Disaster funds pegged for Hawaii
President Bush has issued a major disaster declaration for Hawaii, beginning the process of funneling federal funds to the state and counties to aid in the recovery from heavy storms early last December, a news release from U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye said.
Public assistance will be available to the state, three counties -- Hawaii, Kauai and Maui -- and some nonprofit organizations for repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities, the release said.
The state and all four counties may apply for assistance from the federal Hazard Mitigation Program to prevent or reduce long-term risk caused by natural hazards.
Accused stalker to get jury trial
A man accused of stalking two Japanese University of Hawaii students has asked for a jury trial.
Eldon Paul Cox was scheduled for a trial in District Court yesterday but demanded a jury trial instead. An arraignment was scheduled for Feb. 25 in Circuit Court.
He was charged last week with first-degree criminal trespassing as a misdemeanor and harassment as a petty misdemeanor. Cox allegedly followed two women from Ala Moana Center to the university's Manoa campus last month.
Rain dumps 5 inches an hour
The National Weather Service reported heavy rainfall over the Koolaus in Pacific Palisades last night at a rate of more than 5 inches per hour.
A flash food warning was in effect until at least 10 p.m. last night. The area of heavy rain was nearly stationary at about 6 p.m., the weather service reported.
The areas of potentially heavy rainfall last night included but were not limited to Punaluu, Waiahole, Wheeler Army Airfield, Wahiawa, Schofield Barracks, Laie, Kahuku and Hauula.
Man accuses HECO of negligence
A man, severely burned trying to rescue another man trapped inside a burning minivan after a power line fell onto it, sued Hawaiian Electric Co. yesterday.
On Nov. 28, Troy Pace Sr. saw a minivan on fire in Whitmore Village and tried to rescue the screaming person inside. But when Pace grabbed the driver's door, he collapsed and began shaking, according to a witness.
The complaint alleges the electric power line had broken, come into contact with the vehicle and "electric power flowing through the vehicle from defendant's downed power line arced or otherwise came in contact with (Pace)," causing him severe injury.
The lawsuit contends the incident resulted from HECO's negligent or otherwise wrongful acts or omissions, by failing to properly design, construct, monitor, maintain or repair the power line.
Pace suffered and will continue to suffer physical and mental pain due to extensive second- and third-degree electrical burns, disability, disfigurement, scarring and severe emotional distress, the complaint alleges.
Inouye hits 15,000-vote mark
Sen. Daniel Inouye cast his 15,000th vote in the U.S. Senate yesterday, becoming only the fourth lawmaker in history to achieve the mark.
The vote was on whether to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Inouye, an 83-year-old island Democrat, voted "yes," but the amendment failed.
Two other sitting senators have cast as many votes. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., has voted more than 18,000 times, and Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., cast his 15,000th vote in August.
The late Sen. Strom Thurmond, who served in the Senate from 1954 to 2003, voted 16,348 times.
"I am humbled and honored to have reached this special milestone, and I could only have reached it with the continued support of the people of Hawaii," Inouye said in a statement.
Inouye is currently serving his eighth Senate term. He was first elected to the chamber in 1962.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man, 23, accused of stun-gun attack
Police arrested a 23-year-old man who allegedly assaulted another man with an electric stun gun.
Police said that at about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, the suspect was sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle at Kapiolani Boulevard and Keeaumoku Street.
The passenger called over two 20-year-old men to ask for directions. Police said he zapped one of the men with a stun gun. The suspect then allegedly brandished a handgun and threatened both men.
No demands for money or property were made, police said. The man driving the car then sped off, but the car was stopped later by officers, police said.
The suspect was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, terroristic threatening and possession of electric guns. He was later released pending investigation.
Inmate alleges sexual assaults
Police are investigating an alleged rape at the Oahu Community Correctional Center.
A 31-year-old man reported that he was sexually assaulted by an inmate on Oct. 30, Nov. 11 and Dec. 20. Police said no arrests were made.
Crews douse fire at Makiki dwelling
Fire broke out at a two-story multifamily dwelling in Makiki at 7:20 a.m. yesterday, causing $225,000 in damage, the Honolulu Fire Department said.
The fire at 742 Hauoli St. badly damaged a downstairs unit. The fire was brought under control at 7:41 a.m. The cause remains under investigation.
Damage to the structure was estimated at $200,000, and $25,000 to its contents, said fire Capt. Earle Kealoha.
Hawaii Kai man accused of assault
Police arrested a 46-year-old Hawaii Kai man Tuesday who allegedly assaulted a 53-year-old man who lives in the same household, police said.
Police said the two men had gotten into a verbal argument Jan. 17 when the younger man assaulted the older man, causing him to fall unconscious.
Police arrested the 46-year-old for other offenses and arrested him later on suspicion of second-degree assault.
The case is pending further investigation.
Female pedestrian hit by car in Maili
A female pedestrian, approximately in her 70s, was struck by a vehicle in Maili yesterday evening and critically injured, according to city Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic.
The woman was thrown about 25 feet and was taken in critical condition by ambulance to the Queen's Medical Center, Cheplic said.
Police said the woman was apparently in a crosswalk when the accident occurred at 5:31 p.m. at Farrington Highway near Kaukamana Street in front of Maili Beach Park.
Police shut down the two inner lanes on Farrington Highway at Liliana Street.