Fatal shooting ruled justified
California officials say the actions of a state game warden who shot and killed a former Big Island resident last week were justified.
The warden was trying to arrest Bartyn Pitts Oct. 8 when Pitts attempted to shoot the warden with a 12-gauge shotgun, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said yesterday.
Pitts, 39, formerly of Leilani Estates, was wanted on a $50,000 warrant issued May 9 by a state judge in Hilo after he failed appear for his arraignment.
Pitts was facing prosecution for attempted promotion of a dangerous drug in the first degree, a class A felony.
State agency gets new director
Paul T. Tsukiyama, head of the labor and personnel section under the Honolulu corporation counsel, has been named the new director of the state Office of Information Practices, Gov. Linda Lingle's office announced yesterday.
His appointment is effective Nov. 9.
He succeeds Les Kondo, who left the office in June to become a member of the Public Utilities Commission.
The Office of Information Practices oversees the state's open records and meetings laws.
Before joining the city attorneys' office in 1997, Tsukiyama was the director of the Special Prosecution Division of the Prosecutor's Office. He also served as supervisor of the prosecutor's White Collar Crime Branch and was a deputy prosecutor.
Kondo had served as director since February 2003. Under his direction, the office oversaw several contentious cases involving the public release of records from government agencies.
Road repairs close Aiea onramp
The state Department of Transportation will close the Aiea Access Road loop onramp to Moanalua Freeway evenings starting tonight and all weekend starting Friday for road surface repairs, guardrail replacement and lane striping.
The loop will be closed tonight and tomorrow night from 8 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. the following day. On Friday, it will be closed from 9 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. Monday.
In addition, the right eastbound lane of Moanalua Freeway will be closed Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 6 to 10 a.m. Motorists are advised to use the Kahuapaani Street onramp during the closures.
Ranchers can recoup losses
Eligible ranchers and livestock producers who have suffered losses due to natural disasters can apply to receive benefits under the Livestock Compensation and Livestock Indemnity programs.
Farmers can also sign up for the Crop Disaster Program beginning this week if they've suffered losses to their crops. The three programs provide benefits to farmers and ranchers who suffered losses caused by natural disasters from 2005 through this year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency has a Web site, http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov, that provides fact sheets on the programs. For applications, contact county FSA officers or USDA service centers.
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