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Newswatch


Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Monday, July 5, 1999


Millennium Moments

Millennium special

Plantation fed Lanai
economy for many years

Call it "the Private Isle" or "the Pineapple Isle" -- both apply, though less and less as tourism takes over Lanai's economy.

The island is just 140.6 square miles, and arid -- annual rainfall is 10-20 inches over most areas. Those rugged conditions are compounded by soil erosion over most of the isle due to overgrazing by cattle, goats and deer over the last century.

Still, that didn't stop Castle & Cooke from realizing and developing a cash crop there. By the 1920s, the company owned more than 98 percent of Lanai and created a 16,000-acre pineapple plantation, worked mainly by Filipino immigrants. "The island remained, for most of the 20th century, one of the most pervasive examples of plantation culture in Hawaii," says the "Atlas of Hawaii" by Sonia and James Juvik.

The early 1990s brought major changes for Lanai: new corporate ownership, the plantation's closure, and the shift to tourism with new luxury hotels the Lodge at Koele and the Manele Bay Hotel.

Tapa

2 Toyota models OK'd for Honolulu police use

Toyota's 1999 Camry sedan and 4Runner sports utility have been approved for on-duty use, marking the first time foreign models have made the Honolulu Police Department's subsidized-vehicle list.

The Toyota models were approved in May. The current list of approved subsidized vehicles features over 100 different makes.

Major Robert Prasser, head of HPD's Information Technology Division, says the department encourages requests from officers about models for its subsidized fleet of privately owned vehicles.

To qualify, a vehicle must meet specific guidelines set by the department.

Bone marrow drive will be held tomorrow

A bone marrow recruitment drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at RSI Roofing Supply, 1081 Makepono St., Sand Island.

Registered marrow donors will be matched with Hawaii residents who need bone marrow transplants because of terminal blood diseases, such as leukemia, the Hawaii Bone Marrow Donor Registry said.

Donors must be between 18 and 60 years old and in general good health. For information, call 547-6154.

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Police, Fire

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Pilot dies in crash at Big Island airport

The pilot of a twin-engine Beechcraft Baron was killed yesterday when his airplane crashed and burned during takeoff at Hilo Airport.

Tom Rea of the Federal Aviation Administration said the airplane got about 50 feet in the air before it came down and crashed.

The crash occurred at 9:54 a.m. about 2,000 feet before the end of the runway, Big Island police said.

The privately owned plane, which had stopped in Hilo for refueling, was a ferry flight headed to Oakland, Calif., Rea said.

State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Marilyn Kali said airport personnel said the plane burst into flames after it crashed.

"It was carrying a lot of fuel," Kali said.

The pilot reportedly was killed on impact. The name of the pilot has not been released. The FAA is investigating the crash.

The crash forced closure of the runway for several hours, delaying flights, Kali said.

Oahu woman accused of swindling Japan pair

Multiple felony charges are pending against a 33-year-old Nuuanu woman who was arrested Friday, accused of swindling a Japan couple out of their life's savings.

Police said the victims thought they were investing their savings in Hawaii real estate.

The alleged incident occurred June 6, 1997.

The woman was booked for first-degree theft and three counts of money laundering, and on a count of illegal ownership of a business.

She was released pending further investigation.

Firefighters rescue two in hang-glider accident

Honolulu firefighters rescued a hang glider pilot and his companion after an accident near the Makapuu lookout.

The 51-year-old Kailua resident and a female companion were taking off on a tandem hang glider yesterday morning when a gust of wind blew them back into the cliff, rescuers said.

They ended up on a three-foot ledge about 30-feet below the cliff. Firefighters rappelled down the cliff, and a fire department helicopter lifted the pair to safety.

He suffered neck and facial injuries and was taken to Queen's Hospital. She was unhurt.



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