Wasps infest Christmas trees
State agricultural inspectors sealed four contain-ers filled with Christmas trees after they discovered German yellow jackets, according to a spokeswoman.
Inspectors checked 101 containers Sunday after they arrived a day earlier, said Janelle Saneishi, spokeswoman of the Department of Agriculture.
The German yellow jacket, or Vespula germanica, has been gradually expanding on the mainland, according to Neil Reimer, manager of the state's Plant Pest Control Branch. "That's the concern. It increases the risk that it could get established here."
Reimer described the wasp as a nuisance that poses a danger to people allergic to stings.
Further inspection is to take place tomorrow on two of the four affected containers. A third container will be inspected on Friday. Further inspection on the fourth container has yet to be scheduled.
Last year, five containers filled with nearly 2,000 trees were sent back to Oregon after midges, a type of pest that causes tree damage, were discovered.
Ferry stays grounded for a week
One of the city's two commuter ferries, under repair for the past two weeks, will be out of service until at least the end of this week as crews install a replacement engine.
The engine for the Rachel Marie, the older of the two ferries, has been flown in from the East Coast. Workers should have it installed by Friday and will determine then if it can operate next week.
The city's yearlong $6 million pilot program that began Sept. 17 to connect commuters from Kalaeloa to Aloha Tower has had problems in the past with the Rachel Marie, a 149-passenger catamaran, including a faulty engine that stopped operations for a week.
"I want a perfectly smooth operation, but that's why this is a pilot program," Mayor Mufi Hannemann said yesterday. "This is a time to iron out all the wrinkles, to deal with problems and issues."
Hornblower Marine Services, the city-contracted company in charge of operating TheBoat, is responsible for repair costs. Hannemann also asked the company to look for another replacement engine to serve as a backup in case of future mishaps.
"I'm just as anxious to get that second boat up," Hannemann said.
Bus shuttles are available for the 6 a.m. ride from Kalaeloa to Aloha Tower and the 5:20 p.m. ride in the opposite direction. The other ferry, the Melissa Ann, is running on its normal schedule.
As of yesterday morning there were 12,730 passengers who rode TheBoat. Numbers breaking down daily ridership by routes were not immediately available.
Waipahu junior to be House page
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie paid a surprise visit to a 16-year-old Waipahu High School junior yesterday afternoon to announce she was selected to serve as a page in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Abercrombie chose Stephanie Diaz to fill one of the 72 page positions for a semester or summer session in Washington, D.C.
Diaz will work in the U.S. House and attend the Page School at the Library of Congress from Jan. 27 to June 7 and will live in the House Page Residence Hall on Capitol Hill.
Diaz is the daughter of Ramon and Christine Diaz of Waipahu.
The speaker of the House gave Abercrombie the rare opportunity to make a selection.
Police, Fire, Courts
Woman allegedly threatens police
Police arrested a 53-year-old Makiki woman Sunday who allegedly lunged at a police officer with a 12-inch kitchen knife after arguing with her ex-boyfriend.
Police said that at about 1:40 p.m., officers went to the ex-boyfriend's home on Kamehameha IV Road in Kalihi. The man asked them for help in getting his ex-girlfriend to leave.
The woman was in the bedroom when she allegedly lunged at the police officer. The officers left the home to talk to the woman from outside the house.
She was eventually arrested for investigation of first-degree terroristic threatening. Officers recovered the knife the woman allegedly used.
Police arrest man in murder attempt
Police arrested a 21-year-old Halawa man who has been charged with second-degree attempted murder.
Police said Joseph L.S. Galiki Jr. was involved in an affray Oct. 20 and was arrested at his home at 12:40 p.m. yesterday.
Galiki remained in police custody last night and is expected to appear in court this morning.
Bail has been set at $75,000 for the attempted-murder charge and $750 for a contempt warrant.
2 teen suspects arrested in Kapolei
Police arrested two teenage boys Sunday night who allegedly robbed two other boys in Kapolei during the weekend.
At about 11:40 p.m. Saturday, police said, two boys, ages 13 and 14, stopped in Kapolei Park on their way to the bus stop when three other boys confronted them.
A 16-year-old boy allegedly threatened to hit the 14-year-old and stole his shoes, earring and cell phone. A 15-year-old boy allegedly took the 13-year-old boy's hat and iPod.
The third boy did not participate in the robbery, but walked away with the two boys, police said.
The victims walked to a nearby gas station and called police.
At about 10:35 Sunday night, the victims and their parents saw the two teenage suspects at Kapolei 16 movie theaters. The suspects ran to Kapolei Police Station, where they were arrested for investigation of second-degree robbery.
Man allegedly demands vehicle
Big Island police charged a 49-year-old Kawaihae man Sunday with numerous offenses after he allegedly entered a woman's Makapala home and demanded her vehicle.
Martin Booth was arrested on charges of second-degree criminal property damage, harassment, first-degree burglary and second-degree terroristic threatening.
On Friday a 33-year-old woman reported a man entered her home illegally, demanding she turn over her vehicle. He allegedly came back and damaged her house and a vehicle on the property.
He was being held yesterday at the Kona police cellblock pending a court appearance.