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Big Island Police Release Puna Woman After Fatal Stabbing in Hawaiian Beaches

Detectives have released a 27-year-old Puna woman who was arrested Wednesday night in connection with a fatal stabbing in Hawaiian Beaches.

HPDBadgeAt 8:30 p.m. Friday, after conferring with prosecutors, detectives released Manaolanalani Benford of Pāhoa pending further investigation.


Governor Invites Hawaii to Join in ‘Let Freedom Ring’ 50th Anniversary Commemoration

A half-century to the minute after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Gov. Neil Abercrombie invites the people of Hawaii to “ring a bell” at 3 p.m. (HST) Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, as part of a worldwide 50th anniversary commemoration. The Governor also requests that places of worship, government buildings and all facilities in Hawaii with the capability join in this gesture.

I have a dream

The King Center and the 50th Anniversary Coalition called on governors of the 50 states and all people and organizations across the world to help culminate the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington and Dr. King’s speech with “Let Freedom Ring” bell-ringing events.

“Half an ocean and a continent separate Hawaii from the National Mall, but we are no less impacted by Dr. King’s remarkable words that day,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Here in the Aloha State, our diversity defines us and remains a source of great strength and beauty rivaling the natural wonder of these islands. However, we are reminded, even today, that prejudice and injustice persist. The fulfillment of Dr. King’s legacy of hope, unity and freedom depends on our choices and actions beyond this single day of remembrance, extending to every day of our lives.”

King Center CEO Bernice A. King stated: “We are calling on people across America and throughout the world to join with us as we pause to mark the 50th anniversary of my father’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech with ‘Let Freedom Ring’ bell-ringing events and programs that affirm the unity of people of all races, religions and nations. My father concluded his great speech with a call to ‘Let freedom ring,’ and that is a challenge we will meet with a magnificent display of brotherhood and sisterhood in symbolic bell-ringing at places of worship, schools and other venues where bells are available from coast to coast and continent to continent.”

For more information about the 50th anniversary commemoration, visit:


Keaau-Pahoa Highway 130 Road Shoulder Lane Conversion Project Starts Monday

The state Department of Transportation advises Hawaii motorists of upcoming lane shifts and temporary closures on Keaau-Pahoa Road (Route 130) between mile post 2.0 and 4.1 beginning on Monday, August 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for the duration of the Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane conversion project.

Beginning of the project

Beginning of the project

The project spans from Keaau Bypass Road to Shower Drive, a total length of 2.31 miles with a project cost of $15 million. Construction includes two 12ft lanes and an 8ft shoulder lane in the inbound direction and one 12ft lane and a 10ft shoulder lane in the outbound direction. These additions will improve traffic and help with congestion upon completion of this project.

During the construction period, the speed limit will be reduced to 35 mph. Motorists are advised to allow for extra travel time.

Your patience is appreciated as the temporary increased traffic and reduced speed limit will pay off with improved traffic flow on Highway 130. For updates on DOT roadwork, please visit http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/roadwork/hawaii/

Hold Your Nose, World’s Stinkiest Plant About to Bloom – Stinky 2

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation is pleased to announce the rare flowering of a “corpse plant” at the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens.

Hold your breath... the Corpse Plant is about to bloom

Hold your nose… the Corpse Plant is about to bloom

Amorphophallus titanum, better known as a “corpse plant” for its distinctive aroma when in full bloom, is the world’s largest unbranched inflorescence (cluster of flowers), capable of growing more than 10 feet tall.

“Stinky 2” has a 3-foot-tall bud that’s expected to bloom within the next two to three weeks, said Pam Mizuno, manager of the Pana‘ewa Recreation Complex that includes an equestrian center. When that happens, the plant will release sulfur that smells like rotting corpses, hence its ominous nickname. This odor attracts beetles and flesh flies that pollinate the plant.

In their native habitat of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, corpse plants bloom only a few times in 100 years. This sporadic blooming produces a flower that lasts only a couple days and can weigh hundreds of pounds.

Artist Hiroshi Tagami donated two corpse plants to the zoo in 2002. The plants, estimated to be two years old at the time of the donation, have been thriving in the zoo’s tropical environment. The first one bloomed in 2011, attracting large crowds of curious onlookers and wide-spread media coverage. The corpse flower is growing in the exhibit located next to the zoo’s feral pig and across from the large mixed-parrot aviary.

Located off of Stainback Highway about five miles south of Hilo, the 12-acre Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo and Gardens is the only natural tropical rainforest zoo in the United States. More than 100 palm varieties and 80 animal species, including Nēnē geese and Namasté, a white Bengal tiger, can be found at the zoo. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free.

For more information, call 959-7224 or email panaewazoo@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Man Charged With Nine Offenses in Connection to Puna Shooting

One of two Puna men arrested in connection with shots being fired in a residential neighborhood has been charged with nine offenses.

Peter Lopes Jr.

Peter Lopes Jr.

Peter Lopes Jr., 45, of Hawaiian Beaches was charged at 3:15 p.m. Friday with first-degree reckless endangering, abuse of a family/household member, three counts of ownership prohibited, three counts of place to keep and leaving the scene of an accident. His bail was set at $123,000. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday.

Officers conducted a search warrant on his home Thursday and recovered two firearms with ammunition. Because Lopes is a convicted felon, it is illegal for him to possess weapons or ammunition.

Police determined that Lopes assaulted a 42-year-old woman on Wednesday (August 21) during a domestic argument in Hawaiian Paradise Park. After leaving the house, he collided with another vehicle, left the scene of the accident and then went to a home in Hawaiian Beaches, where he discharged a firearm.

The other man arrested after the shots were fired, 63-year-old Peter Lopes Sr., was released pending further investigation.

U.S. Marshals Service Arrests 37 Fugitives on the Big Island

The United States Marshals Hawaii Fugitive Task Force, a Hawaii HIDTA initiative, conducted a four-day fugitive sweep in Hilo, Hawaii, which began on Monday, August 19, 2013.

US Marshall Service
The mission, executed by Deputy U.S. Marshals, Hawaii State Sheriffs and Hawaii County Police, targeted fugitives with extensive criminal histories wanted for narcotics offenses, firearms violations, sex related offenses and other violent crimes.

After four days, 37 fugitives were arrested (1 federal fugitive and 36 state fugitives), clearing 46 outstanding arrest warrants and charging 21 additional drug cases.
Seizures during the mission included 27 marijuana plants ranging in height from 4’-5’ tall, 11.5 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

The task force is made up of Deputy U.S. Marshals, the State of Hawaii Sheriff Division, Hawaii County Police Department, Maui Police Department, Kauai Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 58-Year-Old Puna Woman

8/28/13 UPDATE:
Hawaiʻi Island police have located 58-year-old Janshon Liao of Hawaiian Beaches, who was reported missing. She returned home in good health on Saturday (August 24).

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 58-year-old Puna woman reported as missing.

HPDBadgeJanshon Liao of Hawaiian Beaches was last seen in Pāhoa town shortly after 2 p.m. Friday (August 23).

Her family is concerned about her, as she has a medical condition that requires medication.

She is described as Asian, 5-feet tall, 140 pounds with brown eyes and short salt-and-pepper hair. She was last seen wearing a white shirt, red pants and pink shoes.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to 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 Arrest Man and Woman During Narcotics Search Warrant in Pepe’ekeo

A man and a woman were arrested Thursday (August 22) when Vice officers served a search warrant on their home in Pepeʻekeo.

During execution of a narcotics search warrant on Kaʻapepa Street on Thursday morning, officers recovered 35.5 grams of crystal methamphetamine along with paraphernalia associated with its distribution. Police also recovered a 2006 Dodge 2500 diesel truck, a 2001 Toyota Camry, a 1995 Honda two-door hatchback and its trailer, and $5,751 in cash for forfeiture.

Ryland Uchima

Ryland Uchima

Arrested at the scene were 31-year-old Ryland Uchima and 30-year-old Kaycie DeMotta.

At 12:30 p.m. Friday (August 23), police charged Uchima with attempted first-degree meth trafficking, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and two counts of drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $56,000. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday.

DeMotta was released pending further investigation.

Lost Chinese Hiker in Volcanoes National Park Found This Morning

Park rangers and a helicopter pilot rescued a 76-year-old man early Friday morning who got lost near Pu‘u Huluhulu in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park the previous day.


Pu’u Huluhulu

Zigui Yuan, 76, of China, spent an uncomfortable and chilly night on an old lava field after getting lost near Pu‘u Huluhulu cinder cone, where there is little or no cell phone reception.

His wife, Paulili Yuan, reported him missing yesterday at 8 p.m. She told rangers that the couple and a female friend had been hiking together Thursday morning, when Mr. Yuan separated from the group at the Pu‘u Huluhulu trailhead, and headed east towards Nāpau Crater. The two women returned to the trailhead junction at the Mauna Ulu parking lot at 11:30 a.m. and waited for the man.

At approximately 7 p.m., Mr. Yuan attempted to contact his wife by phone, but the call failed. The women then drove to Thurston Lava Tube and reported him missing to Park Ranger John Moraes.

Rangers Moraes and John Broward executed a search in the vicinity of Pu‘u Huluhulu in the dark, using powerful handheld spotlights to illuminate the rough lava landscape, while Ranger Andrew Sanford patrolled Chain of Craters Road for the missing man. At 1 a.m., the search was suspended until daybreak.

A ground and air search was launched at daybreak. Helicopter pilot David Okita spotted Yuan approximately 660 feet (200 meters) southwest of Pu‘u Huluhulu. Okita and Park Ranger Jon Maka‘ike landed, and retrieved Yuan. He was cold, dehydrated, and exhausted, but had no major injuries, and declined further medical treatment. Yuan was reunited with his wife at 6:30 a.m. today.

Pu'u Huluhulu vicinity

Pu’u Huluhulu vicinity

Yuan, who speaks very little English, told rangers through his wife that he kept hiking across the sharp, jagged lava until it became dark and he could no longer see the rock pile trail markers. He took shelter against the wind in a small depression in the old lava flows, and waited for daylight.

“Mr. Yuan made the right decision to hunker down for the night,” said Ranger John Broward, Search and Rescue (SAR) coordinator at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. “This area is riddled with unstable ground, hidden earth cracks, deep craters, and sharp and brittle lava. He could have been seriously injured if he continued trying to find his way out in the dark,” he said.

Park rangers remind visitors that the best way to avoid potentially serious incidents is to plan ahead and prepare. A full range of hiking tips and other safety-related information is available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/havo, and by asking park rangers.

This was the park’s 14th SAR incident this year. There were 26 SAR incidents in 2012.


Office of the Month Recovers New Bedroom Sets that Were Stolen

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Officer Donovan Hegarty on Thursday (August 22) as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for August.

Aloha Exchange board member Joey Estrella presents an 'Officer of the Month' award to Officer Donovan Hegarty.

Aloha Exchange board member Joey Estrella presents an ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Officer Donovan Hegarty.

Hegarty was honored for his response to a burglary in progress.

Just after midnight on July 11, Hegarty was on patrol when a resident of Hawaiian Paradise Park reported that his neighbor’s house on 19th Avenue was being burglarized. While en route to the scene, Hegarty encountered a dark pickup truck speeding toward him and then turning abruptly onto an unpaved side street without signaling. He immediately attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the truck and observed two men in the back along with several bed sets.

The suspects began to throw the furniture onto the road to block the path of travel. When the truck stopped, Officer Hegarty immediately moved in to apprehend the driver as the two other suspects fled on foot into the darkness. The vehicle was then seized, as other suspected stolen property was observed inside. Officer Hegarty subsequently recovered several brand new bedroom sets that the suspects had dumped in their attempt to block the road.

The apprehension of the driver was the essential lead in the case, allowing detectives to later identify and arrest the other two suspects, one of whom had previously eluded police while being sought for numerous crimes in East Hawaiʻi.

As “Officer of the Month,” Hegarty is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of Hilo.

Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw Helicopter Arrives Today At Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor becomes home roost for the Sikorsky H-34 Helicopter (USN Bureau No. 148963) adding another aviation “hero” to its expanding collection of vintage and high performance aircraft. (Wednesday, August 21, 2013), the Choctaw arrived at the Museum on Historic Ford Island via Pasha Transport. It is one of the most recognizable military helicopters in history.

A Sikorsky on display at the Pacific Aviation Museum

A Sikorsky on display at the Pacific Aviation Museum

The Choctaw is a piston-engine helicopter, capable of carrying 16 combat-equipped troops. It was originally designed for naval service in the anti-submarine warfare role. In addition to serving in combat, the Choctaw has been used to rescue flood victims, recover astronauts, fight fires, and even carry U.S. presidents. Choctaw is the U.S. Army name for the versatile helicopter; it was also called Seabat and Seahorse by other services.

“The Sikorsky H-34 helicopter played a vital role in our military throughout our history, and we feel honored to showcase it to the public,” said Museum Executive Director, Kenneth DeHoff.

Big Island Newspapers Publishers Stephens Media Sued – End of a Two Newspaper Island?

Well I’m just going to copy and paste some of the pertinent information here and folks can read the rest at the link below.

To tie this in to the Big Island… Stephens Media own the Hawaii Tribune Herald, West Hawaii Today, Big Island Weekly and a few other publications on this island.

Sun Publisher and Editor Brian Greenspun today sued Stephens Media, owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in an effort to derail Stephens’ proposal to dissolve a long-standing business agreement in which it prints and distributes the Sun and shares advertising revenues with the Sun.

Brian Greenspun

Brian Greenspun

The agreement, known as a Joint Operating Agreement, was sanctioned by the Justice Department in 1989 to ensure that Las Vegas would have two independent newspapers with differing editorial points of view… In a deal reached in recent weeks between Stephens Media and three of the four Greenspun siblings, the family would agree to terminate the JOA agreement — unburdening Stephens from printing and distributing the Sun — in exchange for Stephens giving the family ownership of the URL lasvegas.com, according to court papers filed in support of Brian Greenspun’s lawsuit…

More Here: Sun Publisher Greenspun Sues to Block R-J From Gaining Newspaper Monopoly.

My guess… is that soon enough we will have only one newspaper here on the island… slowly phased out by an online edition of the paper that folks will still have to pay for.

For what it’s worth (FWIW) I cut back on my cable services recently as well… I mean why pay for things we don’t need?