April 16, 1984: With federal approval of Hawaii’s latest reapportionment plan in hand, efforts by the County’s Election Division to gear up for the 1984 election season can move ahead. Now that the boundaries are set, the county can upgrade its computer files to reflect the changes and then begin the process of informing voters of changes in their districts and voting precincts because of reapportionment.
Things have been quiet at Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes. While Mauna Loa’s eruption continues at a low level from the vent at the 9,400-foot elevation on Friday, there was no activity by Sunday night. Scientists said tremors continue at a steady low-level, which could mean another phase of eruption could occur at anytime.
Two planes and a helicopter were “nearly shot down” by Army jets on training runs over the Pohakuloa Training Army area last week, prompting PTA’s new commander to issue a warning that private aircraft not violate the Army camp’s restricted airspace. Lt. Col. Bob Williams told West Hawaii Today that the attack jets making runs with live ordnance — rockets and small arms fire — could have accidentally shot down or had a collision with the three private aircraft that intruded PTA’s airspace.
A ban on smoking begins April 29 for all three interisland airlines. The ban won’t apply to mainland flights, however.
The world’s largest telescope, valued at $100 million and financed in part from a grant by the Marion O. Hoffman Trust to the University of California, will be built on Mauna Kea. Construction of the 10-meter telescope at the summit will be complete in 1990.
The first Burger King Restaurant franchise contract for Kona has been signed by Terry Hermeling and Howard Smith. They plan to open the new Burger King on Palani Road in the summer.
April 16, 1994: West Hawaii Today did not publish on this day. April 16, 1994, was a Saturday.
April 16, 2004: Hoping to tap into state and federal funds, Mayor Harry Kim declares a state of emergency on the island’s coqui frog infestation. The Eleuthrodactylus coqui is a species native to Puerto Rico where as many as 8,000 can populate one acre. With no known natural predators here, the frog’s populations in Hawaii are estimated to reach 10 times higher than they do in the Caribbean. The coqui was declared an agricultural pest by the state in September 2001.
An expressionless Yasushi Kato walked into the Hama Yu Japanese Restaurant on March 23, and without a word, grabbed Yukichi Ito from behind and stabbed him with a knife in the chest, according to testimony during a preliminary hearing in Third Circuit District Court. After more than an hour of testimony, Per Diem Judge K. Napua Brown rules the state has presented enough evidence to charge Kato with second-degree murder and transfer the case to Third Circuit Court in Hilo.
West Hawaii Crime Stoppers release a report supporting marked police vehicles because they would increase visibility, professionalism and public and officer safety. The report, titled “The Price of Visibility,” is the third in a series released by the organization. The organization claims that an earlier report by the police department used inflated figures and “set out in a close-minded fashion to prove their hypothesis that the county should not move to a marked fleet or hybrid fleet.”
Kohala Mountain Road is scheduled to reopen in May after heavy rains on March 14 washed out a 48-inch metal pipe culvert just north of the Kohala Ranch entrance.