Pali tunnel lanes to close for cleaning
Honolulu-bound lanes on Pali Highway from Kamehameha Highway at Castle Junction to Waokanaka Street will be closed from 7 p.m. tomorrow to 7 a.m. Sunday. Tunnel cleaning and routine maintenance work will be done during the closure.
State transportation officials advise Honolulu-bound motorists to use alternate routes such as Likelike Highway and the H-3 freeway, and to anticipate extra travel time.
Checkups to help clarify booster-seat law
The state Department of Health will host a series of events beginning tomorrow to educate motorists statewide who still have questions about Hawaii's new booster-seat law.
A booster-seat checkup will be held tomorrow on Oahu from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the back parking lot of the Health Department at 1250 Punchbowl St. Also tomorrow, there will be a checkup on Maui from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the parking lot of the Maui Marketplace on Dairy Road in Kahului.
The new law, which took effect this year, requires children between 4 and 7 years old to ride in a safety seat or booster seat. Those attending the checkups should bring their child or children and booster seat to learn how to install them properly.
Upcoming booster-seat checkups:
» Kauai: Jan. 27, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Kmart parking lot
» Oahu: Feb. 3, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Waimanalo Health Center; and Feb. 10, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Department of Health's Kapolei parking lot
» Maui: Feb. 17, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Maui Marketplace parking lot
» Big Island: Feb. 10, 10 a.m. to noon at Naalehua Federal Credit Union; and March 17, 10 a.m. to noon at the Pahoa Shopping Center
System can track 911 calls from Mobi cell phones
Emergency responders on Oahu are now able to track 911 calls made from Mobi PCS cell phones.
A new system launched Wednesday at dispatch centers across the island can pinpoint a wireless caller's location within seconds. Previously, only calls from land lines could be traced because they are tied to a home or office address.
The system now can locate Mobi cell phone calls within three to 250 feet, when there is coverage.
The technology is available to responders at the Honolulu Police and Fire departments, Honolulu Emergency Services Department, Hickam Air Force Base and Navy Regional Dispatch Center at Pearl Harbor.
Other cell phone carriers, including Sprint and Nextel, T-Mobile, Verizon and Cingular, should be integrated by the end of March, according to the city.
The improved service is being funded by a 66-cent monthly fee that cell phone companies began charging customers more than two years ago.
Coming this weekend in your Star-Bulletin:
Comic strips might be amusing, but deciding which ones deserve publication is no laughing matter. It's time to revamp and re-evaluate our comics lineup, and you're invited to share in the decision. Also in Sunday's Today section, TV's "Top Chef" will be chosen in two final cook-off episodes on the Big Island.
Business: Newlyweds Tanna and Bryson Dang exchanged business vows shortly after their marriage when they took over as owners of the Wedding Cafe at Manoa Marketplace. Also in the Business section, the lost-luggage rate has increased every year since 2002 as more passengers check their belongings.
Travel: Flying to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean now comes with a new twist. Beginning Tuesday, American citizens will have to approach these shorter trips in a similar fashion to overseas travel: A passport is essential.
Police, Fire, Courts
Arrest made for alleged year-long sex assault
Police arrested a 38-year-old Mililani man for allegedly sexually assaulting a juvenile for more than a year.
The alleged offenses occurred from June 1, 2005, to Dec. 11 last year. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault.
Police said he knew the victim. Police would not release the age or sex of the victim or other information.
Tree-cutting fatality on Big Isle is identified
A state Department of Transportation worker who was killed while trimming trees along Kuhio Highway on the Big Island on Wednesday was identified as Johnathan Hirata, 30, of Wailua.
State Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa said Hirata was cutting trees near Kilauea at about 1 p.m. when the accident happened.
Hirata cut a 75-foot-tall tree, 2 1/2 feet in diameter, that fell in the opposite direction from where he was standing, Ishikawa said. But the cut tree hit another tree, and the bottom of the cut tree jackknifed upward and struck the crewman, Ishikawa said.
Hirata had been with the department since 1998.
Missing men found after helicopter search
The Big Island Fire Department's air and ground crews found two overdue maile pickers yesterday who spent the night in a forest in the Olaa Forest Reserve.
The two Puna men, ages 46 and 48, were in good condition when they were located at about 12:30 p.m.
The fire helicopter was launched at 7:19 a.m. yesterday and found a vehicle partially hidden by brush but parked along the highway. From there a fire search team went in at 9 a.m. The search team could hear the missing party yelling from the forest, fire officials said.
A fire official said the two took the wrong trail and ran out of daylight. The men's families reported them missing at 5:32 a.m. yesterday.
Police looking for men who robbed woman
Big Island police are looking for two men who robbed a woman Sunday at a beach in lower Puna.
Police said the woman, 30, was at a public beach in Kehena and was allegedly struck by the men, who took personal property and cash from her.
The woman received minor injuries but did not require medical attention, police said.
Both men are described as in their mid-20s and about 5 feet 8 inches tall, with tan complexions and medium builds. One of the suspects was described as having short dark hair with a "buzz" haircut and a tattoo of the word "Puna" on his forearm. The other suspect was described as having shoulder-length "ehu"-colored hair.
Anyone who might have witnessed the incident or might know the identity of the suspects should call Detective Richard Sherlock at 961-2379.