Iraq vet will not seek election
Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran with Hawaii ties who ran unsuccessfully for Illinois' 6th Congressional District, said she has decided not to reprise her race against Republican Rep. Peter Roskam.
Now director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, Duckworth said she has decided not to run next year against Roskam.
The 39-year-old Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates left open the possibility of seeking political office in the future and said she considered the work she is doing now in reaching her decision.
"Was it because I wanted the congressional seat, or was it because I wanted to make a difference? And if it was about taking care of health care and taking care of veterans, I'm doing that now," Duckworth told the Chicago Tribune in a telephone interview Sunday.
Duckworth received a bachelor's degree in political science at the University of Hawaii. She is a 1985 graduate of McKinley High School in Honolulu.
She fell just a few percentage points short of beating Roskam last November in the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde. She received international attention during the race as a veteran who had lost both her legs in the war when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the helicopter she was copiloting.
Data reveals drop in pakalolo use
Marijuana use by current and prospective Hawaii workers dropped in April, May and June this year after steadily increasing over the previous 12 months, according to drug testing data.
Of the more than 9,000 people drug-tested by Diagnostic Laboratory Services Inc. in this year's second quarter, 1.6 percent tested positive for THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana. In the previous four quarters, the number of people who tested positive had steadily increased, reaching 2.1 percent in January, February and March this year.
112 jellyfish counted in Waikiki
Lifeguards and individuals from the University of Hawaii counted 112 box jellyfish on Waikiki beaches yesterday, Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic said.
The jellyfish stung 35 people at Waikiki beaches yesterday in the monthly influx -- described as light.
Roadwork to shut down highway
The state says Kamehameha Highway will be closed on an intermittent basis from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Saturday for rockfall mitigation work.
There also will be intermittent closures from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through next Tuesday.
In April, rocks and debris came down the hillside, partially blocking the highway.
Closures of about 10 minutes each will be done as work crews remove loose rocks and materials from the cliffside next to the highway at Waimea.
Police, Fire, Courts
Airport bomb-threat suspect out on bail
KAILUA-KONA » A California woman who made a bomb threat at Kona Airport on Saturday after missing her plane has been released on $1,000 bail after being charged with terroristic threatening, police said.
Vicky Kyung Mi Kim, 46, discovered too late that she had been standing in line for the wrong kiosk to catch her plane, Capt. Paul Kealoha said. She also complained that a porter hit her in the foot with a baggage cart.
"She made a scene," Kealoha said. When airport security approached her, she said two or three times that she had put a bomb on a plane, he said. She did not mention any specific airline, he said.
Passengers had to leave a plane waiting to take off and were then screened again.
Kim was held overnight and released Sunday on bail. She faces a charge punishable by up to five years in prison.
CrimeStoppers and the Honolulu Police Department are seeking the public's assistance in locating John Debkowski, a construction worker who was last seen Sunday at the Turtle Bay Hotel.
Police seek info on missing man
Police are asking for the public's help in finding a missing 42-year-old man who was last seen Sunday at the Turtle Bay Hilton.
The man, John Debkowski, is reportedly emotionally distraught and depressed, police said. He has been in Hawaii for five weeks working as a construction worker, police said.
Debkowski is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 225 pounds, Caucasian, with gray hair.
Anyone with information about Debkowski is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
Police arrest man after shots fired
Police arrested a 34-year-old man for allegedly firing a gun at two people in Nanakuli early Sunday.
At about 6 a.m. the man held a gun to a 30-year-old woman's neck, demanding money that she owed him, police said. He allegedly fired two shots into the air, let the woman go, then fired one shot in her direction and missed.
In a later incident several blocks away, police said, the suspect demanded money from a 34-year-old man. The suspect got out of his vehicle and fired his gun once in the direction of the other man, police said.
The suspect fled before police arrived but was later identified and arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, kidnapping and first-degree terroristic threatening.
Firefighters quell pair of brush fires
Firefighters doused two small brush fires in Kalaeloa, one after the other, and another in Waianae yesterday afternoon.
The first, off Franklin Roosevelt Avenue in Kalaeloa, began shortly before 2:37 p.m. and was brought under control at 3:19 p.m. and extinguished at 4:55 p.m. That fire scorched less than two acres, fire Capt. Frank Johnson said.
The other, between Saratoga Avenue and Midway Road, burned about three acres, Johnson said.
No homes were threatened by a 3-acre brush fire in Waianae near a residential area.
The fire began shortly after 3:35 p.m. near a residential area on Waianae Valley Road.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control at about 5 p.m.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Teen allegedly hits cabdriver over fare
Police arrested an 18-year-old Palolo man early Sunday for allegedly punching a taxicab driver after refusing to pay his fare.
At about 3 a.m. the taxi driver, 50, tried to detain the man for not paying his fare, police said. The man then punched the driver several times, police said.
He was arrested at his home for investigation of second-degree robbery.
Cooking oil blamed in Lahaina blaze
A fire at a Lahaina sandwich shop Sunday was started when a can of cooking oil was accidentally left on a lit stove, fire officials said.
The fire at Ba-Le Sandwich in the Lahaina Cannery Mall was first reported by workers at the nearby Compadres Bar and Grill at 10:06 p.m. and extinguished by 10:56 p.m., Maui County spokeswoman Mahina Martin said in a press release.
The stove was inadvertently left on, and the fire caused a grease fire in the exhaust duct system, fire officials said.
Sprinklers suppressed most of the fire, Martin said.
Fire investigators estimated $20,000 in water damage and $20,000 to the contents of the shop, including hood and exhaust ducts.
Fire in Haliimaile causes evacuations
Families were evacuated yesterday afternoon after a brush fire broke out in Haliimaile, Maui.
The fire was reported at 3:17 p.m. yesterday and was under control by 6:30 p.m.
A small shack burned but no one was injured, said Mahina Martin, Maui County spokeswoman, in a press release.
About six to eight homes were evacuated, Martin said. The fire burned about five acres.
Police closed the Baldwin Avenue access into the residential area at 4 p.m. and reopened it at 4:55 p.m.
The Maui Fire Department also sent out its Air One helicopter and a water tanker; two other tankers were provided by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.
Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.
The evacuated families have returned to their homes.
Info sought on arsonists
KAWAIHAE, Hawaii » Firefighters controlled an 11-acre grass and brush fire at Kawaihae on the Big Island in less than an hour Sunday, but they are asking people in the West Hawaii area to be on the alert for anyone carelessly or deliberately starting fires, Battalion Chief Al Wilson said.
The cause of Sunday's fire, immediately uphill from Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, is under investigation by police, Wilson said.
Four major fires in the area since June 30, including one that burned 9,100 acres uphill and south of Waikoloa Village, have had suspicious origins. A red truck was seen leaving the place where the Waikoloa fire started.
At a much smaller fire near Waikoloa, people were seen tossing fireworks from a car, Wilson said.
The activities should be noted of anyone parked in a remote area without an apparent reason, he said. Suspicious circumstances can be reported to 961-8336.
[ THE COURTS ]
Murder suspect to be committed
A Kalihi man accused of stabbing his wife to death and then trying to stab himself was ordered committed without bail pending trial.
Victorio Barayuga, 62, was indicted by a grand jury June 26 on a charge of second-degree murder in the slaying of his wife, Liwliwa Barayuga, 63, on June 13.
Deputy Prosecutor Rom Trader requested Barayuga be held without bail, noting that he appears to suffer from more than one mental health issue and is suicidal. Second-degree murder is punishable by life in prison with the possibility of parole. If convicted, however, Barayuga faces life without parole under a sentencing provision that calls for an extended term for the killing of someone over 60.
Statements Barayuga gave to police afterward indicate he may have been "going crazy" and had told his wife to take him back to the Philippines, according to police.
Stabbing suspect goes to court
A man accused in the fatal stabbing of his cousin made his first appearance yesterday in Honolulu District Court.
Tyler Aaron Condon, 22, was charged Saturday with second-degree murder in the death of Jake Ira Hale on July 4. Hale, 28, died at the hospital after collapsing outside the Palm Villas II, bleeding from multiple stab wounds.
Hale, a Minneconjou member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, was a singer and drummer.
Hale had been visiting at an Ewa townhouse owned by an uncle, who is deployed to Austria. He told witnesses who went to his aid that his cousin had stabbed him.