Air Force restarts F-15 flights
The Air Force has authorized resumption of flights of its F-15 fighter jets, including those flown by the Hawaii Air National Guard.
The Air Force grounded its fleet of nearly 700 F-15 Eagles two weeks ago after an F-15C crashed during a training exercise Nov. 2 in Missouri.
A statement Friday from the Air Combat Command said the aircraft are being returned to operational status after being inspected.
"We are easing our way back into a normal flying schedule," said Capt. Jeff Hickman of the Hawaii Air National Guard. The Guard's 199th Fighter Squadron uses 18 F-15 aircraft, which were built between 10 and 20 years ago. They are scheduled to be replaced in 2010 with F-22 Raptors.
Man pleads guilty to copper theft
A 39-year-old man pleaded guilty yesterday to copper theft -- the first convicted under a new state law that make theft of copper a felony offense -- and second-degree criminal trespassing.
Faleifa N. Mauga was arrested Sept. 13 at a construction site at Camp Catlin Military Housing mauka of Honolulu Airport.
Mauga pleaded guilty yesterday during a trial call, a spokesman for the city prosecutor's office said. He faces five years' imprisonment on the copper theft charge and one year for the trespassing charge when he is sentenced Feb. 11.
Police, during a stakeout of the area, could hear banging in a house to be demolished in a construction area.
Officers spotted Mauga rummaging through piles of rubble, picking up metal, carrying pipes and loading them into a plastic rubbish bin.
Bike decision slated for February
WAILUKU » A decision about the future of commercial bicycle tours at Haleakala National Park is expected to be made in late February, park Superintendent Marilyn Parris said.
Parris said the date for a decision has been pushed back due to the sheer volume of information, which needs more than the normal 60-day period to be assessed -- some 10 volumes, each volume with about 300 pages.
"This is a complex issue," Parris said.
Meanwhile, the Maui Bicycle Tour Association, including several bicycle tour businesses, has retained an attorney in the dispute.
Park officials imposed a "safety stand-down" of commercial bicycle tours starting Oct. 10, after the second fatal crash this year.
Bicycle tour operators have said the rides are relatively safe considering the tens of thousands of riders each year.
Veterans group selling wreaths
A veterans group is taking orders through Thursday for fresh Christmas wreaths for $25 each.
The 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans will receive part of the proceeds from the sale. To order, call 946-0272.
Pickup will be on Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans Club at 520 Kamoku St. in Moiliili. There will be no walk-in sales, so anyone wanting a wreath must order by Thursday.
Police, Fire, Courts
Call to police thwarts robbery
Police arrested a 23-year-old man yesterday for investigation of second-degree robbery after he ordered a Honolulu man to give him money from an automated teller machine.
Police said the suspect woke his 44-year-old victim by knocking on the man's bedroom window. The victim went to the back door to find out what the suspect wanted at 6:16 a.m. yesterday.
The suspect allegedly demanded money. When the victim refused to give it to him, he allegedly hit the resident.
The victim agreed to drive to an ATM machine, while the suspect followed him in another vehicle.
The victim called police while he was driving to the ATM, and the suspect was arrested.
Man allegedly hits former companion
Police arrested a 49-year-old man at his Honolulu home yesterday for allegedly kidnapping and abusing his 49-year-old girlfriend in August.
Police said the two have lived together on and off for the last 25 years. But on Aug. 25 they were not living together. The woman was visiting the man when he allegedly punched her repeatedly when she tried to leave, and allegedly held her against her will, threatening injury if she did, police said.
The man then allegedly struck her several more times before she was left alone and escaped, police said.
He was arrested yesterday at his home without incident.
Domestic dispute gets man arrested
A 35-year-old Waianae man was arrested Saturday for allegedly forcing his way into his ex-girlfriend's home in Waianae and assaulting her.
The man and his 33-year-old ex-girlfriend were arguing outside her home on Palakamana Street around 10 p.m. when she went inside and locked the door, police said. The man continued yelling at her outside her home.
He then allegedly forced his way into the house and assaulted her, causing minor injuries. The woman refused medical treatment, and the man was arrested on suspicion of first-degree burglary.
Visitor's purse snatched at beach
Big Island police charged a Waimea man yesterday in connection with a purse snatching in West Hawaii last week.
David K. Battle, 25, was charged with second-degree theft. His bail was set at $5,000. He is being held in the Kona police cellblock pending a court appearance.
A 68-year-old Japanese visitor reported that someone slipped her purse off her while she was lying down along the Kailua-Kona oceanfront area around noon on Wednesday. The suspect then fled.
On Saturday, Kona patrol officers arrested Battle.