26 Year Old Missing from Champagne Pond Area Found Dead in Waters off Kapoho

Media Release:

Police have initiated a coroner’s inquest case after a 26-year-old Hilo man was found unresponsive in waters off Kapoho last week.

Henry Rongu was reported missing from the Champagne Pond area of Kapoho on August 6. His unresponsive body was found about 150-200 yards offshore on the morning of August 7. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 9:25 a.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Treasure Hawaii Auction – Benefits Friends of the Future

Media Release:

Aloha kakou –

I’m excited to share with you a great opportunity to capture a bit of what’s best about Hawai`i, and support the work of Friends of the Future: Perpetuating the essence of Hawai`i for the world’s benefit.

Treasure Hawai`i, an online auction benefit for Friends of the Future starts today & continues until the electronic gavel falls on Sunday, August 28 at 4:00 PM Hawai`i Standard Time.

The Treasure Hawai`i auction can be accessed through the Friends of the Future webpage www.FOFHawaii.org.

Available are one-of-a kind items and exclusive opportunities such as golf at private courses.  In addition to golf there are hotel and B&B accommodations,  fun in the Hawaiian sun-outdoor activities, dining and other tastes of Hawai`i.

Click to go to Bidding Site

County Dedicates Spigots to Provide Clean, Safe Water

Media Release:

Mayor Billy Kenoi joined community members in Wai `ohinu today to celebrate the opening of six new or improved water spigot facilities across the County of Hawai `i. These facilities offer residents safe and efficient locations where they can draw clean, potable water for household use. The dedication ceremony was held at the Wai `ohinu Solid Waste Transfer Station in Kā‘u.

The six new or improved spigot facilities first opened on Thursday, August 11 in North Hilo, South Kona, Puna, and Kā‘u to accommodate a high demand for potable water.

Thousands of rural residents in the County of Hawai `i are served by household water catchment systems, and many rely on county-operated water spigots to obtain safe drinking water. The installation or improvement of the county water spigot facilities is a project by the county Department of Water Supply and the county Department of Public Works.


“We are very proud of this project, which will make it easier for our rural residents to obtain clean, safe drinking water,” Mayor Kenoi said. “We want to thank all of our partners who helped to make this project possible.”

The project cost about $1.1 million, included planning, design, and construction. A grant from the Environmental Protection Agency funded 64 percent ($719,000) of the project, and the County of Hawai’i paid 36 percent or $402,000. The contractor was Ludwig Contractors Inc., which finished 90 days ahead of schedule.

Spigot facilities at six locations comply with the federal Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requirements.

The new facilities are the Waī‘ohinu Solid Waste Transfer Station on Kauila Road, in Kā‘u; in Nānāwale Estates subdivision in Puna; and in South Kona next to the Hōnaunau Rodeo Arena.

Spigot outlets and additional parking were added at the Pāpa‘aloa gymnasium in North Hilo; and at Kurtistown Ball Park in Puna; and at Keā‘au Solid Waste Transfer Station in Puna.

Hawaii Community Foundation’s West Hawai’i Fund Currently Accepting Grant Proposals

Media Release:

The Hawai’i Community Foundation is inviting community groups and nonprofit organizations to submit grant proposals for the West Hawai’i Fund.  Established in 1990 to provide a stronger link between charitable donors and the specific needs of West Hawai’i communities from Kohala to Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, the West Hawai’i Fund is currently accepting applications through October 3, 2011.  Through the years, local citizens have contributed to the fund including Hartwell and Rebecca Carter, Robert C. and Helen F. Nichols, Arthur Mullaly, and Oscar and Ernestine Armstrong.

Hawaii Community Foundation

The West Hawai’i Fund welcomes proposals aimed at improving the quality of life on the west side of Hawai’i Island.  Applications for programs that address the critical needs of people affected by the current economy are strongly encouraged.  Preference will be given to projects that focus on one or more of the following areas:

  • Human Services
  • Culture & Arts
  • Education
  • Conservation
  • Environment

To be eligible for a grant of up to $10,000, a group must be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization — such as schools, units of government or neighborhood groups — or have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor and clearly demonstrate a program or project’s benefit to the West Hawai’i community. Community organizations without 501(c)(3) status are eligible to apply for a grant up to $2,000, provided the activities to be supported are charitable.

Proposal information is available at www.hawaii.communityfoundation.org. All proposals must be post-marked on or before October 3, 2011, and mailed to the Hawai’i Community Foundation, Attention: West Hawai’i Fund, 827 Fort Street Mall, Honolulu, HI 96813.

Big Island Police Investigating Theft of Plate from Art Gallery

Media Release:

Big Island police are investigating a theft on August 9 at an art gallery in the Parker Ranch Shopping Center in Waimea.

The item stolen was a handcrafted multi-colored plate thick made of koa, mango and “purple heart” wood. It measures approximately 12 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch

Police ask that anyone with information about this case 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.