Leis family gives Maui college $1M
Philanthropists Dorvin and Betty Leis have offered $1 million to Maui Community College to advance "sustainability" on campus. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents yesterday accepted the largest donation to the community college and renamed the school's fine dining facility the Leis Family Class Act Restaurant. The money will assist sustainability -- managing resources today so they're available in the future -- in the culinary arts, construction technologies and agriculture programs.
State gets $498,000 to boost adoptions
The federal government has awarded the state $498,000 to help increase the number of children adopted from foster care.
Last year, 431 children in foster care were adopted in Hawaii, according to statistics provided by the state Department of Human Services. There were 354 children adopted in 2004.
The money is an incentive bonus from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The federal agency pays states $4,000 for every child adopted over their previous best year's total, another $4,000 for each additional child nine years and older and $2,000 for each additional special-needs child.
Hawaii's previous best total for all adoptions and those for children nine years and older was in 2004, according to the state DHS. Its previous best year for special needs children adoptions was in 2002.
State Human Services Director Lillian Koller said the state will use the money to promote adoptions of older foster children before they exit the child welfare system.
About 2,500 children are in the state's foster care system, according to the state DHS. Children for whom the state Family Court terminates parental rights are placed on a waiting list for adoption. There are about 200 children and youth, including those with special needs, awaiting adoption, the state said.
State tries flu shots for public school kids
A state Health Department team today begins providing flu shots in public schools to try to increase the vaccination rate.
"It's a pilot project we're doing, initially with a few schools to try to determine if this is something that has potential to be implemented next year," said department spokeswoman Janice Okubo.
Dr. Sarah Park, deputy chief of the Disease Outbreak Control Division, was to be with health department personnel starting the program this morning at Mililani Uka elementary school.
The department held informational briefings for parents and collected consent forms, Okubo said. The team will go to other schools through Wednesday, she said.
"Schools are a place where it's easy for disease to spread. ... It just seemed like a logical place to implement vaccinations."
Leonid meteor shower will light up weekend
The annual Leonid meteor shower will peak sometime this weekend, scientists say, but there are no promises on how good the celestial show will be this year.
The Leonid meteors occur annually Nov. 14-20, radiating from the constellation Leo as the Earth passes through debris from comet Tempel-Tuttle.
Carolyn Kaichi, Bishop Museum Planetarium manager, said sources differ about when the shower will peak. One says today and another says Sunday, she said. "We're going to tell people to look for it all weekend, any time after midnight."
Some years the Leonid shower sends thousands of meteors per hour streaking across the sky but this year scientists are saying they don't know how many they will see, Kaichi said.
"It's always a caveat when you look for meteors -- just educated guesses. Anybody interested should go out and look and not have any expectations."
Look for Saturn to find the Leonids, Kaichi said. It is the only planet visible now when it's dark (the others are moving to the morning sky) and it's in Leo's head, she said. Leo will be rising about 12:30 a.m. tomorrow and Sunday morning, she said. "Leo looks like a backward question mark. It's (Saturn) right at the bottom of the neck area."
Coming this weekend in your Star-Bulletin:
The Hokua lifestyle exemplifies the idea of new urban living -- life, work and play in a central location. And in luxury, too. Also, the Weekly Eater visits Moe's Southwest Grill, Tex-Mex in a mall setting.
Sports: The Warriors go for eight wins in a row tomorrow as they take on San Jose State at Aloha Stadium. Full coverage of the game can be found in Sunday's sports section.
Business: Many Hawaii retailers couldn't wait to take down their Halloween decorations this year so they could get an earlier-than-usual start on the holiday shopping frenzy.
Travel: Writers Robert W. Bone and Bob Jones offer insider tips about travel throughout Vietnam. Vietnam is hosting the APEC -- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation -- meeting in Hanoi this week, which President Bush is attending.
Police, Fire, Courts
Escapee is caught at Iwilei restaurant
Police have captured a prison escapee who had been missing since Nov. 6.
Rory Cabrera, 26, was one of two inmates who didn't return to the Laumaka Work Furlough facility. Public Safety officials said it was a coincidence that Cabrera and 44-year-old Allan Abihai didn't return on the same night.
Cabrera was found in Iwilei on Wednesday at Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch & Crab restaurant, 580 N. Nimitz Highway, following an anonymous tip.
Abihai is still at large.
Suspect arrested after knife threats at park
Police arrested a 27-year-old man who allegedly threatened another man with a knife at the beach at lunchtime Wednesday.
Police said the suspect and another man approached a 52-year-old man at a beach park in Honolulu at about 12:18 p.m.
Police said the suspect challenged the older man to a fight and then chased him around a picnic table with a knife.
Police were called and the suspect was arrested for investigation of first-degree terroristic threatening.
Manager arrested in false robbery report
Police arrested the manager of a fast-food restaurant who they say falsely reported that she had been robbed.
Police said the woman reported being robbed at Popeye's Chicken & Biscuits, at 1515 Dillingham Blvd., about 11:45 p.m. Oct. 6.
An investigation showed that the woman made a false report, police said. She was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of filing a false report, and second-degree theft. She was released pending investigation.
Argument leads to kidnapping, assault
Police arrested a 42-year-old man who allegedly choked, sexually assaulted and kidnapped his girlfriend after she left their Moiliili home.
The couple had argued Tuesday at their Citron Street home, police said. The woman, 41, gathered her belongings and left, police said.
While she was walking on Kinau Street near Piikoi Street, the man grabbed her and forced her to return home, police said. He then held her in their room, sexually assaulting her through the night, police said.
On Wednesday, the man choked the woman and dragged her from the kitchen to the bedroom, police said.
A witness called police and the man was arrested Wednesday for investigation of kidnapping, felony abuse of a household member and first-degree sexual assault.
4 more boys arrested in high school fight
Police arrested four more teenage boys yesterday who were among a group of 15 to 20 juveniles involved in a fight off Kapiolani Boulevard behind McKinley High School on Tuesday.
Officers arrested five boys Tuesday.
Police said the fray lasted from 2:50 to 3:10 p.m.
Two men, both 18, were taken to the Queen's Medical Center for treatment of injuries.
Police said the fight appeared to be gang-related and that the teens were mostly McKinley High School students.
3-year-old hit by SUV is critically injured
A 3-year-old Waipahu boy was in critical condition after being hit by a sport utility vehicle Wednesday afternoon.
Police said the boy ran into the path of a brown 1998 Chevy Blazer about 3:29 p.m. as the SUV was turning into the driveway of an apartment complex on Pupuohi Street in Waipahu.
The boy suffered fractures in both legs and internal chest injuries, police said. He was initially taken to St. Francis West Medical Center and later transferred to the Queen's Medical Center.
The 25-year-old woman driving the SUV was not hurt.
Woman claims sex assault by housemate
Police arrested a 45-year-old Ewa man who allegedly raped his housemate Tuesday.
The victim, a 28-year-old woman, told police that the man raped her between 9 and 11 p.m. Police arrested him for investigation of first-degree sexual assault.
Man is charged for hammer attack in July
A 43-year-old Waianae man who allegedly hit another man with a hammer in July was charged Wednesday with second-degree assault.
Police said DeMaine Flores and a 36-year-old man were arguing in Waianae about 1:30 p.m. July 9 when he hit the other man in the shoulder with a hammer.
The victim suffered bruises and scratches on his shoulder and forearm, police said.
Flores was found Tuesday and arrested for investigation of second-degree assault. He was charged Wednesday and bail was set at $11,000.
Driver who died in SUV crash is ID'd
A 42-year-old Honolulu man who died yesterday following in a Waipio car crash was identified by the Medical Examiner's office as Robert E. Dias.
Police said Dias was Wahiawa-bound on Kamehameha Highway approaching Ka Uka Boulevard when the sport utility vehicle he was driving veered to the right and jumped a curb onto a grassy area, police said.
The silver 2003 four-door GMC Yukon then hit a moss rock wall, continued on and crashed into a large tree, police said.
2 teens sought in robbery of cab driver
A 44-year-old taxicab driver was robbed by two teenagers in Kailua early Wednesday morning, according to police.
Police said the man picked up two males, about 16 to 18 years old, in Kailua town at Kailua Road and Hahane Street.
The teens asked to be taken to North Kalaheo Avenue. When they got to their destination at Kalaheo and Makawao Street, one of the teens held out a $20 bill. As the driver handed him $13 in change, one of the suspects allegedly punched him on the jaw, police said.
Police have opened a second-degree robbery case.
Ex-boyfriend arrested for threatening woman
Police arrested a 31-year-old man who allegedly threatened his ex-girlfriend and assaulted her.
Police said the man had been kicked out of the couple's Kaneohe home for the past month but returned about 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The man threatened her twice with two different "dangerous instruments," police said. He also allegedly hit her with his elbow.
Police arrested him for investigation of two counts of terroristic threatening and abuse of a household member.
Credit union employee admits stealing $1,500
Police on Tuesday arrested a 20-year-old Kaneohe credit union employee who admitted to stealing and returning $1,500.
The Kaneohe branch manager of Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union reported an employee admitted to taking and then returning $1,500, police said.
The alleged theft occurred at the Kaneohe branch at 46-056 Kamehameha Highway in Windward Mall. Police arrested the woman on suspicion of second-degree theft.