Plane search turns to Mauna Loa
The search for a missing tour plane on the Big Island will resume at first light today.
Fire department helicopters, Civil Air Patrol and other volunteer pilots have found no traces of the missing Cessna 172M in five days of searching.
The single-engine plane operated by Island Hoppers left Kona airport with two passengers and a pilot on board Tuesday morning and didn't return after a sightseeing tour of the island.
Yesterday, searchers canvassed areas above the 5,000-feet elevation on the slopes of Mauna Loa.
Civil Defense officials said the search today will continue to focus around Mauna Loa, where Nature Conservancy personnel said they heard the engine of an airplane in the area shortly before the plane's last radio contact at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.
The missing people were identified as pilot Katsuhiro Takahashi, 40, of Kailua-Kona, and passengers Nobuhiro Suzuki, 53, and his wife Masako, 56, of Urayasu, Japan.
Two fire department helicopters and seven volunteer planes participated in the search yesterday.
Ex-resident guilty of bank heists
A former Hawaii resident and convicted felon was found guilty last week of robbing two banks in Alaska and now faces 32 years in federal prison.
A jury convicted Bernard M. Kalilikane, 39, of armed credit union robbery, armed bank robbery, two counts of using a semiautomatic pistol during a crime, and felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney in Alaska.
Kalilikane robbed the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union on Dec. 17 last year. He escaped with $4,350 after brandishing a pistol. Ten days later, he robbed the Northrim Bank, escaping with $2,920.
According to prosecutors, Kalilikane has prior felony convictions in Hawaii for first-degree burglary, promoting a dangerous drug and escape. Kalilikane is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 3.
UH med school forms China link
The John A. Burns School of Medicine's Office of Public Health Studies and the Wuhan University School of Public Health in China signed a five-year academic exchange agreement last month in China.
The agreement covers student and faculty exchanges, development of joint doctoral programs, an executive training program for Chinese public health leaders and joint research projects and publications.
UH Professors John Grove and Al Katz are already teaching epidemiology and biostatistics courses this summer in Wuhan and three UH students -- Daniela Kittinger, Jack Kittinger and Chris Koontz -- are completing practical training programs in China.
Three Chinese students and one faculty member will come to UH in the fall, according to a medical school news release.
Jay Maddock, director of the UH medical school's Office of Public Health, said in the release: "Global collaboration is needed to address emerging public health problems. In my view, China-U.S. collaborations are one of the most important for worldwide health."
Wuhan, located in central China, has more than nine million residents. Wuhan University is among the top five universities in China, according to the news release.
New law cracks down on 'johns'
Gov. Linda Lingle signed a bill into law that targets repeat johns in an effort to crack down on prostitution.
The new law makes the third solicitation of a prostitute offense a misdemeanor. Any subsequent convictions would also be a misdemeanor.
State Rep. Karl Rhoads, who sponsored the bill, says the new law will reduce prostitution and make johns think twice.
Rhoads, who lives in Chinatown, says prostitution is accompanied by drug use and violence that have plagued downtown Honolulu and Chinatown for years.
Lingle signed the bill on Thursday. The law expires in 2010.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man faces charges after meth seizure
City prosecutors filed charges yesterday against a 57-year-old Kalihi man allegedly caught with three pounds of crystal methamphetamine.
Romulo Lomboy was charged with first-degree methamphetamine trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held on $200,000 bail.
Lomboy was arrested after police raided his Ahonui Street home Thursday evening. Police said their investigation began after community members complained about drug activity. Undercover officers made a series of drug purchases over the last month before Thursday's arrest, police said.
Police estimated street value of the drugs seized at about $230,000. Cash, jewelry, and Rolex watches were also seized at the home.
Federal charges may also be filed case because Lomboy's home is within 1,000 feet of Linapuni Elementary School. Investigators were planning to meet with federal prosecutors this week.
Autopsy scheduled on man's body
An autopsy will be conducted tomorrow on a body of a man believed to be in his 40s or 50s found in Waikiki Friday.
The man's body was found Friday morning at the archery range at Kapiolani Park near Diamond Head. Paramedics pronounced him dead at 12:08 p.m. Police are investigating the case as an "unattended death with suspicious circumstances."
The city Medical Examiner's Office had not identified the man as of yesterday.