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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, March 1, 2002

Neighbor Island briefs

Candle starts home fire

A lighted candle yesterday morning set off a blaze at an abandoned Lahaina plantation house. Two men were inside when the fire broke out.

Maui firefighters responded to the 5:57 a.m alarm at 857 Kopili Place. The engine company was at the scene at 6:12 a.m. and had the fire under control 10 minutes later. The blaze was extinguished at 7:55 a.m., officials said.

The men escaped without injury from the home, which is not equipped with electricity. Damage was estimated at $25,000 to the building and $1,500 to a car parked nearby.

Big Island tops charity goal

HILO, Hawai'i — The Hawai'i Island United Way inched past its 2002 fund-raising goal of $1.34 million this week after receiving a gift from Kukio Partners.

United Way leader Helen Hemmes said the drive was especially challenging because of changed polices in corporate giving, the effects of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and the pending dissolution of C. Brewer.

The Big Island agency supports 34 nonprofit organizations.

Hemmes said the amount of the Kukio Partners gift is not being disclosed.

Firm accused of not paying tax

HILO, Hawai'i — A Kona medical firm and its vice president were indicted Wednesday for alleged "willful failure" to file general excise tax returns for four years.

Joy A. McElroy M.D. Inc. and its vice president, Dr. Loi Chang-Stroman, are accused of failing to file state GET returns for the 1997-2000 tax years.

Chang-Stroman declined to comment yesterday.

The medical firm faces a fine of $100,000 for each tax year while Chang-Stroman could be fined $25,000 and imprisoned for a year.

Kaua'i picks new personnel head

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — Mayor Maryanne Kusaka yesterday announced Malcolm Fernandez, a veteran human resources and safety specialist, has been selected by the county Civil Service Commission as the county's new personnel director, replacing Allan Tanigawa, who is retiring.

Fernandez, of Kekaha, is a safety specialist with ITT Industries, and is a former sugar industry relations and human resources official. He starts work March 1 and will work with Tanigawa until March 25, when Fernandez will take over the top post.

The personnel director oversees hiring, labor relations, classification of county employees and conducts collective bargaining for the county.