Volcano fumes keep park closed
HILO » Hawaii Volcanoes National Park remained closed yesterday, and nearby communities remained on high alert due to elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, officials said.
Officials remained hopeful that a return of normal tradewinds would blow the gas away from most populated areas beginning tomorrow.
In the park, ranger Joe Molhoek called the conditions "stagnant."
The park has been closed since Wednesday, although the Kilauea Military Camp recreation facility has remained open. At nearby Jaggar Museum and park headquarters, conditions remained at "unhealthy" levels from about noon to 3 p.m. yesterday, according to park system data.
Hawaii County Civil Defense advised that conditions in Volcano Golf and Country Club Estates were in "red" status, the second-highest warning level. Volcano Village and nearby communities were in "orange" status, one step down from red.
Zoo to celebrate Earth Day
The Honolulu Zoo will hold a celebration called "Earth Day 2008 -- Party for the Planet" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow. Activities will be held by Adopt-a-Beach Hawaii, Board of Water Supply, Department of Land and Natural Resources' Aquatics Division, Hawaii Audubon Society, Kualoa Ranch, Oahu Invasive Species, Opala.org, Sea Life Park, the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species and Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative.
Free ice cream will be provided to the public.
Police, Fire, Courts
Driver cited after hitting overpass
The driver of a tractor-trailer was cited yesterday morning when part of his load struck the Gulick Street overpass while traveling east on Moanalua Freeway, police said.
Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa said it was the third time in the last two months the Gulick Street overpass had been hit. The overpass had been repaired two days prior to a March 21 incident in which a heavy load scraped the bottom.
The overpass sustained minor damage during the 9:30 a.m. accident yesterday, police said. Traffic was not affected, police said.
Ishikawa said the Island Topsoil Services truck was hauling a 10-foot container when a metal counterweight used to balance the load hit the overpass. A state inspector determined the trailer's load exceeded by six inches the maximum height allowable by law, police said. Anything over 14 feet requires a permit, and the overpass is 14 feet 3 inches high, Ishikawa said.
Drivers of heavy loads must obtain a DOT permit.
Police said the 2006 Kenworth 40-foot trailer had an out-of-state license.
Boat runs aground in Kauai bay
HANALEI, Kauai » An unoccupied 30-foot sailboat ran aground in the sand in Hanalei Bay at about 1 p.m. yesterday and remained there at least until dusk.
According to county officials, Hanalei lifeguards became concerned about the sailboat, which was adrift and getting closer to shore. Firefighters and rescue specialists responded and tried to move the boat with a motorized rubber raft but were unable to do so.
As of last night it was stuck about 300 to 400 yards west of the Hanalei pier, county officials added. A small, relatively out-of-season northwest swell arrived yesterday afternoon, likely helping cause the accident.
Maui motorcyclist dies after collision
WAILUKU » A Maui man died Wednesday night after the motorcycle he was driving collided with another vehicle near the county landfill in Puunene.
Charles A. Pfirrman, 48, of Haiku died at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Pfirrman was traveling northwest on Pulehu Road when a pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction failed to yield the right of way and turned left into his path, police traffic investigator Dawn Danley said.
Danley said Pfirrman was not wearing a helmet when the crash occurred at 6:54 p.m.
Pfirrman's death is the eighth traffic fatality this year in Maui County compared with four at the same time last year.
Hilo man allegedly runs over victim
Big Island authorities charged a 29-year-old Hilo man Wednesday night with attempted second-degree murder for allegedly running over a man with his vehicle.
Police arrested Anousack Hamilton after he apparently hit a 23-year-old Hilo man Wednesday evening with his vehicle.
Police said the victim had obvious significant injuries to his waist and legs. He sustained numerous pelvic fractures and multiple fractures in both legs, police said.
The incident occurred in the parking lot of a business on Kalanianaole Street near "Ice Pond."
Hamilton's bail was set at $100,000.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call Detective Reed Mahuna at 961-2384.
Man is sought in attack at park
Big Island police are looking for witnesses to an assault at Leleiwi Beach Park in Hilo on Monday.
A 60-year-old man reported he was cutting grass near the pavilion parking lot near the pond between noon and 1 p.m. when he was confronted by a man who threw a stick and rocks at him, starting a fight.
The suspect is described as a man about 40 years old, around 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 240 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He had tattoos on both arms.
Anyone with information is asked to call officer Aaron Loges at 961-8851 or police at 935-3311.
Dropped shotgun leads to arrest
Police have arrested a 22-year-old man who allegedly fired a shotgun outside a Waianae home after his brother was assaulted.
Police said the suspect's brother was assaulted in school by several other boys. Police said the suspect armed himself with two shotguns and drove at about 1 p.m. Monday to the Waianae home where the boys live.
At the home, the suspect fired two rounds into the air and pointed the weapons at one of the residents, police said. When the suspect could not find the boys, he left but dropped one of his shotguns on the street.
Police traced the shotgun back to the suspect, then arrested him on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening, second-degree reckless endangering and firearm violations.