Today in West Hawaii history | April 9


April 9, 1984: Lava from erupting Mauna Loa formed a vast delta of molten rock on the volcano’s flank on April 8, easing the threat of lava flows to Hilo. About half of the 1.3 million cubic yards of molten rock pouring out of Mauna Loa each hour was feeding a new flow while the rest pooled around the 6,000-foot elevation. Fingers of lava were also breaking from the pond, however, they pose no threat to Hilo.

The state Highways Division begins counting vehicles moving through the intersection of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Nani Kailua Drive after a petition with more than 400 signatures was sent to the state Department of Transportation.

April 9, 1994: Hawaii County will take some 4,500 acres of former Hamakua Sugar Co. land in lieu of more than $18 million in back taxes owned by the bankrupt company. The land includes approximately 540 plantation homes.

April 9, 2004: Teams from Hualalai Academy, Hawaii Preparatory Academy and Waimea Middle School take part for the first time in the Botball Educational Robotics Program. Hualalai Academy took second place and Waimea Middle placed seventh.

Hawaii County Council Chairman James Arakaki releases a proposed weight tax increase for road maintenance two days after he and his colleagues defeated Mayor Harry Kim’s suggested fuel tax hike. The draft ordinance suggests the annual weight tax rate for passenger vehicles increase a quarter-percent per pound. It proposes a 1 cent increase for trucks, truck-tractors, road tractors, trailers and semitrailers weighing 6,500 pounds or more.