Search continues for kayaker
WAILUKU » The Coast Guard found an empty kayak far at sea late yesterday afternoon, lifting hopes of locating missing kayaker David Lorenz.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Michael De Nyse said searchers were concentrating their efforts in the area where the kayak was found, about 42 miles west of Lanai's Kaumalapau Harbor, or about 40 miles south of Oahu's Makapuu Point.
The Coast Guard said it believes the kayak was used by Lorenz because it has headlights.
"It allows us to narrow our search," De Nyse said.
The kayak was retrieved by the Coast Guard cutter Kiska about 6 p.m. yesterday, he said.
Authorities said Lorenz was wearing a life jacket when last seen by his kayaking companion, Martin Nai of Maui.
The Coast Guard found and rescued Nai at 11 a.m. Monday about 25 miles west of Kaumalapau Harbor, where the two had departed for a day trip Sunday morning. The harbor is on the western side of the island .
The Coast Guard, along with the Civil Air Patrol, have searched more than 2,000 square miles since they launched the search Sunday night, De Nyse said.
Nai, 30, and Lorenz, 39, who have been working in construction on Lanai, left in kayaks about 8:30 a.m. from the harbor and planned to return later in the day, authorities said. Their plans apparently were foiled by heavy winds and seas.
The Coast Guard said the ocean west of Lanai experienced 37-knot (42 mph) winds and seas up to 8 feet early Monday morning, before Nai was found on his kayak. De Nyse said a previous Coast Guard report that a second kayak was found Monday, when Nai was rescued, was incorrect.
Nai, who was found in full survival gear and a life vest, was treated for slight hypothermia but required no hospitalization and left from Kahului Airport with his mother for their Upcountry home Monday.
Djou wants road-congestion fee
Councilman Charles Djou is proposing that the city look into charging a fee for motorists driving into downtown Honolulu during peak hours -- modeling his idea on a similar push in Manhattan to reduce traffic congestion.
Djou introduced a resolution Monday to have the city Department of Transportation Services research congestion pricing in London and New York to see whether Honolulu can adopt similar policies.
"I'm not necessarily saying we must do it," Djou said yesterday. "I do think it is something worth studying in Honolulu. There are other ways Honolulu can do to reduce traffic short of spending $6 billion on a rail system."
London motorists pay $16 to get into a 15-mile congestion zone on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Lawmakers in New York agreed to study Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to charge motorists $8 to get into the central business district in Manhattan.
City Councilman and Transportation Chairman Nestor Garcia said he favors creating incentives, such as the upcoming commuter ferry from Kalaeloa to Aloha Tower, and boosting the bus system, rather than disincentives for Oahu's motorists to get off the road.
Tax rap brings man from Florida
A man was extradited last week from Florida to face tax evasion charges in Hawaii.
Christopher Burns was charged in June with three counts of false and fraudulent statements, two counts of first-degree theft and one count of first-degree attempted theft.
Pinellas County sheriffs in Florida arrested Burns on a Hawaii bench warrant, and he was extradited Friday.
The false and fraudulent statements allegedly occurred when Burns filed his 2004, 2005 and 2006 statements, claiming he had employment taxes withheld in the amounts of $35,019, $35,710 and $75,260, when he really had $570, zero and zero, respectively.
Burns was charged with theft after he received his tax refunds for 2004 and 2005. The attempted theft charge stems from Burns trying to receive his 2006 refund. Arraignment is scheduled for tomorrow before Circuit Judge Derrick Chan .
Police, Fire, Courts
Suspects identified in school arson
Detectives have identified four Hilo male teens suspected of setting a fire that caused $1.5 million damage to Waiakea High School last year.
Big Island police said one of the suspects is now 18, while the other three are now 17.
An individual provided information in an unrelated case that helped solve the arson case, police said.
Hawaii County police have forwarded the arson investigation to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney.
The fire occurred in the early morning hours of April 11, 2006, at the school, 155 W. Kawili St. in Hilo. Police responded about 1:15 a.m. after a nearby resident reported seeing flames. No one was injured in the fire that caused an estimated $1.5 million in damage to the building and its contents.
Hilo Criminal Investigations Section detectives, working with a fire inspector from the Hawaii County Fire Department, determined early in the investigation that the fire had been set intentionally. They determined that the fire originated in the administration building.
Fire in shed closes highway
KAPAA, Kauai » A fire that broke out yesterday afternoon in an exterior shed at Ono Family Restaurant injured a man and closed down Kuhio Highway.
According to county officials, the fire broke out just before 1 p.m. in the shed as a repair man tried to fix a faulty gas line. The man, whom officials did not identify, sustained minor injuries but did not require hospitalization.
The fire was under control within 10 minutes and extinguished by 1:26 p.m.
The fire was contained to the shed, and damage to the structure was estimated at $17,000.
Traffic along Kuhio Highway, the main road through Kapaa, had to be diverted because of the blaze. It was fully reopened by 1:55 p.m., officials said.
Police seek info on UH dorm attack
Police are urging anyone who may have information concerning a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a student at a University of Hawaii dormitory Sunday to call CrimeStoppers.
The woman awoke at 5:50 a.m. Sunday to find a man holding a weapon to her face, police said. She suffered minor injuries, police said.
The suspect is wanted for investigation of burglary, sex assault and kidnapping at the UH-Manoa Hale Mokihana Dormitory at 2583 Dole St.
The man is described as 6 feet tall, with a slim build, and wearing a green T-shirt.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
Accident kills worker at airport
A 51-year-old man died Monday at Honolulu Airport after being rolled over by a heavy piece of machinery used to compact pavement.
Police said that at 1:08 p.m., the operator of the machine didn't see the victim working behind him and reversed over him.
The victim worked for contractor Jas W. Glover Ltd., which is repairing runways and taxiways near the general aviation area of the airport along Lagoon Drive, said state Transportation Department spokesman Scott Ishikawa. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity was not being released, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.
Ishikawa said state officials would be meeting today with the contractor and the FAA to make sure all safety precautions were followed. In the meantime, the repair work has been suspended, Ishikawa said.
Occupational Safety and Health Division officials also are investigating the incident, Ishikawa said.
John Romanowski, the company's vice president, said the employee is survived by his wife, his mother and two daughters. "We are doing everything possible to help family members and employees through this very trying time," he said.
Car crash leads to drug, gun arrest
Police arrested a 26-year-old car crash victim who was allegedly carrying drugs and a gun.
Police said that about 9:45 p.m. yesterday, the man was involved in an accident in Honolulu and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Hospital security did an inventory of the man's property and discovered a handgun and narcotics in his backpack, police said.
Police were notified and later arrested the man on suspicion of drug and firearm violations.
2 are held after bat attack on car
Police arrested a man and a boy Monday after they allegedly smashed a car's windows with a bat.
Police said officers responded to a report of a scuffle fronting a home in Moanalua about 2 p.m. A 15-year-old girl told officers that the two suspects, ages 18 and 16, shattered the family's car windows, police said.
Police said one of the boys is the girl's ex-boyfriend, who was upset that she was seeing someone else.
The two were arrested on suspicion of first-degree criminal property damage.
Man arrested in teen sex assault
Police arrested a 36-year-old Kaimuki man on suspicion of 10 counts of sexual assault for allegedly having sex in 2004 with a 14-year-old girl.
The girl, now 17, said she was having sexual relations with the man three years ago, police said.
The man was identified and arrested at 9:55 a.m. Monday on suspicion of four counts of first-degree sexual assault, five counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of fourth-degree sexual assault.
The man was released pending further investigation.