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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023

Registration remains open for Kaʻū Coffee Trail 50K, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K.

KAʻŪ COFFEE TRAIL RUNS COMES UP THIS SATURDAY, Sept. 23 with registration still available. The races begin and end at Kaʻū Coffee Mill at 96-2696 Wood Valley Road in Pāhala, with the courses climbing through macadamia and coffee orchards into the rainforest with 180-degree ocean views.
    For the long race, a 50K beginning at 6 a.m., cost is $120. The Half Marathon at 7 a.m. is $110 with the cutoff of nine hours. The 10K at 7:15 a.m. is $69, and the 5K at 7:30 a.m. is $55.
    Money raised goes to the local nonprofit ‘O Kaʻū Kākou for scholarships, land for a senior housing project, purchase of life-saving equipment for Kaʻū Hospital, restoration and maintenance of three historical cemeteries, and the annual Veterans Day celebration and Nāʻālehu Independence Day Parade.
    Race organizers will provide hydration and light snacks to those crossing the finish line. Local vendors from the Kaʻū community will sell snacks and beverages, such as chili and rice bowls, soups and beverages. Kaʻū Coffee Mill shop with beverages and some foods opens at 6:30 a.m. on race day.
    RFID Chip will provide the timing and notes that times begin when the gun goes off. The organizer of the races is Big Island Runners. Register at https://register.chronotrack.com/r/73385.

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HAWAI‘I IS THE STATE WITH THE MOST RACIAL AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY, according to a WalletHub report this week. Its overall Diversity ranking is third. It is first in Ethnic and Generational Diversity, third in Cultural and Economic Diversity, fourth in Political and Worker-Class Diversity, tenth

in Linguistic Diversity, 13th in Birthplace Diversity, 17th in Household Size Diversity, 23rd in Income Diversity, 24th in Occupational Diversity, 25th in Industry Diversity, 26th in Socioeconomic Diversity, 27th in Educational-Attainment Diversity and 34th in Religious Diversity.
    Other very Diverse states are top-ranking California, followed by Texas. After Hawai‘i's third-place ranking are New Jersey, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Maryland and Arizona.
   The Least Diverse state is West Virginia. Maine is second Least Diverse, followed by New Hampshire, Vermont, Montana, Kentucky, Iowa, Wyoming, Utah and North Dakota. For the full report, visit:
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HAWAI‘I SEN. MAZIE HIRONO VOTED TO CONFIRM THE CHAIR OF THE U.S. JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF on Wednesday, helping to make way for more military leaders to receive their new ranks, pay, and posts. Their new assignments are held up by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, of Alabama. He has been blocking the promotion of military personnel as a protest for his opposition to the military allowing its women soldiers to choose to have abortions.

See securefamiliesinitiative.org
    After Tuesday's vote and confirmation of Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. to lead the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, advanced the nomination of General Randy George to be Army Chief of Staff. This week, the Senate is also expected to consider the nomination of General Eric Smith to be Commandant of the Marine Corps. All three nominations, as well as hundreds of other General and Flag Officer promotions, have been blocked for months "due to reckless holds put in place by Sen. Tommy Tuberville," said a statement from Hirono's office.
    Hirono said, "General Brown is a life-long public servant and battle-tested leader who should have and could have, been confirmed months ago. By blocking his nomination—along with those of hundreds of other officers—Sen. Tuberville manufactured a crisis that continues to jeopardize our national security. Today, Senate Democrats acted to avoid some of the gravest potential consequences of this crisis by confirming his promotion. The DOD's travel policy remains in effect. Sen. Tuberville's hold is not accomplishing his goal, and this self-indulgent behavior is only accomplishing chaos.      
    "With the promotions of more than 300 career officers still in limbo, this crisis is far from over. While Republicans sow chaos at the expense of our troops, Senate Democrats will continue working to strengthen our national security and support the brave men and women of our Armed Forces," said Hirono.
    In March, when Tuberville first began his hold on numerous military officer promotions, Hirono delivered remarks on the Senate floor to speak out against his decision. In May, she joined Senators Richard Blumenthal, Tammy Duckworth and Michael Bennet in asking for unanimous consent on the Senate floor to confirm the military nominations that were being blocked by Senate Republicans, led by Tuberville. She also delivered remarks on the Senate floor to condemn Tuberville's ongoing hold, which was impacting nearly 200 military officer promotions. In July, Senator Hirono led seven of her Democratic colleagues on the Committee in calling on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to help end Tuberville's hold on more than 260 military promotions.

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JONAH FARMER OF OCEAN VIEW HAS BEEN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER, robbery, and auto theft, stemming from a shooting incident that occurred in Ocean View on Tuesday morning, Sept. 19. Detectives with the Hawai‘i Police Department’s Area II Criminal Investigation Section arrested the 26-year-old.
    Responding to a shooting on Aloha Blvd reported around 5:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Ka‘ū patrol officers made contact with a 43-year-old male victim, also from Ocean View.
    The victim reported that while sleeping in a tent on his property he was approached by an unidentified female asking for assistance with her vehicle. While walking to assist a woman, an unknown man, later identified as Jonah Farmer, assaulted him with an unspecified weapon, resulting in injuries to his neck and

Jonah Farmer of Ocean View has been arrested
for attempted murder, auto theft and more.
Photo from HPD
head. A short struggle ensued and the male victim was subsequently shot in his upper right thigh, prompting him to flee to a neighboring residence for help.
    The victim told police that he believed that the suspect's intention was to rob him. He also reported that his 2022 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck was stolen during the incident. An all-points bulletin was disseminated to officers for the vehicle.
    Having received substantial injuries, the victim was transported to Kona Community Hospital for treatment and was later released.
    Later on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., Kona patrol officers were conducting area checks in Kailua-Kona when they observed Farmer operating a 2019 Kia Soul. Shortly thereafter, he was contacted by officers and subsequently arrested without incident for the following offenses: Second-degree attempted murder; First-degree robbery; First-degree burglary; Second-degree assault; Unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (auto theft); and First-degree theft.
    Area II CIS detectives recovered the Kia Soul and a search warrant is pending. Farmer remains in police custody as detectives continue their investigation.
    Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Detective Donovan Kohara, via email at donovan.kohara@hawaiicounty.gov, via telephone at (808) 960-3118 or the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.
    Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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Bailee Powers 
PROSECUTING ATTORNEY KELDEN WALTJEN has announced arresting and charging 26-year-old Bailee Powers, of Volcano, in relation to the theft of a Honda Civic that was originally reported stolen on Sept. 7 from the parking area along the shoulder of the intersection of Komohana Street and Puainako extension in Hilo.
    Powers was scheduled to make her initial appearance on Wednesday in Hilo District Court. She remained in custody in lieu of $35,000 bail. As the Complaint alleges, Powers faces charges of Theft in the First Degree (obtained or exerted unauthorized control over another person’s motor vehicle, a Honda automobile) and Unauthorized Control of a Propelled Vehicle in the First Degree. The more serious offense, Theft in the First Degree, is a class B felony offense that carries a penalty of either a ten-year prison term or four years probation and up to 18 months in jail.
   The Prosecuting Attorney noted that charges are merely allegations and the Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
    The theft case was initiated by Officer Danton Zimmerman, South Hilo Patrol. The arrest was made by Officer Devin Ah Chong, Puna Patrol, and the felony investigation was led by Officer Jayce Carvalho, Special Enforcement Unit, Area I Criminal Investigation Section, Hawai‘i Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Soong.
 The statement from the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney said the team "remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement should call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300. #hawaiiprosecutors #hawaiipolicedepartment."