Akaka Bill timing still considered uncertain
Sen. Daniel Akaka said yesterday he was confident the native Hawaiian recognition bill would be voted on by the current members of Congress, but indicated it might not happen this year.
Akaka, D-Hawaii, said he continues to meet with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to find time on the Senate schedule for the measure.
"I remain confident that the bill will be considered prior to the end of the 109th Congress," Akaka said.
Even if the bill passes the Senate, U.S. Rep. Ed Case has said there might not be enough time for the House to act on the bill before the end of the year.
To become law, a bill must pass the House and Senate in the same session. The bill would grant federal recognition to native Hawaiians similar to that afforded American Indians and Alaska natives.
State Librarian of Year chosen from Kapolei
Mary Ann Collignon, a librarian at the Kapolei Public Library, has been named state Librarian of the Year.
Collignon is a 14-year veteran of the Hawaii state library system and was lauded by library officials for her "dedication, enthusiasm and for promoting the library in the community." She was selected from 18 nominees statewide.
She wins $1,000 from Borders Books and Music and $500 from Friends of the Library of Hawaii.
Toy donations can be left at Bank of Hawaii
Bank of Hawaii is participating in the Marine Corps Reserve's 2005 Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Drive.
Donations of new, unwrapped toys for children in need can be dropped off at all Bank of Hawaii's Oahu branches, including in-store locations, through Dec. 19.
Neighbor island bank branches will collect toys Monday through Dec. 19.
Former lava dweller's belongings removed
MAKENA, Maui » State conservation enforcement officials said they had removed household and personal items from a lava tube where a woman had been residing in the state's Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve in South Maui.
A dozen staff members from the Department of Land and Natural Resources arrived at the cave at 6 a.m. Tuesday and removed items including carpeting, bedding, mattresses, food and clothing. Officials said six loads were removed by helicopter to a nearby flatbed truck and are being stored in Kahului.
Karen "Harmony" Mayfield, also known as Karen Rodriguez, had been living in the cave before she was evicted. Illegal-camping-related charges against her were dropped.
Land Board Chairman Peter Young said enforcement officials posted a notice of violation for littering at the lava tube last month and warned that the items needed to be removed by Oct. 28 or they would be confiscated.
Young said the reserve is designated as a protected area, and the state is obligated to maintain its wilderness values, including historic sites and lava tubes.
» Stephen Franz of Honolulu has been promoted to the rank of Eagle Scout by the Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is a member of Troop 1, chartered by Punahou School.
» Dean K. Hirata, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Central Pacific Financial Corp., has been elected chairman of the board of directors of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii for 2005-2006. Since 2003 he has served on the center's board as treasurer, and as chairman for the budget and finance committee.
» The Hawaii Tourism Authority has given its 2005 "Keep It Hawaii" awards to the following winners: Koa Award: Hawaiian Airlines; Kahili Awards: Big Island -- George Lanakilakeikiahialii Naope; Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows; Kauai -- Ken Robert Emerson; Maui -- Francis Palani Sinenci; Pilipo Solatario; Kipahulu Ohana Inc.; The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; Mutual Publishing; Honolulu City and County -- Kawaikapuokalani Hewett; Bishop Museum Press; Certificates of Merit: Big Island -- Daniel Kaniela Akaka; Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole; Parker Ranch Center; Geraldine Markus; Irvin Villacorte; The Friends of the Palace Theatre; The Fairmont Orchid Hawaii; Maui -- University of Hawaii, Maui Community College; Diamond Hawaii Resort & Spa; Four Seasons Resort Maui; Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Productions; Kula Botanical Garden; Old Lahaina Luau; Honolulu -- Papa Ola Lokahi; Bishop Museum; American Savings Bank, Kapiolani Branch; Aston Hotels & Resorts; Hana Hou! Magazine; Hawaiian Airlines; Mutual Publishing; Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach; Pacific Islands Institute; SMG/Hawaii Convention Center; Tour Talk-Hawaii Nei LLC; He Kuleana Ke Aloha Awards: Winona Desha Beamer; Genoa Keawe; Mary Louise Kekuewa; Merrie Monarch Festival; Prince Lot Hula Festival; Kaanapali Beach Hotel; Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
» The Queen's Medical Center's Bret W. Flynn and Emilie Smith have received awards from the Healthcare Association of Hawaii Home Care and Hospice Division. Flynn has been named Physician of the Year, and Smith, an administrator of CareResource Hawaii (a Queen's affiliate), received the Charlotte Dennis Leadership Award, the division's highest honor.
» Jordan Segundo, Hawaii's first "American Idol" finalist, has been named Adult Friends for Youth's 2005-2006 spokesman. Segundo, who grew up in Kalihi and graduated from Farrington High School, was chosen as a role model for youths who must work extra-hard to overcome social barriers to success.
» George G. Akahane Sr., a former Honolulu City Council member, has been appointed to the Good News Jail & Prison Ministry's National Board of Reference and as director of development, Hawaii. He will focus on enhancing community awareness of the chaplaincy in the prisons and strengthening its financial support base.
» Michael A. Rosenberg, president and general manager of KITV, has been re-elected a national vice president of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Man arrested in investigation of sex assault of teen
Police arrested a 22-year-old man Thursday for investigation of multiple sexual-assault offenses involving a 16-year-old girl.
The suspect allegedly met the victim via an Internet chat room in 2002 and traveled to Hawaii in 2003. Police said the suspect and victim began a sexual relationship that lasted for two years.
The suspect was arrested at the Outrigger Reef Hotel on Kalia Road for investigation of six counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault.
Construction worker collapses, dies on job
A 49-year-old heavy equipment operator from Waianae died yesterday after collapsing at a Kailua-Kona job site on the Big Island.
The man had returned from lunch and had climbed into the cab of a heavy equipment vehicle, according to fire Capt. Randall Chun. About five minutes later, workers spotted him slumped over the wheel.
The man was working for Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. at the intersection of Kuakini Highway and Henry Street.
Chun said the man was in full cardiopulmonary arrest when fire personnel arrived. Co-workers removed him from the cab and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation. He was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The incident was reported at 1:47 p.m., and firefighters arrived in five minutes.
House in Crestview is damaged by blaze
Fire heavily damaged a single-story wooden house last night in Crestview, near Waikele.
The three residents of the home were out at the time of the fire at 94-836 Lumikuke Loop., said fire Capt. Kenison Tejada.
The house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived a few minutes after the 7:07 p.m. alarm, Tejada said. About two dozen firefighters brought the blaze under control by 7:20 p.m.
Tejada said fire officials received several reports that the occupants left 15 minutes to an hour before the fire started. One occupant is a relative of the owner, and the other two rent an extension in the garage of the house.
Tejada said an estimated 50 percent to 70 percent of the house was destroyed, with heavy burning and charring inside.
A neighbor tried to help extinguish the fire with a hose and protect his home.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Police arrest suspect in auto theft ring
Police arrested an 18-year-old man yesterday suspected of being part of an auto theft ring operating out of the Aiea-Halawa area.
Police said the man was seen by a patrol officer while driving a stolen vehicle at about 12:15 a.m.
He was later located and arrested fronting 99-123 Mikalemi St. in Aiea for investigation of four counts of auto theft, fourth-degree theft, four counts of driving without a license and reckless driving.
The man was released without charges.
Police said the man is one of several suspects who are believed to be connected with an auto theft ring.
Investigators said more arrests are expected.