Newswatch

Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, January 20, 1999


Spectacular lava show
put on by Kilauea

HILO -- Kilauea Volcano put on a brief but spectacular show at the ocean's edge Monday, blasting lava 300 feet in the air, said geologist Christina Heliker at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

The event apparently was triggered Monday afternoon by a modest reduction in the amount of lava flowing to the ocean, which allowed seawater to creep into hot underground tubes, flash to steam, and explode, she said.

"You'd see lava rise up, expand, and send out long ribbons of spatter," Heliker said. "It was very beautiful."

In the evening, the event became even more violent, with steam and lava exploding in big bangs, she said.

Around 8 p.m. the process shut off, apparently due to resumption of a normal volume of lava flow, she said.

Since then, there has been little to see except steam clouds at the ocean, and bad air quality at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park headquarters caused by volcanic fumes, Ranger Ruth Levin said.

Tapa

Foodbank gets grant of $40,500 from Kraft

The Hawaii Foodbank has received a $40,500 grant from Kraft Foods and its parent company, Philip Morris, that will be used to provide more fresh produce for the hungry.

That'll be done by expanding the food bank's refrigeration, food handling facilities and distribution capabilities, Kraft officials said. The improvements will mean the food bank will be able to collect 660,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables annually.

Women lawyers applaud Bronster, 3 others

State Attorney General Margery Bronster has been named the outstanding woman lawyer of 1998 by the nonprofit organization Hawaii Women Lawyers.

The group also honored:

Bullet William S. Richardson, former chief justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his "inspiring" legal career and life of service.

Bullet Jacqueline "Jackie" E.H. Young, former legislator and former executive director of Protect Our Constitution, with a Distinguished Service Award for political involvement no matter how controversial.

Bullet Sister Michele McQueeney of CSI Inc. (Comfort, Security, Independence) with the President's Award for being the guiding light for countless senior citizens.

An awards ceremony will take place 5 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Plaza Club, 900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 2000.

Civil Defense may turn off free water on Big Island

HILO -- Rural Big Island residents won't have free Hawaii County water after this year, Civil Defense Director Harry Kim says.

Kim had expected to cut off two public spigots in the Puna District last week because there wasn't enough money to reimburse the county Department of Water Supply.

A spigot site at Kapoho was turned off because it blocked access to private land, but Mayor Stephen Yamashiro found money to keep the other spigot at Kalapana open, Kim said.

Since the 1980s, Civil Defense has been providing clean drinking water from spigots attached to fire hydrants in areas where there is no piped water.

While the practice is especially helpful during droughts, it has continued even when there is no drought. In fiscal year 1997-98, which was very dry, water cost Civil Defense $32,000, Kim said.

The public has developed a "heavy dependency" on the spigots but has also abused them, he said. People use the water for unauthorized purposes such as washing their cars, and the litter at the roadside sites is "unbelievable," he said.

Drought conditions remain in Kau and Kona, justifying continued operation of three spigots there, Kim said. But there is no legal basis for continuing 10 other spigot sites, he said.

Kim said he is contacting community associations around the island to consider how to proceed.


CORRECTION

City Council Chairman Mufi Hannemann said of his suggestion to charge the state property taxes: "I think this makes the point that if we're going to be charged excise tax, then they should reciprocate and pay our taxes." A story yesterday incorrectly attributed the remark to Mayor Jeremy Harris..


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Police, Fire

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Car slams into median; two taken to hospital

A one-car accident closed Moanalua Freeway for more than four hours last night and hospitalized two people.

A 1983 Ford sedan driven by a man in his 70s lost control near the Halawa offramp and went into the grass about 7:15 p.m., police said.

The car spun out, accelerated, crossed all four lanes of the highway and crashed into a concrete median.

The driver was critically injured. The woman passenger, in her 70s, was seriously injured. They were both taken to Queen's Hospital, police said.

The road was opened after midnight.

Police said speed is a possible factor in the accident.

Nanakuli man arrested in sexual assault

A 21-year-old Nanakuli man was arrested yesterday in the sexual assault of a neighborhood boy.

The man invited the boy to play video games at his apartment, police said. The man then allegedly held the boy against his will and sexually assaulted him.

The man was later arrested at his home.

He was booked for kidnapping and two counts of first-degree sexual assault.

Firefighters put out city bus fire on H-3

Firefighters yesterday extinguished a city bus fire on the H-3 Freeway about a mile from the Halawa interchange.

Masked man with rifle robs Kahului okazuya

WAILUKU -- Maui police were investigating the robbery of a restaurant last night in the Kahului industrial area.

Police Sgt. David Silva said a man wearing a mask and wielding a rifle demanded money from the cash register of Ajiyoshi Okazuya Hawaii Inc. at about 8:18 p.m.

In other news . . .

Bullet A 73-year-old man died yesterday after drowning in the water near Ala Moana Boulevard. The man, a tourist, went swimming with his son at about 2:28 p.m., police said. The son later found his father floating face down.

Bullet Police yesterday arrested a man for allegedly firing a gun at Nanakuli Beach Park.

Tapa

THE COURTS

Counterfeiter must pay $550, serve 15 months

One of three people who pleaded guilty to conspiring to make and pass counterfeit bills was sentenced by a federal judge yesterday to 15 months in prison and three years' supervised release.

Kerstan Ho, 36, also must make restitution of $550, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nakamura. He faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway.

Ho, Roy Castro Jr. and Lanette De Reis were indicted by a federal grand jury in June, accused of purchasing a scanner/printer to make counterfeit $100, $50, $20 and $10 bills and passing the bills at bars and restaurants.

Homeless suspect released to his mother

A Circuit Court judge has allowed a homeless man indicted in the beating death of another homeless man last year to be released to his mother while awaiting trial.

Charles Kaheaku Jr., 33, who pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in the November 1997 death, has been at the Oahu Community Correctional Center since his arrest, said defense attorney Chester Kanai. His trial is scheduled for April.

Circuit Court Judge Dexter Del Rosario granted Kaheaku supervised release "probably because the state admitted this was not a manslaughter situation but something less than that," Kanai said.

Appeal blocks retrial in Granger stabbing

HILO -- An appeal to the state Supreme Court to block the retrial of a man accused in the 1997 stabbing death of retired businessman Gordon Granger could take a year, says attorney Brian De Lima.

Following a mistrial in December due to misconduct by Deputy Prosecutor Kay Iopa, the new trial for Christopher Wilmer Jr. had been set to begin yesterday, but was blocked by the appeal.

De Lima argues that a new trial for Wilmer, 21, amounts to trying him twice for the same offense.

He said the Supreme Court calendar is so crowded that it accepts only written materials and rarely hears oral arguments anymore.

Events in the case were complicated by the suicide Jan. 3 of Ian Cate, the deputy prosecutor assigned to take over from Iopa, who resigned effective Jan. 31. Cate's death appears to be related to a broken romance, but workload is also considered a factor.

Man charged in attempt to send guns abroad

An Oahu man has been charged with federal firearms violations for trying to send two semiautomatic pistols and another handgun to the Philippines.

Salvador V. Magliba was charged by the U.S. attorney's office with attempting to export weapons that are designated defense articles that require an export license from the government.


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