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Hawaii News | Newswatch



Islam day scheduled

The Muslim Association of Hawaii is sponsoring Islam Day events from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at Ala Moana Beach Park’s McCoy Pavilion. The suggested donation is $10, of which 100 percent will be used to purchase shoes for needy schoolchildren in Hawaii. The event will be free of charge for children under 8 and for those who cannot afford the donation.


50,000 to receive credit on water bills

The Board of Water Supply overcharged more than 50,000 customers, who will receive a credit in their next sewer and water bill.

Moani Wright-Van Alst, Board of Water Supply spokeswoman, said the credit will range between 8 cents to $58. The majority of the affected customers live between Waianae and Aiea.

She said the error was caused by a delay in meter readings. The overbilling error was discovered after the Board of Water Supply received several complaints.

Billing periods for these customers were longer than the usual 60 days because BWS meter readings were delayed, the Board of Water Supply reported. The meter readings were delayed anywhere from two days to three weeks.

Beginning in 2006, the Board of Water Supply implemented a rate increase spread over several years. Sewer fees also went up on July 1, which also increased the bills.

Water and sewer bills are issued bimonthly.

To see how BWS water charges are calculated, visit

An explanation of the city’s sewer charge calculations is available on the ENV website at



Murder suspect seen as mentally fit

A psychiatrist has testified in the murder trial of Rachael Berta that she was able to differentiate right from wrong at the time she allegedly stabbed her live-in boyfriend last year.

The Maui News reported that Dr. Gene Altman based his opinion on an interview with Berta, conversations with her family members and a review of probation records, including some from her psychiatric treatment in Virginia and on Maui.

He said she was "moderately impaired but not substantially impaired" when she allegedly stabbed 33-year-old John Shaniyo on Jan. 5, 2009.

"She was volitionally responsible for the alleged events," Altman said.

Berta, 25, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

Closing arguments in the nonjury trial were scheduled for yesterday afternoon before Circuit Judge Joel August in Wailuku.


Wild donkeys might place kids at risk

State Civil Defense officials are investigating reports that feral donkeys might pose a threat to schoolchildren in Waikoloa on the Big Island. They plan an aerial inspection by helicopter over the area next week.

Shelly Ichishita, spokeswoman for state Civil Defense, said the Waikoloa Village Association claims 60 to 80 wild donkeys, part of a herd numbering 600, are running loose in the village at night and that some have been spotted on Waikoloa Elementary School grounds.

The school principal reported a few donkeys show up one or two nights a week, and a janitor saw a donkey at 5:30 a.m. one day, hours before students arrive, Ichishita said.


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