Woman drowns off South Kohala
A California woman apparently drowned Thursday in waters along the South Kohala coast.
The woman has been identified as 70-year-old Eileen Melville of Midvalley, Calif., police said.
South Kohala patrol officers responded to Beach 69 in Puako after receiving a 12:08 p.m. call reporting an unresponsive snorkeler.
Officers learned that bystanders had pulled the woman from the water and attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation until Fire Department personnel arrived. She was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 1:17 p.m.
Police have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Bow hunting at PTA this weekend
Pohakuloa Training Area will open the Keamuku Training Area to bow hunting of goats and pigs, Saturday and Sunday.
Check-in time for hunting in the Keamuku is 5 a.m., and hunters must check out by 7:30 p.m. No early access to hunting areas is permitted.
All hunters must check in and check out at one of the following stations: Kilohana Hunter’s Check-in Station located between mile markers 43 and 44 on Saddle Road; Huluhulu Hunter’s Check-in Station located at the intersection of Mauna Kea Access Road and Saddle Road—near Mile Marker 28; or Puanahulu Check-in Station located near Mile Marker 14 on Mamalahoa Highway.
Hunting passes will be available at the check-in stations today after 5 p.m. Hunters should place the pass on their vehicle dashboard. Hunting passes are valid only for Saturday and Sunday.
Hunters should enter and exit the Keamuku through gates 2, 7 and 10 on Saddle Road or gates 11 and 12 on Mamalahoa Highway. The designated parking area is inside the gate entrances. Hunters should not park alongside the highways at any time.
PTA is extremely dry and fires can start easily. No smoking or open flames are allowed in the training and hunting areas. Please report all fires to the PTA Fire Department at 969-2447 or 969-2448.
Also, no firearms, alcoholic beverages, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes or recreational vehicles are allowed in the training and hunting areas. Please close all gates when entering or leaving hunting areas.
For more information, call the Hunter’s Hotline at 969-3474.
Drilling ban will not affect PGV
The passage of a bill banning geothermal drilling from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. will not have any immediate effect on Puna Geothermal Venture, Councilman Dennis Onishi and PGV plant manager Michael Kaleikini said.
Last week, the County Council approved a bill banning the nighttime drilling for any geothermal facility located within a mile of any residence. The bill is pending approval by Mayor Billy Kenoi.
But even if it passes, Onishi said, it will not have any effect on PGV operations because the bill does not affect current permits that have been “grandfathered in.”
PGV holds a permit to produce up to 60 megawatts of electricity; it currently produces 38 megawatts, meaning that it can add 22 megawatts of generating capacity without being subject to the restrictions of the bill, Onishi said.
Kaleikini agreed. “That’s our position, too, from our legal counsel and from us and from what the council members were telling us,” he said.
Assuming passage of the bill, any new permits for geothermal energy generation would be subject to the nighttime limits.