March 28, 1984: As a river of molten lava rolled steadily down the slopes of Mauna Loa toward Hilo, Gov. George Ariyoshi and civil defense officials decide against erecting dikes to divert the lava flow. Scientists also caution that Kilauea’s Puu Oo Vent could erupt soon.
Isemoto Contracting is the lowest bidder for a $2 million project to renovate the old Kona Hospital to be used jointly by the state Department of Health and Judiciary.
March 28, 1994: Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park and the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority have worked out an agreement to provide a quarantine area to treat native Hawaiian birds afflicted with avian botulism type C. Officials at the park became concerned a few months ago when they began finding sick and dead Hawaiian coots, shovelers and stilts at Aimakapa Pond. It was subsequently determined they were affected by the botulism bacteria.
March 28, 1999: Kona Community Aquatics Center opens to the wide eyes of eager children and praise of competitive swimmers. The center includes a 50-meter pool containing 800,00 gallons of water, an 18-inch deep, 9,000-gallon keiki pool with a water mushroom, permanent bleachers with seating for 750 people and two 1-meter diving boards.
Isodemix directors say they are satisfied a cobalt-60 irradiator can be successful on the Big Island and a final to decision to construct one will be made within three weeks. CEO John Masefield said the climate toward irradiated food is changing positively in part from the recent endorsement by the restaurant and grocer association and the number of deaths caused by contaminated meat, which could have been avoided by irradiation.
March 28, 2004: With the Kawaihae Harbor boat ramp blocked for months by sand and debris, making it impassable for boaters, several Kawaihae residents tired of waiting for the state clear the ramp themselves. Boaters for the past two months have been traveling to Puako boat ramp to launch their vessels.
March 28, 2009: Hawaii County’s unemployment rate jumps to 8.4 percent in January, up from 7.1 percent in December. The statewide rate of 6.5 percent was the highest unemployment level in more than 30 years.
March 28, 2013: Mayor Billy Kenoi will get a $22,000 raise and other county officials will get up to 19.8 percent raises under a salary agreement plan proposed by the Hawaii County Salary Commission. The commission plans to hold a public hearing before modifying or accepting the plan that was prepared by a three-member working group of the seven-member commission. The raises would go into effect July 1.
A former Kona man accused of stealing thousands of dollars in rent money from properties he managed pleads not guilty to first-degree theft. Robert M. Smith, who owned Property Network Ltd. in Kailua-Kona, disappeared in February 2009. Smith was indicted in April 2012. He was located in Oregon and extradited to Hawaii Island just days before his arraignment and plea hearing.
Big Island hunters bring a reminder to the Hawaii County Council about how voters here feel about aerial hunting and protecting hunters’ rights in the wake of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources filing a lawsuit to fight the county’s aerial hunting ban.