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Hawaii Island News, 26 December 2009


(AP).  A Big Island man convicted of manslaughter is to be sentenced March 9th.  A jury convicted 37-year old Robert Eain Grant earlier this week for the 2008 death of 47 year old Daniel Martina.  Two witnesses testified Grant and Martina got into a confrontation when Grant offered beers to them but not to Martina.

(AP).  The Salvation Army says the highlight of its bellringing campaign in Hawaii this year was the donation of a gold coin with an estimated value of $1,200.  Division commander Major Edward Hill said Thursday that the Salvation Army is grateful to the anonymous donor who dropped a 1979 Krugerrand in a red kettle in Koloa on Kauai.

To accommodate the large volume normally disposed of on the day after Christmas and New Year’s, all County of Hawaii solid waste recycling and transfer stations will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. today, December 26th, and Saturday, January 2nd.  These special hours will apply to these two days only, and normal Saturday hours will resume on Saturday, January 9th, 2010.  All other solid waste rules and regulations apply.  For details, call the solid waste division at 961-8515.

The former Kulani prison is being converted into a vocational school for teens at risk.  State officials tell the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that there are plans to hire staff members early next year and to enroll the first class in 2011.  Brigadier General Gary Ishikawa  says he wants to expedite the mandatory training time by getting help from employees at the Kalaeloa, Oahu academy that opened 15 years ago.  Ishikawa believes hiring can start in February or March, whith most of the new staff being recruited from the Hilo area.

The Hawaii County Council will re-introduce a bill prohibiting businesses from handing out plastic bags at the point of sale.  Councilman Pete Hoffman tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the proposed legislation is not an outright ban, but an effort to reduce plastic bag distribution.  If the proposed bill is approved, it would become law on January 11th, 2011.  Businesses would be prohibitied from giving plastic checkout bags to their customers.  Paper and reusable bags would not be affected.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources will close the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve and Kaohe Game Management Area on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 to conduct animal control activities, specifically aerial shooting from helicopters for feral goats and sheep.  These grazing animals cause soil erosion and degrade the environment for mamane trees, which nourish the endemic Palila Bird.  Carcasses taken during the shoot will be available for salvage by permit only.  To secure a permit, call 974-4221 or 887-6063.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources will close Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area and Kekeaha Kai State Park early on New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31st, 2009.  Both areas will close at 5:30 p.m.  DLNR chairperson Laura H. Thielen says “we are closing the park early to discourage the use of fireworks, which is prohibited in state parks, and to protect the public and natural resources of the area”.  Normal park hours wil resume on Thurday,  January 1st, 2010.