State roundup for October 4
Kauai considers meter penalties
LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Kauai’s electric utility wants to charge customers not using the company’s wireless smart meters $10.27 a month.
The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative said Wednesday it will ask the state Public Utilities Commission for permission to levy the fee.
Smart meters allow utilities to remotely read customers’ meters as well as connect and disconnect service.
KIUC says about 10 percent of its 30,000 customers are opting not to use smart meters. The cooperative says it costs about $340,000 a year to send technicians to read old-style meters still in use at 3,000 homes and businesses.
The utility says it believes it’s fair to assign the cost of reading the old meters to cooperative members who have chosen to keep them rather than have the entire membership pay.
Man dies after falling off cliff
LAHAINA, Maui (AP) — Maui officials say a 30-year-old man visiting from California died after falling off a cliff.
Maui firefighters say they responded shortly after noon on Wednesday to a call about the fall at Nakalele Point in west Maui.
Bystanders directed medics to the blowhole area where the man apparently fell 30 feet onto the rocks.
A helicopter airlifted the man to a landing zone near the highway but he was pronounced dead after being loaded into an ambulance.
Maui police identified the man as Dominic Reginatto of Redding, Calif.
Two years ago, a 44-year-old California man was sucked to his apparent death at the Nakalele blowhole. Witnesses saw a large wave push the man into the hole. He popped up briefly with the next wave but then disappeared.
Teacher cleared of exploitation
HONOLULU (AP) — Prosecutors in Washington state have dismissed a felony charge of sexual exploitation of a minor filed against a 62-year-old Maui teacher.
Maui High School teacher Thomas Takeuchi was arrested in May 2012 and placed on paid leave.
He has been a teacher at Maui High since 1994. The state Department of Education said Takeuchi will remain on paid leave pending an employment suitability review.
Takeuchi visited family in Washington in 2011. The criminal charge stemmed from photos found on a child’s camera in March 2012.
Whitman County prosecutors said Takeuchi photographed the 4-year-old naked. The girl’s mother turned the photos over to police.
Takeuchi pleaded not guilty in June 2012. He has been free on his own recognizance.
Prosecutors dismissed the charge Sept. 20.
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