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Hawaii Island News, 23 March 2010


Nearly 100 Hilo residents showed up at the County Council’s budget hearing Monday evening to show support for the Hawaii County Band and the West Hawaii Band.  Mayor Billy Kenoi has asked the council to cut funding for the musical organization because of the county’s financial problems.  Among the almost sixty speakers presenting testimony was former mayor Harry Kim, who asked the council not to take away part of the island’s cultural and artistic fabric.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, many of those presenting testimony criticized county government for ignoring the arts and destroying the island’s culture and history.

A county employee, who reprtedly defrauded the county out of more than $20,000 in unworked overtime is appealing his termination.  According to the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”, the employee worked in the West Hawaii Office of the Department of Environmental Management.  Ivan Torigoe, the deputy director of the department, said he couldn’t discuss the case until the grieveance process is done.

Hawaii Island police tell KITV-4 that they have opened an investigation following a fatal fall from a Kailua-Kona hotel room Saturday at 10:17 p.m.  Police arrested a man after learning about reports from hotel guests of an alleged argument coming from the room he was sharing with the female victim.  Anyone with leads in this case should call police at 326-4646.

(AP).  The founder and owner of Volcano Island Honey Company on the Big Island says he went into shock when he found varroa mites in a few of his bee colonies at the start of the year.  Richard Spiegel says the mites that feed on honey bees are moving across the island faster than expected.  The mites were first detected on the Big Island in August 2008.  Their feeding weakens adult bees and causes emerging bees to be deformed.

Hawaii Island fire crews tell the “Honolulu Advertiser” that arson is suspected in a fire that did $110,000 damage to a Pahoa home Saturday night.  Firefighters responding to the 8:30 p.m. alarm found the three-bedroom house on South Puni Mauka Loop engulfed in flames.  The fire was put out and the investigation found that the fire appeared to be suspicious.

The Honokaa People’s Theatre will host a special benefit for Haiti on Wednesday, March 24th, at 6 p.m.  There will be a lecture-demonstration of Haitian Dance, drum music, silent auction, and door prizes.  100 percent of the proceeds will go to “Save the Children Haiti Foundation”.  Tickets are $10 at the door.

(AP).  State lawmakers are urging President Barack Obama to put his future presidential library in Hawaii, where he was born and raised.  The House Tourism, Culture, and International Affairs Committee urged Obama to choose Hawaii as the location for the library, which will serve as the repository for the document, records, and artifacts of his presidency.  The resolution would be mailed to Obama if it’s approved by the full HOuse, which appears likely because 47 of 51 state representatives have signed on to it.  Republican state representative Barbara Marumoto said the resolution is truly bipartisan and should be approved.

The Hawaii Counts 2010 Census Road Tour visits the Kohala Banyan Tree at 8 a.m., Kawaihae and Spenser’s at 11 a.m., and the Parker Ranch Marketplace at 3 p.m.

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