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Hawaii Island News, 09 March 2010


(AP).  A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has rattled Hawaii’s Big Island, but no damages or injuries have been reported.  The U.S. Geological Survey says the temblor hit at 6:30 p.m.  Monday, and was centered 13 miles southwest of Laupahoehoe and 20 miles west-northwest of Hilo.  Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Quince Mento tells the “Honolulu Advertiser” that there were no reports of damage or injuries.  The USGS says the earthquake did not generate a tsunami.

Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason has introduced a measure that would make it illegal to smoke in any motor vehicle occupied by someone under the age of 18.  Mayor Billy Kenoi tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” he has not seen the bill, but awaits public debate of the proposal.  Hamakua Councilman Dominic Yagong says he’d like to postpose discussion of the bill until the budget crisis of the county is resolved.

The Bay Clinic is bucking a national trend of reducing health care services for the poor.  Bay Clinic CEO Paul Strauss tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the clinic bases its business on patient visit volume, and today that total is running 20 percent ahead of averages last year.  To meet the increased need for medical services, the nonprofit clinic’s annual budget has grown by $3 million in the last two years to a total of $11 million.

The county Department of Environmental Management is compacting the Hilo landfill a bit more and may be able to get another eight years of service from the facility.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the economic downturn has helped extend the life fo the landfill, since there is less construction and other debris than anticipated.  Environmental Management Director Lono Tyson says he’ll be seeking a consultant to conduct a cost and feasibility study for putting a lined landfill on 60 acres adjacent to quarries in the landfill area.

(AP).  The state will be spending $17 million for capital improvement projects and new construction at public schools on Maui, Lanai, Oahu, and the Big Island.  Among the projects is a one million dollar effort to design and build a new gymnasium at Hilo High School.

(AP).  A Big Island man fatally injured in a traffic accident has been identified by police as 28-year old Kimo K. Elderts of Hilo.  According to police, Elderts was pronounced dead Saturday at Kona Community Hospital a few hours after a two-car crash hours earlier on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway.  Police say Elderts was traveling north when he crossed the centerline and hit a southbound vehicle.  The 21-year old Kailua-Kona woman driving the other vehicle as flown to Queen’s Medical Center.  Her passenger, a 28-year old man from Kamuela, was admitted to the North Hawaii Community Hospital.

(AP).  Big Island police are renewing their request for the public’s help in finding information about the fatal poisoning a dog valued at $2,500.  According to police, a Hilo man reported his English mastiff began throwing up and died on November 16th.  A veterinarian who performed a post-mortem examination on the dog found chunks of potato containing rat poison.  Those with information on the case should call police at 935-3311.

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