Lost-arm crash suspect in court
A 32-year-old man accused of arguing with his wife and causing a single-car crash on the airport viaduct last week that severed her arm, made his first appearance yesterday in Honolulu District Court.
Iovani Alatini was charged Friday with second-degree assault and ordered held on $50,000 bail.
His wife, Lise Solomua-Alatini, 28, was driving when he kicked the steering wheel during the dispute, causing her to lose control of the SUV, she told police. The SUV landed on its side, severing her left arm.
Witnesses said Alatini kicked the windshield in an attempt to get out and told his wife to "shut up" as she moaned in pain, police said. Emergency crews arrived to find him standing outside the vehicle and his wife still inside, covered with blood.
Alatini is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing tomorrow.
Meetings to detail roadwork plans
Road and transportation improvement projects worth $1.3 billion are the subject of a series of informational meetings on the neighbor islands this month and next.
The state Department of Transportation will be seeking public comment on the draft Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
The plan outlines state and county projects to be funded, in part, with federal highway money through 2011. The projects range from a mass transit system for Oahu to improvements to bike paths.
A meeting on Kauai will be held at 6 p.m. July 30 at the Department of Transportation Highways Division Kauai District Office conference room in Lihue.
On Molokai the meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 1 in Kulana O'iwi at the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands/Office of Hawaiian Affairs conference room in Kaunakakai.
Meetings are also scheduled on the Big Island at 6 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Kealakehe High School cafeteria; 6 p.m. Aug. 7 in the Waimea Civic Center State Office Building conference room in Waimea; 6 p.m. Aug. 8 in the Keaau Community Center; and Aug. 9 in the Hilo State Office Building Conference Rooms A, B and C.
Comments may also be submitted to (808) 587-1787 (fax); by mail to the Highway Planning Branch, 869 Punchbowl St., Room 301, Honolulu, HI 96813; or by e-mail to Hwy.Stip.Projects@hawaii.gov. The plan can be viewed online at www.state.hi.us/dot/stp/stip/index.htm.
College paper wins national award
Windward Community College's student newspaper, Ka 'Ohana
, received its 12th first-place national award from the American Scholastic Press Association -- this time with a "special merit."
The "special merit" designation means that the newspaper excelled in several categories, including content, page design, creativity and overall plan. Ka 'Ohana received 960 points out of 1,000 and was described by ASPA as "an outstanding overall example of scholastic publication in format, content, and presentation."
The association serves 2,000 schools nationwide and ranks high school, community college and four-year college and university publications.
This fall, the newspaper hopes to launch a Ka 'Ohana Web site with postings of current issues, a photo gallery and video clips of campus events. The newspaper's student editor-in-chief is Mark Brislin, and the adviser is Libby Young.
Woman gets prison term for fraud
HILO » A Big Island woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to repay $83,000 in welfare benefits for welfare fraud, the Hawaii County Prosecutor's Office said.
Herbegail Lyman, 30, formerly of Pahoa, was found guilty of first-degree theft for claiming welfare benefits between 1995 and 2004, the announcement said.
During that time, Lyman concealed that fact that she had more than $49,000 in an interest-bearing account with an insurance company, the announcement said.
Lyman committed the alleged offenses while she was on probation for forgery, credit card theft and car theft, the announcement said.
Lyman was sentenced Thursday by Circuit Judge Glenn Hara.
Queen's to host wellness meeting
"Active Aging" will be discussed by Morgan Boyle, an authority on wellness, and Dr. Elizabeth Rhee, internal medicine specialist, at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Queen's Conference Center, 510 S. Beretania St.
They will explain how being active, coupled with regular checkups, can help control diabetes, high blood pressure and other medical conditions and help people live a longer and healthier life.
They will address such questions as: "What is active aging? How do I know an activity is safe for me? How do I motivate myself to get started? What are the benefits to being active?" Reservations are required because of limited space. Call the Queen's Referral Line at 537-7117 for more information or to register.
Parking is available for $5 in the Miller Street parking garage.
Nonprofit to host golf fundraiser
Junior Achievement of Hawaii is hosting its Eighth Annual Golf Classic fundraiser at Kapolei Golf Course on Sept. 27.
All proceeds will go toward helping JA continue its mission of teaching young people about business, economics and the free enterprise system, according to a release. Call 545-1777 for more details or visit www.jahawaii.com.
Police, Fire, Courts
Driver crashes car into drugstore
A 79-year-old Mililani woman accidentally accelerated her car and slammed into the front of Longs Drug Store at Mililani Market Place yesterday morning, creating a hole about 4 feet wide and bruising a shopper.
Shortly after 9 a.m., police said, the woman was pulling into the parking lot of Longs, located at 94-780 Meheula Parkway, and pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.
Her green Subaru hit a parked blue Honda and a wooden pole before crashing into a row of shopping carts and then into the store's front.
Debris from the pole flew at a 75-year-old woman walking out of the store and hit her right knee, causing a bruise, police said.
The driver will likely not face any charges, police said.
Youth turns self in for arson at park
The second of two juveniles was arrested yesterday on suspicion of second-degree arson for allegedly setting a brush fire at Central Oahu Regional Park on May 27.
The juvenile turned himself in yesterday, police said. The other juvenile was arrested June 28, according to police.
At about 3:10 p.m. May 27, Honolulu firefighters responded to a fire that burned about 20 acres of brush and threatened nearby homes.
Witnesses said they saw two juveniles in the area of the fire, and they were later detained at the scene. After further investigation, police learned that the boys were allegedly responsible for setting the fire.
Woman thrown from horse dies
A 50-year-old Honolulu woman died Sunday night from injuries she suffered when she was thrown from a horse at a Windward Oahu ranch, police said.
The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office identified her as Akiko Takahashi.
Police said Takahashi suffered head injuries as a result of Saturday's fall. She was taken to a hospital, where she died at about 7:20 p.m. Sunday.
Further details were not available.
Man arrested in pipe attack
A 36-year-old man was arrested yesterday morning for allegedly using a long metal pipe to damage a woman's car after the two had gotten into an argument in Waianae.
According to police, the man and a 41-year-old woman were arguing at about 9:10 a.m. When the woman tried to leave, the man allegedly grabbed a 15-foot-long metal pipe and jabbed it through the front window twice and once through the back side window.
When the woman got out of the car, he allegedly punched her in the face several times.
The man was arrested on suspicion of three counts of criminal property damage and abuse.
Argument leads to car break-in
Police arrested a 32-year-old Kalihi man who allegedly broke into his friend's car and damaged the windows with a crowbar.
Police said the men were arguing outside the suspect's home at about 3:45 p.m. Sunday because the suspect thought his girlfriend was cheating on him with the friend.
The suspect then broke into his friend's car, stole the stereo and damaged the windows with a crowbar, police said. The 19-year-old friend was not hurt.
Police arrested the suspect for investigation of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
2 teens arrested in skateboard theft
Two 15-year-old boys were arrested yesterday for allegedly stealing another boy's skateboard last month.
At about 5:50 p.m. June 6, a 12-year-old boy was walking home from Kahala Mall when three boys allegedly knocked him down and stole his skateboard, police said.
Yesterday, the 12-year-old saw two of his attackers enter the theaters in Kahala and called police.
Police officers arrested them on suspicion of second-degree robbery.
Blaze damages Hilo care center
Big Island firefighters extinguished a fire Sunday that caused about $2,000 damage to the Life Care Center of Hilo.
The fire started at 7:06 a.m. at 944 W. Kawailani St. and was brought under control about 25 minutes later.
Twenty-two firefighters worked to extinguish the rooftop blaze on the three-story building.
Firefighters said the cause of the fire was an electrical short in the ventilation system.