In Brief | Big Island 7-12-13


Police seek man in Puna knife incident

Big Island police arrested an 18-year-old Puna man Wednesday in connection with a knife incident in Pahoa.

Responding to a 5:12 p.m. call at a business located at 15-2875 Pahoa Village Road in Pahoa, police located and arrested Cordell Studley of Pahoa. He had allegedly threatened staff with several knives.

The victims reported the suspect walked into the establishment and used a telephone without permission. When staff members refused to allow him to use the phone a second time, he brandished two knives and threatened the workers, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

No one was injured during this incident, police said.

Studley was later charged with two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening and held at the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $4,000 bail.

Hilo pedestrian dies after being hit by car

A 61-year-old Hilo woman died Wednesday from injuries she suffered when a car hit her Tuesday evening in downtown Hilo.

Patrol officers said the woman, whose identity has not been released, was crossing Kamehameha Avenue just south of Kalakaua Street from the mauka to makai direction when she was struck by a 1998 Honda four-door sedan traveling south on Kamehameha Avenue. A 35-year-old Hilo woman was driving the car. The driver and her passengers were not injured.

The pedestrian was not in a marked crosswalk. She died at 3:55 a.m. Wednesday at Hilo Medical Center.

Police do not believe that speed, alcohol or drugs were involved.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call Officer Tuckloy Aurello at 961-8119.

This is the 19th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 14 at this time last year.

Officials: Four Kohala fires intentionally set

South Kohala firefighters and police responded to four small brush fires within a two-hour period late Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Police Capt. Aimee Wana said Wednesday that arson is suspected “due to the short time between the occurrences and the seeming pattern of it occurring.”

Police do not have any suspects, she added.

The fires were reported between 11:03 p.m. Tuesday and 12:59 a.m. Monday. Two were off Waikoloa Road between Mamalahoa Highway and Waikoloa, one was off Akoni Pule Highway near Spencer Beach Park and one was on Ouli Street in Kawaihae.

No property damage and no injuries were reported due to the fires.

Anyone with information on the fires should call the police department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 329-8181.

Big Island health centers get federal grants

Three Hawaii Island health centers will get additional funding thanks to federal grant awards announced Wednesday.

Department of Health and Human Services grants will bring $1.2 million to the state to enroll people without health insurance in new health coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-2nd, said. About 24 percent of Hawaii residents seeking treatment at health centers, or about 34,700 people, did so last year without insurance, Gabbard’s office said. The funds should be able to help about 21,500 people enroll in health insurance coverage.

Bay Clinic in Hilo received roughly $116,000. Hamakua Health Center in Honokaa got about $68,000. West Hawaii Community Health Center received nearly $75,000.

Council committee OKs contingency fund proposal

A proposal to prevent nonprofits from tapping the County Council’s contingency funds narrowly received a favorable nod Tuesday from council members.

The council’s Finance Committee voted 5-3 to give the bill a positive recommendation. It will next be considered at a regular council meeting.

Hilo Councilman Dennis Onishi said he introduced the bill to focus use of the funds on district necessities. He also said he doesn’t think nonprofit organizations, which have their own grant program, need “two avenues” for county funds.

The funds, given to each council member for use in their districts, were eliminated four years ago partly as a budget-trimming measure. They were re-introduced this fiscal year, and each council member is receiving $98,877 for their district.

Several council members raised concerns with the bill or spoke against it, noting that expenditures of the funds require approval by the full council. The bill requires two votes by the council and the mayor’s signature to be adopted.

Senate hopeful Hanabusa raises $500K in 6 weeks

HONOLULU — U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa raised more than $500,000 in the first six weeks of her U.S. Senate campaign.

The campaign says more than 2,000 people donated. Her opponent, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced earlier this week that he raised more than $900,000 during the quarter. Schatz is trying to retain the seat he was appointed to in December.

It was U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye’s dying wish to have Hanabusa succeed him. But Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Schatz, who was lieutenant governor.

By local and wire sources