Arizona prison to hold isle felons
MESA, Ariz. » A new privately run prison is scheduled to open next week in Pinal County and will house only felons from Hawaii.
The medium-security prison holds 1,896 beds and will be operated by Nashville, Tenn.-based Corrections Corp. of America.
The facility is scheduled to open Tuesday in Eloy, south of Casa Grande.
Corrections Corporation has a contract with the Hawaii Department of Public Safety's Corrections Division to operate the $95 million Saguaro Correctional Center, for which the company will be paid a per diem for each prisoner.
"This is the first time that the Hawaiians (in mainland correctional facilities) will all be housed under one roof," said LeeAnn Archuleta, Saguaro Correctional Center's chief of unit management.
Archuleta said Hawaii exports some offenders to privatized prisons in other parts of the country.
Because only Hawaii prisoners will be serving time inside the campus-style facility, the prison will observe island holidays, accommodate natives' polytheistic religious beliefs and even serve Hawaiian food.
COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANOES OBSERVATORY
Steam, volcanic fumes and wood smoke rose from the forest near a new fissure at Kilauea last week.
Crater Rim Drive, trails reopen
Crater Rim Drive and summit hiking trails at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park reopened Friday after levels of poisonous sulfur dioxide gas returned to background levels.
But park officials reminded visitors that air quality in the area can change quickly.
Motorists traveling along the road were advised to keep their windows closed and have air conditioning set to recirculating.
Chain of Craters Road and Hilina Pali Road, along with all east rift zone and coastal trails, remain closed since an earthquake swarm at Kilauea last Sunday signaled a new phase in the volcano's eruption.
State's cancer-care ranking rises
Hawaii jumped from a D last year to a B- this year in a national assessment of prostate cancer in every state.
Grades were posted on the 2007 Prostate Cancer Report Card for mortality and screening rates, support for cancer-related legislation, clinical trial sites and number of urologists per population.
"We commend Hawaii officials for raising the bar when it comes to making the commitment to prostate cancer," Dr. Richard Atkins, chief executive officer of the National Prostate Cancer Coalition, said in a news release announcing the improved grade.
Hawaii received A's for low mortality rates and a "Dear Colleague" letter asking congressional members for more money for prostrate cancer research.
The state got a B for the number of urologists per capita, a C for screening mandates, a D for the number of clinical sites in the state and F's for screening rates and lack of support by the state's congressional representatives for two key pieces of legislation.
Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island had the highest grades this year with A's or A-minuses.
Repairs close Ewa Beach library
The Ewa Beach public library will be closed tomorrow through Friday for air-conditioning repairs.
The library's book drop will remain open. The library is expected to reopen at 1 p.m. July 2.
Police, Fire, Courts
Farm fire causes $20,000 in damage
A fire caused about $20,000 in damage to five structures and some contents of a mushroom farm near Mokuleia yesterday.
The fire destroyed one greenhouse, four shade structures and some equipment, said Honolulu Fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
Firefighters responded to the blaze on a farm near Olohio Street about 12:55 p.m. The fire was a half-mile from Farrington Highway and extended to some areas of brush. Firefighters contained it by 2 p.m.
Firefighters remained on the scene for several hours, shuttling water from the nearest hydrant on Farrington and extinguishing burning piles of sawdust used for the mushrooms.
About 23 firefighters, four engines and three tankers fought the quarter-acre blaze.
Investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire.
Neglected stove burns apartment
A stove left turned on started a fire yesterday that caused $20,000 damage to a McCully apartment.
The fire started at 5:58 p.m. in the top-floor unit of a three-story building at 2064 Young St., said fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
The owner was on the mainland, and an acquaintance visiting the apartment had left the stove on, he said.
Three engines and one ladder had the fire under control within 10 minutes.
Weapons, drugs lead to 3 arrests
Police arrested three men Friday after an officer in Makiki discovered drugs and weapons inside their vehicle.
An officer conducting a traffic stop about 2:15 a.m. saw an ice pipe and a switchblade in plain view on the vehicle's center console and arrested a 25-year-old man and a 41-year-old man in connection with the items.
The officer continued to investigate and found a loaded handgun in the waistband of a 30-year-old man's shorts, police said.
Stubborn brush fire consumes 2 acres
A Makua Valley brush fire kept firefighters busy for more than two hours yesterday, but it burned only about two acres.
Firefighters responded to the brush fire at about 3:45 a.m. near the Yokohama side of Makua Valley, said fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
Traffic had shut down on both sides of Farrington Highway until the fire was contained at about 6:30 a.m.