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Isle jury convicts Californian in drug case

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A federal jury found a 44-year-old California man guilty Monday of attempting to smuggle almost three pounds of crystal methamphetamine to Kauai.

U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni said Roman Contreras flew from Los Angeles to Lihue on May 24 under a false name, with three plastic containers filled with crystal methamphetamine hidden in his baggage.

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents discovered the drugs while executing a search warrant on Contreras’ bags on March 25. Evidence showed that Contreras attempted to avoid police and DEA agents after he got off the flight from California.

Contreras has a prior conviction for promoting methamphetamine and now faces up to life in prison, with a mandatory 20-year term when he is sentenced on Oct. 21.

Maui Electric making effort to utilize more wind power

 

WAILUKU » Maui Electric Co. is working to reduce the amount of wind power that goes unused each year.

Maui News reported Thursday that the Public Utilities Commission has criticized the company in the past for dumping wind power when more is generated than needed. Data filed June 29 show the utility wasted 10 percent less of the power that was generated on wind farms last year compared with 2013.

Company spokeswoman Kau‘i Awai-Dickson said old generators being used less and control modifications on others have made more room for wind power on the grid, contributing to the decrease.

Future plans include replacing old generators with more reliable systems and installing technology upgrades that improve the utility’s ability to control supply and demand.

Community cleanup means road closure on Saturday

Kauai County officials say Malu­hia Road from the Tree Tunnel to the Ala Kino­iki junction will be closed from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday for a community cleanup.

The county Roads Division also will be doing some road edge line striping.

During the closure, traffic will be diverted to Piko, Omao and Koloa roads.

The Maluhia beautification project is spearheaded by the Poipu Beach Resort Association and Koloa Plantation Days in partnership with the county and other community organizations.

For more information about the road closure, call Scott Suga with the Roads Division at 241-4844.

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