Molokai goes dark for 4 hours
Officials plan to continue investigating today the cause of last night's four-hour islandwide blackout on Molokai.
Power was cut off at about 3:50 p.m., leaving 3,200 customers in the dark.
Maui Electric Co. began restoring power at about 8 p.m. and had power back for all residents 20 minutes later, said Kaui Awai-Dickson, MECO spokeswoman.
After power had been restored, crews still did not know the cause of the outage.
"They've been in a mad rush since 4 o'clock just trying to restore. Now that the power's back up, they'll take a step back and start the investigation," Awai-Dickson said.
At one point, officials went to investigate a report of electrical lines down near Kawela, on the south side of Molokai. They found only fallen telephone lines.
Molokai's only power plant, a diesel-based plant, continued to run during the blackout. It was not the cause of the outage, which appeared to be transmission-related, Awai-Dickson said.
HCC chancellor plans retirement
Honolulu Community College Chancellor Ramsey Pedersen will retire June 30, the University of Hawaii announced.
Pedersen became chief executive officer of the Honolulu campus in 2001 after serving as acting provost for three years. He joined the college in 1973 as a faculty member.
Under Pedersen, the college developed a Construction Academy, which partnered with high schools to expand apprenticeship training in the construction trades, and an Auto Academy -- a partnership with the Cutter Group, First Hawaiian Bank and public high schools.
He also formed an alliance with the Polynesian Voyaging Society to use the canoes Hokule'a and Hawai'i Loa to help teach students about voyaging and Marine Technologies at HCC's Marine Education Training Center, and helped develop MELE -- the Music and Entertainment Learning Experience -- to create a degree program in studio music technology.
"There are only a handful of people in this state who have done as much to bring the issue of technical workforce development and its importance to the economy to the forefront," said UH Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton in a written statement.
Talk will look at campus crises
The director of counseling at Virginia Tech, where a gunman killed 33 people last April, will be speaking on campus crisis management tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Campus Center ballroom.
Christopher Flynn is director of the Thomas E. Cook Counseling Center at Virginia Tech, formally known as the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He directed the mental health response to the shootings and has recently been a consultant to the faculty, staff and students at Northern Illinois University.
Flynn and Ian Birky, Lehigh University's director of counseling and psychological services, will speak on "Reflections on Campus Crises and Their Management."
Lehigh, in Bethlehem, Pa., was the scene of a brutal rape and murder of a student in her dorm room in 1986. The law that requires disclosure of campus crimes, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, is named after the student.
The event is sponsored by UH-Manoa's Counseling and Student Development Center. Those interested in attending should contact Trystin Nakayama, 956-7927 or email@example.com.
Catfish fishing cards available
Applications for the entry fishing cards for channel catfish will be available starting today, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources has announced.
On May 31 the state will reopen the Nuuanu reservoir for weekend catfish fishing. Fishers can obtain a valid state freshwater game fishing license and an entry fishing card.
Last year about 7,100 anglers caught more than 3,700 catfish. Prospective anglers may pick up applications and instructions at the Division of Aquatic Resources office at 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 330. Applications are due by 4 p.m. May 16. Registrations are also available online at www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/licenses.htm.
Police, Fire, Courts
Costly house fire under investigation
The cause of a Salt Lake house fire that led to $480,000 in damage was still under investigation yesterday, firefighters said.
One man living alone at the single-story structure was home at the time and was already outside of 1218 Ala Pili Loop when firefighters arrived, said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
Firefighters got the call at 3:36 p.m. A second alarm was called, but 20 firefighters contained the blaze, extinguishing it at 4:25 p.m.
The American Red Cross was assisting the man.
Damage to the structure was estimated at $450,000 and $30,000 to the contents. No one was injured.
Man allegedly tries to steal store cash
A 49-year-old man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of second-degree burglary after attempting to steal cash from a store at the Pearl City Shopping Center, police said.
The man, of no local address, has 99 prior convictions, police said.
At 12:27 p.m. a Ben Franklin Crafts store manager found the man in the manager's office opening the safe, police said. The man walked into a store aisle and placed the cash on a shelf before leaving, police said.
When confronted by the store manager, the man took off his pants to show he did not have any money and left, police said.
Police caught the man as he was running away at 733 Kamehameha Highway.
Copter helps stop valley brush fire
A fire helicopter helped firefighters battle a brush fire yesterday on a steep ridge line in Ahuimanu Valley, a fire official said.
About the size of a football field, the fire did not threaten any structures, but kept firefighters busy for more than three hours.
"It's on a steep ridgeline so its difficult to access," said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
Some 20 firefighters hiked a quarter of a mile with a hose and used chain saws and other hand tools to fight the fire. Dried ironwood needles made fighting the fire difficult, Seelig said.
The fire started at about 5:30 p.m. on the eastern side of the valley. By 8:30 p.m. firefighters had contained the fire and expected to extinguish the fire in 30 minutes.
The cause of the fire was undetermined.