Star-Bulletin staff and wire

Friday, March 25, 2005

Bids sought on system for Maui flood alerts

WAILUKU » The National Park Service is seeking bids for the development of a flood-warning system in Kipahulu Valley in East Maui, where two people drowned in April 2003.

Kentucky visitor Kevin Brown and 8-year-old daughter Elizabeth were hiking across a stream when they were swept over Makahiku falls in a flash flood within Haleakala National Park.

Haleakala National Park Superintendent Don Reeser said the weather can be sunny at the pools of Oheo near the coastal ranger station but cloudy and rainy over the mountains, creating the potential danger of flash flooding.

"Sometimes it isn't very obvious," Reeser said.

Under the contract requirements, the developer of the system would be required to establish rain and stream gauges that could be monitored through radio transmission in real time through a computer at the ranger station.

Reeser said the gauges would be installed to cover several miles of Palikea Stream from the ridge and crater to Oheo Bridge.

Federal officials developed a system that is close to real time in 2001 at Kawainui Marsh to warn of possible flooding in the Coconut Grove area of Kailua on Oahu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Firm fined for failing to record discharges

A German shipping company was fined $750,000 yesterday after pleading guilty to knowingly failing to record discharges of "unprocessed oily bilge wastes" and then presenting false records to the Coast Guard.

The two convictions involve Schlussel Reederei KG's IBUKI, which came into port in November.

A month later, Schlussel pleaded guilty to breaking federal law, which requires ships maintain an "Oil Record Book," or the record of all discharges of oily bilge waste.

U.S. Attorney Edward Kubo said $250,000 of the company's fine will fund one or more projects that will benefit preservation and restoration of Hawaii coastline environments and ecosystems.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will administer the projects, he said.

As part of the agreement in the case, Schlussel also has hired an independent monitor to oversee the development and implementation of an environmental management compliance plan designed to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff


Probe into fatal blaze focuses on living room

The cause of a Kaimuki house fire that killed two elderly sisters early yesterday has yet to be determined, but investigators are focusing on the living room, said fire Capt. Kenison Tejada.

The medical examiner identified the two women who died of smoke inhalation as sisters Eleanor Miyake, 89, and Evelyn Miyake, 82, who lived at 3273-A Lincoln Ave.

Tejada said there was no evidence of a smoke detector in the home, which went up in flames about 3:45 a.m. yesterday. Damage to the building was estimated at $150,000, while damage to its contents was about $40,000, Tejada said.

One of the women was found by firefighters in a bedroom. The other was found near a door that leads to the outside.

Eleanor Miyake was a retired Kawananakoa Intermediate School teacher, while her sister was a retired vice president in the First Hawaiian Bank Trust Department and had started there when it was still known as Bishop Bank.

Tips on missing man lead to Salt Lake

Acting on tips, police canvassed Salt Lake and Temple Valley yesterday for a 31-year-old man under investigation for stealing more than $100,000 from a business where he worked as an accountant.

Kenneth Peters Jr.'s 2005 Mercedes-Benz was found off the cliffs of Makapuu on Tuesday, and police sources told the Star-Bulletin that he was under investigation for allegedly stealing money from Flight School Hawaii.

Police spokesman Capt. Frank Fujii said the department has gotten dozens of tips on Peters' whereabouts.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call missing-persons investigator Phil Camero at 529-3394. Anonymous calls can be made to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

Accident leaves man in critical condition

A mo-ped driver was critically injured about 7:30 p.m. yesterday in an accident at Kapiolani Boulevard and Piikoi Street.

Police said a car struck the mo-ped, but they were still investigating the details of the crash last night. The mo-ped's driver was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.


Woman is run over by bus in Pearl City

A 46-year-old woman run over by a city bus yesterday in Pearl City was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition but later upgraded to guarded condition, police said.

The accident happened about 11:18 a.m. on the eastbound lanes of Kamehameha Highway. The bus driver, a 42-year-old man, and bus passengers were uninjured.

Police said the woman had been trying to get on the bus while it was traveling in slow traffic. Once the bus had passed her, she apparently fell, causing her legs to be in the path of the bus' right rear tires.

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