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Newswatch
Star-Bulletin staff and wire

Sunday, March 27, 2005





ISLE LANDMARK CLOSES

art
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Yesterday was the last day of operation for KC Drive-Inn as it closed at 3 p.m. Michael Mizokami, who was the very last paying customer inside the restaurant, shook James Asato's hand after he paid. Asato said KC Drive-Inn has been family-run for three generations, spanning 70 years.




Sunny skies expected in time for Easter

A cold front that brought steady rains and wind to the islands is expected to blow over by today, giving way to a week of breezy, tradewind weather.

National Weather Service forecaster Derek Wroe said showers could still develop over parts of Oahu today.

But sun -- or at least partly sunny skies -- is in the forecast for much of the island for those planning outdoor Easter egg hunts.

Wroe said rain from the front wasn't heavy, but it was constant.

The most rain fell at Hana Airport, he said, which got 11 inches in the 12 hours ending at noon yesterday.

The front also brought cool temperatures, which dipped into the low 60s for much of the state Friday night.

Lows in the upper 60s are expected to persist through at least Tuesday, the weather service said.

Doctor more hopeful about girl's recovery

A 12-year-old girl seriously injured when a tree crashed into her bedroom remains in a coma at Queen's Medical Center.

But Julia Engle's neurosurgeon is somewhat more optimistic, said family attorney Rick Fried.

On Thursday, the Punahou seventh-grader required drainage of fluid from her head on the opposite of where she had initial surgery, Fried said. But he said the fluid was clear and not bloody, and she is becoming slightly more responsive than she has been.

Julia continues breathing on her own, Fried said.

The girl suffered head and chest injuries when a 70- to 75-foot Norfolk pine that stood on city property fell across Beckwith Street in Manoa, crashing through the roof of the Engle home and into the girl's bedroom on March 15.

Leukemia group holding fund-raiser

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program will hold the society's first club fund-raiser from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesday at Venus Nightclub and Lounge.

Proceeds will be used to advance the society's mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma and assist patients and families.

Volunteers in the Team in Training program also raise funds through endurance sports events. Organizers of the club fund-raiser will complete the Hawaiian Half Marathon in June in honor of all those with blood cancers.

The evening fundraising event is open to people ages 21 and up. To obtain tickets, $5 each, e-mail tntvenus@yahoo.com.

MDA to raise funds with 'Soiree Vegas'

The Muscular Dystrophy Association's "Soiree Vegas in Paradise" will be at 5:30 p.m. April 23 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel's Monarch Ballroom and ocean lawn.

Tickets for the sixth annual fund-raising event, featuring musical entertainment, food and beverage-tasting, are $125 per person.

Participating restaurants and vendors include Anheuser-Busch, BluWater Grill, California Beach Rock N'Sushi, Celebrity Tuxedos, Compadres Bar & Grill, Hau Tree Lanai, Hy's Steak House, Nick's Fishmarket, Royal Hawaiian's Surf Room, Tiki's Grill & Bar and Vintage Wine Cell.

Stan Masamitsu, president of MDA's Hawaii Chapter, said the event "is a testament from our local community to show how much we care about the individuals in Hawaii affected by neuromuscular diseases."

MDA is a voluntary health agency dedicated to research, services and professional and public health education to help more than a million Americans with neuromuscular disorders.

For ticket or sponsorship information, call 548-0588.





Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

WINDWARD OAHU

Kaneohe car dealership partially damaged by fire

A fire that started on the second floor of King Windward Nissan's office building yesterday quickly spread to the Kaneohe car dealership's storage warehouse, where firefighters had difficulty extinguishing flames amid large boxes, parts and stacks of papers, a fire department spokesman said.

Fire Capt. Kenison Tejada said firefighters were forced to cut out portions of the roof with power saws to let smoke out.

No cars burned. The dealership was open when the fire broke out and people were on the first floor, but there were no injuries.

The fire at 46-151 Kahuhipa St. was reported at about 5:55 p.m.

A damage estimate was not available yesterday, Tejada said, and fire investigators were still looking into possible causes.

Witnesses told the fire department that the fire appeared to have started in the air-conditioning room, which also includes electrical wiring.

"We just saw the flames coming out of the top window," said Jordan Ono, a waiter at nearby Cafe Satino. "It was pretty big. Just a lot of smoke."

HONOLULU

Man with handgun takes victim to ATMs

A 26-year-old man was robbed by gunpoint in Kalihi late Friday, police said.

The incident happened about 11 p.m. on Waiakamilo Road. The victim told police that the suspect, a man in his 40s or 50s, had a handgun and took his wallet with $100 cash and an automatic teller card.

The suspect then allegedly forced the man to accompany him to three automatic teller machines to get more money.

The victim said the suspect also forced him to write four checks before fleeing.

Woman assaulted, robbed at knifepoint

Police are looking for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman at knifepoint, then robbed her Wednesday in Manoa.

The victim, a 38-year-old woman, was seated in her vehicle at about 5:15 p.m. when the suspect, identified only as a man in his 20s, approached her with a knife and got inside. Police said the suspect forced the victim to drive to a secluded area where he sexually assaulted her, then ordered her to drive to a nearby bank and withdraw money.

The suspect fled on foot.

Gunman demands drugs from boy, 17

A 17-year-old boy told police that he was sitting in front of an apartment building on Kalani Street late Friday when a 25-year-old man approached him, pulled out a black revolver and demanded drugs.

The incident happened about 11:25 p.m. Friday. When the boy told the man he didn't have any drugs, the man left in a silver vehicle.

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

2 men are rescued after boat capsizes

Big Island firefighters rescued two people whose fishing boat capsized yesterday in waters just outside Hilo Bay.

The incident happened about 12:43 p.m. when the 19-foot boat Norma lost power and was capsized by rough seas.

The two men in the boat jumped free of the craft and treaded water until being picked up by a Hawaii County Fire Department helicopter.

One of the men sustained minor cuts and was treated at the scene. The other man was uninjured, fire officials said.

Police warn of false charity solicitations

Big Island police are warning residents about a telephone scammer who has been soliciting credit card numbers and cash in the name of the American Cancer Society.

Several residents have reported getting phone calls from someone claiming to be from the group.

However, the American Cancer Society does not seek contributions by telephone, police said.

Anyone with information about the scam is asked to call the police nonemergency number at 935-3311.



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