Quarantine Restrictions Extended to All Coffee Grown on Oahu

The Hawaii Board of Agriculture (HBOA) voted Wednesday to place coffee grown on all areas of Oahu under the same quarantine restrictions as was issued earlier for the Waialua area on Oahu and Hawaii Island to prevent the spread of the coffee berry borer (CBB).

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

Coffee Berry Borer (Hypothenemus hampei)

On Dec. 17, 2014, HBOA placed coffee grown at Waialua Estate Coffee Farms and coffee roasted at the Old Waialua Sugar Mill under the same quarantine restrictions as coffee grown on Hawaii Island due to the detection of CBB infestations at the sites. Since the initial detections in Waialua, CBB has been found in Wahiawa and Poamoho in Central Oahu.

Today, the board voted unanimously to expand the designated infested area and extend the interisland quarantine restrictions to all of Oahu beginning tomorrow, Feb. 25, 2015.

“Expanding the coffee quarantine safeguards to cover Oahu is an important step in helping to keep other coffee-growing islands free of the coffee berry borer,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the HBOA. “Oahu is a hub for the state’s coffee trade and we need to make sure that coffee beans that are imported to, as well as exported from Oahu are not spreading this destructive pest.”

So far, CBB has not been detected on Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai.

The quarantine restrictions imposed today for Oahu are exactly the same as those which have been in effect for coffee from Hawaii Island since December 2010. It requires a permit from HDOA to transport unroasted coffee beans, coffee plants and plant parts, used coffee bags and coffee harvesting equipment from CBB-infested islands to other non-infested areas or islands to prevent CBB movement. The rules also require certain treatments and inspection by HDOA Plant Quarantine inspectors prior to shipping. Inspectors will either attach a tag, label or stamp to indicate the shipment passed inspection requirements. For unroasted coffee beans, acceptable treatment protocols include fumigation, freezing and heat treatment. The coffee beans must also be roasted at a facility that is at least five miles from any commercial coffee-growing area.

One of the most devastating coffee pests, CBB was first detected in the state in September 2010 in Kona and discovered in Ka`u in May 2011. In early December 2014, HDOA confirmed the presence of the CBB (Hypothenemus hampei) on the coffee farm in Waialua, Oahu. This small beetle bores into the coffee “cherry” to lay its eggs. The larvae feed on the coffee bean, reducing the yield and quality of the bean. CBB is native to Central Africa and is also found in many coffee-growing regions of the world, including Central and South America.

Since its detection in Kona in 2010, Big Island coffee growers have developed methods to manage the pest, which include using an organic pesticide and field sanitation practices. Some farms with good management practices have been able to keep infestations down to about 20 percent of the coffee crop.

For more information on CBB in Hawaii, go to HDOA’s CBB information page at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/ppc/cbbinfo/

Hawaii Electric Light Company Selects Ormat to Provide Additional Geothermal Energy

Following a rigorous review of bids submitted as part of a competitive bid process, Hawai‘i Electric Light Company has selected Ormat to provide an additional 25 MW of geothermal energy for Hawai‘i Island.

Puna Geothermal Venture

Puna Geothermal Venture

The next step in the process is to begin contract negotiations with Ormat, with an agreement to be submitted to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for approval.

“We have continued to pursue ways to increase our use of renewable energy and lower costs to our customers, while also ensuring reliable service,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawai‘i Electric Light Company president. “Ormat was selected based on numerous criteria, including attractive pricing, technical design and capability, financial soundness, as well as commitment to resolving all environmental issues and to working with our Hawai‘i Island communities.”

Geothermal technologies provide renewable, controlled dispatchable energy and firm capacity that allow Hawai‘i Electric Light to schedule and control output from the geothermal plant to its island-wide grid.

Firm energy sources like geothermal support the integration of intermittent renewable resources, such as wind or solar, while maintaining reliable service for Hawai‘i Island customers.

A draft Geothermal RFP was issued in early November 2012. The PUC also selected an Independent Observer, Boston Pacific Company, to monitor and advise on all steps of the competitive bidding process to ensure that the process is fair and adheres to the PUC Framework for Competitive Bidding.

More than 47 percent of electricity on Hawai‘i Island is already generated from renewable resources, including hydro, wind, distributed solar and geothermal.

Puna Lava Flow Reaches Fire Break

Breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front; new breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

22315pic1The leading tip of the June 27th lava flow remains stalled, but breakouts persist upslope of the stalled tip. Today, one of these breakouts (marked by the arrow) had advanced a short distance towards the north, reaching one of the fire break roads.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip.

22315pic2

The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present roughly 450 m (490 yards) behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

New breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō 22315pic3

This photograph looks east, and shows the breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that began over the weekend. The breakout, visible as the lighter colored region in the center of the photograph, occurred from the area of the June 27th vent (upper right portion of photograph).

22315pic4A small lobe of pāhoehoe on the new breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.22315pic5A closer look at some of the activity on the new breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

DLNR Arrests Guide For Illegal Lava Tour Trespass On State Land

State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers last night arrested a tour guide involved in conducting illegal commercial tours within the Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve.  The Kahaualea Natural Area Reserve has been closed by DLNR due to hazardous conditions related to ongoing volcanic activity in the area.  

Joel D. Scharer works at Ahui Tour Company.

Joel D. Scharer works at Ahiu Tour Company.

An investigation conducted by DOCARE officers resulted in their arrest of Joel D. Scharer, Jr., age 24, of Hilo.  The investigation revealed that Scharer was a tour guide who had led a tour into the closed natural area reserve.  Scharer was transported to the Hilo Police Station for booking.  He is being charged with the following:  criminal trespass in the 2nd degree which is a petty misdemeanor, and reckless endangering in the 2nd degree, prohibited entry into a Natural area reserve and illegal commercial activities within the natural area reserve, all of which are misdemeanor offenses.  

“The safety of the public remains our top priority,” said Carty S. Chang, Interim DLNR Chairperson.   “Illegal commercial tours into areas closed by volcanic activity are dangerous to both the public as well as rescue responders. Violators will face citation or arrest,” Chang added.  

To report suspected trespass or illegal commercial activity within the closed Kahaualea NAR as well as the closed Wao Kele O Puna Forest Reserve call DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) at 643-DLNR.

Pahoa Lava Flow Community Meetings Suspended Until Further Notice

Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira announced the regularly scheduled Pahoa lava flow community update meetings are being suspended until further notice.

Pahoa Community Meeting on the Puna Park

“We appreciate the excellent turnout and response from the community at each of these meetings, which the county first began holding last August,” said Chief Oliveira. “We expect we will need to call additional meetings in the weeks and months ahead, but right now we want to give the community and our volunteers a break during this period while the active lava flows are some distance from populated communities.”

Chief Oliveira thanked residents for their understanding and cooperation, and said the county will resume the community meetings when additional briefings are necessary to keep the public informed.

For the latest Civil Defense message, go to http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/. For more information, contact Hawai‘i County Civil Defense at (808) 935-0031.

Bill Introduced to Curb Domestic Violence by Law Enforcement Officers

Vice Speaker John M. Mizuno introduced HB1199 which requires law enforcement agencies to adopt and implement a written policy on domestic violence committed or allegedly committed by law enforcement officers.

capital

The bill also requires standards to be adopted as well as training deadlines, administrative procedures and reporting requirements. The bill requires public and private non-profit domestic violence advocates to be consulted when adopting policies.

“A victim of domestic violence is placed in an especially precarious position if her abuser happens to be a law enforcement officer” said Mizuno. “It is imperative that strong policies, procedures and training are in place so that incidents such as the recent indictment of a police officer for assault on his girlfriend can hopefully be prevented in the future.  If officers receive the proper training and clearly understand the agency’s policies and potential consequences regarding domestic violence we should be able to lower incidences by law enforcement officers in the future.”

Men Get Lost Trying to View Lava – Fire Department Helicopter Saves the Day

Two male newcomers to the Big Island got lost in a heavily forested area of the Big Island in what appears to be an attempt to see the lava flow.

Hawaii Fire Department reports that the party was lost on their way coming out of the “pristine rainforest” Thursday, January 29, 2015.  On the way out of the forest they couldn’t find the trail they came in and called a friend on their cell phones to report that they were lost.

They stayed overnight in the forest and Hawaii County Fire Department’s Chopper One assisted in rescuing them this morning.

Here is the Fire Departments incident report:

Stupid Lava Hikers

New USGS Pictures Shows Puna Lava Flow Still Active

The leading tip of the June 27th flow has not advanced significantly over the past week, and remains roughly 500 meters (550 yards) upslope of Highway 130, west of the fire and police station.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Breakouts persist upslope, however, and these areas of activity can be spotted in this photograph by small smoke plumes where the lava is burning vegetation on the flow margins.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present just a short distance behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

This photograph looks downslope, and shows the proximity of the flow front to the highway.  Click to enlarge

This photograph looks downslope, and shows the proximity of the flow front to the highway. Click to enlarge

A small breakout from the lava tube is burning forest just left of the center of the photograph. In the upper left, thick fume is emitted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Near the top of the photograph, the snow-covered peak of Mauna Loa can be seen.

This photograph looks upslope along the ground crack system of Kīlauea's East Rift Zone.  Click to enlarge

This photograph looks upslope along the ground crack system of Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone. Click to enlarge

Big Island Police Sergeant Charged with Abuse and Terroristic Threatening

 

A Hawaiʻi Police Department sergeant has been arrested and charged with four offenses in connection with an early morning incident in Kapaʻau.

Kelly Troutman
In response to a 1:50 a.m. call, officers responded to a home on Kynnersley Road, where it was reported that 62-year-old Marvin Kelly Troutman had pulled the hair of a 55-year-old woman and then threatened her and an 18-year-old man.

When police responded, Troutman reportedly threatened a 44-year-old police officer.

He was arrested and taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Juvenile Aid Section, which is responsible for domestic abuse cases, continued the investigation.

At 3:35 p.m. Thursday (January 29), Troutman was charged with abuse of a family/household member and three counts of terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $4,000.

In addition to the criminal investigation, police have initiated an internal administrative investigation into the incident. Troutman, a sergeant in charge of the Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit, has been placed on administrative leave.

Department of Parks and Recreation Receives $50,000 State Grant to Control Little Fire Ants

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation has received a $50,000 grant from the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to control little fire ants at specific park sites.

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

Little Fire Ant – Queen and worker ant

The Department of Parks and Recreation is one of four Hawai‘i Island organizations selected by the HTA for a grant award under its 2015 Natural Resources Program. Funding will be used to pay the Department’s three-person team of little fire ant control technicians, purchase bait and subsidize other expenses related to the ongoing treatment program.

To meet the grant terms of improving both the visitor experience and resident enjoyment of Hawai‘i’s natural resources, treatment efforts will be conducted at Richardson Ocean Park, Lili‘uokalani Gardens and the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens through December 2015. The free sites are popular with visitors and residents.

Little fire ants are considered to be one of the world’s worst invasive species. They inflict painful stings that can cause welts in humans and blind animals.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, which administers the grant program, for supporting its efforts to control little fire ants in the public’s parks. Treatment efforts are ongoing at 28 County recreational sites and facilities found to have the highest concentrations of little fire ants.

Hawaii Chief Justice Delivers State of the Judiciary Address

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald delivered the State of the Judiciary address today at a joint session of the State Senate and House.

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald

Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald

The mission of the Judiciary is to deliver justice for all.  We do that in many different ways, both in the courtroom and in the community. We ensure that people are treated fairly, whatever their background. We uphold the rights and protections of the constitution, even when doing so may be unpopular.  We provide a place where people can peacefully resolve their disputes, as well as opportunities for them to move forward from the circumstances that brought them before the courts,” said CJ Recktenwald.

One key focus of the State of the Judiciary address was “Access to Justice,” and the Judiciary’s efforts to provide equal justice to all.  CJ Recktenwald thanked the Access to Justice Commission for achieving “amazing results with extremely limited resources,” and the many attorneys who volunteer their time towards this mission.

He highlighted the opening of self-help centers in courthouses across the state.  Since the first center opened in 2011, more than 7,600 people have been assisted, at almost no cost to the public.  The Judiciary is also using technology to expand its reach and accessibility. In partnership with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and the Hawaii State Public Library System, interactive software to help litigants fill out court forms, is now available on the Judiciary’s website and libraries statewide.

Additional Judiciary initiatives highlighted in the address include:

  • Expansion of the Veterans Treatment Court to the Big Island
  • First Circuit Family Court’s Zero-to-Three Court, which is designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers whose parents are suspected of abuse or neglect
  • Permanency Court, which focuses on the needs of kids who are “aging out” of the foster care system
  • Courts in the Community Outreach Program, which gives high school students the opportunity to go beyond textbooks and experience an actual Supreme Court oral argument.

CJ Recktenwald also discussed several new initiatives, including: a HOPE Pretrial Pilot Project, designed to apply the same HOPE strategies to defendants who have been charged with crimes and released on conditions prior to their trials; the Girls Court program, which will be expanding to Kauai next month; and confirmed plans for an environmental court to be implemented as scheduled by July 1, 2015.

CJ Recktenwald also addressed the challenges of the future.  One of the challenges he discussed was the need to improve infrastructure and to provide a new courthouse to meet the needs of the growing West Hawaii community.

“Currently in West Hawai‘i, court proceedings are being held in three different locations, in buildings that were not designed as courthouses, which in turn has led to severe security, logistical, and operational problems,” described CJ Recktenwald.  “To address these concerns, we have proposed building a centralized courthouse in Kona,” he added.

The Judiciary launched a new website this week dedicated to the Kona Judiciary Complex Project.  This website displays the preliminary design plans, provides project updates, and welcomes feedback from the public.

CJ Recktenwald concluded the address by thanking the more than 1,800 justices, judges, and judiciary staff “who put their hearts and souls” into making equal justice for all a reality each and every day.  He also thanked all the volunteers and partners in the community and other branches of government who work side-by-side with the Judiciary towards fulfilling the mission of providing justice for all in Hawaii.

6th Suspect Caught in Crime Spree, Charged with 40 Offenses – Police Investigating Others

The 6th suspect in a crime spree spanning four months has been charged with 40 offenses.

Stephen Kaleo Graham

Stephen Kaleo Graham

Stephen Kaleo Graham, 26, of Captain Cook was arrested Saturday (January 24) at OTEC Beach in Kailua-Kona on a bench warrant for contempt of court. He was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued investigating numerous other offenses.

At 11 a.m. Monday, Graham was charged with four counts of burglary, seven counts of unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, five counts of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, eight counts of theft, three counts of terroristic threatening, three counts of theft/forgery of a credit card, three counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, two counts of unauthorized possession of personal confidential information, two counts of resisting an order to stop and one count each of criminal property damage, reckless endangering and speeding.

His bail was set at $384,250. He remained in the cellblock until his initial court appearance on Tuesday (January 27).

The crime spree from South Kohala to Kaʻū between October 7 and January 16 included commercial burglaries, auto thefts, car break-ins and the theft and fraudulent use of credit cards.

Five other persons were previously arrested and charged with offenses in connection with this series of crimes. They are:

30-year-old Douglas Daniel Kaimiola of Captain Cook
23-year-old Joshua White of Kailua-Kona
19-year-old Dyllan Kaiehu Paulo-Leslie of Captain Cook
30-year-old Keoni Fujio Yamada of Kailua-Kona
25-year-old Logan Kahele-Bishop of Nāʻālehu

Detectives are continuing to investigate additional suspects.

Big Island Man Arrested and Charged with 21 Offenses

A Captain Cook man wanted for questioning in connection with several vehicle break-ins has been arrested and charged with 21 offenses.

The cars, which were parked along Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway near the 81-mile marker, were broken into on January 16.

Dyllan Kaiehu Paulo-Leslie

Dyllan Kaiehu Paulo-Leslie

On Friday (January 23), Kona Patrol officers made a traffic stop on 19-year-old Dyllan Kaiehu Paulo-Leslie in Captain Cook and arrested him on suspicion of driving without a license and driving without insurance. He was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section investigated additional offenses.

On Saturday (January 24), detectives charged him with driving without a license, driving without insurance, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, three counts of unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, four counts of theft, three counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, two counts of theft/forgery of a credit card and three counts of possession of unauthorized personal information. He was also charged with promoting a dangerous drug, promoting a detrimental drug and possession of drug paraphernalia for items found in his backpack during a previous arrest on January 12. His bail was set at $35,025.

He was held at the cellblock until his initial court appearance on Monday (January 26).

Big Island Workshops on Safe Routes to School

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) will be holding Safe Routes to School (SRTS) informational workshops on the Big Island at the following dates and locations.

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Keaukaha Elementary School
240 Desha Avenue, Hilo, HI 96720
Workshop Flyer
Location Map

Click HERE to Register

Friday, Feb. 27, 2015
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Kahakai Elementary School
76-147 Royal Poinciana Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Workshop Flyer
Location Map

Click HERE to Register

Community leaders, school officials, health and transportation professionals, law enforcement officers, parents and neighbors who are interested in the implementation of SRTS strategies at all schools statewide are invited to participate.
safe routes

These workshops are offered free of charge with lunch provided.

To register, go to http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/srts/ and click on the link under Upcoming Workshops, or contact Tara Lucas at 808-692-7696, or e-mail saferoutestoschool@hawaii.gov.  Workshop size is limited, so please register early.

Communities around the country are using SRTS programs to make it more safe and appealing for children to walk and bicycle to school.  Federal legislation has recognized the value of SRTS programs and has provided funding for states to establish programs.

SRTS programs grow from community’s concerns about safety, health and traffic.  A combination of engineering, education, encouragement, and enforcement strategies are used to address these concerns and make SRTS a reality.

This workshop provides participants with the knowledge and skills to develop sound SRTS programs based on community needs and conditions, best practices and responsible use of resources.  The day concludes with participants learning how to develop an action plan.

Below is an overview of the workshop agenda.  The materials covered will be similar to SRTS workshops HDOT held previously.

  • Why SRTS matters: safety, health and transportation issues
  • Engineering strategies
  • Education and encouragement strategies
  • Enforcement strategies
  • Field exercise: observation of school campus and surrounding area
  • Perspectives from local stakeholders
  • Pick-up and drop-off area strategies
  • Identifying problems and solutions
  • Creating an action plan for your community
  • SRTS federal program in Hawaii 

For more information on the SRTS federal program in Hawaii, please visit http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/srts/.

Big Island Police Arrest Four in Connection With Hilo Stabbing

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating two witnesses to a fatal stabbing in Hilo on Tuesday (January 20) at about 4:00 p.m. The victim (Brian Whetten) was confronted in the grassy area between a business off Kīlauea Avenue and the mauka soccer fields off Kamehameha Avenue.

Brian Whetten
A tall “older” local Caucasian man with long black hair, who is known to always push his bicycle, was seen in the area. Also in the area was an “older” man who appeared to be Micronesian and was playing with a child.

UPDATE:

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested four persons in connection with a fatal stabbing in Hilo on Tuesday (January 20). Detectives arrested the two men and two women Thursday (January 22) on suspicion of second-degree murder.

The suspects were arrested at their Honomū home. Aaron Figueroa, 21, was arrested at 5:32 p.m. Lilly Costa, 22, was arrested at 6:01 p.m. Garrett Dahlin, 22, was arrested at 6:45 p.m. Brittne Morgan, 28, was arrested at 7:30 p.m.

All four were taken to the Hilo police cellblock, where they remain in custody while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Forty-three-year-old Brian Whetten, who had no permanent address, was found Tuesday with stab wounds in a drug store parking lot off Kīlauea Avenue. He died later at Hilo Medical Center

 

Going With the Flow: Documenting Kilauea’s Latest Movements

On February 16, 2015 at the Lyman Museum in Hilo, two noted geologists and volcanologists, Dr. Ken Hon and Dr. Cheryl Gansecki of UH-Hilo, will present a special program on the June 27th lava flow.

Photo by Jose “Vamanos” Martinez

Photo by Jose “Vamanos” Martinez

Ken and Cheryl have been studying and filming the eruption and flow activity since the summer of 2014, and their presentation tonight brings together the science and the visual beauty of the ongoing event.  Don’t miss their latest footage and findings!

The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawai`i.  Located in historic downtown Hilo at 276 Haili Street, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  For additional information, call (808) 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org.

Puna Lava Flow Approaches Highway 130, Police and Fire Stations

The June 27th flow remains active near its leading tip, with breakouts scattered in the distal portion of the flow.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The leading tip has not advanced significantly over the past few days, and remains about 600 meters (0.4 miles) from Highway 130.

This photograph looks north, and shows the position of the leading tip of the flow relative to Highway 130.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The brown swaths cut through the forest are fire breaks, and the large brown area at the left side of the image is a recent burn scar.

A view looking upslope at the leading tip of the flow.   Click to enlarge

A view looking upslope at the leading tip of the flow. Click to enlarge

Civil Defense Brush Fire and High Surf/Beach Closure Warning

This is a brush fire information update for Wednesday January 21st at 4:00 PM.

Brush fire 12115

The Hawaii Fire Department reports that two brush fires have started as a result of the lava flow in the Pahoa area.  The fires are located to the west or mauka of Highway 130 and to the south or Pahoa side of the Ainaloa Subdivision.

Brushfire 12115

All fire activity is contained within the fire breaks and there is currently no threat to any communities or properties.  Fire department personnel and units are on scene and working to maintain control and containment of the fire.

This is a High Surf Warning and Beach Closure Information Update for Wednesday January 21st at 4:15PM.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Surf Warning for the West facing shores of Hawaii Island effective through 6:00 PM tomorrow, Thursday January 22nd.  Dangerous surf is expected to start building today through this afternoon and remain at warning levels through Thursday.   Surf heights of 15 to 20 feet are forecasted for the West facing shores of Hawaii Island.  Residents along the coast and in low lying areas are advised to take precautions and boat owners are advised to secure their vessels.  Beachgoers swimmers and surfers are advised to exercise caution and to heed all advice given by Ocean Safety Officials.  Due to the current rising and anticipated dangerous surf conditions the following beaches will be closed effective 12:00noon today:

  • Laaloa or Magic Sands in Kona
  • Kahaluu Beach in Kona
  • Kohanaiki Beach in Kona
  • Ooma
  • Old Airport Park
  • Hapuna Beach
  • Kaunaoa (Mauna Kea Beach)
  • Mahukona Park

County Fines Hawaii Property Owner for Having Illegal Rave Party

Community Policing Officers are working with the Hawaiʻi County Planning Department to protect the public from illegal “rave” parties.

HPDBadgeAs a result of this partnership, the Planning Department issued a $5,000 fine to a property owner in connection with a “rave” party in Hawaiian Acres last year.

The two-day event held October 31 through November 1 was advertised on social media outlets. Community Policing Officers from the Puna District were made aware of the event and warned the property owner that he did not have the proper permit to conduct such an event on his property.

The party was held despite police warnings, and enforcement action was taken near the property on the night of the event to ensure public safety. Police conducted a follow-up investigation with the assistance of the Planning Department that resulted in the fine.

Police are reminding property owners that conducting an unpermitted non-agricultural commercial event on agricultural property is prohibited. The Hawaiʻi Police Department will continue to work with members of the public, property owners and the Planning Department to ensure compliance and enhance public safety.

Big Island Police Investigating Murder of Man Found in Hilo Parking Lot

Hawaiʻi Island police have opened a murder investigation following the death of a man who was found injured in a Hilo parking lot.

HPDBadgeAt 3:55 p.m. Tuesday (January 20), South Hilo Patrol officers and Hawaiʻi Fire Department medics responded to a call of a stabbing victim in a drug store parking lot on the 500 block of Kīlauea Avenue. The victim sustained multiple stab wounds and was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he died at 7:18 p.m.

Police learned that the victim had been confronted by two men while in the grassy area between a business off Kīlauea Avenue and the mauka soccer fields off Kamehameha Avenue. After being stabbed, the victim managed to walk to the parking lot where he was found.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section and evidence specialists responded to the scene to further the investigation into this incident, which is classified as a second-degree murder.

Police have tentatively identified the victim, believed to be a 43-year-old man with no permanent address. Police are withholding his name pending positive ID and notification of his next of kin.

Detectives are seeking witnesses who may have seen two men running in the north, or Hāmākua, direction along Kīlauea Avenue between Hualalai Street and the downtown area between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m. One was described as Caucasian, about 6-feet tall, about 160 pounds with short blond hair and hazel eyes. He was wearing green knee-length shorts and a white T-shirt. The other was described only as a local male with a fair complexion wearing a white tank top and prescription glasses. Both men are wanted for questioning in connection with this investigation.

No arrests have been made. Detectives continue to canvass the surrounding businesses for witnesses or video surveillance.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the exact cause of death.

Police and ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Clarence Davies at 961-2384 or cdavies@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Norbert Serrao Jr. at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.