Police buckle down on belt law
Beginning tomorrow, police will be looking to cite people who don't buckle up while driving or riding in vehicles.
The annual "Click It or Ticket" campaign runs through June 1 in all four counties, the state Department of Transportation said in a news release.
Police will especially be looking for 18 to 25 year olds and pick-up drivers, who have the lowest rate of wearing seat belts, the release said.
During last year's campaign, Hawaii residents buckled up at a rate of 97.6 percent, the highest in the nation. Nationally, the average for seat-belt use was 82 percent.
According to preliminary statistics, 14 people in Hawaii could have survived last year if they had been wearing their seat belts in a crash, the release said.
Hawaii law requires all front-seat occupants to buckle up as well as back-seat passengers under the age of 18. Violators will be fined $92.
Children under 4 must ride in a child safety seat, and children between 4 and 8 must ride in a child safety seat or a booster seat.
Violators of child passenger restraint laws must attend a four-hour class and may be fined between $100 and $500, depending on the number of offenses.
3 road projects in the works
The city will begin repairing and resurfacing about 2,600 feet of roadway in the areas of South Beretania Street, Keeaumoku Street and University Avenue.
The three projects will take about eight weeks to finish.
Work is scheduled to begin Tuesday for the next two weeks on Waimanu Street from Piikoi to Pensacola streets. The project is projected to cost $120,000 for 500 lane feet.
The Queen Street resurfacing, from Ward Avenue to Kamakee Street, will begin after the Waimanu Street project is completed, at a cost of $240,000 for 1,000 lane feet.
The third project entails a portion of Diamond Head Road from the lighthouse to the third lookout. It will include 1,100 feet at a cost of $430,000 and will start after Queen Street is completed.
HMSA fixes pharmacy glitch
Several Hawaii Medical Service Association customers walked away from the pharmacy yesterday without their prescription drugs after a computer problem denied their eligibility, an HMSA spokeswoman said.
HMSA has temporarily fixed the problem, said HMSA spokeswoman Laura Lott.
The cause of the computer glitch was unclear yesterday, but it only affected pharmacy transactions, Lott said.
Officials learned about the problem after receiving calls from Long's and Times Supermarket pharmacies.
It was unknown how many customers were denied, but Lott said some customers may not have been able to pick up their prescriptions or had to pay for covered drugs.
"Save your receipts and you can file for reimbursement if there was an error," Lott said.
Beneficiaries can call customer service at 948-6111 on Monday to resolve any problems, Lott said.
Police, Fire, Courts
Coast Guard saves canoe paddlers
Six people were rescued from rough seas early yesterday morning after their outrigger canoe overturned in the Alenuihaha Channel between Maui and the Big Island.
About 3:15 a.m. yesterday, rescue crews from the U.S. Coast Guard received a distress call from a handheld radio.
A helicopter and the cutter Ahi responded to the incident. When a helicopter arrived on the scene about 14 miles south of Maui, the people in the water used flashlights to signal their position.
The six paddlers were hoisted aboard a helicopter by 5:48 a.m. and taken to Kona International Airport. The Coast Guard said they were in good condition.
Rescuers said the paddlers were "well prepared" with life preservers and an emergency radio locator beacon. They also tied themselves together while awaiting their rescue.
Seas were about 7 feet, the Coast Guard said. A life raft was attached to the canoe so it could later be retrieved.
Blaze destroys Kahala home
Fire investigators are still trying to pinpoint the cause of a blaze that destroyed a Kahala home Friday night.
Firefighters responded to a fire on 4552 Aliikoa St. at about 9:30 p.m. The blaze was under control by 9:45 p.m., and was extinguished within an hour later. Fire spokesman Capt. Earle Kealoha said the fire caused an estimated $500,000 damage. Investigators determined that the fire started in a bedroom and the cause was not electrical, Kealoha said.
None of the residents, a man in his 60s and his two teenage children, were home at the time. The daughter was the last one to leave the house, and said she smelled smoke but could not determine where it was coming from, Kealoha said.
American Red Cross caseworkers met with the family yesterday to provide assistance.
Teen alleges soldier raped her
A 22-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier was charged yesterday morning for allegedly raping a 13-year-old girl.
Prosecutors charged Matthew Faith with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, and one count each of attempted first-degree sexual assault and third-degree sexual assault. He is being held on $50,000 bail.
The girl alleged she was raped by Faith, who is an acquaintance, in November in Waipahu, police said. Faith turned himself in to police Friday morning.