Audit of health insurer raises viability questionsHawaii has joined other states in asking an unauthorized health insurer based in Indiana to post a bond of $5 million to $6 million within one week to forestall further regulatory action.
State insurance commissioner Wayne Metcalf said TRG Marketing LLC has produced no financial records or actuarial studies supporting premiums it charges or expected claims by its members.
A preliminary audit by the federal Department of Labor showed that TRG marketed its plan to 795 employers covering roughly 5,500 employees in 33 states, including Hawaii, he said.
Metcalf said the head of an insolvent health plan provider that was seized by the state a year ago sent a letter to enrollees offering health insurance coverage through TRG.
Darren Larson's Hawaii HealthCare Alliance is now being liquidated by order of a state judge.
Former Hawaii HealthCare Alliance members who have enrolled in TRG should reconsider paying any additional premiums until the plan can show it is financially sound, Metcalf said.
He said roughly 300 to 400 former Hawaii HealthCare Alliance members may have enrolled in TRG.
Metcalf urged enrollees with questions or concerns to contact the Insurance Division at 586-2790.
Maui residents can apply for Sept. 11 reliefWAILUKU >> Several nonprofit groups are expected to begin accepting applications tomorrow for assistance from Maui County residents affected financially by the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks on the East Coast.
As one of the criteria for qualifying for relief, residents must show they were working prior to Sept. 11. An individual may receive from $300 to $600 monthly for three months, depending on the family size, according to the lead nonprofit agency, Maui Economic Opportunity Inc.
The Maui County Council approved the $1.5 million in financial aid Friday.
Maui Mayor James "Kimo" Apana, who initiated the bill, said the aid could help as many as 3,000 households.
Hilo airport runway work will reroute air trafficSome Hilo residents are being advised of additional air traffic over their homes while one of the runways at Hilo International Airport undergoes repair.
The Department of Transportation announced that residents of Keaukaha, Banyan Drive and Waiakea can expect additional aircraft from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
The state awarded a $3.2 million contract to James W. Glover for resurfacing and grooving work on runway 8-26.
Food drives will make it easier for hungry folks to face holidaysFood drives and events for the hungry and homeless are scheduled for this month.
Full-Plate, Inc., a new nonprofit agency dedicated to feeding Hawaii's hungry, will hold a Hunger Summit November 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Central Union Church. A $10 registration fee will be charged. Contact Shireen Zaman at 941-6666.
Also that day, a Homeless Awareness March and Candlelight Vigil is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m., starting at Fort Street Mall and King Street and proceeding to the state Capitol. Contact Partners in Care at 845-7150.
The public is urged to participate in food drives.
Until the end of the month, Aloha Harvest Rice and Noodle Foodraiser is collecting bags of rice and noodles at First Hawaiian Banks and public libraries on Oahu. Call Helen Palit or Maile Burke at 537-6945.
Canned goods, particularly meats, vegetables, rice and peanut butter, are requested for Hawaii Foodbank. Call Polly Kauahi at 836-3600 for information on various food drives throughout the state.
You also can drop off food at all auto dealerships until the end of November; at Borders Bookstores through the end of the year; at Tesoro 2 Go through Nov. 15; at Bubba Gump Restaurants in Honolulu and Kona through Christmas; at Coldwell Banker open houses Nov. 11-18; at DFS Waikiki Galleria through Christmas; and at Restaurant Row through the holidays.
The First Hawaiian Bank Senior Fair Food Drive will be held Saturday at Blaisdell Arena; the Summer Snap Food Drive and Dance Contest will be held that day at Windward Mall. Food can be dropped off Nov. 21 at the Hawaiian Island Ministries Prayer Service at Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus.
Thanksgiving meals, catered by the Hilton Hawaiian Village, will be served Nov. 22 at the Institute for Human Services Men's Shelter, from 3 to 4 p.m. for single women and families and from 4 to 5 p.m. for single men. The Salvation Army will serve dinner from noon to 1 p.m. at the Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall.
Nominations taken for Ola Pono AwardsIsland residents have until Nov. 15 to nominate unsung heroes for the Ola Pono Awards.
Nominees should be people who do outstanding work to make Hawaii a healthy, drug-free environment. They may be volunteers, educators, parents or a business, civic club or church organization.
To request a nomination form, call Drug-Free Hawaii, 1-800-545-1946, or visit the Hawaii Medical Service Association's Web site at www.hmsa.com.
Nominations also may be submitted online.
A description of why the nominee should receive the award should be submitted in two pages or less.
The winners will be recognized at a luncheon on Oahu in February. Each will receive a koa-framed award and $1,000 to be donated to a charity of his or her choice.
Sponsors include HMSA, the state Department of Education, Kamehameha Schools, Drug-Free Hawaii, Department of the Attorney General, Landmark Entertainment and Hawaii Hearing Aids Center/Sears Hearing Centers.
Upcoming Sony Open to raise cash for isle charities through ticket salesNonprofit organizations are invited to raise funds by selling tickets to the 2002 Sony Open in Hawaii. The event will be held Jan. 7-13.
Each charity that participates will receive 50 percent of their total tournament ticket sales.
The Sony Open in Hawaii is a primary fund-raiser for Friends of Hawaii Charities. In the last three years, nearly $1.5 million were raised for nonprofit organizations in Hawaii.
The event will be held at the Waialae Country Club. Admission for the 2002 tournament is $10 from Jan. 9 to Jan. 11 and $15 from Jan. 12 to Jan. 13.
For more information, contact the Friends of Hawaii Charities office at 523-7888. Applications are available on its Web site: www.friendsofhawaiicharities.com
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Managing Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at email@example.com.
Corrections and clarifications
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Woman, 67, dies after being hit by tour busA 67-year-old Honolulu woman died at Queen's Medical Center after being hit by a tour bus on Iwilei Road behind Kmart yesterday.
Police said the woman was not in a crosswalk when the bus turned right from Sumner Street onto Iwilei about 9:42 a.m.
Iwilei Road between Sumner and Pacific streets was closed for about two hours while police investigated the incident.
New Orleans man arrested in murder caseHonolulu police arrested a 46-year-old man for murder Friday in connection with a 1994 crime.
The man, who has a New Orleans address, was arrested for second-degree murder, second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal property damage.
Police referred questions about the arrest to homicide detectives, who were not at work.
The suspect was arrested at the Honolulu Police Department main station.
School buildings closed after Arabic letter foundA box containing T-shirt catalogs drew the suspicion of a fifth-grade teacher at Kahala Elementary School Friday, requiring fire officials to evacuate two classrooms and shut down the administration building.
The teacher was familiar with the New York vendor that sent the three boxes but became concerned because one contained a letter written in Arabic, said Capt. Richard Soo, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman.
The teacher opened the box in class, then took it to the administration building. Soo said there was no powder, and both the letter and the box tested negative for anthrax. Everything was bagged and sent to the state Hazard Evaluation & Emergency Response Office in Pearl City, he said.
Kau man, 23, dies after being hit by carA 23-year-old Kau man died Friday night after being struck by a car on Mamalahoa Highway in the Manuka area of Kau.
Tillton Bunglick was hit by a Hyundai driven by a 61-year-old Kau man about 6:30 p.m., police said.
Bunglick was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 10 p.m.
Police said Bunglick had been riding in another car but got out after getting into a fight and was wearing dark clothes in an unlighted area.
An autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death.
Bunglick's death was the Big Island's 24th fatality this year, compared to 32 at this time last year.
3 people in hospital after separate Maui collisionsTwo head-on collisions on Maui sent three people to the hospital Friday.
A Pukalani man was in the intensive care unit at Maui Memorial Medical Center last night after he was thrown from his 1988 Honda Prelude, which crashed into a delivery truck Friday afternoon.
The 36-year-old man was driving west on Hansen Road, just east of Pulehu Road, when he crossed the center line, lost control and collided head-on with the truck, police said.
The truck driver sustained a scratch on his forehead, and his front-seat passenger sustained a bruised knee.
Police are also investigating another head-on collision Friday night on South Kihei Road.
Police said a Nissan Maxima driven by a 26-year-old Wailuku woman crossed the center line and collided with an oncoming car about 11:30 p.m.
The other driver, a 44-year-old Kihei woman, suffered critical injuries, police said, and was flown to Queen's Medical Center where she was listed in critical condition last night. She had not been wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred just south of Alanui Kealii Road, police said.
The Wailuku woman was in stable condition last night at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Dagger-wielding man tries to rob Big Isle bankA man who allegedly brandished a dagger, jumped onto a counter and demanded money from bank tellers yesterday was arrested as he ran out the door, Big Island police said.
The failed robbery attempt at First Hawaiian Bank's Lanihau branch in Kona happened just before 11:30 a.m.
Police arrested a 25-year-old Captain Cook man for attempted robbery and terroristic threatening.