Feds fund seat belt enforcement
WASHINGTON » Seventeen states, including Hawaii, and three U.S. territories in the Pacific will share more than $109 million in federal grants to enforce seat belt laws and promote highway safety, the government said yesterday.
Hawaii will receive about $1 million, while American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands each will receive $503,477.
The funding is part of a program established in 2005 to encourage states to approve stronger seat belt laws that allow police to stop motorists solely for failing to wear seat belts.
The laws, called primary enforcement safety belt laws, have been passed in 26 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
"Where these laws are in place, they work. When more people buckle up, fewer lives are lost," said Transportation Secretary Mary Peters.
The remaining states have secondary enforcement, which allows tickets for seat belt violations only if motorists are stopped for another offense. New Hampshire has no seat belt law for adults.
California received the largest grant, $19.3 million, followed by Indiana, $15.7 million. The District of Columbia also received grants, which can be used for highway safety.
3 banned from visitor spots
WAILUKU » Three Maui residents accused of car break-ins have been banned from three areas frequented by visitors.
Maui Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza ordered Marcus Langford, Debbie Kuamoo and Brandy Kinoshita to stay away from Honolua Bay, Nakalele Point and D.T. Fleming Beach Park.
The three, arrested after a July 29 police stakeout of a parking area at Honolua Bay, face several charges, including three counts of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
The three were stopped in a pickup truck that contained property taken in other car break-ins, authorities alleged.
Cardoza, who set the trail date for Nov. 27, reduced bail to $5,000 from $25,000 for Langford, 22; and to $5,000 from $20,000 for Kuamoo, 52. He kept bail at $20,000 for Kinoshita, 30.
City extends arts grant deadline
The city extended a deadline to Friday for nonprofit organizations wishing to receive grants up to $5,000 to create new and original artworks.
Projects could include dance, theater, music and literature pieces that benefit the people of Oahu and occur between Dec. 1 and Nov. 20, 2008.
Only one grant will be awarded each fiscal year.
The city must receive proposals by 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Office of Culture and the Arts, 530 S. King St., Room 404. For more information, contact the Office of Culture and Arts at 523-4674 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man, 25, accused of attack, break-in
A 25-year-old man was charged after he allegedly attacked a 52-year-old man without provocation early Wednesday, then broke into an apartment of a 61-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy.
Daniel Fleming was charged yesterday with first-degree burglary and second-degree assault. He was arrested at 2:35 a.m. Wednesday at 1123 Pawaa Lane.
According to a police affidavit, Fleming hit a man on the back of the head as he walked by 1650 Young St. at about 1:48 a.m. The man sustained a 2-centimeter cut, a serious concussion and a head injury.
Fleming then allegedly broke into a ground-floor apartment at 2:30 a.m. at 1728 Young St. by breaking the glass jalousies. When police arrived he allegedly told the officer to shoot him.
He also threatened to kill the two residents, a 61-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy, who had barricaded themselves in the bathroom.
Police said the man fled out the window but was later found running toward South Beretania Street.
An officer chased the man and saw he had blood on his hands and clothes. When the officer ordered him to stop, he kept running, yelling, "Just shoot me" and "Kill me."
The police caught the man and held him at Pawaa Lane.
Motorcyclist dies after crash
A 65-year-old Kaneohe man died Thursday on the Big Island after a motorcycle accident.
At 1:51 p.m. Thursday, South Kohala police responded to a report of a crash on Kohala Mountain Road near the 8-mile marker. Police said the victim, Robert A. Ueno, was driving a 2001 Harley-Davidson motorcycle and traveling north on the road when he lost control, crossed the center line and collided with a 2007 Dodge station wagon traveling south.
The Dodge's driver was treated at the scene. Ueno was pronounced dead at 2:48 p.m. He was not wearing a helmet. Alcohol and drugs were not factors in the crash, police said. This is the 24th Big Island traffic fatality of the year, compared with 25 at this time last year.
Alleged bilker fails to paint residence
Police arrested a 42-year-old Kailua man yesterday who allegedly took $3,500 to paint a house but never did.
A 62-year-old Hawaii Kai woman paid the man to paint her house, but he never returned to start the job, police said. Police said the theft allegedly occurred between Aug. 3, 2006, and June 19.
Police investigated the matter, and the suspect was identified, found and arrested on suspicion of second-degree theft. The man was released pending investigation.
Moms tell officers of alleged assault
Authorities charged a 30-year-old man with no local address for allegedly sexually assaulting two girls, ages 9 and 14, in Waipahu.
Christian K. Mehrer was charged Thursday with first- and third-degree sexual assault.
The girls told their mothers of the sexual assaults, which they reported occurred July 24 and earlier, police said. The mothers notified police.
The girls positively identified Mehrer in a photo lineup, and police arrested him Wednesday, police said. Mehrer's bail was set at $50,000.