Law transfers marsh to the state
A bill that transfers ownership of Kailua's Kawainui Marsh from the city to the state was signed into law yesterday. A bill signing ceremony with Gov. Linda Lingle at Kaha Park included educational presentations, Hawaiian music and a special hula performance by kumu hula Mapuana de Silva and Halau Mohala Ilima.
The new law transfers ownership of the marsh and certain flood control responsibilities from the city to the state and provides $500,000 to manage the marsh this year and $420,000 in subsequent years. The funding will allow hiring of a wildlife biologist and technicians focused on Kawainui Marsh, which is the state's largest remaining natural wetland.
Because of an April agreement on restoration plans between the city and state, and the law, the state can apply for $4.1 million in federal funding to improve the water bird habitat at the site.
Honolulu is 46th-biggest city
The area from Hawaii Kai to Red Hill that the U.S. Census Bureau considers to be metropolitan Honolulu is the 46th-largest city in the country, according to new population estimates released last week.
The Honolulu CDP, or census designated place, had a population of 377,357 as of July 1, 2006, putting Honolulu just above Minneapolis in population. Last year, the Honolulu CDP population was 376,879 and it ranked 47th on the list of the nation's largest cities.
If the estimated population of Oahu is considered, the full city and county of Honolulu would be the 12th-largest city in the country with a population of 909,863.
Fireworks prep closes lagoon
Magic Island Lagoon is temporarily closed to the public as crews from Pyrospectacular prepare for the state's largest fireworks display on the Fourth of July.
Every year, Ala Moana Center sponsors the fireworks display, which remains one of the few privately funded shows in the entire country. This year Ala Moana Center is expecting more than 200,000 residents from around the island to view the 18-minute fireworks show. The lagoon area will reopen on Thursday.
Police, Fire, Courts
Bruises prompt abuse inquiry
Police opened a child abuse investigation after a 6-week-old infant was brought to Tripler Army Medical Center with bruises, contusions and a skull fracture.
The boy's parents brought him to the Medical Center about 6:30 a.m. Thursday and reported that the baby was having seizures at their Hickam Air Force Base home, police said.
Authorities found the injuries to the boy's body and head did not appear to be accidental and turned the child over to Child Protective Services, police said.
The baby was in serious condition Thursday.
Police are investigating the case with Hickam military officials.
Firefighters squash Olowalu hot spots
Maui firefighters concentrated on putting out hot spots yesterday after the Olowalu fire, which burned about 2,600 acres on Maui this week, was contained Friday night.
Maui County and state Division of Forestry and Wildlife firefighters were monitoring hot spots. The fire was first reported about 10:30 Wednesday morning. Two homes were burned by the fire and two others damaged. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
Brush fire scorches Big Isle state land
A brush fire burned about 600 acres and caused $60,000 in damage on state land in the Big Island yesterday.
Firefighters fought the fast-moving fire in North Kohala that started shortly after midnight yesterday and burned tall grass and kiawe trees from Akoni Pule Highway towards the ocean.
Some campers were asked to move because of the fire, officials said. Firefighters contained the fire about 8 a.m. yesterday.
Pregnant woman hurt in ATV fall
A 21-year-old pregnant woman was in serious condition yesterday after she fell off an all terrain vehicle in Laie.
The woman, who is six months pregnant, was riding the ATV at a cricket field on Poohaili Street before she fell off about 6 p.m., said Bryan Cheplic, Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokesman. Paramedics took the woman to Kahuku Hospital, from where she was flown to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition.
Man, 27, arrested after rape incident
Police arrested a 27-year-old man Friday after he allegedly raped a woman he met on Waikiki Beach. An 18-year-old woman told police she had befriended the man at Waikiki Beach Thursday night. They went to a secluded area in Waikiki, and drank beer together.
The suspect allegedly raped the victim between 11 p.m. Thursday and 3:30 a.m. Friday.