Declaration to let farmers get loans
Maui County and the Big Island have been declared primary natural disaster areas because of recent drought, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday.
The declaration means that qualified farm operators are eligible for low-interest loans from the USDA's Farm Service Agency. Farmers have eight months to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
"Our hearts go out to those Hawaii farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We're also telling Hawaii producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood."
The declaration for Maui County includes Kalawao County, or Kalaupapa on Molokai.
DUI roadblocks readied for holiday
Police will set up drunken driving roadblocks this weekend for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Monday.
The roadblocks will be at unannounced times and locations.
"People are encouraged to drive sober and to drive responsibly," said Lt. Ricky Uedoi, commander of the police Traffic Section. "If you are going to drink alcoholic beverages, please be wise and use a sober driver. Don't drive after drinking."
Didn't drive sober, got pulled over
Maui police made 42 impaired-driving arrests and issued 185 traffic citations during the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
The two-and-a-half week enforcement effort ran from Dec. 13 to Jan. 1.
Police set up 14 drunken driving checkpoints countywide during the period.
The traffic citations issued included 13 for seat-belt violations, three for child seat violations, 25 for driving with a suspended license, 87 for not having auto insurance, 54 for speeding and three for reckless driving.
During the period, officers throughout the department also made 239 felony arrests, 135 arrests on warrants and 57 drug arrests. Police reported recovering 15 stolen vehicles.
Bail unchanged in threatening case
WAILUKU - Bail remains at $500,000 for a man who was extradited from Washington state to face charges alleging that he threatened a woman.
Larry Dow, 50, of Vancouver has pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening. He allegedly made the threats through phone contact with the woman on Sept. 7, 2012, according to an indictment.
During a hearing Wednesday, 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo kept bail at $500,000 for Dow, who has a criminal history on the Mainland.
A March 31 trial is set for Dow.
Government offices to shut for MLK Day
Federal, state and county offices and public schools will be closed Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
Also closed will be the Hana and Lanai landfills and Molokai's landfill and recycling facilities. Curbside trash collections will not be affected.
The Central Maui Landfill and EKO Compost and Greenwaste will be open from 6 a.m. to noon. Olowalu Recycling will be open from 8 a.m. to noon.
All county pools will be open.
All public libraries will be closed. Also, libraries usually closed on Monday will be closed on Tuesday as well.
Those libraries are Kahului, Kihei and Lahaina.
The Maui News business offices will be open regular hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.