Inouye in to look over Big Isle storm damageHILO -- U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye is to arrive on the Big Island today to review last week's storm damage, and the state will set up a disaster relief center in Hilo tomorrow, Hawaii County Civil Defense chief Bill Davis said.
A Honolulu-based official of the Federal Emergency Management Administration made an assessment Saturday, Davis said. "All the important numbers, FEMA already has."
Damage reports continue trickling in. The current assessment is over $20 million, including more than 300 homes, he said.
The state disaster assistance center will open at 9 a.m. tomorrow in Hilo's Civic Auditorium. Services will include loans to farmers, personal loans, crisis counseling, employment opportunities, tax assistance, food stamps and insurance issues.
Two main road problems continue to cause long-term concerns, Davis said.
In Hilo, the washout of Komohana Street, a main roadway above downtown Hilo, means traffic has to be detoured, contributing to continued traffic problems downtown.
Rather than a quick fix, Mayor Stephen Yamashiro has ordered a permanent solution consisting of a bridgelike box culvert under Komohana.
In Kau the county plans to improve a temporary road over private land to isolated Wood Valley, and is seeking a way to link Wood Valley with Pahala.
The bridge on a back road between the two towns washed out, and bridges on the main highway through the district are damaged. It will be some time before they can be worked on, Davis said.
Tentative pact permits work at luxury projectKEALAKEKUA, Hawaii -- A tentative agreement has been reached to allow workers of the Hokuli'a development project to return to work, according to Robert D.S. Kim, attorney for plaintiffs who sought to stop the work because of silt running off into the ocean.
Kona Judge Ronald Ibarra had granted a temporary restraining order halting work on the luxury residential project because of the muddy runoff.
The agreement, worked out over the weekend, is subject to approval by Ibarra, Kim said. A hearing was to be held today.
Kim represents four Kona residents who sought to halt work at the project because of the runoff. They said they make recreational and commercial use of the pristine ocean waters off the project area, about two miles north of Kealakekua Bay.
"Workers who return to work will be specifically assigned to commence and build specific pollution control measures, including but not limited to removal of dirt and sediment trapped on silt curtains, dredging sediment basins and other emergency measures approved and authorized by the Department of Health," he said.
Another hearing is set for Nov. 14 on the plaintiffs' motion to extend Ibarra's temporary restraining order.
Water board awards $1.5 mil in contractsSeven new Board of Water Supply contracts valued at more than $1.5 million will repair pumping equipment in Leeward Oahu and renovate facilities in Honolulu.
Contract work will go on in Aiea, Pearl City, Ewa, Honouliuli, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Makaha and Honolulu sites at Wailupe, Hawaii Loa Ridge, Aina Koa and Alewa Heights.
The largest single contract, $372,200, went to Jas. W. Glover Ltd. to renovate electrical equipment at the Nanakuli Booster station at 89-725 Nanakuli Ave. Work is under way, and completion is expected by the end of October 2001.
Habitat for Humanity builds 32nd isle homeHonolulu Habitat for Humanity has dedicated its 32nd home.
The three-bedroom, two-bath home on Hawaiian Homesteads land will become the new residence of the Reynolds/Rasmussen family, who had been living in dilapidated World War II barracks.
Habitat for Humanity partners with low-income families who cannot qualify for conventional home loans to help them build and finance a home. Ninety-seven volunteers built the home in 22 weeks.
Designer hired for UH's West Hawaii campusHILO -- Mitsunaga and Associates has been hired to design the first phase of the West Hawaii campus of the University of Hawaii, Hawaii Community College Provost Sandra Sakaguchi has announced.
Gov. Ben Cayetano recently released $1.4 million for the project.
The 500-acre campus a mile mauka of the Kona International Airport will eventually house two-year, four-year and graduate programs. Construction of the first phase, infrastructure and two buildings is expected to be completed by 2005.
TomorrowSome events of interest
7 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 7, various locations: Voting for general election.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
6-hour standoff in Maili ends with arrest of twoAn early-morning standoff in Maili ended after about six hours, with police using tear gas to overcome two suspects.
No injuries were reported from the incident at 87-550 Farrington Highway. When police responded at 1 a.m., they closed the highway.
Two men, ages 31 and 23, were arrested at 7:19 a.m.
Charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm are pending against the older man. The younger man was arrested on outstanding court warrants totaling more than $5,000.
Although the men had a handgun, family members said the bullets had been removed.
The older man's mother, Brenda Key, said her son was upset over the disappearance of his new motorcycle.
"He was blaming everybody, but we told him we didn't know where it was," Key said. She said they later learned that his sister had taken it somewhere.
Police seek suspect, 27, in wife-smothering casePolice are looking for a 27-year-old man who allegedly tried to smother his wife with pillows during an argument early yesterday morning.
The alleged incident, at an Akule Street address in Waialua, was reported at 1:20 a.m.
Wilhelmina fire causes $470,000 damageFire caused an estimated $470,000 damage last night to a three-level Wilhelmina Rise residence at 3526 Sierra Drive.
The 10:47 p.m. fire was under control at 11:10 p.m.
Cause of the fire to the rental house is under investigation, but one resident said a candle was burning in the bedroom of the second-level rental, where the fire started.