Kauai missile test successful
BARKING SANDS, Kauai » The U.S. Army's mobile missile defense system had another successful test over the ocean west of Kauai last night, officials from the federal missile defense agency said.
The test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, the third such test from Kauai this year, destroyed a Scud-type single-phase rocket with a missile shot from a mobile launcher set up at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, officials said.
At 9:15 p.m. yesterday, the rocket launched from a sea-based platform exited the Earth's atmosphere and was tracked by THAAD radar. Minutes later, a rocket sent from the mobile launcher intercepted and destroyed the targets.
Tests of the system scheduled for next year will use the more difficult targets: multi-phase booster rockets, which have more components.
The previous two tests, in January and March, were also successful in shooting down a target missile launched from a ship in waters off Kauai's west side.
THAAD is one of two ballistic missile defense programs being tested at the Kauai missile range. The Navy's sea-based Aegis system, which is already deployed on ships around the globe, also undergoes tests at the range. Worldwide deployment of THAAD is planned for 2010, officials said.
Kaku to lead emergency services
Mayor Mufi Hannemann appointed Melvin Kaku as director of the Department of Emergency Management, effective Dec. 1.
Kaku, current director of the Department of Transportation Services, has been overseeing development of Honolulu's fixed guideway program and TheBoat commuter ferry, which began service last month from Kalaeloa to downtown Honolulu.
Kaku has been director of the Environmental Planning Division of the Pacific Division of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command at Pearl Harbor. He was the organizer of Pearl Harbor's emergency response team and oversaw preparations for environmental-related situations.
As an Army reserve officer, Kaku supervises the emergency preparedness unit for the commanding general.
Peter Hirai has been serving as acting director of the Department of Emergency Management.
Quake's magnitude is lowered
An earthquake that shook the Big Island Thursday was revised downward yesterday to magnitude 4.0 from the initial estimate of 4.2, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The temblor was located beneath the south flank of Kilauea Volcano at 6:57 p.m., according to a USGS news release. It was 11 miles southeast of Kilauea's summit and 28 miles south of Hilo at a depth of 6.2 miles. The preliminary magnitude was changed after an analytical review.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man in custody over threats
Honolulu police took a 46-year-old man into custody yesterday in connection with allegations that he threatened to shoot 30 students on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus.
The alleged threats caused the university to issue an alert Thursday to UH-Manoa students and faculty.
The man was taken to a hospital after he was picked up at 2:45 p.m. yesterday near Old Stadium Park on Isenberg Street, but he was not arrested, said police Capt. Frank Fujii.
Police refused to say whether he was receiving medical or psychiatric treatment, citing the man's medical privacy rights.
A student reported to Manoa campus security at about 11:45 a.m. Thursday that a man on a city bus was talking to himself about shooting 30 UH students. The man got off the bus at King and Isenberg streets, police said.
The incident was also reported to police at 12:15 p.m., and they opened a first-degree terroristic threatening case. The university sent out the e-mail alert at about 1:40 p.m.
A UH spokesman said police told campus security that a man matching the suspect's description was a homeless man known to police to have mental problems and who had been arrested before and was known to utter similar threats.
Driver sought after woman is injured
Police need help identifying a driver responsible for hitting a woman in her 90s earlier this month.
At about 2 p.m. Oct. 1, Ethyl Meckel was walking in the parking lot of Kmart in Iwilei when she was struck by a vehicle reversing out of a stall. The male driver did not stop and left the lot.
There was a driver with two male passengers in a jeeplike vehicle, according to a CrimeStoppers news release. Meckel had a fractured right hip and was transported to the Queen's Medical Center. She is recovering at the Holy Family Care Home in Kaneohe.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.
Damage high from Tantalus fire
Fire investigators have been unable to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a Tantalus house Wednesday morning and damaged two others.
The 6:05 a.m. fire destroyed the 50-year-old wooden post-and-pier house at 2401 Tantalus Drive.
The fire began in the living room of the house, causing an estimated $400,000 in damage to the structure and $15,000 to its contents. No one was injured in the fire.
The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to a house at 2393 Tantalus Drive and $20,000 to its contents.
A third home, at 2407 Tantalus Drive, received $25,000 in damage to the structure and $5,000 to its contents, fire officials said.
The Fire Department recommends all occupants of a home practice escape plans and regularly test smoke alarms to ensure they have working batteries.
Man is accused of stealing artifacts
Authorities charged a 37-year-old Kamuela man with the theft of artifacts valued at $60,000 from a South Kohala resort.
Jay Brewer was arrested Tuesday and was charged yesterday with first-degree theft and a weapon violation.
Kona police detectives, executing search warrants for a Kamuela home and a Kona storage facility, recovered 16 artifacts stolen from the resort and ammunition. Police said the artifacts were appraised at $60,000.
Brewer was being held at the Kona police station cellblock in lieu of $30,000 bail.
Police arrest 7 teens on Molokai
WAILUKU » Seven juveniles on Molokai were arrested this week after police recovered property taken in multiple burglaries.
The juvenile males, ages 14 to 17, were accused of breaking into residences at Kualapuu and Hoolehua and also the nonprofit Hikiola Co-op, as well as scribbling graffiti at Molokai High School.
Police Lt. Tim Gapero said items recovered included money, a golf cart and an opened safe.
Police said the burglaries occurred between Oct. 11 and 15.
The Prosecuting Attorney's Office is expected to bring the felony charges against the juveniles in Family Court. The juveniles were released into their parents' custody.