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Hawaii Island News, 15 December 2009


The Pacific Tsunami  Warning Center reported a 3.6 magnitude earthquake on the south flank of Kilauea at 7:21 last night.  No tsunami was generated.

Today, the Hawaii County Council will discuss a resolution that would ask the state legislature to decriminalize marijuana.  North Kona councilman Kelly Greenwell tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that his resolution won’t have the force of law, but would have something more powerful–the “force of influence”.  Greenwell says the resolution is about the crime wave that’s sweeping in this direction right now.

(AP).  The Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for shooting two pregnant cows with arrowsl.  The animals belonging to the Hualalai Ranch had to be euthanized.  Ranch manager Frank Boteilho says each cow was valued at about $1,000.  The first cow was found November 20th.  The second was discovered last Tuesday.  Police believe both were shot in November.  Police have opened an animal cruelty investigation.  Officer Courtney Bello says the arrows the cow were hit with appear to be designed for hunting.

(AP).  The drought-stricken Big Island and Maui have been declared federal  agricultural disaster area.  The disaster declaration by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack means federal financial assistance is available to farmers.  Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka noted in a joint statement that Kona coffee farming country has received only 39 percent of its annual rainfall this year.

Prosecuting Attorney Jay Kimura has announced the sentencing of Laupahoehoe resident Rene Lynn Halsted to ten years in prison for trafficking in crystal methamphetamine.  On June 3rd, members of the Hawaii Police Ice Task Force used search warrrants to find 117 grams of methamphetamine hidden within a Playtex baby bottle liner.  At Halsted’s home, police found $7,560 in cash, 29 grams of methamphetamine, 31.2 grams of marijuana, and 100 Hydrocodone pills.

(AP).  Several Hawaii lawmakers are asking Governor Linda Lingle to spend some $50 million to end public school closures.  The seven Democrats acknowledged in a letter to the governor that other programs would suffer or tax increases would be required to make up for the deficit that would be created, but argued Hawaii’s children shouldn’t suffer from elected officials’ inability to agree on spending priorities.  A labor contract approved by the governor keeps schools closed on many Fridays.

The Department of Water Supply will temporarily turn of water in the Holoholo, Waimea Village and in the Holoholo-Ku area of South Kohala on Thursday, December 17th, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The shut off is necessary to make a waterline connection for the Parker Ranch Connector Road and Pukalani Road Extension project.