HILO -- The Hilo Boys and Girls Club has closed temporarily while the problem of tens of thousands of dollars owed to the Internal Revenue Service is resolved, executive director Paul Supp confirmed.
IRS debt temporarily closes
Hilo Boys and Girls Club
The club serves 2,700 children ages 6 to 18 in east Hawaii, Supp said.
The problem arose because the agency failed to pay part of employee tax withholdings to the IRS in 1998 and 1999, he said.
A tax lien lists the amount owed as $69,127.08, and a notice of levy lists it as $84,235.78, Supp said. The club is seeking a clarification of the discrepancy, he said.
April 26, the IRS ordered three major sources of the club's funds, Hawaii County, First Hawaiian Bank, and the Hawaii Island United Way, not to pay the club any money for 21 days. If the problem isn't resolved by then, they must pay the club's money to the IRS.
The problem came to a crisis when an expected source of funds didn't materialize, Supp said.
Supp was to appear before the Hawaii County Council today to ask it not to cut funds for next year. Of an annual budget of $285,000, the club receives $50,000 from the county, he said.
H-1 freeway ramp and lane closures for the H-1 resurfacing project will include the Koko Head-bound University Avenue on- and off-ramps from 9 p.m. tomorrow until 5 a.m. Friday.
H-1 resurfacing project will close
ramps, lanes at University Avenue
Two Koko Head-bound lanes of H-1 at University Avenue will be closed from 11 p.m. tomorrow until 5 a.m. Friday.
During these closures, two lanes on University Avenue also will be closed for safety reasons.
A 1943 University of Hawaii graduate has bequested $475,000 in honor of his two brothers-in-law -- a Waikiki beach boy and a Chinese philosopher -- to fund three fellowships in China-related studies at the East-West Center.
UH grad honors brothers-in-law
with East-West Center fellowships
The late Yue Shuen Lee of San Francisco, a UH graduate in economics and strong advocate for higher education, directed the money to be distributed to UH for the three annual scholarships at the Center.
The Ah Kin "Buck" Yee Graduate Fellowship in Chinese Studies is named after the champion swimmer and surfer who died here in 1989. That scholarship went to Zeng Qi of Wuhan University in China, who will work on a Ph.D in political science.
The two Wing-tsit Chan Graduate Fellowships in Chinese Philosophy are in honor of the late scholar, who emigrated to Hawaii from Southern China and helped establish the philosophy program at UH in the mid-1930s.
Those two fellowships went to Wen Haiming, Peking University, who will begin Ph.D studies, and to Brian Bruya, a current Ph.D student at UH-Manoa.
Four candidates for dean of the University of Hawaii-Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources will speak at the campus this month. All talks will be at 1:30 p.m. in Kuykendall 201.
Prospective deans will visit
UH-Manoa campus this month
David Bryant, vice provost and director of extension, and professor of animal and range science at Montana State University, will speak today on "Creating Opportunities for a Lifetime."
Andrew Hashimoto, vice provost for academic affairs at Oregon State University, will talk May 9 on "Leadership and a Shared Vision."
Mark McLellan, director of Texas A&M University's Institute of Food Science and Engineering, will speak May 25 on "Rebuilding Confidence and Investment: A Road Map to Success."
H. Michael Harrington, interim dean and director of the UH-Manoa college since 1999, will speak on May 31. The title is to be announced.
Members of the state QUEST and QUEST-Net medical or dental plans may change plans through May 15.
Quest members can switch
plans through May 15
More than 125,000 residents receive health or dental benefits through QUEST.
The same plans available last year will be offered this year.
Participating medical plans are AlohaCare, HMSA, Kaiser, Kapiolani, Queen's and Straub. Dental plans are AlohaCare, Denticare and HMSA.
Packets containing a plan change form, a new QUEST booklet and a newsletter are being mailed to members.
Only current members may enroll in HMSA's medical plan on Oahu and the Big Island. The HMSA dental plan also is available only to present members statewide.
Those wishing to change medical and/or dental plans must check the appropriate boxes, sign the form and either hand-deliver it to their Med-QUEST eligibility office or mail it no later than May 15.
Only original plan change forms will be accepted. Changes aren't permitted by phone, fax or photocopies of the form.
If a form isn't received or is lost, beneficiaries should call or visit their Med-QUEST office from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
More information may be obtained by calling: Oahu, 587-3540; Maui, 243-5780; Kauai, 241-3575; Hilo, 933-0339; Kona, 327-4970; Lanai, 565-7102; Molokai, 553-1758.
Cayetano signs 20 new laws into the booksA second Circuit Court judge on Kauai and help for victims of violence are among new laws signed by Gov. Ben Cayetano.
The new law lets the state pay for mental health counseling for relatives of deceased victims and witnesses or people present at the scene of crimes where mass violence occurs, as in the shooting at the Xerox building last year.
Also among the 20 bills signed into law is a measure that conforms the Office of Hawaiian Affairs elections to the U.S. Supreme Court's Rice vs. Cayetano decision by repealing the Hawaiians only limitation for voters. It also reiterates the state requirement that OHA trustees be Hawaiian.
Members of the Ala Moana Neighborhood Board voted last week, 4-1, in favor of a Wal-Mart store on the Keeaumoku "superblock," with three members abstaining. A Hawaii Inc. report last Wednesday gave an incorrect vote breakdown.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Man hurt in Kaaawa accident still in hospital with critical injuriesThe 29-year-old man injured in a three-vehicle crash yesterday in Kaaawa remained in critical condition this morning at Queen's Hospital.
His 1984 Toyota van, traveling toward Kahuku, crossed the center line into the Kaneohe-bound lane of Kamehameha Highway and slammed into two vehicles at 4:45 a.m., police said. The accident closed the highway during rush hour and forced the closure of Kaaawa Elementary School.
The man, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected 30 feet from his van. No other major injuries were reported.
Man arrested for sexual assaultPolice arrested a 23-year-old man yesterday for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman he met outside a Waikiki bar.
A woman, 30, agreed to follow the man to a secluded area where he sexually assaulted her at about 4 a.m., police said.
Her friends located them and argued with the suspect.
Police responded and arrested the man for first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping.
Big Island police warn of scamWAIMEA, Hawaii -- Police are warning Big Islanders about a scam in which a letter writer claims to be a relative of the late Nigerian head of state Sani Abacha and offers $2.5 million for assistance.
The alleged writer, Dr. James Osaigbovo, offers to pay the letter recipient the money in return for help in transferring $39.5 million out of Nigeria.
The letter asks for the recipient's telephone and fax numbers. Anyone victimized by the scam should report it to 935-3311, police said.
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Another family sues over rockfall tragedyAnother family of one of the victims of the Sacred Falls rockfall is suing the state.
Donna Forsch was killed and her husband injured in the freak May 1999 incident that killed seven others. The suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages.
At least four other families have filed suit since the incident. The state park has been closed indefinitely.
The Forsch suit contends the state was negligent in failing to warn visitors of the danger of rockfalls, failing to prohibit access to dangerous portions of the park and failing to supervise the park to ensure visitor safety.
Medicaid recipients sue over tobacco fundsFour Medicaid recipients who suffer from smoking-related illnesses have filed a class-action lawsuit against the state for a share of funds the state received from last year's settlement against tobacco companies.
Federal law requires that states "must distribute" to individual Medicaid recipients all amounts recovered in excess of what is required to reimburse the state and federal Medicaid programs for payments made on their behalf, said the suit filed yesterday in U.S. District Court by Cirilo Cardenas Sr., Alejandro Asprer, Margaret Palting and Lex Bautista.
The plaintiffs contend that the purpose of the states January 1997 lawsuit was to seek reimbursement for people who received treatment for smoking related illnesses under Medicaid. The state received in excess of Medicaid payments and that excess belongs to them, said Arthur Park, attorney for the plaintiffs.
"We applaud the state for doing a good job in suing the tobacco companies and recovering the monies but we think they may have overlooked this federal Medicaid law."
Besides the four plaintiffs, "thousands" more are believed to belong to this class, he said.
Hawaii was among 46 states that reached a $206 billion settlement with tobacco companies last year. Hawaii is to receive $1.3 billion over the next 25 years. The suit seeks an injunction to prevent the state from collecting funds that, under the federal Medicaid statute, belong to these Medicaid recipients, Park said.
State Attorney General Earl Anzai said the state will defend the suit vigorously.
"They're saying that's the only thing we sued for and recovered and it's not true," he said. "Our claims included more than just Medicaid payments."
Payments that Hawaii has received so far have been cut back because of decreased tobacco sales and cigarette shipments. And the state foresees more reductions in the future, Anzai said.
"It makes their claim more untenable," he said.