HECO finishes generator repairs
Hawaiian Electric Co. says power is back to normal.
For the past two days, HECO has asked consumers to voluntarily restrict electricity use to avoid power failures due to lower-than-normal generation reserves.
HECO workers finished repairs to key generating units yesterday. One of the units operated by independent power producer Kalaeloa Partners is still running at reduced capacity.
Hilina Pali Road shut for breeding nene
HILO » Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has closed Hilina Pali Road to protect breeding nene geese during the current breeding season, which extends to April, the park announced.
The count of the endangered geese in the park is down to 165 from a high of 200 in 1997, said ranger Mardie Lane, despite a successful breeding season last year in which 23 goslings fledged, she said.
Hilina Pali Road, which extends several miles to the side of the road that leads to the coastal lava flow area, is closed to cars, hikers and bicyclists, Lane said.
The area is also closed to dogs, which normally applies to most areas of the park anyway, she said. People occasionally bring dogs to the park, apparently on the mistaken belief that if it is a park, dogs must be welcome, she said.
Any movement of people along the road will disrupt the nene's breeding activities and reduce the chances for success, she said.
The road leads to Kulanaokuaiki Campground, which will remain open. However, hikers must register and use less traveled back country trails to reach it, Lane said.
Grant aids residents in public housing
The state Housing and Community Development Corp. of Hawaii has received a $450,000 federal grant to help elderly and disabled public housing residents become more self-sufficient. The grant will go toward programs in the Kalakaua, Makua Alii and Paoakalani projects in Honolulu.
The agency will contract with the Honolulu Gerontology Program of Child & Family for case management, group activities, translation and other services.
"Living independently is important to our elderly and disabled residents, and this grant further boosts our efforts to help our residents remain self-sufficient," HCDCH Executive Director Stephanie Aveiro said.
What's inside your Star-Bulletin this weekend:
KEEPING FAITH: Debunking 'DaVinci Code'
A visiting preacher's crusade is to correct "misinformation" about Jesus and Christianity in the best-selling book "The DaVinci Code," coming soon as a movie.
TODAY: Kailua's heart is in art
Hopes of turning Kailua into an artists' community have been buoyed by the success of Second Sunday events and the increase in tourism to the Windward side.
TODAY: Preparing for the future
Everyone needs to be prepared for the inevitable onset of old age -- by dealing in advance with medical, financial and emotional considerations. Eldercare workshops can help.
BUSINESS: Style twins take on Tokyo
Kamaaina fashion designers Gerald John and John Alexander Polyascko are ready to share with the world their vision of the urban gentleman. The twins leave Sunday to launch their men's clothing line, Polyascko2, at the International Fashion Fair in Tokyo.
Police, Fire, Courts
Woman flees captor by jumping from car
Police said a woman who had allegedly been kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend Wednesday was able to get away from him by jumping out of his moving truck on the H-2 freeway.
The victim, 27, and the suspect, 32, had broken up three weeks ago, police said. The suspect allegedly showed up at the victim's apartment in Mililani at about 5:45 a.m. Wednesday and found her with a male acquaintance. The suspect confronted the male but eventually let him leave, police said.
Police said the suspect then confronted his ex-girlfriend and hit her with a telephone, then forced her into his truck to look for the home of the man who had just left.
They drove to the Mililani Mauka area, where the victim tried to get out of the truck while it was stopped but was restrained by the suspect, according to police.
The victim later jumped out of the truck while the suspect was getting onto the H-2, and fell to the roadway but was carried back into the truck by the suspect, police said.
The suspect drove another 30 feet, and the victim jumped out again, this time flagging down a passing motorist for help.
Police said the suspect drove off but was later found by officers at his parents' house and arrested for investigation of kidnapping and abuse. The victim was treated for minor injuries and released.
Wanted sex offender arrested on Big Isle
A 32-year-old convicted sex offender wanted in Washington was arrested Wednesday on the Big Island, police said.
Aaron T. Wells, who lives in Ainaloa, violated his probation in Washington, police said. Officials from the Washington Department of Corrections told police Wells left Washington without permission. He also did not register as a sex offender in Hawaii.
Well is being held without bail, pending an extradition hearing in Hilo.
He was convicted in 2001 on four counts, including possession of child pornography, computer trespass and possession of stolen property.
Inmate, theft suspect charged with escape
Two Big Island men have been charged with escape in separate incidents, police said.
On Tuesday, 26-year-old Abraham Verece turned himself in at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center. Police said he escaped from the Hale Nani minimum-security facility on April 4.
Verece was charged with escape, and there was also an outstanding warrant for his arrest. He was being held without bail.
In an unrelated arrest, Puna officers charged Alan J. Dias with escape after he was arrested at an Ainaloa home Saturday for an outstanding warrant and in connection with an auto theft investigation.
On Dec. 21, Dias allegedly fled on foot from a police officer who had arrested him. At the time, Dias was driving a suspected stolen vehicle. He was stopped for a defective headlight.
Dias' bail on the escape charge was set at $1,000. He was being held at HCCC for the warrant.
Visitor drowns while snorkeling
HILO » A man visiting the Big Island apparently drowned yesterday while snorkeling at Makalawena Beach in West Hawaii, Hawaii County Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira said.
The victim's name was not immediately made public.
The man was snorkeling with friends at the beach about 10 miles north of Kailua-Kona when he became separated from the others, Oliveira said. He was found face down about 150 yards offshore at about 10 a.m.
The body was retrieved by a Fire Department helicopter and taken to Kona Community Hospital, Oliveira said.
Gun-wielding man is sought in robbery
Police were looking for an armed man in his 30s last night who allegedly robbed CompUSA on Ala Moana Boulevard.
The robbery happened yesterday at about 4:30 p.m. Police said the man allegedly walked up to a cash register at the store, showed the cashier a handgun tucked in his pants and demanded money, then fled on foot. Police declined to release how much money the robber got away with.
The suspect is described as about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 140 pounds. He was last seen wearing bluejeans, a blue jersey and a black baseball hat, police said.
Assault, arrest stem from parking dispute
Police arrested a 23-year-old man after he allegedly assaulted another man Tuesday night in a dispute over a parking stall.
Police said the victim, 20, was waiting for a parking stall at the Nuuanu YMCA lot at about 6:40 p.m. when he was confronted by the suspect, who also wanted the stall.
The victim was allegedly hit in the face several times by the suspect until he gave up the parking stall. Police arrested the suspect for investigation of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
Suspect is wanted for forgery cases
Honolulu police are asking for the public's help in finding William Banta Jr., who is wanted on a parole retake warrant and in connection with several forgery cases.
Banta, 33, is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds. He has black hair and hazel eyes.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone.
Loaded gun left in car leads to man's arrest
Police arrested a 27-year-old man after he allegedly reported his gun stolen but then found it in his car.
The arrest happened at 1:45 a.m. Wednesday after the suspect called 911 from the parking lot of 897 Kamehameha Highway in Pearl City.
After officers arrived, the man rechecked his car for his loaded firearm and found it. The gun is registered, but it is against the law to keep a loaded firearm in an unsecured place in a vehicle.
Police arrested him for investigation of a firearm violation.