Dwellings survive in face of lava
HILO » A calm attitude in the face of oncoming liquid rock paid off for the two solitary residents of massive Royal Gardens subdivision Tuesday when a lava flow turned eastward, away from Dean Schneider's encampment in its path.
Schneider decided to leave the island on a five-day trip, said fellow resident Jack Thompson.
Thompson himself remained happily isolated at his house in a protected western corner of the mostly abandoned subdivision.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory posted a map, based on helicopter observations, that showed the lava making a jog away from a path that could have taken it down the remnants of a paved street toward Schneider's camp.
Thompson said he checked the lava front, about 1.5 miles from his house, and found it not moving.
Thompson and Schneider go in and out of the remote area by motorcycle. Hawaii County Civil Defense has ordered the subdivision closed to the general public.
Big Isle principal placed on leave
The principal of Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School was placed on administrative leave last week as Education Department officials investigate concerns raised about him.
Paul McCarty has been on paid leave since at least last Thursday, said Valerie Takata, superintendent for the Hilo, Laupahoehoe and Waiakea complexes.
Takata said yesterday she could not comment about the case, citing an ongoing investigation and McCarty's privacy rights as an employee.
"The concerns have been brought to my attention. ... This is why this occurred," she said.
Hilo High School Vice Principal Chad Farias has been temporarily reassigned to Laupahoehoe, a K-12 school with 200 students.
McCarty has been at Laupahoehoe for about 1 1/2 years, Takata said.
Coast Guard hauls in injured man
The Coast Guard hoisted a 28-year-old injured man from a cargo vessel south of Oahu early yesterday.
Responding to a distress call Monday, a rescue helicopter located the Norwegian-flagged motor vessel Taronga about 12 miles south of Oahu yesterday morning.
The man, who suffered a broken knee, was airlifted to Barbers Point Coast Guard Air Station, where emergency medical officials were waiting.
Organic-farming forms available
Organic farmers and handlers can apply for the National Organic Certification Program, which reimburses them for a portion of the cost of obtaining certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Applications were previously limited to one award per company during the four-year grant period that began in 2004, according to a state Agriculture Department news release. However grant funds are still available, and applications for additional certification costs that have been incurred during the grant period are now being accepted.
Forms can be downloaded online at www.hawaii.gov.
Venus and Jupiter to light up sky
Venus and Jupiter will be the two brightest objects in the eastern sky as they pass close by each other at about 6 a.m. tomorrow, said Carolyn Kaichi, Bishop Museum Planetarium manager.
They can be seen in the same field of view with a pair of binoculars, near a small crescent moon, she said. "It will be a nice sight to see."
Police, Fire, Courts
Suspect sought in Hilo bar brawl
Big Island police are looking for a 26-year-old Puna man wanted in connection with two assaults at a bar in the Hilo industrial area Sunday morning.
He is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, 230 pounds, with a heavy build, brown eyes and short brown hair.
Police said a large group of rowdy individuals were challenging others in the crowd to fight.
Officers used a Taser to subdue two Puna men, ages 28 and 25, who were arrested for investigation of second-degree assault.
Police charged the 28-year-old, Jarrett Labrador, with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct. He was released on bail. The other man was released pending further investigation.
One 33-year-old man, a patron of the bar, sustained multiple fractures to his lower jaw, and his 40-year-old sister received a deep cut to her face, police said.
Anyone with information concerning the incident or the whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call Detective Robert Hatton at 961-2380 or the nonemergency police number at 935-3311. Anonymous calls can be made to 961-8300 (Hilo) or 329-8181 (Kona).
Woman found on Kalihi road dies
A woman in her 30s died early yesterday after she was found lying in the middle of a street in Kalihi below the H-1 freeway.
Police received a call at 3:42 a.m. about a woman walking in the Koko Head direction on the Waianae-bound side of the H-1 near the Vineyard Boulevard/Halona Street onramp. It was unclear whether she was in a lane of traffic or on the shoulder.
Shortly afterward, police received a call about a woman lying in the middle of Halona Street. Police said the woman apparently fell from the freeway onto Halona Street. Preliminary investigation revealed no signs that the woman was hit by a vehicle, police said.
The woman, who has not yet been identified, was taken in critical condition to the Queen's Medical Center, where she later died. Police said they found no witnesses. The case has been classified as an unattended death.
Apparent jumper shuts H-1 lanes
Police shut down westbound lanes of the H-1 freeway last night after someone apparently jumped off the Liliha overpass.
Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the Emergency Services Department, said a man in his 50s was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.
Police diverted traffic off the freeway at the School Street and Vineyard offramps after the 7:19 p.m. incident. Police shut down the Punchbowl, School Street and Lunalilo onramps. Lanes were reopened at about 8:30 p.m.
Man is arrested in August robbery
Police arrested a 52-year-old man with no local address for investigation of first-degree robbery.
Police said the suspect brandished a dangerous instrument during a robbery in Honolulu at 10:30 p.m. Aug. 29.
The man was later identified and located. Police arrested him at Circuit Court at 9 a.m. yesterday.
Assault of girl leads to arrest
Police arrested a 36-year-old man for allegedly kicking an 8-year-old girl last month.
On Dec. 21 the suspect allegedly kicked the girl because he thought she had stolen money from her sister. The girl was taken to the hospital with a broken elbow.
The man was arrested Tuesday in Ewa Beach on suspicion of second-degree assault.
Copter to drop water on blaze
A fire helicopter was scheduled to begin water drops at first light this morning at a Makakilo brush fire, which began at 6:34 p.m. yesterday.
The fire was not threatening any homes at 9:30 p.m., and the Fire Department had one engine keeping watch overnight, said fire Capt. Earle Kealoha.
Residents reported hearing an explosion and some brush burning, he said.
Firefighters at the nearby station were alerted to the fire when power at the station went out, and suspected a downed power line.
The Fire Department did not dispatch any helicopters or companies to fight the fire because of the darkness and difficulty in accessing the fire. The blaze broke out on the opposite side of a gully from a residential neighborhood, Kealoha said.
Woman arrested in alleged theft
Police arrested an 18-year-old woman yesterday who allegedly stole an iPod from a boy a month ago.
On New Year's Eve a 14-year-old boy was sitting at a Wahiawa bus stop when the suspect approached him and stole his iPod, police said.
On Tuesday the boy saw the suspect on the North Shore and called police. The woman was arrested on suspicion of second-degree theft.