Friday, January 19, 2001
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Posted on: Friday, January 19, 2001

Neighbor Island briefs

Advertiser Staff

Maui group forms support network

WAILUKU, Maui — The Maui AIDS Foundation is organizing a support network for gay and bisexual Asian and Pacific island men.

According to the foundation’s Dean Wong, these men often are "stigmatized and socially closeted because of various social and cultural implications."

He said the Maui Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Support Network will be involved in advocacy, HIV/AIDS issues, networking opportunities, political awareness and cultural activities.

For more information, call Wong at (808) 242-4900, Ext. 112, or e-mail

Murder suspects remain jailed

WAILUKU, Maui — Two suspects in last month's murder of an elderly Kihei man remain in jail after Maui Judge Shackley Raffetto declined yesterday to lower their bail from $230,000 each.

Lisa H. Avilla and Michael A. Pavich, both 30, were indicted last week and Tuesday pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, burglary, kidnapping and robbery. Raffetto set their trial for April 9.

Both are being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

They are accused of killing Edward "Doc" Bird, 82, during a burglary at his ground-floor unit at the Pacific Shores on South Kihei Road. Bird, whose body was discovered in his bedroom Dec. 3, died of strangulation and also suffered head injuries.

Flood victims get state, federal aid

Federal and state officials yesterday issued their final summary of recovery efforts in the aftermath of November flooding on the Big Island.

President Clinton declared the island a disaster area following a storm that dumped 30 inches of rain Nov. 1-2. More than 2,000 victims registered for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s toll-free registration line.

FEMA issued about 1,100 checks, totaling nearly $2.4 million, for temporary disaster housing, while the U.S. Small Business Administration approved nearly $4.6 million in low-interest disaster loans. More than $1.1 million in grants was approved for serious, disaster-related needs not met through other sources.

In addition, FEMA gave the state Department of Health $63,000 to provide counseling and other mental health services to disaster victims.

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