Police checkpoints are in effect
The Honolulu Police Department will be conducting impaired-driver checkpoints through Monday at unannounced times and locations, to coincide with this weekend's Pro Bowl activities. Drugs or alcohol might have been factors in two of the 10 traffic-related deaths so far this year, and speeding was a factor in two as well, police say. By this time last year, there were nine traffic-related deaths. The checkpoints are part of a federal program that holds checkpoints every week throughout the year and increases vigilance during special occasions.
Planetary alignment offers good viewing
Planet viewing will be great this weekend if the weather is clear -- Venus and Mercury to the west and Saturn in the east, says Carolyn Kaichi, Bishop Museum Planetarium manager.
Saturn will reach "opposition" today, lying opposite the sun as seen from Earth, rising at sunset and remaining in the sky all night, she said. Venus and Mercury will set earlier and must be seen by 7:30 or 8 p.m.
Venus, the brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon, will be easy to spot "even through the glow of the sunset," Kaichi said.
Mercury, just under Venus, looks like a small yellowish light, she said. "Saturn, of course, is a beautiful sight with a small telescope. Look for the ringed planet in the 'head' of Leo the lion."
Student videos sought for health contest
Student filmmakers can submit health-related public service announcements for the 2007 HMSA Teen Video Awards Contest until March 1.
Middle and high school students are encouraged to create PSAs discouraging drug use, underage drinking and smoking, and encouraging fitness and nutrition. Winning entries will be broadcast on local TV.
Contest information and entry materials are available at www.HMSA.com and www.sassymag.com.
Winners will be announced at a May 17 ceremony. Winning schools will receive funds to buy video equipment or software. Winners will receive $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third place.
The Hawaii Medical Service Association is sponsoring the contest with Sassy/G Magazine, the state Department of Education and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Friends group offers Iolani Palace course
Ever wonder why Iolani Palace's upstairs windows are covered with paper, or why its doorknobs are so low?
Find the answers at a four-week course on palace history and the monarchy period sponsored by the Friends of Iolani Palace, Feb. 26 to March 19.
The public is welcome to attend for a $45 fee, which includes a course manual and membership in the Friends group. For more information, call 522-0841 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police, Fire, Courts
Body might have led sharks to Makapuu
Firefighters recovered a body, believed to be of a 40-year-old man, off Makapuu last night.
The body apparently attracted sharks to the area, and police said city water safety officials will determine this morning whether to close Makapuu Beach.
According to police, a woman called police at about 4:30 p.m. and said her boyfriend was suicidal and might have gone to Makapuu Lookout to kill himself. Police did not locate the man immediately, and firefighters were called to help in the search. They located a body washing ashore at about 7 p.m.
The city medical examiner is expected to do an autopsy and identify the victim today. Police said foul play is not suspected.
Alleged knife threat brings woman's arrest
Police arrested a 53-year-old woman who allegedly threatened a man with a knife.
Police said that at about 4:45 a.m. yesterday, the woman was armed with a kitchen knife and threatened to kill the man in Hawaii Kai.
Police did not reveal their relationship to each other. The woman was arrested on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening.
Escaped convict caught in Waimanalo
Police caught an escaped convict who was seen allegedly trying to break into a car in Waimanalo yesterday afternoon.
Witnesses tried to detain 38-year-old Prins Alexander after the attempted break-in, police said, but he fled. Officers later found him and learned that he was an escapee and also found three credit cards belonging to other people on him, police said.
He was arrested for investigation of escape, unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and unauthorized possession of personal and confidential information. He was serving time for illegally entering a car.
Motorcycle rider held on 2 charges
Police arrested a 19-year-old man for allegedly stealing a motorcycle.
Police said an officer stopped the motorcycle for a traffic violation on Farrington Highway in Waianae at 12:21 a.m. Wednesday.
The officer later discovered that the cycle was stolen, police said. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of auto theft and driving without a license.
Eyed in sex assault of juvenile, man released
Police arrested a 75-year-old Makakilo man yesterday for allegedly sexually assaulting a juvenile family member.
The sexual assault allegedly occurred in November at a Kapolei home, police said.
The man was arrested yesterday morning on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault. He was released pending investigation.
Morning gun threat puts man, 20, in jail
Police arrested a 20-year-old man in a Kalihi industrial area early yesterday morning after he allegedly robbed at gunpoint a 40-year-old man who was waiting to start work.
Police said the suspect, from Kalihi, approached the man from behind while he was sitting on the sidewalk, then allegedly pointed a handgun at his head and demanded drugs.
When the older man said he did not have any, the younger man walked off and then returned and allegedly threatened him again with the handgun, police said.
Responding officers picked up the suspect in the area. He was identified by the victim, and police arrested him for suspicion of first-degree robbery and first-degree terroristic threatening.
Convicted felon accused of firing gun
Police arrested a 44-year-old man who allegedly fired a shotgun in a residential area.
Police said the man was firing the gun at about 9:22 p.m. yesterday in Kaimuki. Officers arrested him for investigation of reckless endangering. Officers found the man in possession of additional guns and ammunition and learned that he is a convicted felon, police said.
He was also arrested on suspicion of firearm violations and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Store employees nab alleged shoe stealer
Police arrested a 20-year-old woman who allegedly walked out of a clothing store wearing a pair of shoes she did not pay for.
Police said the manager at the Kalakaua Avenue store saw the woman go into a dressing room to try on clothing Thursday night. She then purchased some of the items but walked out of the store still wearing the shoes she had tried on, police said.
She was stopped outside the store, and employees discovered she had a dress in her purse that she also did not pay for. She was arrested at about 11 p.m. for investigation of second-degree theft.
Car passenger dies after crash ejection
A 50-year-old woman from Austria died Thursday after a one-vehicle crash on the Big Island.
At 3:34 p.m. a 48-year-old Volcano man was driving a 1997 Mitsubishi Montero multipurpose vehicle traveling west on Route 11 when he lost control, crossed the center line and ran off the left side and overturned. The victim, who was the passenger and was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle.
The woman, whose name was not released yesterday, was taken to Kau Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The driver was not injured. It is not yet known whether alcohol or speed were factors.
Hawaii Traffic Enforcement officers have classified it as a negligent-homicide case, and an autopsy has been ordered. No arrests were made. The woman is the sixth traffic fatality this year, compared with five on the Big Island at this time last year.
Police seek man, 20, over bench warrant
Big Island police want help finding a 20-year-old man wanted on a bench warrant.
Alfred Kahalepaakea Machado III is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, about 140 pounds, with a slim build, brown eyes and black hair.
Anyone with information can call officer Renee Morinaka at 326-4646, ext. 290, or 935-3311.
Bullet shot into home nearly strikes couple
Big Island police are looking for someone who fired a shot in a residential area, nearly hitting an elderly couple.
The couple, who live on Naupaka Street in Honokaa, said someone shot a bullet into their home at about 1:30 a.m. last Saturday. The bullet passed through the couple's bedroom, nearly striking both of them. Though shaken, neither of them was hurt.
Police ask anyone with information to call their nonemergency number at 935-3311.