Navy will test missile defense
The U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency are set to conduct another test of the Navy's Aegis missile defense system off Kauai's west side today.
The test, the 11th of the Aegis system, is the first to use a Navy destroyer, and will also involve a Spanish frigate and the U.S. Army's mobile missile defense radar currently in place at Kauai's Pacific Missile Range Facility. So far, eight of 10 Aegis tests have been successful, Navy officials said.
In today's test, the target, a medium range ballistic missile, will be launched from Barking Sands. The USS Decatur will detect and track the target, and then attempt to destroy the missile using a Standard Missile-3 launched from the ship.
The Spanish frigate Mendez Nunez, also equipped with the Aegis tracking system, and the Army's Theater High Altitude Area Defense radar will also track the missile and provide support data, Navy officials said.
Ferry project gets federal funds
The U.S. Transportation Department will release $3 million for the city's intra-island demonstration ferry project that will run between Kalaeloa and downtown Honolulu, members of Hawaii's congressional delegation announced yesterday.
"The ferry demonstration provides one option during the morning and afternoon rush hours," U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said in a news release.
"This project could very well produce a permanent ferry system to complement the proposed rail-transit system which I will continue to support on the federal level," U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said.
The ferry project is already a year behind schedule and plans to start service in July were pushed back again when the Federal Transit Administration raised concerns about on-site parking and ridership.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann said yesterday that with the federal grant being released he expects to start service by the end of summer "if not sooner."
Mayor approves city budgets
Mayor Mufi Hannemann has signed the $1.638 billion operating budget and $789 million construction budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
"We're staying the course on our spending priorities considering the magnitude of the city's operational and infrastructure needs," Hannemann said. "Ours continues to be a lean budget."
The budget includes a lower property-tax rate of $3.29 per $1,000 but a higher rate for businesses of $12.40. Eligible homeowners will also receive a $200 property tax credit.
The mayor also signed a bill that would give a bigger tax credit to low-income homeowners 75 years old and above who make less than $50,000 a year.
The budget also includes an increase in sewer fees, the second increase since Hannemann took office in 2005, and salary increases.
Bennett joins student loan effort
Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett joined 31 other state attorneys general in urging the U.S. Senate to enact a new federal law to protect students and families from deceptive student loan industry practices, according to a news release from New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.
In a letter to Senate leaders, the attorneys general requested the passage of the Student Loan Sunshine Act. The Senate Education Committee is expected to begin considering the sunshine act and other education amendments tomorrow.
The measure has already passed the House of Representatives.
Similar legislation was enacted in New York to ban deceptive practices found during an ongoing investigation into conflicts of interest throughout the $85 billion-per-year student loan industry.
The sunshine act would require schools to adopt a code of conduct. It would also ban revenue sharing between schools and lenders, bar gifts from lenders, guarantee oversight of lenders offering private loans, and compel lenders and institutions to fully disclose terms, conditions and incentives for all loans.
Police, Fire, Courts
TOM FINNEGAN / TFINNEGAN@STARBULLETIN.COM
Blaze cripples Kauai artery
A brush fire on Kauai's east side yesterday closed the main highway connecting Kapaa and Lihue, snarling traffic for most of the afternoon and threatening a power transformer. The fire, which county officials said burned nearly 40 acres, started about 1 p.m. The cause is under investigation. Firefighters from the Kapaa and Lihue stations, as well as the county's contract rescue helicopter, extinguished the blaze by 3:30 p.m. CLICK FOR LARGE
Services set for stabbing victim
Services for a woman found stabbed in Kalihi last week are this Saturday.
Liwliwa Saoit Barayuga, 63, was found in the bedroom of her Akina Street home on June 13. Her husband, Victorio Barayuga, was found with his wrists slashed, and was hospitalized in critical condition.
Police said they have yet to interview the husband, who is the suspect in the murder case. The husband is still recovering at the Queen's Medical Center.
Liwliwa Barayuga is also survived by son Gerry Bienvenido; daughters Marilyn Ofiaza, Marilou Coughlin; brothers Hipolito, Placido and Pablo Saoit; and sisters Bibiana, Estrella and Leticia Bonilla.
Visitation begins at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Mililani Downtown Mortuary on Kukui Street. The service begins at 6 p.m. Burial arrangements will follow in the Philippines.
Man dies after rescue from water
A 43-year-old Honolulu man pulled from the water at Ala Moana Beach Park yesterday died in the hospital.
Tony Tuitele was pronounced dead at 1:05 p.m. at Straub Clinic and Hospital, the Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office said.
Shortly before 1 p.m., an off-duty firefighter brought Tuitele to shore, and lifeguards performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the victim, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department.
Paramedics took Tuitele to the hospital in critical condition.
The Medical Examiner's Office will perform an autopsy today to determine the cause of Tuitele's death.
Teen allegedly torches family car
Police arrested a 17-year-old boy after he allegedly stole the family car and later set it on fire.
About 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, the boy stole his father's car from their Waialua home to meet up with friends, police said.
The suspect crashed the car along the North Shore area and allegedly set it on fire to cover up the auto theft. The boy returned home, where officers were waiting anyway to arrest him for suspected auto theft. He then told his family that he had burned their car. He was also arrested on suspicion of second-degree arson.
Motorcyclist hurt critically in crash
A 34-year-old Kailua man was in critical condition after his motorcycle broadsided a car in Aiea on Tuesday night.
At about 9:56 p.m. Tuesday, a 1999 brown Chevrolet Malibu was traveling mauka on Kaimakani Street and making a left turn to the Ewa-bound lanes of Ulune Street, police said.
The victim was traveling Diamond Head-bound on Ulune on a black 2002 Honda motorcycle when he hit the car, police said.
Police said the victim may have been speeding. He was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. Police said he was wearing a helmet.
A 21-year-old woman driving the car was not injured, police said. A passenger in the car, a 17-year-old girl from the Big Island, complained of minor pain but refused treatment at the scene.
Neither speed nor alcohol were factors for the driver of the Malibu, police said.
Counterfeiting try leads to arrest
A 39-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly trying to cash $3,500 in fraudulent traveler's checks.
About 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the woman walked into the Waianae First Hawaiian Bank, 86-020 Farrington Highway, and tried to cash seven traveler's checks, worth $500 each, police said. Bank employees discovered the checks were fraudulent, police said.
Police arrested the woman on suspicion of seven counts of second-degree forgery.
Hilo man, 90, dies from crash injuries
A 90-year-old Hilo man died June 12 at the Queen's Medical Center from injuries he suffered in a one-vehicle crash in the parking lot of Kamana Elderly Housing complex in Hilo last month.
Big Island police said that about 3 a.m. May 3, Henry Barba reversed his car from a parking stall and hit a wooden wall. Barba then moved forward and hit two parked cars, police said.