Fear of botulism prompts juice recall
The state Department of Health is warning consumers not to drink a brand of carrot juice that was the apparent source of four cases of botulism on the mainland.
The department asked vendors in Hawaii to remove Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice from sale last month after isolated reports from Florida were all linked to the juice, which people had not properly refrigerated. The department said juice in 450-milliliter and 1-liter plastic bottles with pull dates of Nov. 11 or earlier should be discarded.
There were no botulism cases in Hawaii and cases of botulism from processed food are rare in the United States, according to a news release. Botulism, which can cause double vision, difficulty in swallowing, paralysis or even death, is caused by a bacteria commonly found in soil. More information is available at www.fda.gov.
Man sues city over death of jailed son
The father of a homeless man who died after Honolulu police arrested him in December is suing the city for the wrongful death of his son.
Misael Melgar, 26, died Dec. 7 at Straub Hospital, two days after police found him unresponsive in a cellblock at the Main Honolulu Police Station downtown. Melgar's father, Douglas Melgar, lives in California.
The Honolulu Medical Examiner said Melgar died of crystal methamphetamine-induced delirium complicated by being in a prolonged prone position during his arrest. The autopsy also cited acute alcohol intoxication as a contributing cause.
Honolulu police arrested Melgar Dec. 5 at a North Hotel Street address following a report of a man hitting and shoving people in Chinatown.
Police said the man was combative, refused numerous orders to surrender and lunged at an officer, at which point police used pepper spray on him.
But the man continued to resist arrest and even pulled a tree out of the ground, police said. He was eventually arrested.
Officers called for medical help at 6:24 a.m. when they noticed Melgar, who was in his cell, was not breathing. He had been breathing less than 10 minutes earlier, officers reported.
He was taken to Straub, where he remained in critical condition until he died.
An internal investigation launched after Melgar's death remains pending, said Capt. Frank Fujii, HPD spokesman, and the department declined comment on the lawsuit.
MDA offering free flu shots
The Muscular Dystrophy Association is offering flu shots to residents with any of more than 40 neuromuscular diseases covered by its research or programs. Influenza is a greater risk for those whose neuromuscular disease damages muscles associated with lung function, the MDA said. MDA has five clinics in Hawaii, including one at Castle Medical Center, where people can get shots. For more information about how to obtain a flu shot from the MDA, call 593-4454 or go to www.mda.org
Jazmine Richter, Parker School 8th-grader, wins $1,000 reading shopping spree prize
, an eighth-grader at Parker School on the Big Island, is the $1,000 grand prize winner of the 2006 Hawaii Pizza Hut and Hawaii State Public Library System Young Adult Summer Reading Shopping Spree Sweepstakes. Richter participated in the program at the Thelma Parker Memorial Public & School Library.
Kayumi Vanek, a Mililani High School sophomore and patron of the Mililani Public Library, was the second place winner of a $500 shopping spree.
Annalissa Hartsell, a Waimea Canyon seventh-grader who participated in the program at the Hanapepe Public Library on Kauai, took third place. She won a $250 shopping spree.
Hawaii Pizza Hut also provided each branch library with 10 Summer Reading Pizza Award Certificates for lucky drawing prizes.
Police, Fire, Courts
Boy in critical condition after car runs over his go-cart
A 14-year-old boy was critically injured Sunday night when the go-cart he was driving was run over by a car in Pacific Palisades, police said.
The boy was driving the go-cart, which might be homemade, mauka-bound on Komo Mai Drive near Apoepoe Street at about 8:15 p.m. when he veered into the path on an oncoming car, a 1999 gold four-door Toyota Solara, police said.
The Solara's driver could not stop in time and ran over the cart and the boy, police said. The boy was taken in critical condition to the Queen's Medical Center with head and body injuries, police said. The 38-year-old Honolulu man driving the car was not hurt. Police said the go-cart did not have lights.
Rescuers locate missing goat hunter
A Big Island county rescue chopper airlifted a bow hunter out of a remote lava field in the Pohakuloa Training Area on Sunday morning.
The woman was reported missing at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday by her boyfriend after she failed to return to their car. The two had apparently been hunting feral goats when the woman became disoriented and got separated from her boyfriend.
Army personnel searched for the woman Saturday night but couldn't find her. At first light Sunday she was spotted by county rescue personnel. She was reported to be tired but did not need medical help.
Condition of 2 fire victims improves
WAILUKU » Two women pulled from a burning cottage on Maui have improved from critical to serious condition, Police Lt. John Jakubczak said yesterday.
One of the women was a visiting 57-year-old Honolulu resident. She was taken Saturday to the burn unit at Straub Clinic & Hospital on Oahu, he said. The Maui woman, 53, was recovering at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Jakubczak said there was no indication of foul play in the fire at 347-A Momi Place in Wailuku late Saturday morning. But he said authorities were still investigating the cause of the blaze, which started outside the 15-year-old house near a stairwell. He said the Maui woman lived in the cottage and the Honolulu woman was visiting her home.
Firefighters carried the two unconscious women out of the burning master bedroom, he said.
Man faces several sex assault charges
A Halawa man was charged Thursday with numerous counts of sexual assault involving a 16-year-old girl.
Clarence Bontog allegedly sexually assaulted the girl at his home from Feb. 5 to Sept. 6. Bontog was charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, eight counts of second-degree sexual assault and five counts of third-degree sexual assault. He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Police seek witnesses to fatal hit-and-run
Police are asking for witnesses to an Aug. 25 hit-and-run case in which a pedestrian was killed.
Police said a light-colored van struck 75-year-old Thomas Laikupu as he was crossing North King Street at Akepo Lane. Laikapu was taken to the Queen's Medical Center, where he later died.
Witnesses described the van that hit the man as light-colored. Police said the right-front light assembly was found at the scene and it matches a 1991 to 1994 GMC van. The van might have a damaged front grill, hood and windshield.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
Young boy's injuries trigger investigation
Police are investigating injuries to a 19-month-old boy who was taken to the hospital on Wednesday.
Police said the boy was taken to Kapiolani Medical Center with a fractured left leg and a second-degree burn to his left shoulder blade. Police are investigating the case as a second-degree assault.
Woman held in attack on city bus driver
Police arrested a 49-year-old woman who allegedly injured a city bus driver Sunday morning.
Police said the woman got on the bus with an expired disability bus pass. The bus driver, a 41-year-old woman, kept the pass, as required by bus company rules, and told the suspect she would have to pay for her ride, police said.
The suspect complied, but later became angry because she thought her bus pass had been stolen, police said. She confronted the driver, with both suffering minor injuries in the altercation. The passenger was arrested for investigation of interference with the operator of a public transit vehicle. She was later released pending investigation.