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Newswatch
Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, April 26, 2003


Macy's gives $93,108 to isle cancer society

The American Cancer Society's regional branch received $93,108 from Macy's "More Community" Campaign.

The funds will support programs to reduce cancer risks and mortality and improve quality of life for cancer patients in Hawaii and Guam.

Macy's West has 17 stores in Hawaii and one in Guam that participated in the fund-raising campaign.

Smoke from fire shuts Lanai Airport for hour

Lanai Airport was closed for about an hour yesterday afternoon when smoke from a small fire began drifting through the terminal building.

No injuries were reported in the fire, believed to have been caused by an electrical short circuit in a light fixture or air conditioning unit, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Passengers were evacuated from the airport waiting room at 4:45 p.m., and the airport was reopened at 5:50 p.m., DOT spokesman Scott Ishikawa said.

The evacuation led to a 30-minute delay of a Hawaiian Airlines flight to Honolulu, and an Island Air flight from Maui to Lanai had to be diverted to Honolulu, Ishikawa said.

State airport rescue personnel and a Maui Fire Department crew based on Lanai responded to the fire.

Panel postpones action on Council ethics bill

A City Council committee delayed taking action yesterday on a bill that would change a law prohibiting city employees from receiving a gift of more than $200.

The bill would allow the acceptance of the gift but require disclosure for gifts valued at more than a $200 limit.

"Let me tell you about the weakness with disclosure. Disclosure is just disclosure -- that's all. It doesn't limit you from doing anything," City Ethics Executive Director Chuck Totto told the Council's Executive Matters Committee.

But confusion arose over whether the current city law, passed last year, applies to Council members.

Totto said the Ethics Commission has not interpreted the law on whether Council members get an exception. The committee deferred action so the issue could be reviewed.

"Let's get it clarified," Councilwoman Barbara Marshall said.

Child welfare services' performance is topic

The performance of Hawaii's child welfare services program will be discussed at a community briefing from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday at Harris United Methodist Church, 20 S. Vineyard Blvd.

The state Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Services Sections Administration, is hosting the meeting to present preliminary findings of an evaluation that is under way on the child welfare program.

Comments will be solicited.

For more information and to confirm attendance for materials to be distributed, call Kayle Perez, 832-5668, or e-mail KPerez@dhs.state.hi.us.

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Corrections and clarifications

>> Verizon Hawaii technicians affected by the company's decision to eliminate 20 positions have until mid-May to decide whether to accept an early-retirement severance offer from the company. A story on Page C1 Thursday incorrectly said the technicians must decide this month.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at fbridgewater@starbulletin.com.






Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Lahaina house fire under investigation

WAILUKU >> Maui fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a single-story house yesterday morning in Lahaina.

The house, at 845 Kelawea St., was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived at 5:01 a.m., eight minutes after the alarm, said Assistant Chief Gordon Cordeiro. He said no one was home at the time.

Big Isle drug suspects now in federal custody

Big Island police have released to federal authorities two suspects who were arrested earlier this week in a drug raid.

Federal prosecutors say Douglas Rychener, 37, and John Roddy, 52, face charges of illegal possession of firearms under the Safe Neighborhoods Program. Both men were transported to the federal detention center in Honolulu.

Rychener was also charged with several drug offenses and several firearms offenses, and had his bail set at $15,000. Roddy was charged with several drug offenses, one count of failure to have a permit to acquire firearms and one count of having no firearms registration. His bail was set at $5,500.

The two were among 12 persons arrested Wednesday during the drug sweep in Kau. Police have also charged four others with drugs and firearms charges: Sherwood Silva, Henrylyn Hose and Edward and Suemae Billman.

HONOLULU

HPD seeks suspect in armed-robbery case

Honolulu police are looking for a robbery suspect who forced a man to withdraw money from an automated teller machine after he asked the victim for a ride in his car.

Police said the suspect forced the victim to withdraw money from an ATM on Thursday morning and later got out of the car in Kalihi. The suspect also told the victim he had a gun and then showed the victim a knife that he was carrying.

LEEWARD OAHU

Gun threat alleged in road-rage incident

A motorist threatened another motorist with a shotgun after a traffic accident, police said. A 26-year-old man was arrested about 2 p.m. Thursday in what appeared to be a road-rage case.

Police said a 38-year-old man followed the suspect on Makule Road after the two were in a traffic accident. The two exchanged words after the suspect arrived home. The suspect allegedly took a shotgun from a bag and threatened to shoot the 38-year-old man, who fled and called police.

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