Season's first whale sighted off Kaanapali
WAILUKU » A humpback whale, the first seen in Maui County waters during this migratory season, has been spotted in waters off West Maui, according to the Pacific Whale Foundation.
Foundation spokeswoman Anne Rillero said a juvenile whale was seen at about 4:30 p.m. yesterday by several boats about two miles off Kaanapali.
"It lifted its tail and part of its back out of the water and slapped it down," she said.
Rillero said the Kiele V sailing catamaran saw the whale first, and the whale was seen later by quite a few vessels, including the Foundation's catamaran Manutea.
Humpback whales visiting Maui County waters are an endangered species and migrate from Alaska to Hawaii mainly from December through May.
Their numbers have increased from between 1,200 to 1,400 in the 1960s to estimates as high as 10,000 today.
An adult humpback is about the size of a school bus, longer than 40 feet and weighing more than 40 tons.
18 evacuated from smoky flight
WAILUKU » Fifteen passengers and three crew members were evacuated yesterday from an Island Air flight that had smoke in the cabin during a flight from Kauai, airport fire Capt. Robert Acantilado said.
Island Air Flight 404 was on its way to Maui when the pilot reported the smell of smoke in the cabin, according to a firm that handles public relations for Island Air.
The airplane landed at 4:30 p.m. yesterday and halted off the runway designated for light airplane landings, where passengers and crew were let off on an airfield, state transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa said.
He said the aircraft was towed off the runway within about a half-hour, and its malfunction did not cause the cancellation of flights.
Ishikawa said the crew and passengers suffered some minor smoke inhalation.
"From what I understand, no one was hospitalized," Ishikawa said.
Acantilado said fire officials were unable to locate the source of the smoke.
The 37-seat, turbo prop Dash-8 was taken out of service, pending an investigation, according to the public relations firm associated with Island Air.
Big-wave surfers complete crossing
NAWILIWILI » Big-wave surfers Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama completed their 430-mile crossing of the state yesterday with a 26-mile bicycle ride from Nawiliwili to Kilauea Lighthouse on Kauai.
Their week-long land and water journey over and between the islands was undertaken to promote a documentary film on autism made by their friend, cinematographer Don King. "Beautiful Son" is about King's autistic 6-year-old son, Beau.
Hamilton and Kalama agreed that the hardest part of the trek was stand-up surfing the 78 miles between Oahu and Kauai. It took about 19 hours.
"It's the hardest thing I've ever done, and I won't forget this any time soon. It was a serious gut check. I'm so glad to be on land right now," Kalama said Tuesday after completing the overnight crossing. The two encountered rain squalls that were so heavy at times that they had to paddle on their stomachs to keep their balance. The heaviest showers hit around 2 a.m., reducing visibility to near zero.
"It makes you feel very small," Hamilton said. "It's very humbling."
Hamilton and Kalama began traversing the state Oct. 4 at South Point on the Big Island. They biked across land and used extra-long paddles for stand-up surfing between the islands.
King, who works on the ABC series "Lost," being shot in Hawaii, has said he hopes the effort will raise $40,000 to distribute the autism documentary to a wider audience. The film addresses the struggles the brain disorder brings to families.
Walk to help feed the needy
The fourth annual River of Life Mission Walk for Hunger will start at 8 a.m. Saturday at Magic Island.
Registration starts at 7 a.m., when entertainment also begins.
Proceeds from the 2-mile walk around Magic Island and Ala Moana Beach Park go to the mission, which provides free meals, clothing, medical and legal assistance among other services to people in need.
Thompson is voted to lead Hawaii Theatre
, executive vice president of Bank of Hawaii, was elected chairwoman of the Hawaii Theatre Center, succeeding Robert R. Midkiff
. He is continuing on the board of directors as chairman emeritus to head the capital campaign to expand the theater's backstage area.
Other officers for 2006-2007 are vice chairs Karen Huffman, Mary Weyand, Al Tomonari, Heidi Snow and Mark Wong; secretary Anne Swanson; and treasurer Paul Schraff.
New board members elected to three-year terms are Linda Ahlers, Phoebe Cowles, Aaron Eberhardt, Chico Holland, Jeff Miller, Jackie Takeshita and Clint Arnoldus.
Renewing board members re-elected to three-year terms are Sandra Albano, Allison Holland, Karen Huffman, Sharon McPhee, Franklin Tokioka, Lawrence Tseu and Wendell Wo.
Elected to the advisory board are Sam Cooke, Claire Engle, Michael Forman, Norman Goldstein, Bill Joor, Bill Mills, Gunner Schull, Lawrence Vogel and Indru Watumull.
Junior Achievement of Hawaii Inc. received $15,000 from the Allstate Foundation, enabling the organization to teach students about business, economics and the free- enterprise system.
"Shining Stars" runs Monday through Thursday.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man, 22, arrested in hotel break-in
Police arrested a 22-year-old man who allegedly broke into a Waikiki hotel room early yesterday.
Police said a 25-year-old woman was asleep in her hotel room at about 12:20 a.m. yesterday when she was awakened by the suspect.
Another person in the room heard the woman's screams, then escorted the suspect out of the room and held him until officers arrived, police said.
The suspect was arrested for investigation of unauthorized entry into a dwelling, a felony.
Victim leads police to 1 of 2 alleged robbers
Police arrested one of two men who allegedly robbed another man in Waikiki early Tuesday.
Police said the two suspects approached a 30-year-old man at Kuhio and Liliuokalani avenues at about 1:30 a.m. and demanded his backpack.
The men fled on foot with the pack, they said.
At about 3:30 a.m. the victim saw one of the suspects on Kuhio Avenue and called police. They arrested the suspect, 29, of Waikiki, for investigation of second-degree robbery.
Police were looking for the other suspect.
2 teens arrested in holdup of cabdriver
An 18-year-old homeless man and a 17-year-old boy were charged yesterday in the knifepoint robbery of a 45-year-old taxicab driver Tuesday in the Sand Island area.
Earl D. Pimental Jr., 18, and the 17-year-old, whom police did not name because he is a minor, were both charged with first-degree robbery.
Police said the teens had taken a taxi from a Kalihi shopping center to Sand Island at 10:15 p.m. When they arrived at their destination, the older teen held a knife to the cabdriver's throat and demanded money. The two fled on foot.
The 18-year-old was arrested at 1200 Sand Island Parkway. The younger suspect was arrested later. Both were charged yesterday.
Pimental is being held on $11,000 bail.
Security guard finds body in parking lot
A security guard discovered at 1:45 a.m. yesterday the body of a 52-year-old man, apparently dead for days, in a parking lot at 660 Ala Moana Blvd.
Police said the guard found the man, who apparently died several days ago, in a blue Kia sport utility vehicle parked at a two-story office and retail building on the corner of Coral Street and Ala Moana.
There were no signs of foul play, police said.
Kalihi worker crushed at factory is identified
The Medical Examiner's Office identified the Kalihi factory worker who died from injuries sustained in an industrial accident as Wilbert Hill, 56, of Honolulu.
Hill died of crushing injuries, according to the Medical Examiner's Office. Police said his legs were pinned by equipment at the plant.
Hill was taken to the Queen's Medical Center after the accident at Maguire Bearing Co., at 1919 Hau St.
Man sought in Iwilei bus stop robbery
Police were looking for a male who robbed a woman at knifepoint Tuesday night at a bus stop near the Iwilei Home Depot.
Police said the 20-year-old woman was standing at a bus stop along Dillingham Boulevard at about 10:30 p.m. when the suspect confronted her with a knife and demanded her purse.
The woman gave up her bag, and the suspect fled, police said. The woman could not provide a description of the suspect, police said, because it was dark.
Suspect sought in attempt on gas station
Police were looking for a man who allegedly tried to rob a Kalihi gas station at knifepoint Tuesday morning.
Police said the man confronted a woman at the Chevron station at 1305 Middle St. at about 9:20 a.m. and demanded money.
The woman fled to another part of the store, and the man fled with no cash, police said. No description of the suspect was given.
Waipio man, 19, held in vehicle break-ins
Police arrested a 19-year-old Waipio man who allegedly broke into several vehicles in Waipahu early Tuesday and questioned officers about why they were looking in his car.
Patrol officers were sent to investigate a report of someone breaking into a car on Leoku Street at about 12:53 a.m. When they arrived, they saw a man sitting in a car who ran when he saw them.
Police then found a car with its engine running and numerous items strewn about it, and no one inside.
They said the same man returned and asked them what they were doing looking inside his car.
The officers then noticed two other vehicles nearby with the passenger-side windows shattered. They found items allegedly taken from those vehicles inside the suspect's car.
Officers arrested the suspect for investigation of three counts of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.