Grant will help isles prepare for terrorismHawaii will receive a $3.1 million federal grant to enhance its ability to respond to acts of terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. Department of Justice grant will be used to purchase specialized equipment for emergency response agencies, officials said yesterday. Recipients will include law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency medical services and hazardous materials response units.
Funds also will be used for weapons-of-mass-destruction training exercises, they said.
"Our nation's emergency first responders courageously stand on the front line in our fight against terrorism," Attorney General John Ashcroft said in a statement issued in Washington. "This grant highlights the administration's and Department of Justice's commitment to providing states and local emergency first responders the resources they need to respond to any future acts of terrorism."
The City and County of Honolulu received about $1.3 million and the three Neighbor Island counties will each get about $600,000. The state Civil Defense Agency will receive $75,000, said Maj. Chuck Anthony, spokesman for the Hawaii National Guard.
The money can be used to purchase a wide array of equipment, including personal protective equipment; chemical, biological or radiological detection and decontamination equipment; communications equipment; and weapons-of-mass-destruction technical rescue equipment.
McDermott criticized for Mink commentsThe director of the Democratic Party's coordinated campaign attacked Republican congressional candidate Bob McDermott yesterday after he publicly demanded more information on the medical condition of U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink.
"This is not a time for political opportunism. It is very disappointing to the Mink family and the people of Hawaii that an opponent would use an illness to attempt to score political points, and it demonstrates a lack of respect and aloha," said Andy Winer in a written statement.
Mink has been in the intensive care unit at Straub Clinic & Hospital since Aug. 30 suffering from viral pneumonia that developed after she contracted chicken pox.
"Congresswoman Mink has every intention of continuing to serve the people of Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District in the same way that she has for 24 years," said Winer, adding Mink's campaign will continue to run without interruption.
"She is resting and receiving treatment there so she can go back to work," Winer said.
"Given her years of devoted service to the people of Hawaii, the Mink family has requested the public's kokua in understanding their desire for privacy while she is sick."
Mink's Democratic primary election opponent, Steve Tataii, said Mink should drop out of the race.
McDermott faces accountant James Donovan in the Republican primary.
Bark Park fund-raiser starts tomorrow noonThe fourth annual fund-raiser for Bark Park, the dog playground at the corner of Diamond Head Road and 18th Avenue, will be held tomorrow from noon until 2 p.m., at the park.
Tickets are $20, tax deductible, and can be purchased at the park or by calling Frances Takaba, 737-7264.
Dixie Grill will provide food for the event: barbecue plates and chocolate brownies.
Parking for the event will be available at Kapiolani Community College and along Diamond Head Road.
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[ TAKING NOTICE ]
GRANTS>> Brent Mac Nab of the University of Hawaii College of Business has been awarded a Fulbright grant to pursue research in cross-cultural ethics management in Canada for the 2002-2003 academic year at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C.
>> The Blueprint for Change was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation to expand its Neighborhood Place program to the central Honolulu area and the Puna District on the Big Island. Blueprint provides support services to families and communities at risk for child abuse and neglect.
>> The Hawaii State Office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving has received a $25,000 grant from The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. to support community education programs to heighten public awareness in Hawaii about the dangers of underage drinking and impaired driving.
>> Kalihi-Palama Health Center's Health Care for the Homeless Project has received 50 University of Hawaii Rainbow Warrior T-shirts from Canoe Girl Productions. The company has offered to donate 50 shirts every month until the discontinued line is gone.
>> Easter Seals Hawaii, a program for children with special needs, has received $15,000 from the Nicholas & Margaret Carlozzi Foundation for its Kauai Children's Center. The Robert F. Lange Foundation gave $10,000 and TUBE, Japan's pop singing sensation, donated $3,000 to the youth services for a music enrichment program.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corrections and clarifications
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Gunman fears cause Moiliili evacuationsPolice evacuated dozens of residents from a Moiliili apartment complex for seven hours yesterday, fearing that a gunman was holed up in one of the apartments.
The residents were allowed back to their residences about 10:15 p.m. after police discovered no one was in the apartment.
The police began investigating a report of a kidnapping about 2:05 p.m. yesterday. Allegedly, four men kidnapped two other men at gunpoint near McDonald's at Moanalua Shopping Center, police said.
Police later determined that the kidnapping began three days ago over an alleged drug transaction at the Moiliili apartment.
A 22-year-old man was held at the apartment for three days, and yesterday five men took him to the workplace of a 33-year-old man at Moanalua Shopping Center.
The kidnappers then fled after witnesses called military police.
Police said the kidnappers kicked out the two victims from the getaway car and left behind one of the kidnappers. Military police pursued the fleeing car but lost sight of it.
Neither victim was hurt, police said. Police arrested a suspect and recovered a gun at the scene. Officers also converged at the Moiliili apartment.
Robbin Kim was visiting her father who lives in a first-floor apartment.
"We were sitting in the living room just talking and at around 3:30 police came up to the door with their ammunition and guns and said we had to evacuate," Kim said.
About 9 p.m. residents were getting frustrated, "We are still wandering aimlessly. I just want this to end. Throw tear gas or something," said Kim.
"We don't even think anybody is up there. We didn't hear anybody above us while we were there," she said.
Police probe 2 holdups involving pepper sprayPolice are looking at a possible link between two holdups last night in which pepper spray or mace was used on the victims.
A man brandished a knife and sprayed an employee with pepper spray about 9:30 p.m. after the employee confronted him about not paying for a bottle of liquor, police said.
At about 11 p.m., an Aina Haina woman investigating a foul odor coming from her closet found a man standing in her closet and holding her purse. The man sprayed her with a mace-like spray and fled, police said.
1,000 in Kaimuki lose power after car crashAbout 1,000 Hawaiian Electric customers in Kaimuki were without power for a few hours this morning after a car crashed into a utility pole.
Police said the driver was not seriously injured after the 2 a.m. accident on Pahoa Avenue between 6th and 7th avenues.
Moanalua Freeway victim was Kalihi manThe Honolulu Medical Examiner has identified Romualdo Solanzo, 87, of Kalihi, as the man who was fatally struck while crossing Moanalua Freeway on Sept. 5.
Police said Solanzo crossed two lanes before he was struck by a van and then run over by a sedan near the Fort Shafter off-ramp.
Maui County building empties due to mailWAILUKU >> Employees in the Maui County Department of Finance evacuated the Kalana O Maui building in Wailuku for more than an hour yesterday afternoon, after a suspicious package was received at a nearby mail room.
County spokeswoman Karlynn Kawahara said the package with no return address was releasing a blackish gray powdery substance. It was removed and taken to a state health facility in Kahului for analysis, which is expected to be completed in three to four days.
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