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Hawaii Island News, 06 February 2010


(AP).  Former Democratic Congressman Cec Heftel of hawaii has died at the age of 85.  Heftel was a broadcast executive before he won Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District seat in 1976.  Heftel remianed in the  House until 1986 when he resigned to run for governor.  He lost the Democratic primary to John Waihee, and blamed the defeat on a last-minue smear campaign.

(AP).  The National Weather Service says Hawaii is the only state under an “extreme drought” declaration.  About three-quarters of the state is experiencing at least moderate drought with Kohala and southern regions of the Big Island, South and West Maui, and the western third of Molokai considered in extreme drought.

A 49-year old Captain Cook woman who allegedly was driving a vehicle that struck a car and killed a 17-month old child has yet to be charged.  Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kim Taniyama told “West Hawaii Today” that police have referred charges to the Prosecutor’s Office and prosecutors are determaining whether enough evidence exists to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  Taniyama said if there is a strong case, prosecutors will file charges against Valereen Kaleohano-Knittle.

The U.S. Census Bureau want to hire more than 450 Hawaii Island residents to help with door-to-door census taking in May.  Hawaii Media Specialists Roberta Wong tells “West Hawaii Today” that the 2000 census got only a 60 percent response rate from Hawaii.  Wong wants that rate to improve by more than 20 percent.  To apply for a census taker position, call 1-866-861-2010.

The Kona Community Hospital’s Chief of Emergency Medicine tells “West Hawaii Today” that the hospital has begun implementing procedures to qualify as an American College of Surgeons-designated Level III trauma center.  Dr. Rich McDowell says that procedures in place since January 1st may not be obvious, but that quicker response time, consistent treatment procedures, and constant training of the trauma team will improve the survivability of patients.  Since the new year, the traume team has been activated 14 times.

Tatau Entertainment presents:  “Big Island Love”, A Benefit for the People of Haiti, on Sunday, February 14th, at the Mixx Bistro in Kailua-Kona.  The event is for those 21 and over and begins at 7 p.m.  Checks should be payable to the Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.

The Hilo March for Babies will be held March 21st at Wailoa State Park.  For details, call 969-1206.

The Big Island Auto Club presents the first drag race of the year on February 20 and February 21 at the Hilo Drag Strip.  Gates open at 7 a.m.

The Governor’s Council of Neighbor Island Advisors for West Hawaii will meet on Wednesday, February 10th, 5:30 p.m., at the Natural Energy Laboratory Gateway Conference Room in Kailua-Kona.  George Applegate, the Big Island Visitors Bureau executive director, will give a presentation and update on Big Island tourism, as well as marketing and sales initiatives planned.  After the presentation, there will be time for questions and answers.

Notice to motorists:  There will be lane closures from Lako Street to Henry Street on Monday, February 8, through Friday, February 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., for pavement marking and highway signage installations.  One lane of traffic in each direction will be open at all times.

Notice to motorists:  In Ninolle, traffic will be contraflowed on the Maulua Stream Bridge between MIddle Road and Ninole Town on Monday, February 8, through Friday, February 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for bridge maintenance.