Windshield cracks, plane returns
A United Airlines planeload of passengers headed to Kauai on Tuesday had to return to Los Angeles when the pilot reported a crack in the windshield 45 minutes after taking off.
The 140 passengers on board took another United flight and arrived on Kauai at 10:40 p.m., almost five hours after they were due to get in, said United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy.
She said it was unclear what caused the crack, which did not affect air pressure in the cabin of the Boeing 757. The incident is being investigated.
"We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and did everything we could to get them to their destination as quickly and safely as possible," McCarthy said.
Flight 69 had taken off at 1:45 p.m. from Los Angeles, and it turned around at 2:30 p.m., right after the crack developed in the windshield, the airline said.
Camera aims at stars' planets
HILO » A group at Japan's Subaru Telescope on Mauna Kea has created a camera that they hope will allow astronomers to see planets around nearby stars for the first time.
The HiCIAO (High Contrast Instrument for the Subaru Next Generation Adaptive Optics) achieved its "first light," or first usable observation, on Dec. 3, the observatory said.
The camera has to operate with improved adaptive optics in order to hope to see the distant planets, said Subaru astronomer Ryuji Suzuki, who worked on the camera, under development since 2004. The University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy has also assisted.
Astronomers around the world have already detected more than 250 planets around other stars, but all have been detected indirectly -- by gravitational effects, for instance.
A tenfold increase in sensitivity is expected from the upgraded adaptive optics, which work by detecting disturbances in the atmosphere.
Fatal crash leads to indictment
An Oahu grand jury indicted the driver of a car that crossed the center line Oct. 22, 2006, and hit a Civil Defense siren pole on Farrington Highway in Mokuleia, killing his 18-year-old passenger and injuring another.
Keanan Tantog was indicted on one count of manslaughter and one count of second-degree assault in the 2:40 a.m. crash in which his passenger Bobby Gouveia was killed and another passenger injured.
Gouveia was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple injuries.
Tantog was indicted with manslaughter for Gouveia's death. He was also indicted on a second-degree assault charge for serious or substantial bodily injury to Alexander Kinney, then a minor.
Tantog, then 18, was in stable condition after the crash.
Police said speeding and alcohol were factors in the crash.
Police, Fire, Courts
Rifle-toting robber hits store in Kailua
Police are looking for a man who robbed a market and sandwich shop while armed with what appeared to be a semiautomatic rifle last night near Kailua Beach.
Police said the man, in his late 20s or early 30s, entered Kalapawai Market on Kalaheo Avenue at about 7:35 p.m.
Brandishing a rifle, he demanded money and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.
The man was caught on surveillance video, and there were several witnesses, police said.
The man is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall and 200 pounds, with dark hair and a dark complexion.
He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head, a green camouflage jacket and white shorts and slippers.
Charley's Restaurant and Bar in Paia, Maui, was closed yesterday after a fire that caused an estimated $350,000 in damage to the structure and its contents.
Late-night blaze damages Charley's
PAIA, Maui » The parking lot and restaurant of Charley P. Woofer Saloon on Maui remained closed yesterday after a fire that caused an estimated $350,000 in damage to the structure and its contents.
The popular establishment, also known as Charley's Restaurant and Bar, is a favorite stop for country singer Willie Nelson, who occasionally has performed there.
Fire officials were continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze, which was in the dining area. It was extinguished in an hour and 46 minutes after it was reported at 12:56 a.m. Tuesday, county officials said.
Motorcycle, rider fall from viaduct
A motorcyclist was critically injured yesterday after he and his motorcycle plunged from the H-1 airport onramp onto the road below.
Police dispatch said the accident occurred at about 3:21 p.m.
Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department, said the man was taken in critical condition to the Queen's Medical Center.
The motorcyclist and his motorcycle landed in front of the Chevron Service Station on Paiea Street and North Nimitz Highway.
Resident smacks suspect with bat
Police arrested a burglary suspect after he was knocked to the ground by a homeowner wielding a baseball bat.
Police said the homeowner, 37, was awakened at about 11:20 Tuesday morning by a noise in his living room. He saw the suspect with a screwdriver climbing in through a window with the three bottom louvers removed, police said.
Police said the suspect crawled back out, but the victim, in his underwear, grabbed a baseball bat and gave chase. After about a block, the suspect spun around and allegedly threatened the victim with the screwdriver.
The victim then hit the suspect with the bat.
Police took the suspect, 37, to a hospital for treatment and later arrested him on suspicion of first-degree burglary and first-degree terroristic threatening.
Thieves in Waipahu take half-ton safe
Police are looking for thieves who stole a 1,000-pound safe from a Waipahu bakery and restaurant sometime Christmas night.
Police said someone broke into the Golden Coin Bake Shop and Restaurant at 94-300 Farrington Highway and took the safe sometime between 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and 4:30 a.m. yesterday.