Utilities ease game outage threat
Hawaiian Electric Co. and Oceanic Time Warner Cable officials say they have taken steps to minimize the possibility of an interruption in service during today's Sugar Bowl.
Oceanic has purchased some additional backup equipment since last month's power failure on Oahu, said Alan Pollock, the company's vice president for marketing. "We're in better shape today than in the last power outage," he said.
Pollock said during the last outage, Oceanic ran on backup power, but the backup failed. When electricity was restored, Oceanic's systems experienced power surges that damaged equipment, he said.
If an interruption is caused by damage to one or more of its utility poles, Oceanic will send crews to make necessary repairs. If the interruption is caused by a power failure, Oceanic has to rely on the electric company to make repairs to its own system, Pollock said.
Hawaiian Electric has scheduled additional troubleshooters and service crews today to respond to outages or other problems with Oahu's electric system, said HECO spokesman Darren Pai.
"Given the weather we've experienced lately, unexpected problems may still occur," Pai said. "We've taken every precaution possible and will respond quickly should any problems develop."
Isle petty officer dies in Kuwait
A naval petty officer from Hawaii who was serving in Kuwait died yesterday after a vehicle accident last week, the Pentagon announced.
Petty Officer 1st Class Victor W. Jeffries, 52, of Honolulu died as a result of injuries suffered Christmas Eve in a vehicular accident in Kuwait, according to the Defense Department announcement yesterday. Details of the accident were not provided.
Jeffries was assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, Kuwait.
Sewage flows into Kailua Bay
The state advised swimmers yesterday to avoid the water at Enchanted Lake and Kailua Bay because of a sewage spill.
The Department of Health posted warning signs after learning that 13,500 gallons of raw sewage had spilled at about 1 a.m. from a manhole at Keolu and Hele streets, officials said.
The spill, caused by storm water that entered the sewer lines, flowed into Kailua Bay through Kaelepulu Stream. The problem was fixed at 5:30 a.m., the city said.
Diamond Head trail work funded
The state has released $4.4 million for design and construction of improvements to the Diamond Head State Monument trail system.
The work includes stabilizing hillsides and slopes adjacent to the trail, improving narrow corridors and other sections that have deteriorated and installing safer stairways and wider walkways at the two lookouts halfway up the trail and at the summit. Plans also include building a loop trail connecting the summit lookout and the rest-stop landing at the top of the pedestrian tunnel.
The state plans to begin the 12-month construction in February 2009.
Police, Fire, Courts
Firefighters clear flooded canal
Firefighters used shovels to clear the Kaelepulu Canal early yesterday morning in response to homes being flooded in the Kawailoa Road area in Kailua, said fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
Firefighters also began pumping water from two flooded houses at about 2:20 a.m. yesterday, while residents of other homes declined assistance.
Seelig said the contents of the homes were damaged.
The canal was blocked by a sandbar, so firefighters shoveled sand to allow the water to flow to the ocean.
Once the water receded, it could run into storm drains, Seelig said.
Firefighters used portable pumps to clear any standing water remaining.
The city's Environmental Services and Facilities Maintenance departments also assisted.
American Red Cross volunteers provided meals to the firefighters.
Robber strikes downtown bank
Police are looking for a man who robbed a downtown Honolulu bank yesterday.
The man entered the First Hawaiian Bank at 2 N. King St. at 12:05 p.m. yesterday. He handed the teller a note demanding money, police said. The man fled on foot and was last seen heading north on Nuuanu Avenue.
The man is described as between 20 to 30 years of age, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, with a black mustache and goatee. He wore a black "Lion King" design T-shirt, black jeans and a beige baseball cap.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
Rising water traps men under bridge
Firefighters rescued two homeless men who were stranded under a bridge on Nuuanu Avenue after heavy rain flooded a stream early yesterday morning.
The men were sleeping on a 2-foot-wide ledge under the bridge, which they were using as shelter. The stream, near the Chevron gas station on Pauoa Road, filled with rapidly rising water and trapped the men.
A neighbor heard their calls for help and called 911 shortly before 2 a.m., said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig. "The water was covering the edges of the walkway so they couldn't move without getting swept away," Seelig said.
Firefighters propelled themselves down the bridge using ropes to help the men. The men refused medical treatment when they were safely back on ground at about 4:15 a.m., Seelig said.
Pedestrian injured when car hits her
A 65-year-old woman was injured yesterday morning when a car struck her as she walked in a crosswalk on Liliha Street.
At 11:15 a.m. a bus dropped off a group of riders on Liliha Street across from the Hawaii Medical Center. They began to cross the street when a car heading makai on Liliha Street struck the woman, who was walking ahead of the group, said Amber Kekahu, 20, who was walking behind her.
A firetruck heading mauka to the Nuuanu station was behind the bus, and firefighters immediately helped the woman, said fire spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig. The firefighters brought her to the Hawaii Medical Center.
The woman was alert and conscious, Seelig said, though he did not know the extent of her injuries.
A woman at the scene said her father was the driver and failed to see the woman because the bus was blocking his view. The daughter, who declined to give her name, said her father was on his way to his home in the neighborhood.
Man allegedly attacks girlfriend
A 34-year-old Kalihi man was arrested Sunday for allegedly strangling his girlfriend.
At 4:10 p.m., police said, the couple were arguing when the man allegedly strangled her. His girlfriend, 28, ran away from their home on Ahonui Street and went to the Kalihi Police Station.
Her boyfriend was arrested on suspicion of abusing a household member.
Teen is accused in alleged break-in
A 14-year-old boy was arrested Sunday after a 22-year-old woman woke up and found him in her bedroom, police said.
At about 4:45 a.m. the woman woke up in her Honolulu residence and saw the boy before he fled, police said. Police found and arrested the teen on suspicion of first-degree burglary. He was released later pending investigation.
Man allegedly fires a gun into the air
A 20-year-old Nanakuli man was arrested for allegedly firing three gunshots into the air while searching for another man in Waianae on Sunday.
At about 4 p.m. the man stopped in front of a Waianae home allegedly looking for a man who had stolen his vehicle a few weeks ago, police said. A 49-year-old man at the home said the person he was looking for was not there. The suspect left and returned about 30 minutes later, police said.
He allegedly approached the home, raised a black handgun and fired three rounds into the air before fleeing. Police located him a short time later and arrested him at his home on Kaleiwohi Street.
Police found a gun after the man told them its location. He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree reckless endangering and keeping a firearm.
Purse snatching sparks long chase
Police arrested a 36-year-old man for allegedly stealing a woman's purse Sunday, prompting a police chase from the North Shore to Pearl City.
A 56-year-old woman was sitting in a rental car at a North Shore beach park at 11:40 a.m. when a man allegedly reached into an open window and grabbed her handbag. He allegedly punched her arm for her to let go.
The man, with no local address, then allegedly ran to a nearby car and fled. A police helicopter located the car speeding out of the North Shore area. The helicopter followed the car into an abandoned parking lot in Pearl City.
A witness told police three men ran from the car. Police located a man matching the suspect's description on Waimano Home Road and found the items allegedly taken in the robbery. The woman's bag was in his car, police said. He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree robbery.
Man found dead at Kauai campsite
ANINI, Kauai » A homeless man was found dead in a stream next to a popular camping area Sunday morning by passers-by. No foul play is suspect, county officials said.
Floyd Pettus-Spradlin, 51, was found face down in the stream next to Anini Beach Park at around 7:30 a.m.
The cause of death is pending autopsy results, county officials said.