Storm prompts warnings for Big Isle
Cosme weakened to a tropical depression yesterday as it neared the Hawaiian Islands, prompting officials to issue advisories for the Big Island's south shores.
Cosme, which was classified as a hurricane Monday but has since weakened significantly, was 960 miles southeast of the Big Island yesterday with winds blowing at 35 mph.
It is expected to reach the Big Island on Saturday morning, bringing about 3 to 4 inches of rain, National Weather Service forecasters say. The rest of the islands should get some rain and wind on Saturday afternoon, but the weather should return to normal by Sunday after the system passes.
HPD deputy chief tapped for TSA
A deputy police chief will leave his post to become federal security director for the Transportation Security Administration in Honolulu.
Glen Richard Kajiyama was named to the position pending final approval from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Kajiyama served in the Honolulu Police Department for 30 years, leaving as deputy chief of administrative operations, where he oversaw staffing, planning and organizing personnel.
Mo McGowan, TSA's assistant administrator for security operations, cited Kajiyama's law enforcement experience and time spent on personnel issues as assets to his upcoming role. Kajiyama replaces retiring Director Sidney Hayakawa.
Schools worry over bus rider jam
Two weeks before school starts, education officials are worried that only half of the number of public school students who rode the bus last school year have applied for passes.
The concern comes as the state Department of Education experiments with a new way for parents to pay for their children's transportation.
In the past, payments were mailed to a central office with the Department of Education. But the system created delays in getting bus passes to students, and parents were told in April to pay for the passes at their children's schools this year.
"We encourage parents who have not yet picked up bus passes for children to go to their school today and take care of this," said Aaron Kimura, manager of student transportation services.
Even students "entitled to free bus passes" need to apply for passes and show them to a driver to get on the bus.
Bus passes cost $31.50 per academic quarter or $119.70 for the full year, except for Maui County, which provides a subsidy. The first day of school is July 30, though some schools do not start until July 31 or Aug. 1.
Lingle frees $384K to fund improvements to libraries
Gov. Linda Lingle has released $384,086 for improvements to public libraries on Maui, the Big Island and Oahu.
The Makawao Public Library on Maui will get $170,000 for re-roofing.
Sidewalks, ramps, restrooms and other facilities at the Thelma Parker Memorial Public Library on the Big Island will be improved with $140,000 in construction money.
Another $74,086 will be used to make emergency air-conditioning repairs at the Ewa Beach Public and School Library.
Luncheon to discuss traffic fixes
Honolulu's traffic congestion and solutions will be the topic of a Kokua Council luncheon talk from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Harris United Methodist Church, Nuuanu Avenue and South Vineyard Boulevard.
David Rolf, executive director of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association, will discuss "Transportation Alternatives for Oahu: Choosing a Plan That Works."
Training for surf coaches offered
A nonprofit group will offer ocean-safety training courses in early October for people interested in becoming a public high school surf coach.
The four-day program costs $340 and runs Oct. 4-7 at the Kamaaina Kids Training Facility in Kailua. It will cover basic first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification and ocean rescue, and provide information on surfing.
Participants interested in enrolling should be able to swim 500 yards in less than 12 minutes and know how to surf. Those who complete the 24 hours of training will be certified to develop a surf club hazard management plan that is required by the state Department of Education. More information is available by calling Kamaaina Kids at 262-4538.
Organizers of school-sanctioned surf competitions are hoping to have the first contests in the spring of the 2007-08 school year.
Police, Fire, Courts
Driver survives 200-foot plummet
WAILUKU » A pickup truck went off a rural back road yesterday between Lahaina and Wailuku and slid or rolled about 200 feet down Waiolai Gulch.
The driver, a 22-year-old Maui resident, crawled out of the vehicle shortly after the incident off Kahekili Highway at 3 a.m. yesterday, the county said.
He was retrieved by a fire rescue crew that rappelled down to strap him to a harness and bring him to safe ground at 4:34 a.m., county spokeswoman Mahina Martin said.
Martin said medics on the scene determined the driver had minor injuries, and the driver refused medical transport to Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Crash injures woman critically
A 19-year-old Kapolei woman was in critical condition following multiple crashes on the H-1 freeway involving vehicles and pedestrians early yesterday.
Police said that at 1:02 a.m. a 21-year-old Mililani woman was driving a 2006 Nissan Frontier crew cab pickup truck in the Waianae-bound lanes near the Pearl City offramp when she lost control of the truck.
The truck veered onto the right shoulder of the freeway before swerving back across the freeway and hitting the median, police said.
After hitting the median, the truck turned around and was facing the other direction when it was hit head-on by a white 1997 Toyota Corolla being driven by the 19-year-old Kapolei woman. Police said the Corolla did not have time to avoid the collision.
The women got out of their vehicles and were standing on the freeway when, moments later, a gray 2006 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck hit the Toyota, pushing it into the Nissan pickup, which then hit the women, police said.
The Mililani woman suffered serious injuries. The Kapolei woman suffered critical head and leg injuries, police said.
A 6-year-old passenger in the Mililani woman's truck was also injured but was listed in good condition, police said.
Both women and the juvenile were taken to the Queen's Medical Center.
A 44-year-old Waipahu man driving the Silverado suffered a hand injury but refused treatment.
The westbound lanes of the freeway were closed until 6:56 a.m. as police investigated the crash.
Accident traps 2 in car, closes H-1
A 28-year-old woman was critically injured last night after being pinned inside her car on the H-1 freeway near the airport, authorities said.
Police shut down westbound lanes of the H-1 viaduct after the accident, which occurred at about 7:55 p.m.
Firefighters freed the woman at about 8:25 p.m., a fire official said.
The woman was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition, and her male passenger was in stable condition, Emergency Medical Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic said.
Further details were not available at press time.
Suspect charged in bank robbery
A skateboard-toting bank robbery suspect was charged yesterday with second-degree robbery and is in federal custody.
George C. Aquiningoc Jr. turned himself in to police Tuesday afternoon after a CrimeStoppers bulletin was issued with a clear image of him caught by a surveillance camera.
The 20-year-old Kalihi man allegedly entered the Kalihi branch of Bank of Hawaii on Friday, presented a demand note to the teller and fled with an undisclosed amount of money, carrying his skateboard, police said.
Aquiningoc is being held at the federal detention center without bail.
Former husband accused of assault
Police arrested a 35-year-old man who allegedly assaulted his ex-wife's husband.
The suspect went to his ex-wife's home at Pukoloa Street in Salt Lake around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday to pick up his kids. He and the current 40-year-old husband got into an argument and a fight, police said. The victim fell onto the sidewalk and suffered a skull fracture, police said.
The suspect was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault.
Swordlike object is used in threats
Police arrested two men, both 26, who allegedly threatened another group of men with a swordlike object.
At about 2:32 p.m. Tuesday, three men arrived at a home on Kamehameha Highway in Kaneohe and demanded to speak to the 24-year-old male resident.
The first suspect said he was owed money and threatened to kill the resident's family, police said. Another man living at the home, age 48, saw the second suspect retrieve a "swordlike object" from his car, police said. The older resident grabbed a weapon from inside the house and scared the suspects away, police said. Police did not say what kind of weapon it was.
The suspects were stopped shortly afterward and arrested on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening. A third man who was with the suspects was arrested on an unrelated contempt warrant.
Car registration leads to arrest
Police arrested a 32-year-old woman who allegedly tried to register a stolen vehicle.
The woman tried to register the vehicle in the Pearlridge area at about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, police said. She was arrested on suspicion of second-degree theft.
Hiker on Maui hurt in fall from trail
A 32-year-old hiker suffered a possible broken leg early yesterday evening after falling from a trail in Iao Valley State Park.
A Maui fire official said the man was about a mile up the trail when he fell.
Fire rescue and engine crews, along with Air One, responded to the call for help from other hikers, who notified the Fire Department.
The man was airlifted out to the park's parking area, where medics tended to him.
The man, who was hiking alone, was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center with a possible broken leg.