April 12, 1984: Wreckage spotted on Mauna Kea is apparently not that of a plane missing since Sunday after taking off on a sightseeing tour of Mauna Loa from Honolulu. The plane last made contact while over Hawaii Island. Mauna Loa continues to gush lava in fountains near the 9,400-foot elevation without pushing any new flows toward Hilo. It remains too early to say if the continued decrease in lava output is a lull or a sign of the eruption’s end.
Kona Councilman William Kawahara criticizes the Civil Defense Agency for its dissemination of information to the public during the ongoing Mauna Loa eruption. He says the information has been outdated and needs to be upgraded to keep the public informed.
Samples of the hazy air in Hilo and Kona still being collected by the state Department of Health will have to be tested for mercury at a mainland laboratory. The samples are being collected after a University of Hawaii professor said the volcano was emitting high volumes of mercury.
April 12, 1994: Nansay Hawaii Inc., the Hawaii Naniloa Hotel and more than a dozen other Big Island resorts are delinquent in paying county real property taxes, tax administrators say. Sixteen hotel/resort properties collectively owe $2.96 million in back taxes. The Ritz-Carlton at the Mauna Lani is the largest tax debtor at $1.9 million in back taxes.
Federal, state and county officials will begin preparing an environmental impact statement for proposed improvements to Saddle Road. The U.S. Department of Transportation says it will gather information in conjunction with the county, state and U.S. Army for the proposed improvements and realignment of the cross-island road.
3rd Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra disqualifies himself from hearing a lawsuit to halt a golf course subdivision in South Kona because he sits on the board of the Kona Junior Golf Association, which testified in favor of the project.
April 12, 2004: Life-long Big Island resident Lawrence Braley rallies for closure of the so-called “Cowboy Cave” on the Kohala Coast that has been visited for years by people who wished to see a group of at least five western-style burials in a large lava tube. Braley, who said he has actively tried to get the state to do something since 1997, says there has been enough desecration to the remains and they should be laid to rest. The state DLNR director says he was not aware of the cave or its occupants, but said he would ask Historic Preservation officials to follow up on the situation.
Coffee farmers from Hawaii and Puerto Rico have joined forces to sell U.S. Coffee to the Department of Defense. The agreement approved by the USDA would allow farmers to increase production as well as provide more jobs. The Department of Defense purchases approximately 300 million pounds of coffee annually and was seeking a means for buying American coffee.