New recycle rule aids consumers
Bottle and can HI-5 redemption centers must now hand-count up to 200 containers upon request, under a new rule that took effect Saturday, according to the state Department of Health.
Previously, redemption centers were required to count up to 50 containers. The change will give consumers a more accurate count and refund, according to the department. The cans and bottles can also be weighed to save time, or consumers can go to reverse vending machines that count the containers.
Waipahu sewer lines to be tested
The city will be testing sewer lines on 14 Waipahu streets beginning tomorrow.
Crews from the city Environmental Services Department will blow nontoxic smoke into sewer lines and record where smoke appears. The test, which lets workers flag broken pipes, illegal connections and other problems, is being done to prevent rainwater from entering the sewer system and causing spills. The smoke is odorless and safe for people and pets. Tests will be done until May 4.
'Safe havens' for babies studied
In an effort to save unwanted newborns from abuse or death, Hawaii lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow babies to be dropped off with police, fire or hospital workers and put up for adoption.
The measure, House Bill 1830, would make Hawaii one of the last states to enact a so-called "safe haven law," but Gov. Linda Lingle might veto the bill if it gets to her desk.
Forty-seven states already have safe haven laws, and Hawaii lawmakers are expected to fashion a final version of the bill that has passed both houses as it goes before a conference committee this week.
"If we can save one life, it will make me feel like I've done my job," said Rep. John Mizuno (D, Alewa Heights-Kalihi), the bill's sponsor.
The worry is that teenage mothers could drop their babies in trash containers or abandon them in extreme circumstances, Mizuno said. This proposal would give them a way to save the lives of their children without fear of prosecution, as long as the child is unharmed.
But opponents of the bill question whether it might do more harm than good. "Enactment of this bill may encourage those mothers to abandon their children rather than seeking help from the birth fathers, their families and other supportive resources," Linda Smith, Lingle's senior policy adviser, said in written testimony.
Every state in the country has passed similar legislation except for Hawaii, Alaska and Nebraska.
Iolani competes in science bowl
An Iolani School team will compete against 63 teams from across America for the national championship in the U.S. Department of Energy's National Science Bowl Thursday through April 30 in Washington, D.C.
Iolani team members are Chau Huynh, Xiaolong Hou, Roydan Ongie, Leslie Kim and Thanh Vu. Their coach is Randyll Warehime.
More than 12,000 high school students competed in regional competitions, and winning teams earned an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Science Bowl. Participants will represent 42 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The final competition will include head-to-head competition in a "Jeopardy"-type question-and-answer format in all science disciplines. The winning team will receive an all-expenses-paid science research trip to its choice of France, Australia or Newport News, Va.
For more information, see nationalsciencebowl. energy.gov.
UH student wins top psychiatry award
University of Hawaii student Christine Palermo
has been selected for the Leah J. Dickstein
M.D. Award, the highest national honor of the Association Women Psychiatrists.
The award is given annually to a female student "who best exemplifies the spirit of creativity, energy and leadership of Dr. Dickstein, an eminent American psychiatrist," according to a news release from the John A. Burns School of Medicine.
Palermo, a third-year medical student, is scheduled to present her work in geriatric mental health research at the annual American Psychiatric Association convention May 19-24 in San Diego, where she also will receive a plaque and $1,000 award.
Dr. Anthony Guerrero, JABSOM associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, said, "This is a very competitive, prestigious national medical student award in psychiatry. I have been extremely impressed with Christine's exemplary combination of scientific curiosity and commitment to caring for and improving the health of underserved populations."
Palermo said she is interested in geriatric medicine and psychiatry "because I'm galvanized by the great need for geriatricians as well as the tremendous opportunities for mental health research relevant to the everyday lives of older adults.
"It would be wonderful to look forward to a future of healthy aging without the fear of dementia or depression."
Police, Fire, Courts
Alleged thief tows away car
A 31-year-old Waianae man woke up early Saturday morning to his car alarm going off.
He got up to see his car being towed by a small blue car. Police stopped the cars on Farrington Highway and arrested a 36-year-old Ewa Beach man driving the small blue car. The driver in the stolen car had fled, police said.
Police had also learned the Ewa Beach man was wanted for abusing a 26-year-old woman on March 18. He was arrested for suspicion of driving a stolen car and first-degree terroristic threatening and abuse.
Knife attack leads to man's arrest
Police arrested a 46 year-old Aina Haina man yesterday for allegedly cutting his girlfriend with a knife last week during an argument.
On Wednesday the couple argued after 1 a.m., and the man pulled out a knife, police said. He allegedly slashed at his 35-year-old girlfriend, causing a minor cut on her upper right arm. He fled the scene, police said.
Three days later his girlfriend saw him and called police. He was arrested on North Beretania Street for investigation of second-degree assault.
Big Isle police seek Hilo man, 69
Big Island police are asking for help in finding a 69-year-old Hilo man who has been missing for nearly two weeks.
Stephen Lamaka Pua, of Kapiolani Street in Hilo, was last seen at an acquaintance's house in the Kaumana area early on April 12. Police said he has a medical condition that requires medication.
Pua is described as Hawaiian, 5 feet 9 inches tall, about 145 pounds, with brown eyes, long gray hair and a dark complexion. Anyone with information can call Detective Robert Hatton at 961-2380 or the nonemergency number at 935-3311. Callers who want to remain anonymous can call CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.
Sexual assault in van is alleged
Police arrested a 39-year-old man in Honolulu Saturday at 3 a.m. after a woman, 27, told officers that he sexually assaulted her in his van.
The man, who has no local address, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of second-degree sexual assault.