Newswatch

Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, January 30, 1999


By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
A fire this morning destroyed a house at 1722 Hooia St.,
leaving only a charred frame. Five fire companies responded
to the blaze, which was under control at 7:04 a.m., according
to fire officials. Police said five family members, including
an 18-year-old male in a wheelchair, escaped unharmed.
The cause is under investigation, but police said it does
not appear suspicious.



Tapa

State rejects HECO's Waahila Ridge report

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has rejected Hawaiian Electric Co.'s environmental impact statement on a proposed project that would put overhead transmission lines on Waahila Ridge.

Department Director Tim Johns said the impact statement for the controversial project was "insufficient."

The rejection was based on two grounds: the discovery of some rare trees in the area of the proposed power lines, and uncertainty by reviewers whether full response was given to public comments, he said.

Life of the Land, a group opposed to the project, called the rejection "a victory for the community."

A letter notifying Hawaiian Electric of the rejection was sent to the utility yesterday. A HECO spokesman had no comment.

Johns said the utility now will have to revise the statement and circulate it again. The Board of Land and Natural Resources last week approved a one-year extension to the processing time of a needed conservation district use permit, he added.

The statement review was done by department staff, the Office of Environmental Quality Control and the attorney general's office.

Hawaiian Electric has said the lines are part of a project that is important to provide reliable service.

Sex assaults on teen bring 20-year jail term

HILO -- A Big Island man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting his teen-age stepdaughter from July 1996 to July 1997, the Hawaii County prosecutor's office said.

Judge Riki May Amano handed down the sentence, the maximum allowable, after defendant Robert Bruce Domen, 29, entered a no-contest plea to a charge of sexual assault in the first degree.

The victim, 14 at the time, reported the assaults in July 1997.

Domen gave a statement to police seven days after the girl contacted them, waived his right to have the case presented to the grand jury, and waived a jury trial.

New Mayor Wright unit to aid in crime fight

A new Community House unit at Mayor Wright Housing was to be dedicated today as a gathering place for residents and a base of operations for a citizens patrol team.

The two-room unit is part of the Weed and Seed Project, intended to revitalize communities by weeding out crime and supporting social and economic programs for residents.

The project is sponsored by the U.S. Justice Department with help from Aloha United Way agencies.

Sewage treatment plant now under construction

Construction has started on a commercial water reclamation facility at the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant which will help the city meet federal requirements.

US Filter will design, construct, finance and operate the facility, which will be able to process 13 million gallons of sewage a day and turn it into 12 million gallons for industrial or irrigation use.

The city would then purchase 6 million gallons for industrial use at the plant and for irrigation of two nearby municipal golf courses.

City Environmental Services Director Kenn Sprague said the city will save about 60 cents per 1,000 gallons compared to the potable water it now uses.

The remaining 6 million gallons will be purchased by commercial interests in need of either irrigation or industrial-grade water.

Gary Cardwell, project vice president for US Filters, said he hopes to have commitments for all the remaining water by the summer from area golf course purveyors, as well as oil refineries and power companies at Campbell Industrial Park.

Operation is expected to begin by summer 2000.

Tapa


CORRECTION

The correct number to call to make an appointment for free income-tax help at the Legal Aid Society is 528-3482. A wrong number was provided in a list of Tax-Aide sites that ran in yesterday's Kokua Line.


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Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

POLICE

Armed robber tries store in Wahiawa

Police are searching for a man wearing a military-type jacket and a sailor's hat who robbed a woman at gunpoint today.

The woman, 48, was opening up the Wahiawa Foodland at 823 California Ave. at about 4:20 a.m. when man carrying a knife and gun walked up to her, police said.

The suspect, wearing a scarf over his face, demanded that the woman open the store's safe.

The woman unsuccessfully tried to open the safe, police said. The man then took money from her purse and fled.

The woman was uninjured. The man is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and about 130 pounds.

Hickam teen arrested in assault with dart

A 16-year-old Hickam boy has been arrested for allegedly stabbing three 11-year-olds with a metal-tipped dart last night.

The suspect approached a boy at Hickam Air Force Base about 8 p.m. yesterday and demanded money owed to him, police said. When the boy said he didn't have any money, he was jabbed in the stomach.

The suspect then approached two girls and reportedly threatened them at the base's skating park, police said.

The girls both were stabbed in the back.

The stabbing victims all suffered puncture wounds, police said.

The suspect was arrested for felony assault and robbery.

Big Island homes searched in homicide

KAILUA-KONA - Police said they have concluded two days of searching two West Hawaii properties without finding the remains of a missing woman.

On Thursday, police announced they had reclassified the disappearance of Michele Gloria Adam, 36, missing from her Milolii Beach Lots home in South Kona since June 13, to homicide.

A search there and at an Ocean View home owned by Adam and her husband, Richard, failed to produce evidence of what happened to her, police said. An investigation is continuing.


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