2 schools empty due to odors
KEKAHA, Kauai » Two elementary schools were evacuated yesterday after students complained about a chemical odor.
Kekaha Elementary School and St. Theresa's School, which are a few hundred yards apart, were evacuated about 12:50 p.m.
Medics examined two students at Kekaha School who complained of watery eyes. They were treated, evaluated and released to school officials, county officials said.
Police and firefighters from the Waimea station responded to the scene. They spent about an hour checking classrooms at the two schools, but they were unable to smell the reported odor or locate its origin.
It's not the first time a school on Kauai's west side has been closed due to odors.
Waimea Canyon Elementary School was closed in January after a dozen students and teachers went to the hospital due to a sickening odor on the school.
Officials said the odor came from a weed-filled field, but many in the community blamed pesticide spraying nearby. No incidents have been reported since Syngenta Seed Co., which had been leasing the field, agreed to stop spraying the field until the end of the year.
Man pleads not guilty in killing
Patrick W. Deguair Jr. has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, kidnapping and firearm charges in connection with the execution-style death of a man whose body was found near Yokohama Bay beach last month.
Circuit Judge Derrick Chan scheduled trial for June 16 after Deguair made his plea Monday. Deguair, 30, remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.
Tourists found the body of Jermaine Duckworth, 24, on rocks below a cliff near Keawaula Beach, better known as Yokohama Bay beach.
Duckworth's body had a gunshot wound to the back of the head and other injuries.
Niketown seeks used kicks
Niketown and the city are asking residents to donate their old shoes in its third annual campaign to encourage recycling and increase physical activity for youth.
The Nike Reuse-A-Shoe campaign will eliminate waste going to the landfill and the material collected could be ground to build playgrounds and courts eventually, said Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who was wearing size 15 orange and black Nike Dunks at a news conference yesterday.
Residents can drop off any brand of their old shoes at the Community Recycling Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 27 at Niketown in Waikiki. Schools are also participating in a contest to win a $1,000 equipment package. The winners will be announced at 2 p.m. that day.
The goal is to collect 30,000 pairs of shoes this year, 10,000 more than last year's results.
Residents can also participate in "Creative Kicks," a contest to turn an old shoe into artwork. Submissions will be accepted between 8 a.m. to noon, and winners will be announced at 2 p.m.
For more information, visit www.nikereuseashoe.com or call 983-5804.
Food drive kicks off around Oahu
The Hawaii Foodbank's 19th Annual Food Drive is aiming to collect 50,000 pounds of food and $450,000 in monetary donations starting April 19.
Collection points, featuring special guests and entertainment, will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at various sites around Oahu that day. Most needed are canned meats or tuna, meals, soups, fruits and vegetables.
To drop off food and funds, go to Restaurant Row, Koko Marina Center, McCully/Pearl City/Windward City Shopping Centers, Town Center of Mililani, Waianae Mall, and Waiokeola Congregational Church in Kahala.
Only food will be collected at Barbers Point and Hickam commissaries, and the Navy Exchange at Pearl Harbor.
Only monetary donations can be dropped off at "Angel Sites" Market City, The Pampered Chef in Kapolei, and KFC franchises on Keeaumoku, Oneawa, Lumianina and Paiwa streets, Kailua Road, and Kapiolani Boulevard.
Other drives will be held throughout the island until June 21 to stop the draining reserves of food at the Hawaii Foodbank, which feeds about 131,862 each year, a release said.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man in crash died from heart attack
The 37-year-old Honolulu man who was involved in a car crash on Aala Street in Chinatown Monday morning died of a heart attack, the Medical Examiner's Office said.
Kevin James Neeson was behind the wheel of a car on Aala Street at 7:57 a.m. Monday when his car rear-ended another car driven by a 36-year-old Honolulu woman.
Neeson was found unconscious and unresponsive with no apparent injuries, police said. He was taken by ambulance to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition, while the woman was also transported there in fair condition.
Neeson died at Queen's at 8:51 a.m.
Woman safe after van catches fire
WAIMEA » A rented van caught fire on Kaumualii Highway Monday night, but the driver was able to escape unharmed with the help of bystanders.
According to police, Linda Kaaumoana, a visitor from Georgia, was driving east along Kaumualii Highway about 11:10 p.m. when she began having mechanical problems with her rented van.
She pulled over near the Sacred Heart Church and called the police when she began seeing smoke and flames coming from the engine, according to county officials.
Another motorist, Raymond Duarte of Kapaa, called 911 and stopped to help Kaaumoana escape from the burning van. Then he returned to the vehicle to retrieve some of Kaaumoana's personal belongings before it was engulfed by flames.
Fire, police and medics responded to the fire, and Kaumualii Highway was closed for about 45 minutes, with traffic re-routed through the Waimea Plantation Cottages.
Coast Guard takes sick man to Kona
A Coast Guard helicopter transported a sick 22-year-old man to Kona yesterday, hoisting him up from a Gibraltar-flagged cargo vessel about 20 miles southwest of the Big Island.
The man was suffering from abdominal pain and was taken off the BBC India at about 10 a.m. yesterday onto an HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter.
He was flown directly to Kona Community Hospital.
The ship's master contacted the Coast Guard at 8 a.m. yesterday and reported the distress.