HFD asks residents to get fireworks permits in advance
The Honolulu Fire Department is urging residents to get their fireworks permits early.
Permits are available year-round for a $25 fee at satellite city halls. Fireworks sales begin Monday and end at 1 a.m. on New Year's Day. Fireworks may only be set off between 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve and 1 a.m. on Jan. 1.
Vendors are not allowed to sell fireworks permits, which are only good for the year and the holiday for which they are issued. Permits are not sold at Oahu fire stations.
To report a vendor selling permits, call the Honolulu Fire Department's Fire Prevention Bureau at 831-7764.
Transit official picked to run city bus system
Roger Morton has been named president and general manager of Oahu Transit Services, the company that runs the city bus system.
"I made a commitment long time ago when the energy crisis first started to try to get excellent public transportation in Honolulu," Morton said.
Morton succeeds James Cowen, who died July 19.
Morton has been working for TheBus since 1979, most recently as OTS senior vice president and director of operations.
Morton has been running the company since Cowen's death, but his new position took effect yesterday.
Anthony Guerrero, chairman of the OTS board, said the national search for a new company head led to 25 applicants for the post.
"It's very important to get the right selection. We looked all over and finally our selection came down to Roger Morton," Guerrero said. "Roger knows what the bus company is all about."
NTSB gets wreckage after Maui air crash
WAILUKU » National Transportation Safety Board officials yesterday retrieved the wreckage of a single-engine airplane that crashed in east Maui.
The body of the man believed to be a 56-year-old Salt Lake City resident who rented the airplane was removed from the crash site Friday.
The crash at about the 2,400-foot-level mauka of the Hana Airport occurred Thursday and was initially reported as a fire at about 3:49 p.m. before authorities learned the blaze was caused by a downed airplane.
NTSB investigator-in-charge Kristi Dunks said investigators were able to retrieve all of the wreckage.
She said investigators plan to examine the wreckage today.
Dunks said investigators are still reviewing information about the airplane's flight path as well as maintenance records.
The airplane, a four-seat Cessna 172SP, was rented from Maui Aviators Flight School at the Kahului Airport.
Maui Aviators has declined comment, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Police Lt. Glenn Cuomo said a positive identification of the man has been delayed because the coroner is still waiting for the man's dental records from the mainland.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Motorcyclist slams into guardrail, dies
A 51-year-old Honolulu man was killed yesterday when he lost control of the motorcycle he was riding and slammed into a guardrail on the H-3 freeway.
The motorcyclist was heading toward Honolulu in the right lane of the H-3, three miles west of Kamehameha Highway, when he "suddenly lost control" of the motorcycle, crashed into a guardrail and was thrown off, police said.
He then "slid across the top of the guardrail and slammed into the tunnel wall abutment," said Sgt. John Agno of the police Vehicular Homicide Section of the Traffic Division.
The motorcycle continued traveling 500 feet, crossed three lanes, hit a Jersey barrier and ended up between the left and center lanes, police said.
The motorcyclist and his motorcycle, a white 1994 Harley-Davidson, ended up on opposite ends of a tunnel.
The man, who was not wearing a helmet, sustained massive head and leg injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
This was Honolulu's 74th traffic fatality this year, compared with 68 the same time last year.
Kalihi man arrested in attack with minivan
Police arrested a 39-year-old Kalihi man after he allegedly attacked another man with his rental vehicle Monday night in Kailua.
The victim, also 39, told police he was pumping gas into his 1992 Lexus at Benton's Keolu Chevron at 1070 Keolu Drive in Enchanted Lake about 10 p.m. The suspect pulled into the station and hit the victim's car twice with a rented 2005 Ford Freestar minivan.
The victim fled in his car and headed toward Kalanianaole Highway, with the suspect following him, police said.
The victim said the suspect rammed his car three times from behind while he was driving. Police said the victim lost control of his car at the Keolu Drive-Kalanianaole Highway intersection, then hit a guardrail.
At that point, police said, the victim got out of his vehicle and challenged the suspect to a fight. The suspect responded by bumping the victim in the leg with his car, police said.
The suspect fled in his car. Police found him at his Kalihi Street home at about 11:45 p.m. and arrested him for investigation of attempted murder. He was also arrested later for violating a protective order. The victim told police his boss is dating the suspect's ex-wife.
Molokai woman, 77, loses home to fire
WAILUKU » An elderly Molokai woman lost her house in a fire yesterday.
Mona Wampler, 77, tried to put out the blaze and suffered some smoke inhalation and a small burn on her ear, fire Capt. Jerome Kalama said. She was treated at Molokai General Hospital.
Kalama said she was expected to be released from the hospital late yesterday.
Damage to the three-bedroom, two-bath house on Hawaiian Homestead land was estimated at $200,000, and $25,000 to its contents, he said.
Firefighters took an hour to control the blaze after receiving the initial alarm at 8:01 a.m.
Kalama said the house had no electricity, and a preliminary report showed the fire started near a portable generator charged by solar-powered batteries.
He said the house on Lot 123 along Keonelele Avenue was about 20 years old and the Wamplers had been building it a little at a time before the husband passed away.
Kalama said Wampler will be staying with relatives on Molokai.
"But she has no insurance on the house," he said.
Maui inmate escapes during work detail
WAILUKU » Police were looking for a man who escaped from the minimum-security unit at the Maui Community Correctional Center.
Kenneth J. Heintz, 52, had served five months of a 12-month sentence for a probation violation tied to a conviction of second-degree felony assault, said Acting Maui Warden Alan Nouchi.
There was no indication Heintz was a flight risk before the escape, Nouchi said.
Heintz was scheduled to be released July 16.
Prison officials believe Heintz climbed a fence topped with razor wire Saturday morning while on work detail. He was found missing after a head count at 3 p.m.
Nouchi said he believes domestic issues led to Heintz's decision to escape, but he declined to discuss them.
Heintz is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, 149 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes.
He was last seen wearing a white shirt and blue pants.
Prison officials said Heintz is not considered dangerous, but anyone seeing him should not confront him but call 911 or Maui sheriffs at (808) 244-2909.
Shopper arrested trying to claim refund
Police arrested a 24-year-old man after he allegedly tried to return an item bought at Ala Moana Center several months ago with a stolen credit card.
On Oct. 16, the suspect allegedly bought more than $300 worth of merchandise at an Ala Moana retailer using a credit card that store personnel were notified later by the credit card company had been stolen.
On Sunday, store officials said, the same man tried to return for a refund one of the items he had purchased, but was recognized by a salesperson and arrested by police for investigation of identity theft and fraudulent use of a credit card.