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Newswatch
Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Sunday, July 15, 2001


Helicopter should be ready
to fly -- and land -- on Friday

The Honolulu Fire Department's Air One helicopter could be back in service as early as Friday, department spokesman Capt. Richard Soo said yesterday.

Rotor-Wing, which handles maintenance of the helicopter, "ordered the parts needed yesterday and they should arrive on-island Monday. Air One should be fit and airworthy by Friday, but that's the earliest we will know," Soo said. Until then, if there is a need for helicopter rescue, the military will assist.

The helicopter lost a landing skid on Friday when the wind pushed it to the ground in Laie from a height of about 20 feet. Pilot Steven Aiu, who was not injured, flew the damaged helicopter to Honolulu, where he made an assisted landing. The man Aiu had gone to rescue was safely transported to a hospital by an ambulance.

Soo said the skid is usable and will be reattached with new parts.

The mechanics will check over the entire vehicle to make sure nothing else was damaged. The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the accident, he said.

Soo said that after watching the landing Friday he was thinking, "It was a real miracle."



Freeway construction remains obstruction

Traffic on H-1 freeway access and exit roads will continue to be detoured or slowed as construction continues.

Repaving work will close two Honolulu-bound lanes of the H-1 near Kunia. The lanes will be closed 6:30 p.m. to 4 a.m. Monday through Thursday nights between the Kunia interchange and Waikele Stream bridge.

Other closures include the Kapiolani Boulevard exit from the westbound lanes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. Makai-bound motorists on University Avenue will find that onramp closed during the same period.

MADD awards officer for efforts against driving drunk

HILO >> A Big Island police officer has won the annual statewide Law Enforcement award by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his efforts at keeping drinkers off the roads, police said.

Officer Robert Hatton was honored for making 10 percent of the drunken driving arrests on the Big Island last year. Of 1,081 arrests, Hatton made 104.

Sgt. Samuel Jelsma said Hatton made most of the arrests in the Puna District while a patrol officer.

"Although drunks still do drive, I believe that they have become more cautious, taking back roads that are less traveled by the police, and more aware of their surroundings because they never know if the car approaching them may be officer Hatton's," Jelsma said.

Jelsma was the winner of the award last year.

Shadows to vanish during solar event

Flag poles, telephone poles and other objects standing straight up will cast no shadows today at Lahaina Noon -- the Hawaii term for the day when the sun is directly overhead.

Hawaii is the only state that experiences Lahaina Noon because of its location in the tropics. It happens twice a year.

The name of a Maui seaport and the former capital of the islands, Lahaina means "cruel sun," which is what the sun is when it's directly overhead, according to the Bishop Museum Planetarium.

The day sometimes is known as the day of the "shadowless noon," but that's a misperception since only tall straight objects cast no shadow, the planetarium says.

Lahaina Noon also happens at "local noon," different times when the sun is at its highest point for a specific location.

It will happen today in Honolulu at 12:37 p.m.

On Tuesday, Lahaina Noon will occur in Kaunakakai, Molokai, at 12:34 p.m. On Wednesday, it will be in Lahaina at 12:33 p.m.; Lanai City, 12:33 p.m.; and Kahului, 12:31 p.m. It will happen in Hilo July 24 at 12:27 p.m.



[WINNERS & LOSERS]

[WINNERS]

Cute kid: In her red and gold cheongsam blouse, 2-year-old Miki Etsuko Kobayashi wowed the crowd at the Meadow Gold Healthy Baby contest at Ward Warehouse. She won from among 350 other keiki and took home a $2,500 U.S. Savings Bond and a bag full of toys.

Lucky day: Honolulu Fire Department rescue pilot Steven Aiu had an eventful Friday the 13th when his helicopter lost part of its landing gear in Laie. He was able to stabilize the aircraft and return to Honolulu Airport, where he successfully landed the hobbled chopper.

Passing grade: In an annual performance evaluation, the Board of Education said Schools Superintendent Paul LeMahieu has performed "more than satisfactorily." Board members praised his handling of the department's compliance with the federal Felix consent decree.

[LOSERS]

Overridden: Ben Cayetano became the first Hawaii governor since statehood to have his veto overturned. The state Legislature voted to override his veto of a bill that raises the sexual age of consent to 16 from 14, which was the lowest in the country.

OHA opponent: Federal Judge David Ezra rejected the lawsuit of Moiliili resident Patrick Barrett, who sued to gain equal access to benefits offered to native Hawaiians by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Hawaiian Homes Commission. Ezra ruled that Barrett did not have standing to file the claim.

Kauai killer: Matthew Blankswade was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the shooting death of his girlfriend's father, Jeffrey Brisebois.


Corrections and clarifications

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Publisher and Editor in Chief John Flanagan at 529-4748 or email him at jflanagan@starbulletin.com.






Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff


Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers



Police await autopsy results
of body found in park


By Leila Fujimori
lfujimori@starbulletin.com

Police are awaiting the results of an autopsy tomorrow to determine the cause of death and to help identify the body of a man who may have been slain early yesterday morning at the Waianae Regional Park.

Homicide Lt. Bill Kato said the man was found on the basketball court with head and facial injuries. The case is classified as a suspicious unattended death, pending the autopsy.

"It looks like the assault took place there," Kato said. "The body was not dumped there."

A Waianae resident taking a walk saw the body and reported it to the Waianae Police Station at 6:33 a.m. yesterday.

Kato described the victim as appearing to be Caucasian or part-Caucasian, in his 30s, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall with a slight build. He was wearing a blue T-shirt and no pants.

No identification was found on the body, police said.

A fire crew was called to the scene to wash what Kato called a "fair share of blood" off the courts.



HONOLULU

Woman and caretaker burglarized and assaulted

Police charged a 20-year-old Kaimuki man yesterday in connection with the burglary and assault of an 83-year-old Honolulu woman and her home nurse.

Police said Gavin Nagata burglarized the elderly woman's home and assaulted her and her female nurse at about 8 a.m. Friday.

Nagata was arrested Friday and has been charged with first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree assault. His bail was set at $50,000.

WINDWARD OAHU

Man nabbed for sneaking into home in Kaneohe

A 41-year-old man told police that he was working on a computer in a back room of his Kaneohe Bay Drive home at 2:30 a.m. yesterday when he heard noise in the living room. The victim found a 26-year-old man hiding behind a couch in the living room.

The suspect was arrested and released pending further investigation.

WAIKIKI

Incoming box jellyfish prompt beach warnings

Lifeguards posted warning signs after they counted 300 jellyfish at Waikiki Beach and 180 of the stinging creatures at Ala Moana beach yesterday.

A spokesman said lifeguards treated a few people for stings yesterday morning, but problems slowed in the afternoon. The lifeguards will check the waters for jellyfish this morning before deciding whether to post warnings today.





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