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POSTED: Friday, September 25, 2009

Council member gets ethics slap

HILO » The Hawaii County Board of Ethics has found Big Island Councilwoman Emily Naeole violated the county's ethics code.

The board voted 4-1 in deciding it was wrong of Naeole to make thumbs-down gestures to people she disagreed with while they testified about a proposed Council reorganization.

Board Chairman John Dill said Naeole showed a lack of respect for the system she is part of. He says her gestures discourage people from being a part of the process.

Naeole told the board she does not remember making the gestures. She says if she did make them, it meant she disagreed with what the speakers were saying.

Several witnesses said Naeole made the gesture to speakers opposing her being made vice chairwoman of the Council.

Nakakuni closer to U.S. attorney post for Hawaii

Florence “;Flo”; Nakakuni is one step closer to becoming the first female U.S. attorney for Hawaii.

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously forwarded Nakakuni's nomination to the full Senate yesterday, U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka said in a news release.

Nakakuni, an assistant U.S. attorney who is currently chief of the Drug and Organized Crime Section in Hawaii, would replace Edward Kubo Jr., who has been U.S. attorney since 2001.

“;There is no doubt in my mind that Flo Nakakuni's extensive legal experience and success as a federal prosecutor will serve her well as she oversees the operations of the U.S. Attorney's office in Hawaii,”; Inouye said in the news release.

Nakakuni, a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii, has been an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Hawaii since 1985.

Police to beef up phone enforcement

Motorists still using their cell phones while driving beware.

Beginning Sunday, Honolulu police officers will step up enforcement.

From July 1 to Sept. 12, police issued 953 citations to drivers using mobile electronic devices.

“;Anything that takes your eyes off the road endangers you, your passengers and people in the cars around you,”; said Maj. Thomas Nitta, commander of the department's Traffic Division in a news release.

Violators face a $67 fine.

Grant boosts Chaminade scholarship

; The Chaminade University Educational Foundation presented a $100,000 grant to the President Mary Civille (Sue) Wesselkamper Endowed Scholarship fund, the university reported in a recent news release.

The scholarship was established in 2008 by Chaminade's Board of Regents to honor Wesselkamper, who died of cancer in January.

The scholarship helps continuing students at the university who are at risk for not completing their degrees due to financial hardship.

“;It is with no small measure of pride that we take this step in allocating our largest grant ever to the President Sue Scholarship. This gift symbolizes our deep appreciation, affection and admiration for President Sue, who during her 13 year tenure achieved such success,”; said Nicole Dupont, the foundation president.

With the gift, the scholarship fund is now at $450,000.