POSTED: Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Panel to ensure census count

The state is forming a committee to help make sure all residents are counted during the 2010 census, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said in a news release.

The Complete Count Committee will provide state and county support to the Census Bureau, including publicizing Census Bureau jobs, increasing awareness of the census and improving the response rate.

The committee will be headed by Pearl Imada Iboshi, administrator of the Research and Economic Analysis Division.

Imada Iboshi said representatives from each county, each state department, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the University of Hawaii and the Judiciary are on the committee.

“;We are highly cognizant of the long-term effects of having good census data,”; Gov. Linda Lingle said in the release.

Maui phones disrupted by crash, fire

Phone service for thousands of Maui residents and businesses was disrupted for nearly 24 hours during the weekend after a fire caused by a truck hitting a propane tank damaged fiber-optic cables.

The accident happened at about 5 p.m. Saturday when the truck went off Lower Kula Road and hit a fence and the tank, which ignited, according to a Maui County news release.

The fire spread to a nearby vacant home, the release said. A 38-year-old Kula woman who was driving the truck was seriously injured and taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center. An updated condition report was not available.

Incoming and outgoing calls were affected in Haiku, Paia, Kula, Makawao, Pukalani, Haliimaile and Waiohuli Hawaiian Homes. Maui police staffed substations in Paia and Makawao overnight Sunday to field 911 calls, the release said. Service was restored by 4 p.m. Sunday.

Humane Society holds onto 71 cockfighting birds

Lihue » The Kauai Humane Society has taken more than 125 fighting cocks into custody after police seized them from a cockfight in Kapaa.

A specialized unit of the Kauai Police Department also seized $70,000 in cash during the March 15 raid.

Kauai Humane Society Executive Director Dr. Becky Rhoades said some of the roosters had to be euthanized because their lacerations were so severe. Seventy-one are still alive.

She says many of the birds were wearing gaffs, sharp knives that are tied to their legs for fighting.

Rhoades says her organization feels it is important the roosters are not released into the wild. She says they will be used again for gambling if they are released.

Maui County police see rise in use of crystal meth

WAILUKU » Maui police are seeing a resurgence of crystal methamphetamine and other drug use on the Valley Isle.

Maui Police Department vice officer Ken Doyle says people are increasingly turning to the drug as they find themselves unemployed and desperate.

He says others start using drugs like meth to stay awake while they work multiple jobs to support their children.

He says addicts of all ages often say they started using drugs to cope with a dysfunctional or broken family life.

Doyle spoke at a crystal methamphetamine prevention seminar organized by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui County and the Partnership for a Drug Free America.