Newswatch

Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, February 11, 1999


Needle-exchange program
helps prevent HIV

By Roh Ohira, Star-Bulletin

Hawaii's syringe-exchange program is effectively keeping HIV rates among drug users relatively low, says an expert needle exchange researcher.

In a 1998 evaluation report for the state Health Department, Dr. Don C. Des Jarlais notes that only 17 percent of AIDS cases in Hawaii are related to injecting drug use.

"This relatively low percentage is not due to a lack of injecting drug users in the state, but can be credited to proactive efforts to implement HIV prevention programs for injecting drug users in Hawaii," said Des Jarlais, director of the Chemical Dependency Institute of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

Des Jarlais yesterday presented the evaluation report to board members of the Community Health Outreach Workers Project, which is the coordinating agency for the statewide needle exchange program.

Of the 665,357 reported cases of AIDS in the United States as of June 1998, 36 percent are associated with injection drug use, either occurring among injected drug users, their sexual partners or their children, the report says.

The exchange program reported a total of 9,491 client visits and 174,509 syringes exchanged during the study period from October 1997 to September 1998.

In 1997, 142,715 syringes were exchanged.

"The increase is likely to be the result of improved outreach in several sites, the Peer Education Program in East Hawaii, and normal fluctuations in exchange volume," the report says.



Second prison guard charged in drug case

The second of two prison guards charged in a drug-smuggling operation at the Oahu Community Correctional Center pleaded not guilty today in Circuit Court.

Steven McGuine is accused of helping an inmate escape from prison last July in exchange for money and drugs, attempting to promote drugs and hindering in the prosecution of another guard, Jason Pang.

Pang earlier this month pleaded not guilty to identical charges and is set for trial the week of March 22.

McGuine's trial is set for April 12.

Two big fishing nets found in Kaneohe Bay

Two fishing nets weighing a total of 1,000 pounds found floating in Kaneohe Bay were brought in by Coast Guard marine safety officers yesterday afternoon.

While on routine patrol, they noticed the nets floating off the bay's sandbar.

Officials believe the nets were abandoned from fishing boats on the high seas somewhere to the north. The Windward shore has been particularly susceptible to the nets covering its coral reefs, according to Debbie Ward of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The nets were taken to a landfill.

Oil spill shuts part of Waipahu bike path again

Part of a bike path in Waipahu got shut down again yesterday, for the second time in about a week.

The state Department of Health closed the path because of a diesel oil spill.

The same quarter-mile stretch that was closed last week from the entrance to the Waiawa Wildlife Sanctuary road and the Waiawa Stream bridge behind Leeward Community College was closed again.

Investigators tried to determine where the diesel oil came from. The Navy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Coast Guard, Chevron and the state continued to check.

The path was expected to be closed again today. A leaking pipeline was ruled out after the first spill turned up last Thursday.

Volunteers needed at Kanaha Stream

Community volunteers are needed to help restore Kanaha Stream near Roosevelt High School from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 20.

The workday will include planting native plants and other ground cover to restore to the ecosystem the natural filtering effect of healthy plants. Other activities are creating educational signs and a picnic area.

The project is jointly funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the state Health Department's Clean Water Branch and the Conservation Council for Hawaii. For information call the Citizen Action Project at 941-HULI.

HMSA wants to honor six 'ageless heroes'

The Hawaii Medical Service Association is seeking six "ageless heroes."

They must be 65 or older with achievements showing that life during those years can be healthy, vital and successful.

The Ageless Heroes Awards Program will honor role models in these categories:

Bullet Vigor and Vitality (reflecting extraordinary physical or mental abilities).

Bullet Community involvement.

Bullet Love of Learning (expressed by studies or experience).

Bullet Creative Expressions (demonstrating talent).

Bullet Against the Odds (overcoming a disability).

Bullet Bridging the Generations (admiration for a grandparent by a grandchild).

A nomination form and a short essay must be submitted by Feb. 26. For information call 1-800-463-0055.

Tapa


CLARIFICATION

Kaaawa and Punaluu are also taking part in the Koolauloa Traffic Safety Coalition, which is designed to help make Kamehameha Highway safer from Kahaluu to Waimea Bay. They were omitted from a Streetwise story Monday.


See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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Police, Fire

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

POLICE

Officer injured as SUV reportedly runs red light

A Waikiki police officer was injured this morning when a man in a Toyota 4-Runner slammed into his police GO-4 three-wheel vehicle.

The 62-year-old driver of the sports utility vehicle reportedly ran a red light, police said. The impact flipped the police vehicle at least once, police said.

The officer was taken to Queen's Hospital in good condition with injuries to his knee and chin.

In other news . . .

Bullet A student was struck by a car while walking to Roosevelt High School this morning. The girl was crossing Nehoa Street in or near the crosswalk when she was struck, school officials said. The accident was reported to police at 7:50 a.m. The girl was taken to Queen's Hospital. Her condition was not available this morning.

Bullet A chain-reaction accident on the H-1 freeway near the Waipahu cutoff backed up Ewa-bound traffic for miles this morning. At least five cars were involved in the 7:41 a.m. accident, police said. Only one lane remained open while the scene was being cleared. Traffic was backlogged from the cutoff to Aloha Stadium. The accident also delayed the ZipMobile from closing the ZipLane, officials said. Two people were hurt in the accident.

Bullet Police are searching for three suspects who robbed a Pagoda Hotel guest this morning.

A woman told police she heard a knock at her door of her second-story room at about 4:45 a.m. Two men and a woman barged into her room and ordered her to the floor. The suspects, including one man armed with a handgun, then took the woman's cellular telephone and jewelry, police said.

Bullet Police set up drinking-driver checkpoints over the three-day holiday weekend, beginning tomorrow.


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See our [Search] [Info] section for subscription information.




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