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Hawaii Island News, 05 January 2010


New price increases for school lunches take effect today.  According to the state Department of Education, prices for lunch will increase by as much as 76 percent, while prices for breakfast will increase by as much as 171 percent.  The price of a regular lunch will go from $1.25 to $2.20.  DOE school food services director Glenna Owens tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that it costs about $4.40 to feed each student.  Owens says the cost of food has gone up tremendously.

A safety chain would be required when towing any trailer or vehicle on Big Island roads under a bill being considered by the Hawaii County Council.  Finance Director Nancy Crawford tells teh “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that requiriring safety chains will ensure that the level of safety on our roads and highways will be increased.  the full council will discuss the bill at its regular Hilo meeting this Wednesday morning.

Hawaii County registered its first traffic fatality of the new year in the early-morning hours on New Year’s Day.  Police told the “Honolulu Advertiser” that it appears speeding and alcohol were factors in the Big Island’s first traffic death of 2010.  Darcy Aguil of Pahala died Friday after a single-car crash on Pikake Street.  Police said Aguil was travelling south at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his 1994 Nissan sedan just before midnight.  The car hit a parked vehicle.  Aguil, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected.  He was pronounced dead at Kau Hospital early New Year’s Day.

The state Department of Transportation has announced that the Mamalahoa Kona Heritage Corridor, Hawaii’s first scenic byway, has received a $29,140 grant from the Federal Highway Administration, achieving the first in a series of steps required to be designated as a National Scenic Byway.  State DOT Director Brennon Morioka tells  “Hawaii 24/7” that the grant represents years of hard work, collaboration, and commitment to not only preserving, but enhancing, one of the many scenic corridors in the state.

Third Circuit Court Judge Glenn Hara has ruled in favor of Hawaii in dismissing a challenge to the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Mangement Plan.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, Judge Hara agreed with the university’s argument that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear a challenge to the management plan.  Sierra Club spokesman Nelson Ho said he was disappointed, saying this may be a case of justic delayed rather than justice denie.

The owner of a Big Island Dairy farm will install waterbeds to improve the comfort and productivity of his cows.  Island Dairy owner Bahman Sadegh tells the “Honolulu Advertiser” that a cow that is not at peak health will not produce as much milk as a comfortable, relaxed cow.  Sadegh says waterbeds installed in mainland barns have boosted milk production 10 to 20 percent.  Sadegh says waterbeds for cows are an alternative to more traditional straw bedding or sand.  Other improvements Sadegh is adding to his barns include sooting music piped into the barns.

(AP).  Democratic Representative Neil Abercrombie says he’ll resign February 28th to run for governor of Hawaii.  Abercrombie formally announced Monday that he’ll step down from the U.S. House of Representatives.  He says he’s resigning so that he can devote more time to his gubernatorial campaign and allow state elections officials to plan for a special election to replace him.