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Big Island Police Plan 20-30 DUI Checkpoints – County Offers Share-Ride Taxi Coupons for Bar Patrons

The Hawai‘i County Mass Transit Agency announces that shared-ride taxi coupons are available for purchase in bulk by bar owners for patrons who may be too impaired to safely drive home. To encourage utilization of the program and to help bar owners prepare for the Labor Day weekend, the County will be providing 10 free coupons to bar owners making their first purchase of at least 10 coupons now through August 30.

Choose Your Ride

File photo (prices have changed)

“We’ve gotten great feedback from bar owners during shared-ride taxi coupon promotions in the past,” said Tiffany Kai, Mass Transit Administrator. “While the Labor Day weekend is a great time to roll this program out, we’re glad that we can now make this resource available to interested bar owners year-round.”

For as little as $2, a shared-ride coupon will cover a taxi ride of up to 4 miles with a participating company. A change to the administrative rules that govern the shared-ride taxi program was made in June to allow agencies, organizations, and businesses with a compelling interest in the safe point-to-point transport of their clients or patrons – such agencies helping clients get to work, organizations serving people with mobility challenges, or establishments serving alcohol providing a responsible alternative to driving home under the influence – to purchase these coupons in bulk. Purchases by individuals for personal use are unaffected by this rule change.

Impaired driving presents a potential danger to every motorist, passenger and pedestrian the driver encounters. Already this year, the Hawaiʻi Police Department has made more than 700 DUI arrests, and 12 of the 21 traffic fatalities this year involved drugs and/or alcohol. HPD will increase enforcement of drunk driving as part of a national campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” which runs August 16 through September 2. During the campaign, police will conduct 20-30 sobriety checkpoints island wide.

For more information or to purchase shared-ride taxi coupons, contact the Mass Transit Agency at 961-8343.

HawaiiCon Early Pre-Sales Offers Mega Deals

Today HawaiiCon announced the start of early pre-sale tickets to their highly anticipated science, sci-fi and fantasy convention.

Hawaii Con 2014

HawaiiCon is scheduled for September 12-15, 2014 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Resort.  Pre-sales, via Kickstarter, give members big breaks on hotel rooms and Con passes.  Three night hotel packages with convention pass will start at only $595. For a 3-day pass without hotel, prices start as low as $75. Getting in on these pre-sale deals assures members the best experiences HawaiiCon has to offer.  Attendance will be limited to 2,500. Once the pre-sale is sold out, regular costs are $250 for the Con pass and $795 for the pass plus hotel and up.

Discount Passes and hotel packages are available here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/289378015/hawaiicon

In additional to the usual panels and workshops in the convention rooms, HawaiiCon will also provide members the unique opportunity to go on tours, share a luʻau or go to the beach with their favorite stars.

HawaiiCon founder, GB Hajim, says, ”We want to create a unique event that will set us apart from other Cons, to give folks both the feeling of ʻOhana and an inspirational experience that only can be found through the adventures that the Big Island offers.”

The signed list of celebrities continues to grows every week: Torri Higginson, Rachel Luttrell, Paul McGillion, and Andee Frizzell from Stargate: Atlantis are scheduled to appear for a 10th year reunion, along with Claudia Christian and Patricia Tallman from Babylon 5 and voice actress Cree Summer (Drawn Together). David Franklin is coming for 15th reunion of Farscape.  More actors and actresses will be added in the next few weeks. Panelists and workshop experts include world reknown Mars mission scientists, Hawaiian cultural experts, cosplay designers, robotics teams, astronomers, and aerospace experts.

HawaiiCon expects to add $1-2 million to the islandʻs economy in its first year and grown 15-20% per year.

Hawaii Con Group


HawaiiCon is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase public awareness of science, the science fiction genre, and mythologies, past and present, which guide humanity.  HawaiiCon will emphasize education and uniquely Hawaiian contributions to science, including navigation and ensure that Native Hawaiian culture is accorded an honored place in the conversation of science and science fiction.

HawaiiCon founder is GB Hajim, Producer and Director of the award winning film, Strange Frame.  The Board of Directors is made up of Performing Arts Learning Center Director Jackie Seaquist, Realtor Jessica Hall, Dave Steiner, owner of Hawaii White Mountain Coffee Company, and UH-Hilo Communications student Jessie Minick.

HawaiiCon has partnered with the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Big Island Visitors Bureau, Gemini Telescope, Big Island Film Commission, and Imiloa Astronomy Center, with more organizations coming aboard every day.

Follow HawaiiCon on FaceBook at: facebook.com/HawaiiCon and Twitter: @HawaiiCon


Father and Son Arrested After Shots Fired in Puna

Two Puna men are in police custody on suspicion of reckless endangering after police received reports of shots being fired Wednesday night (August 21) in a residential neighborhood in Puna.

Peter Lopes

Peter Lopes

Shortly after 9 p.m. police responded to Nenue Street in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision, where they arrested 63-year-old Peter Lopes and 45-year-old Peter Lopes Jr., both of Pāhoa.

No one was injured in the shooting.

Both men were taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Video Conferencing Brings Social Security Services Back To West Hawai’i Civic Center

A video conferencing service launched today is connecting West Hawai’i residents with the nearest Social Security office – a two-hour drive away. The service, provided by the Social Security Administration, AARP volunteers, and the County of Hawai’i, will allow most people to conduct their Social Security business without making the trip to Hilo.
A video conferencing service launched today is connecting West Hawai'i residents with the nearest Social Security office – two hours away in Hilo

A video conferencing service launched today is connecting West Hawai’i residents with the nearest Social Security office – two hours away in Hilo

 After the Social Security Kona satellite office was closed last year, West Hawai’i residents who needed direct assistance had to make the four hour round trip drive to Hilo to get answers to their questions and handle routine business, such as ordering a duplicate Social Security card.
Coordination between the Social Security Administration, AARP Hawai’i, the Hawai’i Executive Office on Aging’s Sage PLUS program, the office of Senator Mazie Hirono, the County of Hawai’i Department of Information Technology, and the office of Mayor Billy Kenoi made this service possible to serve the needs of the West Hawai’i community.
The video conferencing will be held the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the West Hawai’i Civic Center. No appointments are necessary. On a first come first served basis, constituents are escorted into a room to chat privately over a secure connection with a Social Security representative in the Hilo office.
“Social Security simply does not have enough manpower to provide the services. We’re happy to partner with Social Security to provide the services and make it available to the community on this side of the island,” said Ken Guerra, an AARP volunteer who was among those manning the site today. “Without this service, people would have to make the drive to Hilo. It’s a major inconvenience, a long drive. With this, they can just come to the West Hawai’i Civic Center and connect immediately with the office.”
Maureen McIntyre, who just moved to Kona from New Hampshire, needed to order a replacement Social Security card in order to get her Hawai’i driver license. She was directed from the driver license office just a few yards away in the West Hawai’i Civic Center to the Social Security video conferencing room. “I’ve never lived in a place where all the offices were located in one spot. It just makes it so much easier to get plugged into a new community. This is fabulous.”

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Murder

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a fatal stabbing in Puna that occurred Wednesday night (August 21).

At 10:44 p.m., police and Fire Department personnel responded to a reported stabbing at a residence on Kawakawa Street in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision.

Upon arrival, police found a 42-year-old man with stab wounds. Fire Department personnel took him to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:30 p.m. His name is being withheld pending notification of his family.

Manaolanalai Benford

Manaolanalani Benford

At the scene, police arrested 27-year-old Manaolanalani Benford of Pāhoa on suspicion of second-degree murder. She is being held at the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.