As a 10-day review of the 1998 general election nears its conclusion, chief election officer Dwayne Yoshina says it's up to lawmakers to decide whether recounts should be part of Hawaii's election law.
Hawaii should consider ballotBy Craig Gima, Star-Bulletin
recount law, officials say
"I can't think of another state in the country that has no provisions for recount," said R. Doug Lewis, a member of an oversight committee that is supposed to report back to the Legislature on the review of the election. "When you have high partisan emotions, perhaps recount is a way to address questions about the integrity of the system."
But bills to allow recount appear dead at the Legislature this session. Hawaii law does not specifically allow for recounts. The current effort to recount the ballots is officially called a review and would not change the results of the election.
The Office of Elections hoped to finish manual audits today or hand counts of sample precincts from the 1998 general election.
Researchers to dig deep into volcano's historyHILO -- Scientists hope to begin work within days on drilling a hole almost three miles deep into Mauna Kea to learn the mountain's history for the last million years, the University of Hawaii announced.
"In addition to revealing new clues about the origin of Hawaiian volcanism, it promises insights into volcanic hazards, the history of Earth's magnetic field and ground-water movement deep within volcanoes," said C. Barry Raleigh, dean of the UH-Manoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.
The drilling will cut and lift to the surface a core of rock about 8,000 feet deep during the next six months. A second phase in about three years will extend the hole to 15,000 feet.
The site, an abandoned quarry near Hilo airport, was selected because geothermal water which could contaminate the rocks is not expected.
The University of California at Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology are co-sponsoring the project, which will share data with nearly two dozen universities and research institutions.
High court upholds murderer's sentenceA resentencing of convicted murderer Raita Fukusaku to two consecutive life terms for the 1994 shooting deaths of Japanese psychic Toako Kototome Fujita and her son, Goro, has been upheld by the Hawaii Supreme Court.
The ruling yesterday backed the March 6, 1998, resentencing by Circuit Judge Victoria Marks, who rejected a defense argument for concurrent terms, saying her task was to hand Fukusaku his previous sentence.
Fukusaku returned from a Texas prison for the resentencing and maintained his innocence.
Poverty among isles worst on Big IslandHILO -- The Big Island remains at the bottom of the pile among the counties, an annual survey by the Mental Health Association in Hawaii County shows.
"The most pervasive theme in this survey is poverty," branch director Beverley Grogan said in an overview.
Among the statistics:
Fifteen percent of the island's population is below the poverty level, compared with a uniform 9 percent for the other three counties.
Households receiving food stamps grew to 28 percent of the total, compared with 19 percent on Kauai, 14 percent on Oahu, and 13 percent on Maui.
The Big Island has the highest incidence of teen pregnancy, which has increased every year since 1980. The actual figure was not given.
With 12 percent of the state's population, the Big Island has 30 percent of the state's child abuse and neglect cases.
"The continuing and, in some items, worsening trends revealed in this survey should be enough to dishearten all but the truly foolish," Grogan said.
Grants, loans increased for rural water projectsHawaii will be eligible for at least $7 million in water and waste disposal loans and more than $2 million in grants under a new distribution formula implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka.
The new Rural Utilities Service formula provides a significant increase from fiscal 1999 funding levels of $1.3 million and $856,000, respectively, for loans and grants.
Funds are available for water and waste-water projects to improve the quality of life in rural Hawaii.
Debate to focus on issue of religion and stateThe constitutional issue of separation of religion from government will be debated at a conference next Saturday sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii Foundation.
Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition, and Nadine Strossen, national ACLU president, will debate the subject in "America's Holy War: The Clash Between Religion and Government."
The conference, open to the public, is from 9 a.m. to noon at Punahou School's Dillingham Hall.
The cost is $5 in advance or $7 at the door.
Capt. James Cook was aboard the Resolution when he first came upon Hawaii in 1778, not the Endeavour, as indicated by a headline in yesterday's Star-Bulletin.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Woman, 28, arrested in 'road rage' caseA 28-year-old woman was arrested yesterday in connection with a "road rage" case.
The suspect was headed Diamond Head on the H-1 freeway when she was cut off by another woman at about 2:30 p.m., police said.
She followed the woman, 40, to the Kapolei 7-Eleven store on Kamokila Boulevard, and then allegedly punched the woman -- who was sitting in her car -- in the mouth.
The suspect was booked for "unlawful entry into a motor vehicle," a felony.
Man found hanging ID'd: David K. Hashimoto, 59The medical examiner's office has identified a man found hanging Tuesday at a concrete products yard in Waialua as David K. Hashimoto, 59.
The cause of death is pending laboratory test results.
Suspect identified in $35,000 statue theftPolice are searching for information about a statue said to be worth $35,000 that was stolen from a Waikiki dance club.
The acrylic sculpture was entitled "Dance of Light" and was stolen March 6 from the Virtual Experience Nightclub on Lewers Street, police said.
The statue is 26 inches tall and weighs 30 pounds.
Police have named Daniel Miller as a possible suspect.
Anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.
Bankoh branch victim of year's 7th holdupA robber took cash from a teller at the Ala Moana branch of Bank of Hawaii yesterday in the seventh bank holdup this year.
The bandit in the 10 a.m. robbery said he had a weapon, but none was seen, according to an FBI announcement.
He was described as being in his early 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 160 pounds, and wearing a dark baseball cap and a two-toned long-sleeved shirt.
Tips on his identity and whereabouts may be made to CrimeStoppers.
Anyone providing information may be eligible for a cash reward.
Trucking businessman faces two tax countsWilliam H.C. Campbell Jr., a businessman affiliated with Hiki No Trucking, has been indicted for failing to file state tax returns.
The two-count indictment says he did not file public-service company annual tax returns for 1996 and 1997 as required under state law.
Truck companies such as Hiki No Trucking must pay a public-service company tax, similar to the general excise tax, on gross income.
For individuals, failing to file is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and up to a year in prison for each count.
Corporations may be punished by a fine of up to $100,000 for each count.
Campbell will be arraigned Monday.
Pension plan adviser indicted in mail fraudEleven mail fraud counts involving the Hotel Union and Hotel Industry of Hawaii Pension Plan and Trust have been lodged against Anthony G. DiPace, 41.
DiPace, an Albany, N.Y., investment consultant, was ordered by a federal judge in Albany to appear in U.S. District Court in Hawaii in response to the March 3 indictment.
The pension plan was created through an agreement between Local 5 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union and some Hawaii hotels.
DiPace falsely represented his qualifications in an effort to become fund monitor, federal officials said.
He claimed to have more Taft-Hartley Fund clients than he really had and exaggerated their assets and the length of time he had belonged to a specified club, they said.
The offenses allegedly occurred from March to June 1996. If convicted, DiPace faces up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines for each count.
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