furloughs just before they begin would cause logistical havoc for the p ublic school system, parents, students and teachers, and could endanger students who showed up for school.

A 4.1 magnitude earthquake shook parts of Hawaii Island around 11:31 Thursday night.  The quake was centered approximately 30 miles offshore and southeast of Pahala.  Hawaii County Civil Defense reports no damage.

More than a century after the death of St. Damien, the priest who served the Hansen’s Disease community on Molokai, the memory of that sacrifice remains strong in the islands.  On Thursday, a sacred relic from the priest entered the grounds of the Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church in Hilo to the sound of the conch shell and bells.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, a bone from the saint’s right foot will be at the St. Joseph Church in Hilo until 9 pm today (Friday).

A Hilo jury has indicted Cynthia Edwards, a former fugitive extradited from Hawaii to Florida, for first and second degree theft.  Deputy prosecutor Rick Damerville told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that Edwards allegedly stole around $9,000 in food stamp benefits and approximately $28,000 in supplemental security income benefits from the Social Security Administration.

(AP).  Hurricane Neki has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane as it spins far out in the central Pacific.  Neki’s maximum sustained winds have dropped to near 90 mph with additional weakening expected today.  The hurricane is centered about 415 miles west of Lihue, Kauai, and moving north-northeast at 9 mph.  The storm is not expected to threaten Hawaii.

Future road closure.  There will be a road closure on the corner of Mamo and Keawe Streets for the demolition of the Mamo Hotel, which is adjacent to the downtown Hilo KTA store.  The area will close on November 8th from 7am to 6 pm.  For details, call GW Construction at 966-4582.

Waiakea High School will have its annual HOmecoming Parade on Friday, October 30th, beginning at 4:00 pm from the Sparky Kawamoto Swim Stadium.  The parade will end at Wong Stadium at 4:45 pm.  Road on the parade route may be blocked off from 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm.

This weekend’s “Community Focus” program will feature an interview with author, investment counselor, and economist Jim Rogers.  Rogers will discuss the future of the U.S. economy, the weakening of the U.S. dollar, and possibility of rampant inflation by the year 2010.  “Community Focus” airs Saturday, 5:00 am, on KBIG-FM and Native-FM, and on Sunday, 5:00 am on KAPA-FM.