Man's illness forces jet's return
An Oakland, Calif.-bound commercial jet from Hilo made a U-turn to land in Honolulu yesterday after a passenger started coughing up blood.
The unidentified man was previously hospitalized in Hilo for a bleeding ulcer, and "just had complications that forced the pilot to turn the plane around," said state Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa. "The man was really in pain when the flight was in midair."
Paramedics took the 54-year-old man to Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi in serious condition, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the Emergency Services Department.
At about 8:30 a.m., ATA Airlines Flight 4524 took off from Hilo with 145 passengers on board, expecting to land in Oakland five hours later.
Ninety minutes into the flight, the Boeing 737-800 turned around so the man could receive medical treatment. The plane landed at Honolulu Airport at about 12:15 p.m.
Airline spokeswoman Maya Wagle said a passenger who was a doctor tried to give the man assistance.
In Honolulu a few of the passengers were accommodated on other carriers, but most of the passengers waited while the crew cleaned the plane, Wagle said.
"These kind of things are tragic and unavoidable," Wagle said. "I think people understand that."
At about 6:30 p.m. the plane took off for Oakland, Ishikawa said.
Test clears chili in botulism scare
WAILUKU » Two cans of chili suspected of containing botulism toxin, including one turned over by a Maui resident who said eating the chili made him ill, have tested negative for the toxin, according to the state Department of Health laboratory.
Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said yesterday that based on the evidence so far, there have been no confirmed cases of botulism in Hawaii.
Heath officials are awaiting the test results of blood samples from Maui resident Jonathan Stockton sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Stockton, 33, of Hana, said he ate a can of Cattle Drive brand chili on July 24 and suffered symptoms similar to botulism, including paralysis in the face and muscle weakness.
He was admitted to Maui Memorial Medical Center on July 26 and released two days later.
Castleberry's Food Co. of Augusta, Ga., recalled more than 90 brands of canned food on July 21, including Cattle Drive chili.
Several people from Texas and Indiana were confirmed to have been sickened by the contaminated food.
President nominates Roughead
President Bush has nominated Adm. Gary Roughead to be the next chief of naval operations, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced yesterday.
Roughead commanded the Pacific Fleet from Pearl Harbor until just three months ago, when he moved to Norfolk, Va., to lead the U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
The Virginia posting would normally last for several years, but Bush needed to fill the top Navy job after appointing Adm. Mike Mullen to succeed Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace as next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"I am honored to be nominated as the 29th chief of naval operations, and I look forward to the confirmation process," Roughead said in a statement.
Roughead graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1973. At the Fleet Forces Command, he is responsible for staffing, equipping and training U.S. naval forces worldwide.
Coming this weekend in your Star-Bulletin:
Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong takes on social issues and disdains rituals and doctrine of the Christian Church. He has taken on the mantle of spokesman for progressive Christianity but has been a target for fundamentalists.
Lopen Sangay Rinchen, a Bhutanese monk, came to Hawaii to learn art conservation so that he could restore sacred paintings in his homeland. But once here he found his painting skills made him popular with surfboard owners and SUV drivers, who have hired him to decorate their boards and vehicles.
Business: The name Spencecliff Corp. bears fond memories for generations of Hawaii restaurant-goers, and it has been revived by Chantal Moearii Weaver, daughter of one of the co-founding Weaver brothers.
Sports: What will life be like without four-time All-American Kanoe Kamana'o, one of the best setters in the program's history? Coach Dave Shoji will find out when the Hawaii women's volleyball team opens fall practice.
Police, Fire, Courts
Pedestrian injured in Laie crash
A pedestrian in his 50s was critically injured by a minivan last night in Laie.
Authorities said the accident occurred at 55-351 Kamehameha Highway, fronting the Polynesian Cultural Center.
Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic said the man was struck by a minivan and was airlifted to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.
The accident occurred at about 9:10 p.m.
Boy, 11, missing from Lanikai home
Police are looking for an 11-year-old Swiss boy who suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome.
Police said Julian Barmettler was last seen at 5 a.m. yesterday at a home in Lanikai where the family is staying, and left without telling his mother.
The boy lacks a sense of danger due to the disorder, police said.
Police said the family is on vacation, visiting from Switzerland.
Barmettler is 5 feet 4 inches tall, 140 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing a blue Adidas T-shirt; green, orange and white swim shorts; and black Adidas slippers.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 911 or the Missing Persons Detail at 529-3115.
20 acres burned in Nanakuli fire
A brush fire swept across the mountainside in Nanakuli above Paheehee Road last night and burned 20 acres, authorities said.
Several fire companies responded to the 7:30 p.m. alarm.
The fire was brought under control by 8:45 p.m.
2 women charged in Kau shooting
Big Island police charged two women yesterday in the July 27 shooting of a woman found in a remote forest area in Kau.
Jody Lassen, 34, of Hilo and Danolin Souza, 36, of Orchidland were charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and assault.
Bail was set at $100,000 each.
Rodney Bohol Sr. was charged earlier in the case.