Homeless's gear fills 5 trucks
After numerous complaints of illegal activity and filth, about a dozen deputy sheriffs cleared a small area in Iwilei yesterday where dozens of homeless people lived.
About 45 homeless people had lived at the site behind a concrete barrier at the fork of Nimitz Highway and Iwilei Road since the latter part of last year.
Louise Kim McCoy, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety, said the state received complaints last month about criminal activity as well as people "urinating and defecating in public."
"This became a health and safety issue," said Scott Ishikawa, spokesman for the Department of Transportation.
Deputy sheriffs arrested four men at the site Thursday on suspicion of drug-related offenses and outstanding warrants. Two days later, deputies gave the homeless trespass warnings and a 48-hour notice to gather their belongings and vacate the area. They also contacted several social service agencies to help the homeless relocate.
About 15 homeless people were in the area early yesterday when sheriffs and crew members from the state Department of Transportation arrived to remove makeshift tents and items left behind. McCoy said everyone cooperated and that there were no arrests.
Five dump truck loads of tents and belongings were cleared by the state.
Murray becomes Maui fire chief
WAILUKU » An 18-year veteran of the Maui County Fire Department has become its new chief.
Jeffrey A. Murray, 42, was selected yesterday by the county Fire and Public Safety Commission. Murray succeeds Fire Chief Carl Kaupalolo, who retired in December.
Murray served as leader for the department's team dispatched to Kauai to assist in rescue and recovery efforts after the Ka Loko dam disaster in 2006.
He has worked in 12 of the county's 14 fire districts and participated in the rescue of two people after 36 hours at sea. He served for six years in the Air Force as a member of its crash and structural crew.
Power goes out in Hawaii Kai
Hawaiian Electric Co. was investigating yesterday what triggered an afternoon power failure that hit most of Hawaii Kai.
The power went out at about 3:40 p.m. The utility was able to restore it to most people within 15 minutes, HECO spokesman Darren Pai said.
"There were still some customers that we didn't get to until 4:20 p.m. or so," he said.
Web site details highway work
The state Department of Transportation has set up a Web site with information for its upcoming project to improve Kamehameha Highway from near the Pearl City Sam's Club to Hickam Air Force Base.
The project is in the final stages of the design phase and will improve safety, aesthetics and traffic flow along a 5.2-mile stretch of highway from Waihona Street to Center Drive, according to a news release.
The Web site is at www.kamehamehahighwayimprovements.org.
Information on public meetings and progress will be posted on the Web site.
Police, Fire, Courts
Egging suspect caught in sting
A 17-year-old Saint Louis School student involved in an alleged drive-by egg-throwing in Kailua was arrested Friday night in a prostitution sting in Chinatown, according to police sources.
The student was arrested at about 8 p.m. for soliciting a female undercover police officer, the sources said. Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Yu declined to comment on the arrest, citing privacy laws protecting minors.
Saint Louis spokeswoman Jodi-Anne Yoshida said the school was investigating the arrest and that it planned to release a statement today.
The teenager is among four Saint Louis students suspected of throwing eggs at the Lanikai home of former Bishop Estate trustee Gerard Jervis on the night of March 7.
Jervis, who is accused of driving after the sport utility vehicle carrying the students and ramming it against a wire on a telephone pole, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree criminal property damage, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Arson suspected in equipment fire
Kau police are investigating an arson case in which heavy equipment valued at $50,000 was destroyed.
Police said a Caterpillar Grade All was intentionally set on fire and burned to the ground on Maia Road above Pahala between 5 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. yesterday.
Anyone with information is asked to call officer Clayton Tayamen at 939-2520.
Man, 19, arrested after sex assault
A 19-year-old Kailua man was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at a Kailua business Saturday morning.
According to police, the man allegedly restrained the girl and sexually assaulted her around 4 a.m. Saturday. The girl reported the incident, and the man was arrested later on suspicion of second-degree assault.
83-year-old driver dies in collision
An 83-year-old man was killed yesterday afternoon when his car crossed the center line on Kamehameha Highway near Kualoa Ranch and crashed head-on with a van.
Police said the crash occurred at 2:52 p.m.
The 51-year-old female driver of the van was in serious condition and taken to the Queen's Medical Center.