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Hawaii Island News, 24 November 2009


The Federal Highways Administration and the Hawaii State Department of Transportation have authorized Hawaii County to bukld the Ane Keohokalole Highway using $35 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.   Hawaii County now has five years to complete the initial phase of what is also referred to as the Mid-Level Road, a 1.7 mile roadway from the intersection of Palani Road and Henry Street to the Keealakehe Parkway, and a third of a mile of improvements on Palani Road between the Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Henry Street.

In an effort to reduce the number of impaired drivers on Hawaii Island roads during the holiday season, Mayor Billy Kenoi has reinstated the Holiday Shared Ride Taxi Program.  Under the program, free taxi rides will be offered for the first time in both East and West Hawaii for drivers unable to drive home.  The mayor told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that police will set up DUI checkpoints and increase enforcement of drunken dring laws.

Closing arguments are expected today in the case of a Waikoloa hotel worker accused of killing a co-worker.  According to records obtained by the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Harold Hall, a rebuttal witness for the prosecution, testified in Hilo Circuit Court that 56-year old Lito Mateo executed Tito Rafol due to Rafol’s eight year afffair with Mateo’s wife.  The defense maintains that Mateo was under the influence of EMED when the shooting occurred.  If the jury agrees, Mateo could be acquited or convicted of a lesser charge.

(AP). Honolulu police say an alert issued about a possible child abduction and seen on television stations and heard on radio stations in the area was a mistake,  Pokice spokeswoman Michelle Yu said Monday the message should’ve been issued as a  test, but was sent in error as a real alert.  Teh program is patterned after trhe Amber Alert System on the mainland.

(AP).  A Maui man accused of selling military secrets to China has been found competent to stand trial.  U.S. Magistrate Kevin S.C. Chang says Noshir Gowadia’s personality may make him a difficult defendant, but says that Gowadia’s unwillingness to thoroughly consult with his lawyers does not equate with an inability to do so.

Night roadwork continues in South Kona.  The work, which began on November 15th, will continue through  November 25th.   The project will smooth rough sections in three areas of Highway 11.  Resurfacing work on Highway 11 is expected to begin early next month.

(AP).  Two thousand doses of swine flum vaccine have arrived in American Samoa.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shipped the doses to the island–a territory of the United States.  American Samoa Health Department Director Dr. Salamo Laumoli says 132 agency managers and staff workers were the first to get the vaccine.