Power failure hits most of Maui
WAILUKU » Power was out for an hour or longer yesterday to more than half of the customers of Maui Electric Co. on the Valley Isle.
Company spokeswoman Kaui Awai-Dickson said about 30,000 customers were affected by the outage at 1 p.m. yesterday, including Central, East and Upcountry Maui. She said besides West Maui, some small areas in other parts of the island were without power.
Awai-Dickson said Maui Electric began restoring power to parts of Central and South Maui between 2:15 and 2:20 p.m. Power was being restored to remaining areas, such as Makawao and Haiku, by late evening, she said.
Awai-Dickson said the outage began at the Kihei substation and that Maui Electric officials would be investigating the cause.
COURTESY OF THE LYOT PROJECT, AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Hawaii telescopes spot planets
Telescopes in Hawaii have helped spot 10 new planets outside the solar system and a cloud of gas and dust that could be a proto-planet in the early stages of development.
Astronomers meeting in Belfast, Northern Ireland, announced yesterday that 10 new "extrasolar" planets were found by robot cameras operating as part of the Wide Area Search for Planets program, nicknamed SuperWASP. The cameras look for planets crossing in front of their stars.
Don Pollaco of Queen's University in Belfast and colleagues used banks of cameras in the Canary Islands, South Africa, Chile, France, Australia, Arizona and Hawaii. The planets range in size from half the mass of Jupiter to eight times the size of Jupiter. The number of known exoplanets is now approaching 300.
Astrophysicists from the American Museum of Natural History, meanwhile, used an instrument called a coronagraph on the Air Force telescope on Haleakala to photograph a cloud of gas and dust around the star AB Aurigae. Museum Assistant Curator Ben Oppenheimer said the cloud seems to be coalescing into either a planet or a brown dwarf.
Police officers get promotions
Police Chief Boisse Correa announced several promotions at the Honolulu Police Department yesterday. They include:
» Maj. Randal Macadangdang will be assistant chief of the special fields operations bureau. He will oversee central receiving, homeland security, specialized services and traffic divisions. He currently commands the Waikiki district.
» Capts. Frank Fujii, Robert Green, Clayton Kau and John McEntire will be promoted to majors. Fujii will head the executive bureau, Green will command the East Honolulu district, Kau will head the narcotics and vice division and McEntire will oversee the human resources division.
» Lts. Letha DeCaires, Clyde Ho, Sean Naito, Mark Ward and Jerald Wojcik will all be promoted to captain. Ho remains in his assignment in the training division, DeCaires will work in the legislative liaison office and Naito will serve in the criminal investigations division. Ward will lead the homeland security division, and Wojcik will be on special assignment to the chief's office.
Man indicted in sex assault case
An Oahu grand jury indicted a 41-year-old man yesterday on 14 counts of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault of a teenage girl.
John Alvin Robello allegedly sexually assaulted a girl, who was at least 14 years old but less than 16, according to the indictment.
The sexual assaults allegedly occurred between Nov. 16 and Jan. 28. The alleged sexual assaults include inappropriate touching, oral sex and sexual penetration with a finger.
Robello was charged with five counts of third-degree sexual assault, eight counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of attempted first-degree sexual assault.
Police, Fire, Courts
'Police' turn out to be robbers
Police are looking for four men involved in a home invasion yesterday afternoon in Kalihi in which three people were bound in their apartment and a safe and other items were stolen.
Three unknown men entered the Bishop Gardens apartment on Dillingham Boulevard at 1:55 p.m. and identified themselves as police officers, police said. They then tied up a man, 37, and two women, ages 26 and 20, police said.
The men took a safe and other personal items from the apartment, then fled in a vehicle driven by a fourth man, said police.
The victims freed themselves and called police. The men did not display any weapons, and no one was injured.
Biker in fatal crash was Honolulu man
A 44-year-old man who died in a motorcycle crash last month has been identified as Dennis Hogan of Honolulu.
At about 9:40 p.m. March 18, Hogan was driving a motorcycle Ewa-bound on Date Street, just before Laau Street, at a high rate of speed, officials said.
Police said when Hogan tried to pass a car in front of him, his motorcycle struck the right rear corner of the car. Hogan lost control, struck a parked vehicle and was thrown from his bike, police said. He died later at the Queen's Medical Center. He was not wearing a helmet.
14-year-old faces sex assault charge
Authorities charged a 14-year-old Waianae boy Tuesday with first-degree sexual assault of a 30-year-old woman.
The boy allegedly sexually assaulted the woman sometime prior to March 18 in the Leeward area, police said.
No further details were released, including the boy's name, since he is a minor.
Service station fire is deemed arson
Fire investigators determined the fire Tuesday night at an abandoned gas station in Waipahu was intentionally set and have turned over the matter to police for arson investigation, said fire Capt. Earle Kealoha.
The burning building was located next to a care home for seniors. Two female paramedics, who happened to be passing by before any firefighters were on the scene, stopped to help evacuate 15 people, Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic said. No one was injured, he said.
Two homeless people living in the back of the abandoned building escaped without injury, said Kealoha, spokesman for the Honolulu Fire Department.
Firefighters were called to the building next to 94-1121 Waipahu St. at 9:43 p.m. It took them nearly 45 minutes to bring the fire under control, Kealoha said.
Kealoha said the building had about 10 rooms. The fire caused an estimated $120,000 in damage to the structure.
Man allegedly threatens women
Police arrested a 43-year-old man who allegedly threatened three women early Tuesday.
At about 1:45 a.m. Tuesday, the suspect allegedly threatened his 45-year-old ex-girlfriend and two of her female friends at a Waipahu home.
Police said the suspect was wielding a machete and fled on bicycle as officers arrived. The machete was recovered, and the suspect was arrested on suspicion of three counts of first-degree terroristic threatening.
Infant dies while mother sleeps
Police are investigating the death of a 5-day-old baby boy after his mother fell asleep while breast-feeding.
A 25-year-old Waikiki mother was breast-feeding the infant and fell asleep, according to police. When the woman awoke, the baby was lifeless.
The infant was transported at about 2:55 a.m. yesterday to the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, where he was pronounced dead. The case was classified as an unattended death.
An autopsy was performed yesterday, but the Medical Examiner's Office has deferred on the cause of death pending the results of toxicology reports.
Injured surfer towed from water
A fire rescue crew pulled an injured female surfer from waters off China Walls in Hawaii Kai yesterday morning.
Fire Capt. Earle Kealoha said rescue personnel found the surfer shortly after the 11:14 a.m. alarm about 50 yards off China Walls. They secured her to a buoy, then got her on a board behind a personal watercraft, Kealoha said.
After assessing her, rescue personnel transferred her to a boat and transported her to the Hawaii Kai Boat Harbor at about 12:15 p.m., Kealoha said.
She was taken by ambulance to Straub Hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries, said Bryan Cheplic, Emergency Services Department spokesman. She complained of pain to her right ribs and right shoulder, Kealoha said.