Big Island Police Searching for 21-Year-Old Missing Puna Woman

8/7/13 UPDATE: Hawaiʻi Island police have located 21-year-old Chelsea Wondergem, who was reported missing.

She was found unharmed Tuesday night (August 6) in Hilo.

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 21-year-old Puna woman who was reported missing.

Chelsea Wondergem

Chelsea Wondergem

Chelsea Wondergem is described as Caucasian, about 5-foot-2, about 110 pounds with short blond hair and brown eyes. She was last seen May 27 in Hawaiian Beaches.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona 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.

Big Island Police Investigating Possible Drowning Off Keahole Point

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a possible drowning Friday in waters off Keahole Point in the Kona District.

Keahole Point
Responding to an 8 p.m. call Friday (March 1), officers discovered that a 62-year-old woman, identified as Carolanne Perry of West Valley City, Utah, had been night diving when she experienced difficulty swimming. She was assisted back to the boat, where cardio-pulmonary resuscitation efforts began.

Emergency Medical Services personnel took Perry to Kona Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8:54 p.m.

The case has been classified as a coroner’s inquest. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

DLNR Will Hold a Public Meeting for Proposed Big Island Shooting Range

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will hold a public meeting for a proposed public shooting range at Pu‘u Anahulu, in the North Kona district of the Island of Hawai‘i.

The purpose of the meeting is to inform the public of the progress of the shooting range master plan and draft environmental assessment.

The informational meeting will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4, at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center’s Community Meeting Hale at 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway in Kailua-Kona.

Funding for a master plan and environmental assessment has been secured through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson Act).

The project site is comprised of one square mile (approximately 640 acres) within TMK (3) 7-1-003:001 located within the Pu‘u Anahulu Game Management area and mauka of Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway. The site is located immediately adjacent to the West Hawai‘i sanitary landfill.

Range elements are anticipated to include public rifle, pistol, bow hunting/archery, sporting clays, skeet, trap and airgun ranges that conform to safety requirements and are consistent with and meet the niches for recreational hunting and shooting sports. Supporting facilities are expected to include structures to house management and operations, as well as a hunter education center, restrooms, picnic areas and parking.

For more information about the project or public meeting, contact Catie Cullison at PBR Hawaii & Associates, Inc. at (808) 521-5631 or ccullison@pbrhawaii.com

Hawaii Coffee Association Crowned as Grand Champions of Hawaiian Coffee at Annual Conference and Cupping Competition

The Hawaii Coffee Association (HCA) crowned the Grand Champions of Hawaiian Coffee at the 17th Annual Conference and 4th annual Cupping Competition at the Maui Tropical Plantation in beautiful Waikapu, Maui on Saturday, July 21st.

Wood Valley Coffee Co. from Hawai‘I Island’s Ka’u district received Grand Champion honors in the Commercial Category for those entries that had at least 300 pounds of the winning coffee available for purchase as of the time of entry.

Heavenly Hawaiian Farms from the Big Isle’s Kona district received Grand Champion honors in the Creative Category for those entries that had less than 300 pounds of the winning coffee available for purchase. The Creative Category encourages farmers to try new cultivation or processing methods without having to produce a commercial-level quantity of coffee.

The coffees were ‘cupped’ and scored from a pool of 117 premium Hawaiian coffees from eight statewide districts, a 100 percent increase in entrants over 2011. Entries were critiqued by a judging panel of coffee industry professionals using standardized blind procedures, as defined by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Judges assigned a single numerical score to each coffee.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America defines “Specialty Coffee” as a coffee that has a cupping score of 80.0 or greater. Awards were given for up to the top three eligible entries from each district, and the top 10 eligible coffees in each of the Commercial and Creative categories received awards.

In addition to the above awards, a listing of all entries that received a score of 80.0 or greater is being provided on the HCA website at www.hawaiicoffeeassociation.com.  A total of 62 percent of the 51 Commercial Category entries and 68 percent of the 66 Creative Category entries achieved a cupping score of 80.0 or greater. Entrants were given the option to remain anonymous (they had to make this irrevocable choice at the time of entry), and those entries are simply blank in the listings.

Lead judges for this year’s cupping panel were Shawn Hamilton of Java City Roasters, Warren Muller of Inter American Coffee, and Paul Thornton of Coffee Bean International.

“This event seems to be creating more interest in learning and improving,” observed Thornton, who also serves as president of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.  “There are more, better coffees, than ever. Bravo to the HCA for persevering and continuing this event. Keep it up.”

Incoming HCA President Greg Stille added, “New farms and the improvement and expansion of existing farms are combining to raise the bar on innovation and quality for the benefit of the entire Hawai’i coffee industry and the drinking enjoyment of the specialty coffee consumer.”

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including flavor, aroma, ”mouth-feel,” acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

The conference also featured an industry trade show, guest speakers, growers’ reports, diverse educational seminars, a hands-on cupping workshop and a Hawaiian Coffee store.

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawai‘i coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. This annual conference has continued to grow each year and has gained increased international attention.

For more information visit Hawaii Coffee Association’s website at www.hawaiicoffeeassociation.com.

North Kona to Receive Funds for School Construction Projects

Part of the more than $7.48 million of funds released by Governor Neil Abercrombie to the state Department of Education (DOE) for various Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) will benefit schools in North Kona.

“The improvements along Mamalahoa Hwy in Holualoa will help to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and the whole community,” said Representative Denny Coffman (District 6 -North Kona, Keauhou, Kailua-Kona, Honokohau).  “The release of funding for special education is needed and appreciated.  I wanted to acknowledge and thank the governor for releasing this funding.”

Representative Cindy Evans (District 7 – North Kona, South Kohala) said that this release of CIP funds is “much needed because there is much growth in the area,” and stated that “we’re in discussion with the Department of Education to build a new Elementary School in North Kona.”

  • $1,000,000 – Special education renovations at various schools statewide – Special education portable classrooms at Pa’ia and Makakilo Elementary Schools, and trailer classrooms at Kihei Elementary School, Waipahu Intermediate School, and Kealakehe High School, as funding permits.
  • $280,000 – Holualoa Elementary School, Hawai’i Island – Design for a pedestrian buffer to ensure the safety of students and staff on campus.

Big Island Police Seeking the Public’s Help in Identifying Suspects in Thursdays Robbery in Kona

Big Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects involved in a robbery Thursday afternoon (January 12) at a business in the Kona District.

Top: Suspects in Thursday's robbery fled in a Jeep similar to this. Bottom: Surveillance image from Jan. 5 robbery

Shortly before 1 p.m. a man described as a local male with a dark complexion entered the Keauhou Store in Holualoa and forcibly removed an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register. A 34-year-old female cashier suffered minor injuries but declined medical treatment.

Surveillance video shows the suspect and another man, who appears to be standing lookout in front of the store.

The first suspect was described as in his mid-20s to mid-30s, approximately 5-foot-10, 150-170 pounds, unshaven and with kinky dark hair. He was wearing blue jeans and a green T-shirt, slippers and a white cap with a dark brim. The second suspect is described as Caucasion, in his mid 20s, with a slim build and a goatee. He was wearing a light green shirt with buttons, a light-colored baseball cap, dark shorts and shoes.

They both fled north on Highway 180 in a white 2-door Jeep Wrangler with a tan hard top. The Jeep is similar to a Sahara model.

Detectives believe the primary suspect was also involved in a robbery in the Kaloko business area on January 5.

Both men are considered dangerous and possibly armed. Police again advised the public not to approach them.

Police ask that anyone with information on their identity or whereabouts call Detective Walter Ah Mow at 326-4646, extension 238, or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona 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.

Big Island Police Seeking Women Wanted in Connection in Connection with Burglary Investigation

Media Release:

Big Island police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a woman wanted for questioning in connection with a burglary investigation.

Christina Ingle

Christina Ingle

The woman being sought is Christina Ingle, who is described as Caucasian, approximately 30 years old, 5-foot-10 and thin with curly brown hair and brown eyes. Her last known address was in the Hāmākua area.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona 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.

Tsunami Updates Courtesy of the Big Island Visitors Bureau

Media Release:

It’s business as “almost-usual” for Hawai’i Island, following the tsunami that struck March 11 due to an earthquake near Honshu, Japan. There were no deaths or injuries in Hawai’i, and the majority of Big Island businesses are back to normal (those impacted most are in the Kona District.) See below for Big Island updates. For detailed statewide updates, visit the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau’s special alert website. BIVB supports the statewide relief effort for Japan, “Aloha for Japan.”

Thanks to the help of dedicated community volunteers, Hulihe’e Palace has reopened for self-guided museum tours 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Repair of damages suffered by the March 11 tsunami continue to the palace basement, grounds and exterior buildings; the gift shop remains closed. Hulihe’e Palace continues free monthly outdoor concerts honoring late Hawaiian royalty. Time is 4 p.m. Apr. 17, May 15, June 12, July 17, Aug. 14, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 20 and Dec. 18. Call (808) 329-1877 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org.

Four Seasons Resort Hualālai at Historic Ka’upulehu will reopen Apr. 30, 2011.  While there is no significant structural damage, management is well aware of what their guests desire and their need to provide an uncompromising experience.  For updates, visit www.fourseasons.com/hualalai.

Kona Village Resort remains closed “for an extended period of time,” according to a statement issued by its management. Damage to the 45-year-old iconic resort was severe enough to cause the layoff of all employees and no re-opening date has been established at press time. For information, visit www.konavillage.com.

King Kamehamemeha’s Kona Beach Hotel is open and there was no damage to guest rooms. The award-winning Island Breeze Lu’au has resumed its normal schedule. Carpets are being replaced in the lobby and meeting areas, and the Billfish Bar is serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

‘Anaeho’omalu Beach is again open on both sides. The public parking, restrooms and access on the south side had been previously closed due to debris.

All Big Island National Parks Are Open. Assessment continues at Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park on impacts to its cultural sites, but the park is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Its royal grounds, pu’uhonua and coastal trail are closed. All other areas of the park are open. Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is open daily and the only area closed is the coastal trail between the north end of ‘Aimakapā and the south end of Kaloko fishponds.  The visitor center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Legislative Update by Senator Josh Green

Dear Friends,

As the 2011 legislative session approaches its mid-point, I would like to report that I am still fighting for important legislation and major improvements in healthcare, education, and law enforcement for West Hawaii.

My proposed Hawaii Health Corps measure will establish a loan repayment program to help keep doctors and nurses in Hawaii, so our community will have the health professionals we need.

To further strengthen our healthcare system, I have requested $16 million for improvements to Kona and Kohala Hospitals that will help these facilities provide quality care to everyone in West Hawaii.

In addition, I am pushing for $15 million to invest in an expansion of West Hawaii Community College to better serve our students.

Finally, we are seeking $11.5 million to build a new courthouse in Kona that will make our justice system safer and more efficient for our judges, juries, and police force.

These capital improvements will create jobs, expand services, and bring needed investment to West Hawaii so that our economy and civic life continue to grow.

Please contact me any time with your ideas and concerns. Let’s keep working together to achieve great results and make West Hawaii an even better place to live.

Aloha,

Josh Green
State Senator
District 3, West Hawaii