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Hawaii Island News, 04 November 2009


(AP).  A Big Island man convicted of drunken driving for the 14th time has been sentenced to one year in jail.  But the judge is allowing 63-year old Henry Moniz, Jr. of Hilo to serve his sentence on weekends.  Deputy County Prosecutor Jason Skier says he’s extremely disappointed with the sentence.

Police are asking for your help in finding 15-year old Meghan Olcott, who was reported missing from her Hilo home Sunday evening.  Meghan is 5′ 5″, weighs 128 pounds, and has curly red hair and blue eyes.  If you have any leads, call police at 935-3311.

Hawaii Island Real Estate is taking a beating from the weakening U.S. economy.  Real Estate agent John Miller tells “West Hawaii Today” the decline in the number and  median price of homes being sold is faster and deeper than any of the other cycles.  Miller says he has seen homes sell for half of what the same property sold for several years ago.  Miller doesn’t expect the housing crisis to reach bottom for at least a year.

Road and Highway Builders have begun improvement work on the Saddle Road with construction centered on an area between mileposts 11 through 19.  The contractor advises motorists to expect delays up to 15 minutes and that the speed limit will be reduced to 25 mph through teh construction zone.

Police are asking for your help in a sexual assault investigation.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, a woman was waiting for a ride on the makai side of Kuakini Highway around 1 a. m. Sunday when four unknown men attacked her, causing multiple injuries to her face and neck.  During the attack, at least one of the men sexually assaulted her.  Anyone with leads should call police at 935-3311.

America’s Read Aloud Program at Konawaena Elementary School and Hookena Elementary School continues to grow, with 536 participants enrolled as of mid-October.  Lt. Governor Duke Aiona, who is a strong advocate for literacy in our schools, will be the special guest at Hookena School this Thursday.  In supporting the read aloud program, the Lt. Governor said “no matter how small or large the school is, we want this program to go to every school in the state.”

According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”,  a letter sent Tuesday to parents of Keaau High School students says more suspensions and/or arrests are expected to occur this week in connection with campus disturbances on October 28th.  The letter from acting principal Ron Jarvis says police and school officials will review security camera footage and witness statements in an attmept to identify students who instigated and/or encouraged the fights.

Members of the County Council’s Public Works and Intergovernmental Relations Committee have endorsed a measure to extend free Hele On Bus service for another year.  The bill extending the “kokua zone” program now goes to the full council for expected approval later this month.  Mass Transit Agency administrator Tom Brown told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the program has had a tremendous impact on the quality of life of island residents.  Brown added that the fee service provides an alternative to the private automobile and improves the environment by reducing the number of cars on the road.