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Kaʻū Man Arrested on Suspicion of Attempted Murder and Other Offenses

A 62-year-old Kaʻū man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and other offenses in connection with a domestic dispute in May.

Rayner Kinney Jr.

Rayner Kinney Jr.

On May 23, an 85-year-old Ocean View man reported that he had been assaulted the day before and again that day by Rayner Kinney Jr. during arguments at the victim’s home in the Kona Gardens subdivision. Kinney reportedly struck the victim with his fists on May 22. On May 23, he reportedly struck the victim with a metal object, a wooden object, his fists and his feet and then removed a handgun from the victim’s car and fired it multiple times, before driving away in the victim’s car. None of the rounds hit the victim but he received injuries to his head, arms and body. He was taken to his physician by private vehicle.

On Wednesday (September 3), detectives from the Juvenile Aid Section, which investigates domestic incidents, arrested Kinney at a home in Ocean View and charged him with violating a protective order and promoting a detrimental drug. He was also arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, terroristic threatening, assault, robbery, reckless endangering, unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and two counts of abuse of a family/household member.

Kinney was held at the Kona police cellblock in lieu of $1,250 bail for the drug and protective order charges until his court appearance Thursday (September 4) on those offenses.

The other offenses remain under investigation.

Mayor Kenoi Declares Emergency Related To Lava Flow

Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi today signed an emergency proclamation for the advancing lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area after the flow extended to less than a mile from the edge of the Ka‘ohe Homesteads subdivision.

Click to read proclamation

Click to read proclamation

“We are taking this step to ensure our residents have time to prepare their families, their pets, and their livestock for a safe and orderly evacuation from Ka‘ohe in the event the flow continues to advance,” Mayor Kenoi said.

Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said the proclamation allows county authorities to restrict access to Ka‘ohe Homestead roadways so that residents can move safely if an evacuation becomes necessary.

Oliveira stressed that no evacuation has been ordered at this time. He urged residents to finalize their evacuation plans and monitor county Civil Defense updates closely in the days ahead.

Civil Defense employees will continue today to conduct door-to-door visits to each home in Ka‘ohe to explain the situation to residents, and to help them to prepare.

“Only residents will be allowed on the subdivision roads starting today, and we ask that non-residents stay away from the area,” Oliveira said. “The lava cannot be seen from the subdivision, and there is no reason for non-residents to be in the Ka‘ohe subdivision at this time. This is a difficult and stressful time for Ka‘ohe residents, and we ask that everyone show respect and understanding for our Ka‘ohe neighbors.”

Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are holding a series of public meetings to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area, and the next update will be at 6:30 p.m. on today, Sept. 4 at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.

Click to read Mayor Kenoi's Letter to the Governor

Click to read Mayor Kenoi’s Letter to the Governor

Senator Schatz Announces USDA Designation of Hawaii County as Natural Disaster Area

Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Hawai‘i County as a primary natural disaster area due to damages and losses caused by wind, rain, and flooding from Tropical Storm Iselle. After a review of the Hawai‘i County Loss Assessment Reports, the USDA determined that there were sufficient agricultural production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation.

People waited for hours just for basic supplies during Iselle.

People waited for hours just for basic supplies during Iselle.

“Many farmers in Puna are still recovering after suffering devastating crop loss due to Tropical Storm Iselle and they need our help,” Senator Schatz said. “I thank USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack for reviewing the Loss Assessment Reports and for issuing a Secretarial natural disaster designation for Hawai‘i County. Support from the USDA will help ensure that our farmers in Hawai‘i County will receive the assistance they need.”

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm, and the security and repayment ability of the operator.  So far, FSA has received over 100 inquiries for assistance from producers in Hawai‘i County.