Meal program nears funding goal
The Lanakila Meals on Wheels programs has nearly reached its goal to continue delivery for the rest of its fiscal year, which ends in June.
The group announced a $350,000 shortfall in its $1.7 million budget this summer, but the group said yesterday it has only $10,000 left to raise to deliver meals.
Volunteers supporting the program will deliver a meal to about 800 senior citizens this Christmas. More than 200 volunteers will be cooking the meals.
Honolulu-bound flight turns back
A United Airlines plane bound for Honolulu turned around and returned to San Francisco Airport on Thursday after the captain reported a possible electrical malfunction.
Its 348 passengers took another plane a few hours later and arrived in Hawaii Thursday evening.
The original flight left San Francisco at 9:15 a.m. and was nearly an hour into its flight when the captain decided to turn around, landing at San Francisco at 11:38 a.m. The second plane departed at about 2:30 p.m.
Post offices set to close early
All but two post offices across the state will be open for business on Christmas Eve, but 45 offices will shorten their public service hours on Monday, according to the U.S. Postal Service.
Regular mail delivery out of those offices for Monday will be unaffected by the changes. The final collection of mail from all blue collection boxes on Monday will occur at noon, postal officials said. Most of the offices with early closures will be closing at 2 p.m. Specific hours will be posted at each site.
Commercial customers should check with their Bulk Mail Acceptance Unit for Monday's hours of operation.
All post offices will be closed Tuesday. Express Mail will be delivered in major cities on Tuesday, and regular mail delivery will resume Wednesday.
Two small postal facilities serving Pearl Harbor Naval Air Station will be closed Monday and do not provide delivery service.
ACLU hires senior staff attorney
Daniel M. Gluck, an associate in the law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing, is joining the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii in the new position of senior staff attorney, the organization announced.
Vanessa Chong, the ACLU of Hawaii's executive director, also said that Lois Perrin, the group's legal director, who was scheduled to step down on May 1, will remain in that post for at least another year.
Gluck received his B.S. in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and graduated from Harvard Law School in 2003, the ACLU said. He has worked as a clerk for state Supreme Court Justice James Duffy and U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright.
Police, Fire, Courts
Ramming of car brings indictment
An Oahu grand jury indicted a 40-year-old Punchbowl man Thursday for allegedly ramming a stolen pickup truck into a Honolulu police car.
Kevin Anthony of Lusitana Street remains in custody on $100,000 bail charged with first-degree assault against a law enforcement officer, first-degree criminal property damage and first-degree terroristic threatening.
The grand jury also charged Anthony with second-degree theft, unauthorized possession of confidential information, auto theft and unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
Police said the pickup truck Anthony used to crash into the police car on Dec. 12 was stolen, and they found items stolen from a car break-in at Kualoa Regional Park in the truck. Police cornered Anthony on Kahe/kili Highway after receiving a report about the break-in.
Man accused of hit-and-run
A 64-year-old Aiea man was indicted by an Oahu grand jury Thursday in connection with a hit-and-run accident that left a 41-year-old pedestrian permanently injured.
Francis Takara faces trial for allegedly failing to stop at the scene of the Sept. 14, 2006, collision.
Police said Takara was driving east on Farrington Highway near Pupumomi Street in Waipahu when he struck Chris McGhiey, who was not in a crosswalk. Police said Takara drove his vehicle another 700 feet and fled on foot. The officer who arrested him said he smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Takara's breath.
Records indicate that Takara had his driver's license suspended, then revoked in January 2003 after he was found guilty of drunken driving.
Speed and alcohol factor into fatality
Big Island police said speed and alcohol were factors in a car crash that killed a Pahoa woman early yesterday.
Ainalani A. Kanekoa, 23, was driving a 1997 Toyota pickup truck when she crossed the center line, ran off the road and hit a tree, police said. Officers responded to a 2:13 a.m. call of an accident near the 2-mile marker on Route 132 (Pahoa-Kapoho Road). Kanekoa was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 4:50 a.m.
It was the Big Island's 37th traffic fatality this year compared with 33 last year.
Anyone with information on the accident is asked to call officer Robert Pauole at 961-8119.
Fire forces condo residents to flee
Residents of a 33-story downtown apartment building evacuated last night because of a kitchen fire in one unit.
A fire official said a stove was left unattended at the Maunakea Towers, 1245 Maunakea St., Apartment 2306, and caused smoke that filled the apartment and hallway. No one was home at the time of the fire, 7:33 p.m.
Some residents expressed concern that some elderly neighbors did not evacuate and did not heed fire warnings. Fire officials said they did not officially evacuate anyone and that the residents evacuated on their own, overseen by building security.
Police arrest man in house break-in
Police arrested a 24-year-old man who allegedly broke into a Hawaii Kai house while the residents were home.
Police said the break-in happened at about 2 p.m. Thursday. When the residents saw the suspect, he fled, police said. Later that night a witness at the home saw the suspect nearby and called police, who arrested the man on suspicion of unlawful entry into a home.