High seas keep Superferry in port
WAILUKU » The Hawaii Superferry canceled Wednesday's and yesterday's trips between Oahu and Maui due to rough seas -- the sixth time it has had to postpone travel for weather-related reasons since it resumed operation on Dec. 13.
But Superferry spokeswoman Lori Abe said the interisland passenger carrier planned to resume today, pending weather conditions.
Abe said Superferry officials expected occasional rough seas during the winter.
"They definitely anticipated it," Abe said. "That's why they originally planned to launch in the summer."
Ocean conditions for Maui County waters were expected to take a turn for the worse today.
Seas that were 10 to 15 feet yesterday were expected to rise to heights of 12 to 18 feet today, according to Maui Civil Defense.
Meanwhile, damage was minor to a barge at Kahului Harbor that helps to transport vehicles on and off the Superferry, said Michael Formby, the state transportation deputy director in charge of harbors.
Formby said cracking has been detected between the fenders and barge that face the stern of the Superferry.
He said state officials plan to remove the fenders because they actually serve no function and do not come into contact with the Superferry. Formby said state officials were seeking the Coast Guard's permission to modify the barge and remove the fenders.
Damaged rubber fenders on the pier and barge caused a postponement of the relaunch of the Superferry on Dec. 1.
Unusually high waves pulled mooring posts from the pier on Dec. 3, again delaying the relaunch.
Water ruins mail after air crash
U.S. Postal Service officials determined the mail recovered from Monday's plane crash several miles off Kauai was not deliverable, according to a spokesman.
Mail in 45 bags that were retrieved was "heavily waterlogged and contaminated" with fuel, said spokesman Duke Gonzales.
The recovered mail bags represented 25 percent of the mail that was on the flight to Lihue from Honolulu. Pilot Paul Akita was en route to Lihue on a Beechcraft 1900 twin-engine turboprop early Monday when the aircraft made a quick descent sometime after 5:08 a.m. The aircraft was due to arrive at Lihue Airport at 5:15 a.m. The Coast Guard suspended its search for Akita on Tuesday.
Gonzales said most of the mail was priority mail and not insured. The Postal Service pays loss or damage claims for mail that is insured, registered, COD or Express Mail. Shippers can file a claim with the U.S. Postal Service for such mail items 21 days after the mailing date. Proof of mailing and loss and evidence of value are needed by the shipper when filing a claim.
Firms sullied air, state charges
The Clean Air Branch of the state Department of Health has issued notices of violation against TRI-L Construction Inc. of Kaunakakai and Kalaka Nui Inc. of Oahu.
Both companies have 20 days to contest the order. The state alleges that the companies violated regulations that help control dust emissions from quarrying and stone processing plants.
TRI-L Construction was cited for failing to conduct a "source performance test" for its stone quarrying and processing plant in 2006 and for not checking visible emissions as required on two diesel engine generators. It faces a penalty of $2,900.
Kalaka Nui is accused of failing to conduct its 2006 source performance test for its crushing and screening plants on Oahu, and faces a $3,500 penalty.
The annual performance tests ensure compliance with state and federal rules on dust and smoke, and help protect the public's right to breathe clean air, according to the Health Department.
Jeffries' memorial open to public
The public will be allowed to attend the memorial services tonight at Diamond Head Mortuary for Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Victor Jeffries, who died Dec. 31 in Kuwait from injuries he received in a vehicle accident.
Visitation will be 4 to 6 p.m. with the memorial service for Jeffries, a Navy reservist, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Jeffries, of Brooklyn, N.Y., will be buried at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.
Jeffries was injured Dec. 24 in a vehicular accident. He was a Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group reservist who was mobilized for a six-month deployment. He was a teacher and coach at Farrington High School.
Police, Fire, Courts
Alleged bank robber winds up in custody
Police arrested a 20-year-old man yesterday who allegedly robbed the Waipahu branch of American Savings Bank last Friday.
Police said the man presented a demand note to a teller and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.
The suspect was found yesterday afternoon and arrested on suspicion of second-degree robbery. Police said federal charges are pending.
Bus-stop heist gets boy, 16, in trouble
Police arrested a 16-year-old boy who allegedly robbed another teenager at a bus stop.
Police said that at about 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, two 16-year-old boys approached a 15-year-old boy at a bus stop in Ewa Beach.
The suspect allegedly demanded money and took cash and the victim's hat. The other 16-year-old allegedly took the victim's backpack. The first suspect then punched the victim in the face, police said. The victim then ran away. A witness recognized the first suspect, police said. Officers found the boy at his home later and arrested him on suspicion of second-degree robbery.
The second suspect had not been arrested.
Video of sex act lands man in jail
Police arrested an 18-year-old man who allegedly secretly videotaped himself having sex with a teenage girl.
A 17-year-old girl reported that on Oct. 5 the suspect surreptitiously video-recorded a consensual sexual encounter with her, police said. The suspect allegedly slapped the victim during an argument afterward.
The suspect was arrested Wednesday on Dole Street on suspicion of first-degree abuse, first-degree violation of privacy and third-degree assault.
Girl, 11, calls stepfather abuser
A 36-year-old man is accused of sexually assaulting his 11-year-old stepdaughter.
Police said the girl reported being sexually assaulted by her stepfather. The alleged incidents occurred from October through Wednesday at their Liliha-area home.
The man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault and three counts of third-degree sexual assault.