Big Isle mayor plots new budget
HILO » Mayor Harry Kim has proposed a $398 million budget for the fiscal year 2008-09, 6.3 percent larger than the current budget.
Kim said in his statement to the County Council that property taxes, the main source of county income, are expected to increase 12.2 percent, but that that source can't be depended on in coming years.
He also asked the county to put $1 million into each of three county funds that deal with unexpected problems: a Self Insurance Fund, a Disaster and Emergency Fund and a Budget Stabilization Fund.
The last of those three is also called the "Rainy Day" fund, and Kim said he had been "largely unsuccessful" in the past in getting the Council to put money there.
The real property tax structure has been widened to include an Affordable Rental Housing class, which past administration statements have said would be taxed at a lower rate than most other types of property.
But Kim's budget message said the tax rate for that class, which will be set by the Council, is being temporarily left at the same rate as other properties.
Cambodia deports Hawaii man
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia » Cambodia has deported a Hawaii man for allegedly making threats against the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, a senior police official said last week.
Gerald Forbes, 63, a retired U.S. Marine from Hawaii, was deported Thursday night and banned from re-entering Cambodia, said Lt. Gen. Sok Phal, a deputy chief of the national police.
Police arrested Forbes on Feb. 19 after he allegedly threatened the U.S. Embassy as he was venting his anger about what he says is insufficient support he has received from the U.S. government.
Cambodia had placed additional police around the embassy the night before Forbes' arrest.
Embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle could not be reached for comment Friday.
Driver's exam rules in flux
Amendments to rules for driver's licensing exams will be up for public hearings this week across the state.
The proposed changes would make adjustments to language, as well as setting guidelines in ensuring a driver does not have medical conditions or physical impairments that could affect their ability to drive.
The changes would establish a medical advisory board within the state Department of Transportation, which will be made up of physicians. The board would give advisory opinions to assist driving examiners.
The hearings, all scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m., are being held by the state Transportation Department, and will be at the following dates:
» Kauai: tomorrow; Kauai Highway District Office on 1720 Haleukana St., Lihue
» Maui: Tuesday; Maui Highway District Office on 650 Palapala Drive, Kahului
» Big Island: Wednesday; Hilo International Airport training room, second floor
» Oahu: Thursday; Aliiaimoku Hale, 869 Punchbowl St., fifth floor
A copy of the rules can be requested by calling (808) 587-2210, or by downloading it at hawaii.gov/dot/notices.
Siren warning test tomorrow
The state's monthly test of the siren warning system is scheduled for tomorrow, state Civil Defense officials announced.
The test is a steady 45-second tone on all sirens around the state. The tone is used to alert the public of any emergency that may pose a threat to life or property, or for terrorist incidents and acts of war.
The sirens are scheduled to sound at 11:45 a.m.
Police, Fire, Courts
Kauai man charged in police assault
Kauai police charged a 36-year-old Kapaa man with assaulting a police officer outside Nawiliwili Tavern, a Kauai County news release said.
Uasi Musika allegedly threatened two crew members of the Pride of Aloha outside the tavern Friday morning.
Police said Musika tried to run as officers questioned him and a struggle ensued. Police said they found a loaded handgun after subduing him.
Musika was charged Friday with first-degree terroristic threatening, first-degree assault against a police officer, place to keep a firearm and resisting arrest. His bail was set at $25,100.
Big Isle police look for missing woman
Big Island police are asking for the public's help in finding a missing 23-year-old woman.
A relative reported Chantel Heu of Hilo missing Thursday night. She had not been seen since Monday, but information was received that she might be in the Kona area.
Heu is about 5 feet 5 inches tall, 140 pounds, with medium build and long ehu-colored hair. She was last seen wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Contact officer Jo Aoki at (808) 961-2213 or Crime Stoppers in Hilo at (808) 961-8300 or in Kona at (808) 329-8181 with information.
Man, 20, allegedly breaks into home
Police arrested a 20-year-old man who allegedly broke into his grandmother's Waianae home. the woman found him sleeping in the house about 6:45 a.m. Thursday. Police said the 64-year-old woman had a temporary restraining order against her grandson.