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Hawaii Island News, 01 December 2009


(AP).  The last defendant in the Pali Golf Course murders case has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  Forty-year-old Ethan Motta was sentenced for  his role in the 2004 shootings at the Windward Oahu golf course that left two men dead and a third wounded.  Federal prosecutors have said the violence resulted from a dispute between two security groups for an illegal gambling operation.

Mountain View PUblic & School Library will close temporarily beginning today, December 1st, for interior renovation and maintenance.  The book drop will also be closed.  An announcement will be made when the library is scheduled to reopen.

Today, the state of Hawaii will observe annual World AIDS day.  Special events are scheduled statewide in recognition of this worldwide pandemic.  The Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation will host a Memorial Service at 5:00 p.n. today at the Sumo Ring in the Queen Liliuokalani Park along Banyan Drive.  “Living Positive in Hawaii”, a phot exhibit of HIV positive individuals in Hawaii, will be displayed at Kona Community Hospital, the Kohala Hospital, and at Hospice of Kona.

(AP).  The U.S. Department of Agriculutre has designated the Big Island a primary natural disaster area, because of losses farmers suffered from volcanic emissions this year.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsac, said that he and President Barack Obama understand the emissions from Kilauea caused serious harm to farms.  Vilsack says the designation will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses in the cut flower and fresh produce industries.  The Big Island was designated a natural disaster area November 24th.  The action makes qualified Big Island farm operators eligible for  low interest emergency loans from the department’s Farm Service Agency.

(AP).  Maui fire officials have called off the search for a couple who went missing after they left the Hotel Hana-Maui on Thanksgiving night.  Officials said Monday that three days of searching failed to find a trace of Carl and Rae Linquist, both 75.  Their SUV was found wrecked on Saturday.  It was in a  streambed, about 100 yards from the ocean, near their home on Ulaino Road.  Officials believe the vehicle was swept into the stream after a heavy rainstorm on Thanksgiving Day.

A trial has been set for a 21-year old Hilo man accused of negligent homicide in a car-pedestrian accident that killed Stanette Medeiros of Kapaau more than a year ago in North Kohala.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, Joshua Argel pleaded not guilty on November 21st before Circuit Court Judge Glenn Hara.  Argel faces charges of negligent homicide, DUI under 21, causing an accident involving serious injury or death, and underage drinking.  Police said Argel fled the scene, but later returned.

The state Department of Transportation will hold two public meetings to discuss updates to the “Hawaii Commercial Harbors 2020 Master Plan”.  The first meeting will be held Thursday, December 10th, 5:30 p.m., at Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale in Hilo.  The second meeting will be held in Kawaihae, Monday, December 14th, 5:30 p.m., at the Hamakua Macadamia Nut Factory on Maluokalani Street.