Guard's dozen F-15s soar anew
Twelve Hawaii Air National Guard F-15 combat jets returned to the air yesterday after being grounded temporarily after an F-15 crashed last Friday into the ocean south of Oahu.
The pilot, Lt. Col. Christopher "Frenchy" Faurot, ejected and was pulled from the ocean by the Coast Guard.
An Air Force safety investigation board will be convened at Hickam Air Force Base and will have 30 days to conduct its work.
This was the fifth crash of an F-15 in nine months. Following the crash of a Missouri Air National Guard jet on Nov. 2, the Air Force grounded all 675 of its jets.
The Missouri Air National Guard F-15 broke apart in midair, injuring the pilot. The cause was blamed on structural problems.
The Air Force cleared 13 of the 20 F-15s flown by the Hawaii Air National Guard's 199th Fighter Squadron on Jan. 9.
Man skirts jail in airport gun case
An Ohio man who was arrested at Honolulu Airport after screeners found two loaded handguns in his checked luggage was given the opportunity yesterday to keep his criminal record clean.
Christopher Hollie, 28, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of possessing a loaded handgun. Carrying or possessing a loaded pistol or revolver is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Yesterday a state judge granted Hollie's request to defer his guilty pleas for five years. If during that time Hollie stays out of trouble and abides to conditions similar to probation, the guilty pleas will be removed from his criminal record.
State deputy sheriffs arrested Hollie Dec. 28 after U.S. Transportation Security Administration screeners spotted the loaded handguns, a .45-caliber and a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, in his checked luggage. They were wrapped in clothing.
Hollie stated that he brought the weapons with him when he arrived in Hawaii and was taking them back.
Wind power company slams utility
WAILUKU » A wind power firm on Maui wants to expand its production of electricity but says Maui Electric Co. is unwilling to purchase its additional output.
UPC Hawaii Holdings, the parent firm of Kaheawa Wind Power II, filed a complaint yesterday against Maui Electric with the state Public Utilities Commission.
UPC charged that Maui Electric is unwilling to purchase the output of 21 megawatts of additional capacity, in violation of federal law.
UPC has been operating since June 2006 at Kaheawa Pastures, where it built a 30-megawatt project.
911 callers report funnel clouds
Department of Emergency Management volunteers responded to a 911 call reporting two funnel clouds off Nanakuli at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday.
By the time volunteers got there, the twisters were gone, said John Cummings, department spokesman.
Of the unconfirmed sighting, meteorologist Ian Morrison of the National Weather Service said the funnel clouds were believed to be associated with a thunderstorm over Nanakuli and Makakilo. No details were known about the size or duration of the funnel clouds, called waterspouts when they touch down in the ocean.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the areas from 2:41 to 5:45 p.m. yesterday but canceled it. Pearl City, Waipio and Kailua were under a flood advisory.
Heavy rain caused a lot of ponding on the H-1 freeway at the Makakilo offramps, Cummings said.
Police, Fire, Courts
Pahala man ID'd as crash fatality
Big Island police identified a 67-year-old Pahala man who died Wednesday from injuries in an all-terrain vehicle crash as Roy K. Okinishi.
Okinishi was driving a Honda ATV and traveling south on Maia Camp Road above Pahala when he lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road.
Okinishi was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 10 p.m., police said.
Police said he was not wearing a helmet.
An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.
The crash occurred on private property and therefore is not included in the traffic fatality count.
This man is wanted for robbing the Pearlridge branch of American Savings Bank yesterday. He is described as in his 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and wore a black hooded sweatshirt.
Suspect sought in bank robbery
Police are looking for a man in his 20s who robbed the Pearlridge branch of American Savings Bank on Tuesday.
Police said the man walked into the bank at about 4:50 p.m. and demanded money from the teller. The suspect fled on foot toward Toys "R" Us.
He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, between 160 and 170 pounds, wearing a black hooded long-sleeved sweatshirt and long black pants.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
Woman dies after being hit by truck
An 80-year-old woman struck by a pickup truck Wednesday night in Maili died yesterday morning.
Police said she was from the Waianae area.
The woman was walking across Farrington Highway in a crosswalk when she was struck by a Dodge Ram driven by a 29-year-old woman.
She was thrown about 25 feet and suffered head and pelvic injuries, police said.
She was taken in critical condition to the Queen's Medical Center, where she died yesterday morning.
Driver, 19, found with fake license
Police arrested a 19-year-old woman who reportedly crashed her vehicle into several folding traffic barricades yesterday morning in downtown Honolulu.
The incident occurred at 4:30 a.m. on Fort Street Mall.
Responding officers found the woman had allegedly been drinking, police said.
She then presented a fake driver's license belonging to a Florida woman, police said.
Police arrested the woman on suspicion of drunken driving and unauthorized possession of confidential personal information.