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Hawaii Island News, 14 April 2010


(Honolulu Advertiser).  Two Pahoa men were indicted by a Honolulu grand jury last week on three felony charges stemming from a marijuana cultivation case at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  Andre K. Victor, 23, and Mano A. White, 20, were charged with conspiring to cultivate/distribute marijuana, possession/cultivation of marijuana, and intent to distribute marijuana.  They will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.

(Honolulu Advertiser).  A contingent of visitor industry and government officials flew to Tokyo yesterday to meet with Japan Airlines officials and press their case for keeping a Narita-Kona flight that JAL is considering canceling.  The Kona route is one of 20 international flights JAL is thinking about shutting down because of low passenger loads.  Mayor Billy Kenoi said JAL is contributing to the economic well-being of our entire island community, from our hotel workers and tour drivers to our small shops and restaurants.  According to Hawaii Tourism Authority data, the Big Island draws more Japanese visitors annually than any island but Oahu.

(AP).  A Pahoa man convicted of killing another man in a dispute over cheap beer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.  A jury convicted Robert Grant of manslaughter in December in the death of 47-year old Daniel Martina.  Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara sentecnced Grant on Monday, city the 37-year-old’s lengthy history of intoxication and violence.  Martina died six days after his head hit the ground amid the dispute.

Hawaii Permanente Medical Group is planning to open a South Kona office by September.  Spokesperson Lynn Kenton tells “West Hawaii Today” that the health maintenance organization has signed a lease for property in Captain Cook.  Kenton says the office will offer primary care and obstetrics/gynecology service at the office.  Kenton says details about the clinic are not yet available, because the plan is still being revised by Kaiser health officials.

The federal government is awarding $1.7 million in conservation grants for projects on Molokai and in North Kona.  Most of the money will go toward the preservation of the Kainalu forest watershed on the eastern end of Molokai.  A separate grant monitored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will help the state protect endangered species in game mammal management areas of North Kona.

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 ban said that secon 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.

Notice to motorists:  There will be a partial road closure of Waianuenue Avenue in Hilo from Tuesday, April 20th through Friday, April 23rd.  Vehicles going up Waianuenue Avenue will be redirected through Rainbow Drive.  Vehicles coming down Waianuenue will be able to continue as mormal.  Security guards will yield to all police and emergency response vehicles, allowing them to pass through in both directions.

Community News:  The Hawaii Island Land Trust & Surfrider Foundation Hawaii present “The Wild and Scenic Film Festival” on Saturday, April 17th, 7:30 p.m., at the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu.  For details, call 1-808-430-4994.

Community News:  The week of April 11th through April 17th is “National Telecommunicators Week.”  The Hawaii Fire Department takes this opportunity to recognize and appreciate the tireless dedication of our highly trained 9-1-1 operators.  Fire Radio Dispatchers are the first responders to all 911 calls and thorugh they work behind the scenes, they are an essential part of the Fire Department’s emergency response team.

Community News:  Celebrate a “Legacy of Leadership” at the 2010 Saint Joseph School Cardinal Ball honoring outstanding alumni leaders.  The event will be held on Sunday, April 25th at the Imiloa Astronomy Center, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.  For details, call St. Joseph School at 933-1459

Community News:  Punana Leo O Waimea is hosting  its 2nd Annual Pig Hunting Tournament and Fundraiser this Saturday, April 17th, at the Punana Leo O Waimea Preschool, located behind the Hawaiian Homes Hall.  For details, call 885-7166.