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For Thursday, November 10, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff


Truck with broken axle closes Piikoi lanes

Access to the H-1 freeway westbound onramp from Piikoi Street was impeded for several hours Wednesday when a tractor-trailer broke down at an intersection.

The truck was making a left turn from Piikoi Street onto Lunalilo Street when one of its axles broke about 8:30 a.m. The rig blocked the two lanes from Piikoi that turn left onto Lunalilo Street to get to the freeway onramp.

Police closed the lanes between Matlock and Lunalilo streets on Piikoi Street at 8:50 a.m. while the owner of the truck — Hawaii Heavy Haul Services — was called to try to repair the vehicle.

The truck's driver, Jared Solomon, said the U-bolts attaching the dirt-filled truck bed to the axle broke.

"It was heart-stopping, but God was with me today," Solomon said.

Public workers accept tentative contract

The United Public Workers union, representing some 8,500 state and county blue-collar workers, has reached a tentative agreement with government negotiators on a two-year contract.

The union's Executive Negotiating Committee is scheduled to vote on the proposal Saturday. If OK'd, the proposed contract will be voted on by UPW members statewide.

Part of the proposed contract calls for a 50-50 split in health insurance benefits. The state would also realize a 5 percent labor cost savings through giving the workers furlough days or leave without pay.

Kailua-Kona man killed in truck crash

A Kailua-Kona man died Tuesday from injuries sustained when his truck went off the road and overturned at the 99-mile marker of Hawaii Belt Road in South Kona.

Police identified the victim as Bonifacio Pako Alip III, 48. He was driving a 1987 Dodge Ram pickup truck when the accident occurred.

Police said it was raining at the time of 8:19 p.m. accident and that the roadway was wet and slick.

Two passengers in the vehicle, a 21-year-old Ocean View man and a 24-year-old woman from Kailua-Kona, were taken to Kona Community Hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries and released. Alip was also taken to the hospital, where he died at 11:18 p.m.

His death was the 19th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year, compared to 23 at this time last year.

Kau land buy protects turtles, fishpond, spring

Hawaii County has acquired more than 550 acres of undeveloped shoreline at Kawa near Pahala in the Kau District.

The $3.9 million purchase was made through a public-private partnership involving the county, the Legacy Land Conservation Program under the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Trust for Public Land and community members, the county announced Tuesday.

The purchase connects a four-mile corridor of publicly owned land along the Kau coast, protects nesting areas for the critically endangered Hawaiian hawksbill turtle and includes the 2-acre Kaalaiki intertidal fishpond, estuary and spring system.

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