Tree trimmer fatally electrocuted on job
A 43-year old Pohoiki man was electrocuted while working on a tree trimming crew in the Hawaiian Shores subdivision in Puna on Thursday, Big Island police reported.
The victim was identified as Thomas Roth. Puna patrol officers responded to a call on Maiii Street at 1:56 p.m. Roth was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 3:02 p.m.
The incident is classified as an industrial accident, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine exact cause of death.
Work on water main to close Ala Moana lanes
Night work to repair a 12-inch underground water main will close on Tuesday and Thursday two Ewa-bound lanes on Ala Moana Boulevard between Punchbowl and Halekauwila streets.
The work will start at 8 p.m. and last through the night. The lanes will be open in time for the morning rush-hour.
49 applicants receive home lands leases
Leases for the first state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands project in six years on Kauai have been awarded to 49 applicants, 29 of whom will get turnkey homes, the department announced yesterday in a press release.
The remaining 20 will build their own homes.
The subdivision in Kekaha is on 20 acres and lots are a minimum of 10,000 square feet. Twenty-two lots were reserved for those whose income does not exceed 80 percent of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's median income for Kauai ($51,700 for a family of four).
The turnkey homes cost between $112,620 for a two-bedroom and $188,160 for a four-bedroom.
The $5.1 million project was funded by the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust Fund and Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act.
2 more public schools hit academic targets
Two more public schools have made the list of those achieving required academic progress, bringing the final tally to 97 out of the state's 282 traditional and public charter schools, the Department of Education said yesterday.
Aliamanu Elementary and Maunawili Elementary were added after successfully appealing earlier rulings that student test-score results fell short of "adequate yearly progress" (AYP), a key measure of school performance under the federal No Child Left Behind act.
Out of 25 schools that appealed, they were the only two schools whose appeals were granted. AYP is best on a complex array of student test scores, participation rates and other factors.
However, the 97 schools remain easily the state's worst showing yet on AYP, which school officials attributed to sharply higher test-score requirements in effect this year.
Salvation Army helps those facing eviction
Families facing eviction or homelessness can now turn to the Salvation Army Honolulu Family Services Offices for help.
The Salvation Army is providing financial aid for those facing housing emergencies. The aid is made possible by a grant by the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation and the Aloha United Way.
Housing assistance targets families with children who are behind in their rent or who are homeless. If eligible, families will get a month's rent or whatever amount is owed for overdue rent. To find out more, call the Salvation Army Honolulu Family Services office at 845-2544. The office is located at 810 Vineyard Blvd., Room 9, and is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Kaiser to offer new Medicare drug plan
With companies beginning to market Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, Kaiser Permanente members are cautioned that they will be dis-enrolled from their health plan if they sign up for a separate drug plan.
Kaiser said it will offer the new Medicare drug plan with its existing Senior Advantage Medicare plan, which has more than 21,000 members.
Members do not need to take any action to enroll in the new Medicare plan. They will receive details regarding the 2006 medical benefits and the new drug plan in late October.
"It is very important for our members to understand that under Medicare rules, Senior Advantage members will be dis-enrolled from their health plan if they sign up for a separate prescription drug plan," said Claudia Schmidt, vice president of business development.
She said Kaiser's Customer Service Center will assist members with questions on the new program.
A low-income subsidy is available to help Medicare members with limited income cover the cost of their Medicare prescription drug coverage, and Kaiser said it will work to identify members who can benefit from this.
Any Medicare member with questions about the subsidy may contact the Social Security Administration directly at 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778) or visit www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.
Kaiser's Customer Service can be reached at 432-5955 on Oahu or 800-966-5955 from the neighbor islands. TTY users may call 800-447-5990.
HPU nursing professor to speak at conference
Betty Kohal, Hawaii Pacific University assistant professor of nursing, will present two papers at the 19th annual American Psychiatric Nurses Association Conference on Nov. 2-5 in Nashville, Tenn.
Kohal, presently a doctoral student at Case Western Reserve University, was president-elect and president of the local association chapter in Hawaii from 2001-04.
"Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Care: Quality, Access, Safety" is the conference theme.
One of Kohal's papers will be on "Evidence-Based Practice: Psychiatric Nurses Utilize Empirical Data to Assist in Recovery Planning."
She co-authored the second paper with Beverly Ikeamura, Hawaii State Hospital nurse, on "Cultural Diversity: Template for Development of Treatment Mall Curriculum."
Doctor-professor hosts health show
Dr. Kalani Brady, University of Hawaii associate professor and vice chairman of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health, will host a 13-part series on medical issues in a new television talk show entitled "UH on Call."
Brady is known as the doctor on KHON's "Ask the Specialist."
The new show, which began Monday, is a collaboration between the University of Hawaii, PBS Hawaii and HMSA.
It will air on PBS Hawaii (KHET, Channel 11) at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and again at 3:30 p.m. on Sundays through Dec. 27.
UH and medical community experts will share their knowledge about diabetes, obesity, cancer, infectious diseases, and geriatric and other concerns.
The show also will feature reports on the latest scientific and medical findings, how the industry has addressed health concerns, and health-related technologies and treatments.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Body found at Kaena; foul play suspected
A body was found at Kaena Point yesterday, and police suspect foul play.
They did not release details on the person's age or gender. Homicide detectives were investigating the death last night.
The body was found about 5 p.m. at the end of the Farrington Highway, just down the road from Camp Erdman.
Police said the body was found in the bushes, just off the dirt roadway.
They had no suspects as of last night.
Missing girls located after four-hour search
A good Samaritan provided a happy ending to an anxious search in the McCully area for two lost girls yesterday.
The girls, 8 and 11, were playing outside of their Date Street home when they decided to walk to the Hawaiian Humane Society, police said.
The 11-year-old has Down's Syndrome.
One of the girls' mothers called police about their disappearance at 12:30 p.m. Police searched the area on foot, in cars and by air.
A man who lives nearby found the 8-year-old near the humane society about 4:30 p.m. and found the 11-year-old minutes later, police said.
Both girls were uninjured and reunited with their parents.
Two divers rescued off Hanauma Bay
Two scuba divers were rescued off Hanauma Bay around 10:20 a.m. yesterday after strong currents pulled them out to sea.
Lifeguards rescued one of the men, while firefighters were able to get to the second diver. They were both uninjured.