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Solar photovoltaic system stolen from Puna park

PUNA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow)- Big Island police are investigating the theft of a solar
photovoltaic system from MacKenzie State Park in Puna sometime between April 26
and April 28. 

Police say one or more persons apparently climbed onto the
roof of the park's new bathrooms and removed the panels and then cut a heavy
duty chain link fence, gaining access to the control box and a water pump.

Total value of the items stolen and
damaged was more than $5,000. 

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who may have
information on the identity of the person or persons responsible call Officer
Joseph Passmore at 965-2716.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

2 indicted in marijuana grow operation

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A grand jury has indicted two people on the Big Island on charges that they ran a marijuana grow operation in an underground bunker in Puna.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald says the grand jury in Hilo returned indictments against 60-year-old Charles Howard Lanham III and 67-year-old Linda Lee Stallings.

Police say the two operated an underground bunker on a property in Glenwood that was approximately 40 feet by 80 feet. Authorities say they recovered more than 500 marijuana plants and about 10 pounds of dried marijuana and a small amount of hashish from the bunker and surrounding property.

Police also seized $4,000 in cash, two vehicles, a backhoe, trailer, three diesel generators and other tools.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

April hotel business running fuller than last year

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- Hawaii hotels are running two
to three percentage points fuller than last year in all four operating
counties, Hospitality Advisors LLC reported Friday.

Oahu hotels were 84 percent full last week, three points
better than year-before levels and six points better than the previous week,
with room rates up 17 percent from last year.

Maui hotels were 81 percent full, two points better than
year-ago levels and one point better than the week before, but the average room
rate of $247 a night was the same as last year.

Kauai hotels were 69 percent full, three points better
than year-before and five points better than the previous week with room rates
up 8 percent from last year.

Big Island hotels were 59 percent full, two points better
than last year but down two points from the week before, with room rates up 14
percent from year-ago levels.

Police: Man electrocuted at Puna job site

PUNA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow)- Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a fatal industrial accident in the Puna District on Thursday morning.

Just before 9:15 a.m., police and Hawaiʻi Fire Department medics received a report of an apparent industrial accident at a job site just off Route 11 near the North Kulani Road intersection in Mountain View.

Responding officers discovered that a 56-year-old man had been inspecting the electrical system for a newly installed water tank when he apparently was electrocuted from the energized system. A 51-year-old Honokaʻa man, who was working nearby, attempted to assist the victim. He was able to de-energize the electrical system but not before sustaining minor injuries from exposure to electrical current.

The victim was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Detectives are conducting further investigation into this incident, which is classified as an industrial accident.

AAA: Hawaii gas prices drip downward

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- Hawaii gas prices dropped slightly in many areas over the last week, according to the AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch.

The Hawaii state average for regular unleaded is $4.36 per gallon, which is two cents less than last week, two cents less than last month and 25 cents less than on this day last year.

Honolulu's average price is $4.27 a gallon for regular unleaded, down three cents since last week, four cents less than last month and down 20 cents from a year ago.

In Hilo, the average gas price is $4.37 per gallon, which is unchanged since last week, four cents less than last month and 37 cents less than this time a year ago.

Wailuku's average is $4.51 a gallon, two cents less than last week, four cents less than last month and 38 cents less than the price last year.

Big Island police charge father, grandmother in child's disappearance

Noah Sanchez and Katherine Ruth Hunter

HILO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow)- Big Island police have filed charges against the non-custodial father and grandmother of a 2-year-old Lanai boy who was with them on Hawaii Island.

Detectives charged 53-year-old Katherine Ruth Hunter of Pahoa and 25-year-old Noah Sanchez of Pahoa with custodial interference.

Hunter's bail was set at $2,000. Sanchez's bail was set at $10,000. Unless they are able to post bail, their initial court appearance will be on Thursday and they will be held at the Hilo police cellblock until then.

On March 5, the child's 22-year-old mother, who is his legal custodian, gave Hunter permission to fly him from Lanai to the island of Hawaii to visit her for five days. Hunter then failed to return the child to his mother on Lanai.

Report: Vog makes for unhealthy Big Island air

HONOLULU (AP) - A new report by the American Lung Association gives the Big Island a failing grade for particle pollution in the air.

That's because one of the island's main sources of particle pollution is vog, or volcanic smog.

The association gave Hawaii County an F despite a decrease in the number of days with unhealthy particle pollution, from 23.5 days in the 2012 report to 12.5 days in this year's report.

The annual report released Wednesday grades counties nationwide for ozone and particle pollution levels.

Honolulu is the only county in the state that collected data on ozone levels. There were no days of unhealthy levels of ozone, or smog.

Maui County received healthy grades for particle pollution. According to the report, there were incomplete data available for Kauai County.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.