Trial date set in Waikele beating
A Waianae man accused of beating a military couple in a Waikele parking lot faces trial in September.
Gerald Paakaula, 44, was indicted in March with two counts of second-degree assault and being an accomplice to second-degree assault.
He appeared in court yesterday morning, where city prosecutors added "recklessly" as a state of mind to the assault charges. His trial date was also set for Sept. 17. Paakaula, his wife and his teenage son allegedly were involved in a brawl that hospitalized Andrew and Dawn Dussell on Feb. 19.
Hilo Airport snafu diverts flight
A Hilo-bound passenger jet made an unplanned layover in Honolulu Wednesday after the runway lights at Hilo Airport stopped working.
An electrical short darkened the longer of two runways at the Hilo airport, forcing the pilot of ATA Airlines flight 4423, carrying 157 passengers from Oakland, Calif., to land at Honolulu Airport at about 11:30 p.m., said Scott Ishikawa, state Department of Transportation spokesman.
The pilot of the Boeing 737-800 had the option of landing on the shorter runway but decided to land in Honolulu.
"He had the discretion of diverting the plane if he didn't feel comfortable with landing that type of aircraft on a shorter runway," Ishikawa said.
The airline provided the passengers with hotel accommodations, said Maya Wagle, spokeswoman for ATA Airlines, who added that the pilot was concerned about passengers' safety.
Crews repaired the runway lights by Thursday morning, and no other flights were diverted, Ishikawa said.
The ATA jet left Honolulu at 10:25 Thursday morning and landed in Hilo at 11 a.m.
Kaneohe jet noise to increase
There will be increased aircraft traffic and noise around the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay during the next two weeks from F-18 Hornet jet fighters.
Eight F-18 Hornets and one C-130 Hercules cargo jet from the mainland will be flying out of the Kaneohe base beginning today through June 4.
The aircraft are assigned to Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 134, a reserve F/A-18 Hornet squadron, from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in Southern California. The unit, nicknamed "Smoke," falls under Marine Aircraft Group 46 and the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.
UH students to staff mobile clinic
A new mobile clinic will help University of Hawaii medical school students provide free health care for homeless people on Oahu.
The clinic will provide health care to the homeless every Thursday afternoon at the Waianae Transitional Shelter, university officials said this week. It contains an examination table, equipment and medical supplies that enable volunteers to provide basic medical diagnosis and treatment.
Students and staff at the John A. Burns School of Medicine volunteer for the clinic as part of the Homeless Outreach and Medical Education Project.
A used Handi-Van donated to the HOME Project by the city was fixed up through a $5,000 donation by the Ifuku Family Foundation. Robo-Art Unlimited donated the painting of the van.
The volunteers will continue to operate a free clinic every Tuesday night at the Kakaako Transitional Shelter housing more than 200 adults and 100 children, according to a UH news release.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man accused of vandlizing cars
Police arrested a 27-year-old man who allegedly damaged six cars in Kalihi yesterday.
Police said that at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday, the suspect used a knife to damage cars in a parking lot on Alakawa Street. He also allegedly shattered a window of one of the cars while the owner was still inside.
Police arrested him for investigation of six counts of criminal property damage.
Catamaran runs aground off Maui
WAILUKU » A catamaran with 62 people aboard ran aground yesterday in West Maui waters, forcing the transfer of passengers to another vessel and closing Lahaina Harbor for two hours, the Coast Guard said.
There were no injuries, but the 65-foot Ocean Discovery was assessed for damage, then towed to the Lahaina pier.
Coast Guard officials say they plan to investigate why the vessel ran aground 50 yards offshore.
The Ocean Discovery, an eco-tour boat from the Pacific Whale Foundation, was towed into Lahaina by another vessel.
COAST GUARD PHOTO
Crew members from the cutter Ahi and Coast Guard Station Maui provided a safety zone around the two vessels yesterday as the passengers were transferred from Ocean Discovery to Good Samaritans Blue Dolphin.
2-bedroom home is damaged by fire
LAWAI, Kauai » A two-bedroom home was severely damaged by fire yesterday morning, but the two residents at home were unhurt.
The fire, which started at around 5 a.m. in a bedroom on the upper level of the wooden duplex, caused an estimated $200,000 in damage.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Man reports attack, damage
A 20-year-old Salt Lake woman was arrested early yesterday after she allegedly hit a 21-year-old man she lives with, slashed his truck tire and ripped out a speaker from another truck he owns.
Police said the couple was arguing in their Wanaka Street home at about 2:30 a.m. when the woman struck and injured the man. She then went outside and allegedly punctured the tire on his Nissan truck and opened the door to his GMC truck and tore out a stereo speaker, according to police.
She was arrested at her home for investigation of first-degree unauthorized entry into a vehicle, abuse of a household member and fourth-degree criminal property damage.
Felon accused of gun possession
Police arrested a 36-year-old man who allegedly was holding a handgun in a bag while arguing with another man.
Police said an officer was patrolling a beach park in Waianae yesterday when he heard two men arguing, one seated in a sport utility vehicle, and the other standing at the open door of the SUV.
Police said the officer saw the man in the SUV clutching a plastic bag in his hands. When the man saw the officer, he threw the bag in the back seat and walked to the back of the SUV with his hands in the air, police said.
The officer looked inside the SUV and saw the butt of a handgun sticking out of the bag, police said.
Police arrested the man on suspicion of firearms violations, including being a felon in possession of a firearm and having an unregistered firearm.
Man, 50, arrested in child abuse
Police arrested a 50-year-old Waianae man for allegedly sexually assaulting two children.
The girls, whose ages were withheld by police, said they have been inappropriately touched by the suspect since October. One of the girls alleged she was punched by him.
The suspect was arrested on suspicion of two counts of third-degree sexual assault and abuse of a household member.
Speed suspected in truck crash
The 25-year-old driver of a Ford Ranger pickup truck was speeding yesterday when the vehicle overturned at Campbell Industrial Park, critically injuring the front-seat passenger, police said.
Police did not have the injured man's age or where he was from.
A Kapolei man who was driving the truck was unharmed, police said.
The truck was reportedly headed north and speeding on Kalaeloa Boulevard at about 10:20 a.m. when it struck a raised center median at the intersection with Lauwiliwili Street. It veered sharply to the right off the roadway, police said.
The truck overturned when it crossed the shoulder of the road and hit a fence, where it came to rest, police said.
The passenger was taken in critical condition to St. Francis Medical Center, then transferred to the Queen's Medical Center, police said.
The driver was wearing a seat belt, but police did not know whether the passenger was wearing a seat belt.