In Brief | Big Island & State | 1-26-14

Honokaa man reported missing

Hawaii Island police are searching for a 56-year-old Honokaa man who was reported missing.

William Kennedy Jr. is described as Hawaiian, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 190 pounds with brown eyes and black hair, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. He may be operating a 1992 Ford flatbed truck bearing license plate HHU465

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Police searching for missing man

Hawaii County Police Department officers are searching for a 72-year-old man who was reported missing Saturday afternoon.

Yukiwo Taro is 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing approximately 200 pounds with a dark complexion, according to police. He was last seen using a cane and wearing blue pants a T-shirt and white shoes. Police also noted that Taro needs medication.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

2nd phase of Laaloa work begins Monday

Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd. is slated to begin the second phase of improvements on Laaloa Avenue on Monday, according to the Hawaii County Department of Public Works.

The work will stretch 3,800 feet mauka of the avenue’s intersection with Alii Drive. Isemoto will also be making improvements on approximately 550 feet of Alii Drive, north and south of the road’s intersection with Laaloa Avenue, according to the department.

Isemoto submitted the lowest bid at $4.4 million to complete the second phase of improvements, to include sidewalks, curbs, gutters, street parking, dry wells and bicycle lanes, according to the department.

The county anticipates the first phase of the project, which began in July, extending Laaloa Avenue mauka to Kuakini Highway, to be complete in June. The second phase should be complete in July.

Crews will work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays.

State plans road work

Alternating single lane closures will be in effect on Volcano Road, between mile markers 8.6 and 13.4, in the vicinity of Keaau to Mountain View for pavement reconstruction, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Crews will work from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the department.

Umauma bridge work continues

Alternating single lane closures remain in effect 24/7 on the Umauma Stream Bridge on Hawaii Belt Road, near mile marker 16 in Hakalau, for bridge repairs, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Vehicle weight is limited to 25 tons and the speed limit over the bridge is 25 mph. Vehicles weighing 25 tons or more must use Kauniho Road, Old Mamalahoa Highway and Leopolino Road as a detour route, according to the state.

Senate offers videoconferencing

Hawaii residents will now have the ability to testify at hearings before the state Senate committees on Education and Technology and the Arts.

In January 2013, the Senate began a pilot project to allow neighbor island residents the opportunity to participate in the legislative process without traveling to Oahu. The Senate will launch its Statewide Videoconferencing Pilot Program beginning with the Senate Committee on Education’s first hearing at 1:15 p.m. Monday. The pilot program will continue with hearings from both the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Committee on Technology and the Arts throughout the 2014 session.

Hearing notices for the pilot project hearings will indicate that videoconferencing testimony will be allowed and contain a link to instructions on how to participate. Because this is a pilot project, there are some limitations to how many individuals are able to participate. Following the completion of the legislative session, the project will be evaluated, according to the director.

During Monday’s Senate Education Committee, lawmakers will take up two measures that address air conditioning in schools. The bills call for the creation of a master strategic plan for the cooling of public schools.

For more information on the hearing and instructions on how to submit testimony or participate via videoconferencing or in person, visit

By local sources