Obama backers launch Web site
Presidential candidate Barack Obama's supporters in Hawaii have launched a new Web site aimed at galvanizing support in the islands for the Punahou alumnus.
The Web site, hawaiiforobama.org, was launched Monday.
"We envision it as a portal for communication, not only for what's happening here, but for how we can help on the national level," said Brian Schatz, spokesman for the Hawaii chapter of the Obama for America campaign.
Supporters are gathering at various events around the islands on Saturday to watch Obama's scheduled speech at a rally in Iowa.
Voyagers prepare for sail to Palau
After spending the past few days getting cleaned and reprovisioned on Yap, the crews of the voyaging canoes Hokule'a and Alingano Maisu are scheduled to sail for Palau tomorrow.
The canoes arrived in Yap island Sunday (Hawaii time) after a four-day voyage from Fatharai. The trip to Palau should take three days.
A largely Micronesian crew will be sailing the Maisu to Palau and back to Yap, its home port. The original crew members are flying back to Hawaii, having presented the canoe as a gift to Mau Piailug on Satawal.
Kailua design group elects leadership
The Kailua Urban Design Task Force elected Dick Hagstrom
as chairman; John Poole
, vice chairman; Bill Muench
, secretary; and Diane Nielsen
, treasurer. Other directors include Don Bremner
, Dave Curry
, Bob Crone
, Mitch D'Olier
, Steve Meder
, Ken Sanders
, Alwyn Trigg-Smith
and Jim Wood
Miki Takenawa, a sophomore at TransPacific Hawaii College, was named a New Century Scholar by the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society of the two-year college. She achieved the highest All-USA Academic Team application score in the state to earn the $2,000 scholarship.
Solipsys, a Raytheon Co. software development subsidiary, named the winners of its $500 Kauai Student Scholarship Contest to promote the importance of science, math and technology: Hanneh Hope-Taogoshi, third grade, of Wilcox Elementary School, first place; Stetson Borilez, second grade, King Kaumualii Elementary School, runner-up; Princess Cataquain, fifth grade, Kalaheo Elementary School, first; Cristina McLaughlin, fourth grade, Kalaheo Elementary, runner-up; Savanna Sussman, freshman, Kauai High, four-time first-place winner; Tianee Reis, freshman, runner-up; Eric Fune, senior, Kauai High, first place; Cody Navarro, senior, Kauai High, runner-up.
"Shining Stars" runs Monday through Thursday.
Police, Fire, Courts
Waianae shooting victim named
The 28-year-old man who was killed Saturday during a gun battle at a Waianae house was identified as Jason Sylva, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.
Sylva had no address, the agency reported.
He died from a gunshot wound to the chest and his death was ruled a homicide, the Medical Examiner's Office said.
Sylva was a convicted felon and had violated parole in 2003.
Sylva was arrested in October in Waipahu on suspicion of first-degree robbery and kidnapping for a Sept. 27 incident in Moanalua.
In that case, Sylva was one of two suspects, allegedly armed with firearms, accused of forcibly entering the home of a 45-year-old man, according to police records. The other suspect allegedly restrained a 44-year-old woman in the home while Sylva allegedly took the victims' personal property.
Both suspects allegedly tried to take the woman against her will, but failed.
At the Waianae house where the shooting occurred Saturday, a 55-year-old resident was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and first-degree terroristic threatening. He was released Sunday.
Police were investigating whether the motive was robbery.
Driver, 29, injured crashing into pole
A 29-year-old Ewa man was critically injured early yesterday when the car he was driving crashed into a utility pole near Makakilo.
Police said the man was driving a 1993 black four-door Honda Accord toward Waianae on Farrington Highway at 1:34 a.m. when he lost control of the car.
The Honda veered off the highway onto a grassy shoulder and struck a utility pole near Palehua Road, police said.
The force of the impact severed the pole and spun the car around, police said. The driver was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the car, they said.
He was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. Speed was an apparent factor in the crash.
Victim identified in Makakilo crash
The Medical Examiner's Office identified the 26-year-old driver who died Monday from injuries sustained in a March 10 single-car crash in Makakilo as Paul C. Leapaga.
Leapaga was driving a Volkswagen Jetta on the H-1 freeway heading west near the Farrington Highway offramp when he crashed.
A 25-year-old Waimanalo man who was a passenger in the car died March 10, and another man, 21, was critically injured.
Boy nearly drowns in hotel guest pool
A child nearly drowned at a Waikiki hotel about 1 p.m. yesterday when his father left briefly to smoke a cigarette, police said.
When the man returned, he could not find his son, police said. He saw children at the edge of the pool, and found his son lifeless at the bottom, police said.
Hotel staff and guests began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but the boy was unresponsive.
He was taken to Kapiolani Women's and Children's Medical Center in critical condition. Police would not release the boy's age.
Police identify Kona crash victim
Police yesterday identified a 36-year-old Honokaa man who died Sunday in a one-vehicle crash in Kona as Wesley I. Hirata.
Police said Hirata was driving a 2007 Toyota pickup truck northbound on Alii Drive when he ran off the road and hit a rock wall.
An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
It was the 10th Big Island traffic fatality of the year, compared with seven at the same time last year.