Former utility lineman electrocuted on Kauai
KEKAHA, Kauai » A former Kauai Electric lineman, who worked to transform that company into the cooperative it is today, died Monday in an electrical accident.
Police said John Bandmann, 63, of Lawai was working on old power lines near Kekaha at around 9:30 a.m. when he was electrocuted. He was removing transformers from an electrical transfer station that served a former sugar company. He could not be revived.
Bandmann retired as a lineman supervisor with the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, but he also was one of the founding members of the KIUC board, and was elected to a three-year term in 2003. Six months later he resigned, citing personal reasons. At Monday night's KIUC board of directors meeting, numerous board members called him a friend and said he was a man who loved to help out his community.
Power failure snarls Garden Island traffic
KAPAA » A late afternoon power failure snarled traffic on the Garden Isle yesterday, shutting down street lights and businesses at rush hour.
At 4:02 p.m. nearly all of Kauai lost power, caused by a downed power line in Kaumakani. Pockets of Lihue and Kapaa, though, were not affected.
Power was restored within an hour to most areas, although Kaumakani on the west side remained without power early last night. It took about two hours to restore power to Princeville on the North Shore, said Anne Barnes, marketing and communications supervisor for the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.
Applications sought for King Day activities
Applications for the 18th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Parade and Unity Rally are now being accepted. Those interested in participating in the event, scheduled to be held on Monday, Jan. 16, may go to www.mlk-hawaii.org.
The parade will start from Ala Moana Park through Waikiki on Kalakaua Avenue and will end at Kapiolani Park. A unity rally to be held for the rest of the day will follow. Entertainment, games for children, food and crafts will be available. For more information, call parade chairman Bill Rushing at 741-4038 or 672-4129.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Rooftop blaze empties mortuary
Black smoke spewing from the rooftop of a downtown mortuary alerted employees to a fire near the crematorium smokestack yesterday afternoon.
Fire Battalion Chief William Kaai said the smoke came from the charring of the roof of Borthwick Mortuary at 1330 Maunakea St.
Kaai said one of the two smokestacks was too close to the roof, possibly due to tilting. This caused the heat from the smokestack to transfer to the roof, charring a small area of the roof.
Borthwick Mortuary Assistant Manager Jerome Andrade said it was the first time this had happened.
"We've been cremating all day today," Andrade told police.
"One had just finished off," he said. "All bodies that were cremated were finished."
He said cremation is done at 1,500 degrees.
Andrade said two families and 15 employees were safely evacuated from the two-story building. No services were going on at the time.
Smoke continued to billow from one of the stacks, which Kaai said was the residue from a corpse. Grease also accumulates within the smokestacks, he said.
Police issue sketch after fatal stabbing
Honolulu police have released a sketch of the suspect who allegedly fatally stabbed a man Tuesday downtown.
According to witnesses, the suspect was seen prior to 2:05 p.m. while walking on Hotel Street fronting Longs Drug Store. He was approached by some females, police said, and the suspect and the females were arguing when the victim stepped in to intervene.
A fight broke out between the two men, and the suspect stabbed the victim several times and fled in an unknown direction, police said.
The suspect was described as in his 50s, about 6 feet 2 inches tall, between 180 and 190 pounds, and with gray hair. He was last seen with a woman wearing a bright red blouse, white tennis-type hat and white pants.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or by dialing *CRIME on a cellular phone.
Pickup crash victim was Kailua man, 39
The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office has identified a 39-year-old man killed Tuesday in a single-vehicle accident in Kailua as Antonio Ruiz of Kailua.
Ruiz was driving a pickup truck that was traveling to Kaneohe on Maluniu Avenue near Hualani Street at about 1:10 a.m. That was when he veered onto the shoulder and crashed into several receptacles, mailboxes, a utility pole and two walls.
He was thrown from the vehicle. Police said excessive speed was a factor in the crash.