By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, June 10, 1999

Millennium Moments

Millennium special

'Forbidden Island'

SINCE 1864, Niihau has been owned by the Robinson family. Some 230 native Hawaiians live on the 70-square-mile, semi-arid isle, mostly employed in sheep ranching.

It was in 1864 that Kamehameha V (Lot Kamehameha) sold Niihau to Elizabeth Sinclair for $12,000. Her great-great-grandsons, Bruce and Keith Robinson, maintain the island today.

Because of its private ownership which limits outside visitors, Niihau is dubbed "The Forbidden Island." Seventeen miles from Kauai, the only village on Niihau is Puuwai, surrounded by stone walls with iron gates and serviced by rutted dirt and sand roads.

In the 1950s and '60s, Niihau was installed with devices to monitor nuclear testing and other military operations in the Pacific. More recently, it has hosted military training, and is now in controversy over whether U.S. Navy missile testing sites can be built on the isle.


Driver faces 20 years in manslaughter case

An Oahu grand jury has indicted a man who allegedly caused a Waialua car crash that killed one person and seriously injured another.

Romeo Dela Cruz faces 20 years in prison if convicted of vehicular manslaughter, and a five-year term for second-degree assault, said Jim Fulton, spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

Authorities said Dela Cruz's pickup truck on May 18, 1997, crossed the center line along Kaukonahua Road and collided head on with a Honda sedan driven by Scott Nihei, 26, of Mililani.

Nihei died, and a passenger in his car, David Kahanu, suffered serious injuries. A woman who also was a passenger did not suffer severe injuries.

A bench warrant has been issued for Dela Cruz's arrest, with bail set at $85,000.

Women's pro football tryouts set for tonight

More than 150 players are trying out for about 30 roster spots on Hawaii's first women's tackle football team.

"Father John" Frederick, an Eastern Orthodox Catholic church pastor in Waipio who is coaching the yet-to-be-named team, has been overwhelmed by the interest.

"When we first talked to folks about it, we thought we wouldn't get 20 gals out," Frederick said. "We have 160 women.

"Some of them can do 20 reps (repetitions) at 95 pounds," he added, referring to strength testing.

"The average weight of the women is about 150 pounds, and the average speed over 40 yards is about 5.3-5.4 seconds.

"When I ask them why they want to play football, they all say they want to hit."

The team will hold its third practice/tryout tonight at Kamamalu Field near the YMCA's Nuuanu branch.

The session will begin at 7 p.m.

For more information, call 671-8213.

Dunk a celebrity at Hyper Games '99

For $2 a throw, the public will have a choice of celebrities to dunk at Hyper Games '99, being held Saturday at the Aloha Tower Marketplace.

Taking half-hour shifts in the dunk tank from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will be:

Bullet Kutmaster Spaz of Xtreme Radio 104.3 FM;
Bullet Kawehi Lindsey and Stacey Loe of KGMB-9;
Bullet Jonathan Kaina, Slick Vic, Mike G. and Wendy from Waianae, I-94;
Bullet Devon Nekoba, FM-100.

Four-person teams also will compete in games, including a Velcro obstacle course, Human Foosball, the Eliminator (diving into 10,000 plastic balls) and Power Pull.

People may watch the games for free from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and try them for a $2 donation until 3 p.m.

Proceeds will benefit the American Lung Association of Hawaii's statewide programs.

Lions seek families to host foreign teens

The Hawaii Lions Clubs are hunting for families to host teens from 15 countries who will attend the Lions' International Youth Camp at Pearl Harbor from July 18-31.

Host families will be responsible for picking up the 16- to 18-year-olds at the airport and caring for them until the camp begins.

This year's camp objective is to promote friendship and understanding among the world's youths and to contribute toward world peace.

Call or e-mail Dick Beamer at 689-0654 or for more information.



Bullet In a report yesterday on the attempted rescue of Dana Ireland in 1991, Big Island Police Maj. Charles Chai is quoted as saying that the procedures in effect then weren't clear. Chai did not say that the procedures were not clear at that time, rather that it is not clear today what the procedures were then.

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
See our [Search] [Info] section for subscription information.

Police, Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff

Girlfriend says she was held against will

Police yesterday arrested a man for allegedly threatening and holding his girlfriend against her will at their Hawaii Kai home.

The woman went to the Kailua police station on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. and reported she was threatened with a knife and held at her home for 13 hours, police said.

The man was arrested at 3 a.m. yesterday for kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and domestic abuse.

Kaneohe escapee caught after 5 hours

A 21-year-old suspect in an attempted murder escaped from a state hospital Tuesday but was later apprehended.

The man is committed to Kaneohe State Hospital, police said.

At 4:20 p.m. he walked away from the facility while on a yard pass.

Police considered the man "extremely dangerous."

He was arrested five hours later in Kaneohe.

Man now faces two bank-robbery charges

Two CrimeStoppers tips led to the arrest of 32-year-old Eric Silva, who has been charged with the robbery Monday of Bank of Hawaii's Ewa Beach branch.

Silva was arrested late Monday night.

He is scheduled to appear in federal court next Monday to plead on a charge that he robbed the same bank on April 2, 1998.

Six-week sweep nets 374 contempt arrests

Department of Public Safety officers from the Sheriff's Division arrested 374 people and cleared 586 warrants in a six-week sweep of Kaimuki, Kalihi, Kaneohe, Mililani, Wahiawa and Waianae.

The contempt warrants were issued by judges against those who failed to comply with court orders.

Witnesses to crash on Pali are sought

Police are continuing to ask for assistance in finding two good Samaritans who stopped to help during a car crash on the Pali Highway April 17.

The crash involved a woman who allegedly tried to kill her three children.

Police said the Aiea woman attempted to shoot her sons on April 15 but was unable to get a loaded handgun to fire.

Two days later, she allegedly tried to drive her car into a ravine off Pali Highway, with her three children inside. A guardrail prevented the car from going over the edge.

Witnesses are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, or Detective Gary Winterbottom at 529-3852.

Maui accident lands 4 girls in critical care

WAILUKU -- None of the teen-age girls critically injured in a car crash on Maui yesterday was wearing a seat belt, Police Lt. Charles Hirata said.

Four girls ages 13 to 16 were listed in stable condition but still in the critical care unit at Maui Memorial Medical Center this morning.

A fifth girl, 16, was treated and released.

The girls, all Wailuku residents, were traveling in a car east on Iao Valley Road when it went across the center line and struck a utility pole a little past noon yesterday.

Police Lt. Hirata said preliminary results of an investigation indicated the car was traveling above the posted speed limit of 20 mph.

He said the two front seat passengers had the automatic shoulder harnesses across them but hadn't buckled their seat belts.

Hirata said wearing seat belts would have reduced their injuries.

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

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

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