Hawaii County Finance Director Nancy Crawford tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that county tax collections will fall $22 million to $193.2 million for the fiscal year starting July 1st. In her letter to the newspaper, Crawford says figures may be changed depending on adjustments and appeals. Earlier, Mayor Billy Kenoi said that he’ll propose higher tax rates in an amended spending request he’ll send to the county council on May 5th.
A Pahoa man accused of killing another man in a dispute over a cheap beer will spend 20 years in prison. Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara told Robert Grant that due a lengthy history of violence and intoxication, he’d run the risk that somebody was going to get seriously injured. In December, a jury convicted Grant of manslaughter for the death of Daniel Martina.
A 44-year old Hilo man has admitted in court that he raped a woman on the Hilo Bayfront. In a plea agreement with prosecutors, Achuo Miweni pleaded guilty to kidnapping and second degree sex assault for an attack last July 25th on a 29-year old woman who accepted a ride from him. Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara ordered Miweni to appear for sentencing on June 22nd. Miweni, who has no prior record, could receive five years probation, including up to 18 months in jail.
A funeral service for the co-founder of the Merrie Monarch Festival and a world-reknown hula legend will be held on Saturday, April 17th, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hilo. Friends of “Auntie Dottie” Thompson can call from 8 a.m. until mass at noon. Entombment will follow the church service at Homelani Memorial Park Mausoleum. Thompson, who died March 19th at age 88, helped establish the Merrie Monarch Festival and served as its executive director.
The North Hawaii Community Hospital tells the “Honolulu Advertiser” that it will lay off 13-full and part-time staff members to cope with continued operating loses. the Waimea-based health care facility said the cuts wil occur this month and has offered affected workers a package that includes 20 hours of severance for each year of service, medical and dental insurance through the end of May, and access to counseling.
The Hawaii County Council has passed a measure that would ban motorists from smoking while a child is in the same vehicle. Supporters of the measure said that second hand smoke is especially harmful to the developing respiratory systems of children. If the council passes the bill a second time, the measure would be sent to Mayor Billy Kenoi for his signature.
Notice to motorists: Hawaiian Telcom plans to close Palani Road at night beginning on Monday, April 19th, as workers remove cables and poles. This work is part of Hawaii County’s Palani Road Safety improvements project under the Department of Public Works. Palani Road from Uluaoa to Konalani will be closed from approximately 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. from April 19th through April 22nd for the final phase of the work.
Community News: The Kona Music Society is having TWO FREE concerts, April 17th and April 18th. Both concerts will be held at theHualalai Academy Bridge Room at the end of Kealakaa Street. Saturday’s concert begins at 7 p.m. Sunday’s concert begins at 4 p.m.
Community News: Attention young adults, ages 13-23. Do you want to be heard? Speak up on Friday, May 7th, from 7-9 p.m., at the East Hawaii Cultural Center. You could win up to $100 worth of prizes. For details, call Cedrick at 895-0135.
Community News: Celebrate a “Legacy of Leadership” at the 2010 St. Joseph Scholl Cardinal Ball honoring outstanding alumni leaders. The Ball will be held Sunday, April 25th, at the Imiloa Astronomy Center, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. For information, call St. Joseph School at 933-1459.