(Honolulu Star Bulletin). The 58-year-old San Jose, California man suspected of murdering his 52-year old girlfriend at a Kailua-Kona resort was identified as William Brill, a well known labor activist. Though they have not ruled him out as a suspect, Big Island police released Brill on Monday after conferring with prosecutors, and he is free to leave the state. The victim;s family said Brill is a San Jose civil service commissioner, a former police and fire retirement board member, and a union representative for Pacific Gas & Electric. Detectives are continuing their investigation into Karen Marie Celaya’s fatal fall at the Royal Kona Resort and are asking for witnesses to come forward.
Realtor Gretchen Lambeth tells “West Hawaii Today” that the real estate market has reached bottom, saying “the economy as a whole is getting much more stable.” However, appraiser Larry Baird is a bit more cautious. While Baird agrees the market is showing signs of improvement, he feels the market won’t bottom out until the rate of short sales and foreclosures slows down.
University of Hawaii officials believe the soliciting of bids for a road to access a permanent West Hawaii campus could come as early as this week. With funds released by Governor Lingle, the proposed extension would run from Kaiminani Drive to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway and then on to the new University of Hawaii Center at West Hawaii. Hawaii Community College Chancellor Rockne Freitas tells “West Hawaii Today” that the ground breaking for the access road could be done by early summer. He was unsure of the completion date.
(AP). Candy or ice cream sales would be banned at Hawaii public schools under a measure that’s close to passing the state legislature. The state Senate approved the bill 21-2 on Monday. The legislation says candy and ice cream have minimal nutritional value, and that state law should comply with nutrition guidelines to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity.
(AP). The state Board of Education and the Hawaii State Teachers Association have announced a tentative agreement to eliminate the 21 remaining teacher furlough days for this school year and the next year. The plan would require $92 million in state money to abolish the remaining four furlough days this year and 11 from next year. An additional six furlough days would be scheduled on exisiting non-instructional days. Governor Linda Lingle floated her own $62 million proposal Tuesday that would hinge elimination of 21 furlough days with legislative approval for placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot. That measure would give a governor the authority to appoint the state schools superintendent.
(Honolulu Advertiser). State and county buildings will fly the Hawaii state flag at half-staff on Sundy in honor of the late Cec Heftel. Heftel, a former Hawaii congressman and media executive, passed away last month. A memorial service honoring Heftel’s life will be held Sunday at the Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu.[polldaddy poll=2948620]