CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
A light post in front of Kahala Elementary School might have saved the life of a 9-year-old boy just before 1 p.m. yesterday. The 74-year-old driver of a pickup truck apparently blacked out and hit the light post, which then hit the boy, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department. The pole took the brunt of the impact, probably saving the boy's life, Cheplic said. The boy was taken to the Queen's Medical Center, where he was treated and released, Cheplic said. The driver also was taken to Queen's.
Soldier faces lesser charge
A Schofield Barracks soldier will go on trial in January or February for the shooting death of an unarmed Iraqi citizen, the Army announced yesterday.
Spc. Christopher Shore, initially charged with premeditated murder, now faces the lesser charge of murder through an "act inherently dangerous to another" -- in this case, firing his M-4 carbine.
The decision was made Monday by Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division.
Shore, then a scout with the 3rd Brigade near Kirkuk, maintains that his platoon leader, Sgt. 1st Class Trey Corrales, shot the man, suspected to be an insurgent bomb maker, and then ordered him to finish him off. Shore said he fired his weapon in order to placate Corrales but purposely missed.
The Army news release did not say if Mixon has made a decision on Corrales' trial.
Boat stuck outside Keehi Lagoon
A 32-foot sailboat ran aground Tuesday night on the mud flats outside Keehi Lagoon's entrance channel, Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Debbie Ward said yesterday.
The Wind Rhyme's rudder was damaged in the grounding near Navigational Marker 7, but the boat's hull remained intact, Ward said.
The Honolulu Fire Department airlifted three people from the boat Tuesday night. The boat's owner was going to try to refloat the boat at high tide last night.
The incident was the second sailboat grounding Tuesday.
The 36-foot lancer sloop TeraMoana grounded offshore from Waikiki early Tuesday morning.
The Coast Guard determined that boat was not a pollution threat, and its contractor, Pacific Environmental Corp. (Penco), removed the mast. DLNR expected the TeraMoana to be towed today to Ala Wai Marine for repairs, if wave conditions permit, Ward said.
Glitch hinders statewide testing
Scoring errors in the latest Hawaii State Assessment affected test results for 111 students enrolled in dozens of schools across the state, the firm that administers the annual exam announced yesterday.
The test scores are used to determine whether schools have met federal progress benchmarks under the No Child Left Behind law.
A state Education Department spokesman said officials will look at the revised scores to check whether they could have shifted the status of 182 schools. But he said schools will not be penalized even if they are found to have actually missed targets.
After reviewing all 100,000 test booklets, the American Institutes for Research found that test scores for students were incorrectly recorded because of scanning errors or ambiguous bubble marks. Proficiency levels in reading and math went up for 72 of the students, while scores for 39 students dropped, officials said.
An additional 558 blank tests were wrongly assigned scores because of a scanning glitch.
The firm said it has changed its scanner technology and put in place new controls to prevent errors.
Molokai landfill cleanup finished
Contractors completed the removal of old munitions from the Molokai landfill.
According to a news release, Democratic U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye said an environmental restoration company contracted by the Army Corps of Engineers found approximately 670 pieces of munitions debris. None contained explosives, Inouye said. "The successful cleanup means the Molokai landfill is safe; it does not pose a threat to the community."
The munitions debris packed in containers will be shipped to Long Beach, Calif., where it will be sent to a recycling plant to be smelted. The munitions were first discovered in the landfill four months ago. In September, American Technologies Inc. was awarded a contract of nearly $185,500 to conduct the cleanup and removal.
Police, Fire, Courts
Mo-ped driver, 17, injured in accident
A 17-year-old boy was in critical condition after his mo-ped collided with a truck late Tuesday night.
At about 11:15 p.m. the boy was makai-bound at a high rate of speed on Kalihi Street, with the headlight turned off, police said. A 2001 Ford F-150 pickup truck, driven by a 48-year-old Kalihi man, was headed mauka and making a left turn onto Kaumualii Street when it collided with the mo-ped, police said.
The boy, from Kalihi, suffered head, limb and internal injuries and was taken in critical condition to the Queen's Medical Center. The truck driver was not injured, and police determined that speed, alcohol or drugs were not factors on his part.
Police said speed was a factor on the part of the boy, and investigators are trying to determine whether alcohol or drugs were also factors. The boy was not wearing a helmet, police said.
Suspect is sought in carjack attempt
Police are looking for a man who allegedly attempted to rob a woman at the Waipahu Don Quijote parking lot Dec. 12.
Police said the woman was sitting in her vehicle when an unknown man allegedly approached her and pushed her into the passenger seat and tried to drive away.
The victim screamed for help, and a passer-by pulled the man from the vehicle, police said. The man then fled before police arrived.
He is described as in his 20s, 6 feet tall, 195 pounds, with short brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
Jewelry swiped in home invasion
Police are looking for a man who allegedly tied up a Kaneohe man during a gunpoint robbery at the victim's home.
Police said the suspect went into the victim's home on Malio Place at about 3 p.m. Tuesday brandishing a black handgun. Then tied up the victim and took jewelry from the home before fleeing, police said.
Police described the suspect as being in his late 20s or early 30s, with light-colored hair and sideburns. He is about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark blue T-shirt and black battle dress uniform and military-style pants.