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Hawaii Island News, 28 January 2010


Data released by the Hawaii Island Board of Realtors indicate that home sales are coming back, but that other property indicators remain on the down side.  According to the Board of Realtors, the volume of residential home sales rose 4.76 percent over last year.  Jackie Parkinson, the executive officer of the Hawaii Island Board of Realtors, told the “Hawaii Tribune-HErald” that her members are extremly busy because the prices of homes have dropped so low that first-time buyers are coming into the market.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Sheila Wendler told the Hilo Circuit Court that accused murderer Malaki McBride did not have emotional control over his actions when he shot and killed Tyrone Torres almost three years ago.  Dr. Wendler said that McBride’s discovery of someone else having sex with his girlfriend triggered,  unfortunately, the death of Mr. Torres.  McBride, who has admitted to killing Torres, was 17 at the time but is being tried as an adult.

The little fire ant has been confirmed in Kailua-Kona.  The state Department of Agriculture tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the stinging pest was found earlier this month at two locations in Kailua-Kona.  Surveys indicate that the ant may have been in West Hawaii for several years before being detected.

Water rates may go higher, based on a study that shows the county Department of Water Supply is collecting only about 90 percent of its costs.  According to “West Hawaii Today”,  the rate study is the first step in a process that will include a presentation of draft rates in March and public hearings in April in Hilo and in Kailua-Kona.  The Board of Water Supply also wants its consultant to look into phasing out preferential rates for agriculture, a move that is sure to stir debate as the county tries to increase agricultural productivity.

The former owner of the now-defunct Uncle Mikey’s Video Dance Club has refiled a lawsuit against the county, alleging he was forced  to shut down his business after he was harassed by the Police Department, Liquor Control Board, Fire Department, and the Building Department.  George Kai tells “West Hawaii Today” that most of the problem can be traced to unruly patrons at the club’s 2005 “Massive Mele” event.  In his court filing, Kai said he and his security guard, Laster Ford, were restrained and arrested by police.  Although the pair was not charged, they were later charged with disorderly conduct after they filed complaints with the Police Department.

The Director of the county’s Environmental Management Department tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that no new fees or increases for the 2010-2011 budget year will be submitted by his department.  However, Lono Tyson told the Environmental Management Commisson on Wednesday that he will present six new initiatives to the county council that will make the department less dependent on taxes.  The proposals are aimed primarily at commercial haulers who would be required to submit comprehensive waste reduction plans.

Hawaii Community College presents its “E Ola Health and Future Fair” this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the HCC Campus.  The Fair will feature over 40 fun learning and diverse educational exhibits to expand your learneing opportunities and quality of life.  Also featured will be information about promoting healthy choices for our youth and community.

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