Big Isle police radio system parts catch fire
HILO » Overheated components of the Hawaii County Police Department radio system burst into flames briefly yesterday, causing police to use alternative communications systems for about four hours, police Maj. Paul Ferreira said.
No one was injured, and the damage was limited to the two components, valued at $2,000, he said.
At 6:50 a.m. two rectifiers the size of telephone books failed, Ferreira said. Responding Fire Department personnel said flames were visible at the rear of the units but quickly went out, leaving large quantities of smoke, which firefighters dispersed with fans.
Police dispatchers moved to the adjoining Civil Defense building and used that equipment until the police equipment was repaired, Ferreira said. Hawaiian Telcom also diverted 911 calls to the Civil Defense building during the repairs, he said.
Maui purchases land for coastal park plan
WAILUKU » Maui County has assumed ownership of some 100 acres of land at Ukumehame for $4 million as part of a plan to develop a coastal park and an alternate route away from the coastline to Lahaina.
The purchase, signed by Mayor Alan Arakawa and approved by the County Council, will allow the development of about 1.4 miles of future roadway away from the coastline. Arakawa said announced the acquisition yesterday.
The county hopes that the state will eventually develop an 8-mile alternate route from the Lahaina pali to Puamana Park.
The state's two-lane coastal highway from the Lahaina pali to Puamana is eroding in certain places because of its proximity to the ocean.
County officials also hope to eventually convert the existing road and adjacent land into a coastal park.
The 100 acres were purchased from Sugar Way Ltd., James John Cresswell Haynes II, Hugh Jeffrey Farrington, John M. Kean and Ukumehame Quarry LP.
Measure to rename post office advances
A bill to name a post office in Kalihi after the late U.S. Sen. Hiram Fong passed the U.S. Senate unanimously yesterday and now goes to the House of Representatives.
"Sen. Hiram Fong was a man of great integrity and a compassionate advocate for civil rights and workers' rights," said U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, who introduced the bill. "It is fitting that a U.S. Post Office near his home in Kalihi be named in his honor."
The bill, co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, would rename the post office at 1271 N. King St. A companion bill has been introduced by U.S, Rep. Neil Abercrombie in the House.
Akaka credited Fong with helping enact civil rights legislation, reforming immigration laws to end discrimination against Asian immigrants and fighting for equal pay for women.
"Having this post office named after Sen. Fong will help ensure that his legacy will never be forgotten," Inouye said.
» Saint Louis High School student Brandon Low
was nominated for Wendy's High School Heisman Award last fall in conjunction with the prestigious Heisman college award. The program recognizes top high school seniors who best exemplify a well-rounded citizen-scholar-athlete.
» Chris Masaquel won the Golden Apple award in the Alliant Credit Union's National Education Program, winning him a $1,000 computer gift card. He won first prize in the 10-to-14-year-old category and was among nine winners in the national contest.
» Byron Chong
of Honolulu was promoted to the rank of Eagle Scout. He belongs to Unit 5 and was chartered by the Aina Haina School PTA.
» Evan Tatsuya Alicuben of Waiakea High School and Jacquelyn Kersee Lautaha of Kahuku High and Intermediate School have been selected as delegates to the 44th annual United States Senate Youth Program for a week of intensive study in Washington, D.C., of government.
» Through the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
, the Rotary Club of Pearlridge
presented $100,000 to the Meals on Wheels Program of the Lanakila Rehabilitation Center
. The club received the funds from the foundation for completing a community service painting project for Lehua Elementary School.
» To celebrate the 80th anniversary of American Savings Bank, more than 500 employees formed 80 volunteer teams to complete school improvement projects throughout the state under the bank's "Planting 80 Seeds of Service" program.
» The Center on the Family at the University of Hawaii at Manoa has been awarded $1.6 million to implement an innovative program to help preschoolers from low-income families get a head start on reading and school success.
» Palolo Chinese Home, which houses 65 seniors, received $1.75 million in federal funds for a new three-story Skilled Nursing/Food Service Complex. The nonprofit home is America's oldest Asian-originated elder-care facility and is open to all races.
» The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center raised $250,000 at its first major fundraising event in Ko Olina. "A Tribute to the Spirit of Community" honored U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye; Stephen MacMillan, CEO of the James Campbell Estate; William Wilson, president of Hawaii Dredging; and Chuck Wothke, a founder and active supporter of the health center.
Police, Fire, Courts
Brawl between families in Maili hospitalizes 2 men
A fight yesterday between members of feuding Leeward Coast families sent two men to the Queen's Medical Center.
Police said about 12 people got into the brawl outside the Maili Commercial Center, 87-730 Farrington Highway in Maili. Police units from Kapolei and Ewa Beach were called as backup for Waianae officers, but the 5 p.m. fracas was under control in about 15 minutes, said a Waianae officer. It was apparently a continuation of a fight Thursday between the families, he said.
No one was arrested.
The injured men were in serious condition when taken by ambulance, said Emergency Medical Services supervisor Pat Jones.
Footprints give away suspects in burglary
The wet weather helped police arrest two men early Thursday after they allegedly tried to steal tools from a maintenance shed at a Waipio golf course.
Officers who responded to an alarm at about 12:30 a.m. spotted two men, ages 33 and 39, leaving the shed carrying hand tools. The suspects fled, but officers followed their muddy footprints and caught them a short time later, police said.
A motorcycle officer who was in the area found a third suspect, a 23-year-old man, who was acting as a lookout for the others, police said. That suspect was riding a stolen mo-ped, police said. He was arrested for investigation of auto theft.
Police arrested all three suspects for investigation of second-degree burglary. The oldest suspect also was arrested for investigation of drug offenses.
Girl killed in collision with bus is identified
A 5-year-old Waimea girl who died yesterday from injuries she received in a collision with a bus on the Hawaii Belt Road in North Hilo was identified as Kahikinia Butler.
Police said that sometime before 3:59 p.m., a 2001 Dodge multipurpose vehicle was traveling north when the driver, a 32-year-old Waimea woman, lost control, crossed the center line and collided with a county bus traveling south.
Another girl, an 11-year-old who was a passenger in the Dodge, was flown to North Hawaii Community Hospital, where she was treated for two broken legs.
The driver of the bus, a 60-year-old Pahoa man, and his 31 passengers were not injured. The driver of the Dodge also was not injured. It appears the children in the Dodge were wearing their seat belts.
The victim was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m. at the Hilo Medical Center. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.
This is the seventh traffic fatality on the Big Island this year, compared with nine at the same time last year.