News briefs: Drought conditions persist, Molokai Planning Commission meets today, Bond set for accused Kalaupapa resident

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has continued the high surf advisory for east facing shores of Maui and Molokai in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The National Weather Service also reports that drought conditions have become worse across the eastern two-thirds of Molokai. Normally the east end has an abundance of moisture but the area has degraded to moderate drought, or D1 conditions. Since the drought monitor began in 1999 no area of Hawaii has received the D4 designation, which represents the most intense drought classification. South Kohala and leeward North Kohala on the Big Island have recently received the D4 designation.

Planning Commission preview

The Molokai Planning Commission meets today at noon at the Mitchell Pau’ole Center. The commissioners will consider a request to extend a permit to allow operation of an adult day care center at Home Pumehana. Also, Kip Dunbar has requested a special Management Area Assessment determination for the Dunbar Wetland Habitat project in order to dredge a deteriorated wetland at Kainalu. Another SMA assessment request from Reynaldo Artieda will be considered for the proposed construction of an above ground covered deck attached to his existing residence in Kaunakakai.

Yard sale bonanza at Kualapuu Elementary

On Saturday, Kualapuu Elementary School will be holding a yard sale bonanza from 8 a.m. to noon. There will be lots of baked goods, games, new and used items and much more.

Bond set for Kalaupapa man accused of transporting methamphetamine

In a follow-up to a story from last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Kobayashi ruled Thursday that Kalaupapa Hansen’s disease patient Norbert Palea can be released on $25,000 bond while awaiting trial on charges of shipping crystal methamphetamine from Oahu to Molokai. Palea, 68, is the youngest resident of the Kalaupapa Hansen’s disease settlement. According to a criminal complaint filed against him this week, Palea allegedly shipped illicit drugs to Molokai last year and again this year.