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Newswatch

Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, April 24, 1999

Antelope's death forces delay in giraffes' move

WAILUKU -- State agricultural officials have postponed the move of giraffes Momi and Maikai from Molokai Ranch's wildlife park to a keiki zoo on Maui.

The move is pending results of a test to determine the cause of death of an eland, an African antelope, at the park, said state Agriculture Department spokeswoman Ann Takiguchi.

Takiguchi said there is no indication of any serious problem, but officials want to be careful in light of a bovine tuberculosis epidemic that occurred on Molokai in the 1980s.

She said the park has had no history of bovine tuberculosis infection.

Officials are expected to know the test results in four to eight weeks, she said. They had hoped to ship the giraffes by barge tomorrow, but the pair will wait at the wildlife park.

Public-notice waiver to save city money

The city will save about $410,000 annually because state Comptroller Raymond Sato is exempting the city -- at least temporarily -- from publishing public notices in a weekly digest in RFD Publications' MidWeek magazine.

Sato, who establishes policy regarding the publication of state and county public notices, this year contracted RFD Publications for the notices for the first time.

In the past, public notices ran in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser through the Hawaii Newspaper Agency.

But going with MidWeek exclusively conflicts with the City Charter, which requires that the notices be published in a newspaper of daily circulation.

Running the notices in the dailies and MidWeek, as has been done for several weeks this year, about doubled the city's cost.

City Council Chairman Mufi Hannemann said the exemption from Sato is temporary, "until the Charter and the applicable ordinances can be adjusted."

Water board to pay city for administrative help

The city operating budget will soon be getting a $3.3 million infusion of cash, thanks to the Board of Water Supply.

The semiautonomous board on Thursday approved a proposal to reimburse the city for centralized administrative service expenses for 1999.

The reasoning behind the city's charge is, other agencies provide services to the semiautonomous board, such as accounting, procurement and reinvestment.

Some City Council members questioned the payment, suggesting it is a raid of the water agency's operating account by Mayor Jeremy Harris to help balance the city's budget.

But water Manager Cliff Jamile said both he and the board came up with the proposal on their own. They noted such charges are common among municipal agencies on the mainland.

The amount to be paid is based on 3 percent of the board's annual revenues.

The board is expected to include the payment next month when it approves its budget for fiscal 2000, which begins July 1.

YMCA to open visit centers on Big Island

New YMCA Family Visitation Centers will open at Kona on Friday and in Hilo on May 14.

The centers will provide safe places to meet for victims of domestic violence, custody and paternity disputes and other family disruptions. Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono will attend the Kona opening.


Clarification

Tapa

The Outdoor Circle says it opposes the Irwin Park site for parking at Aloha Tower Marketplace because it violates a 1930 agreement and because a state statute calls for restoration of the park. A Hawaii Inc. story Thursday said the Outdoor Circle and others opposed the parking garage because it would uproot about 20 trees, but did not list other reasons.


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Police, Fire

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Man found beaten, robbed, incoherent

Police are investigating the case of a man who was found seriously beaten in a stairwell yesterday.

The man, 29, was found at 9:40 p.m. at 952 Ahana St., police said. He was beaten and his wallet was missing.

The man was unable to give any details of the incident, according to police. He was taken to Queen's Hospital.

Woman, 10-year-old girl overcome by smoke

A woman, 34, and a 10-year-old girl required hospitalization after they were overcome by smoke from a trash bin fire at a Waikiki high-rise Thursday night.

The woman is reported in fair condition in Queen's Hospital.

The condition of the girl, who was found unconscious, was not available.

The fire at the Waikiki Skyliner at 2415 Ala Wai Blvd. was deliberately set shortly before 9:30 p.m., the fire department said.

Fire Capt. Richard Soo said arriving firefighters found residents evacuating as thick smoke was entering the 20-story building through a trash chute.

Residents were able to return to their apartments shortly before 11 p.m.

The smoke inhalation victims were fifth-floor residents. An investigation continues.

Box with warning note prompts evacuation

WAILUKU -- A bomb scare forced the evacuation of hundreds of people from state government and court offices in Wailuku for several hours yesterday.

The evacuation occurred after a candy box, with a label warning people not to touch it, was found near the state land department offices at about 7:38 a.m., Maui police Sgt. Mollie Cameron said.

The box was found to be empty, and the evacuation ended about 2:30 p.m. yesterday, said state Civil Defense administrator Kyle Watanabe.


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