Jellyfish sting 200 on south shore
Box jellyfish stung about 200 people on the south shore yesterday, the second day of a monthly jellyfish influx, and a city spokesman warned beachgoers that the influx may continue today.
"Please check with lifeguards and heed warning signs," said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department. "Hopefully the influx will subside." Box jellyfish invade Oahu beaches about 8 to 10 days after a full moon. The full moon was on June 18.
Lifeguards will check this morning for jellyfish and post signs if they are found.
Yesterday, 2,000 jellyfish washed up on beaches in Waikiki and Ala Moana and 177 people were treated for stings. Five people were taken to area hospitals.
On Friday, expected to be the peak for box jellyfish, only 400 were found on south shores and 23 people were treated. No one was taken to the hospital.
Vog spurs brief alert on Big Isle
Big Island residents in Pahala and Wood Valley started the day yesterday with warnings to remain indoors because of heavy vog and elevated sulfur dioxide levels.
But by 8:30 a.m., Hawaii County Civil Defense said the vog and sulfur dioxide levels had decreased to "near zero" and normal activities could resume.
Eric Lau, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said lighter than usual tradewinds are allowing the vog to linger over the Big Island. The normal tradewinds may not return until midweek, Lau said.
Residents of Pahala and surrounding areas are being advised to be prepared for temporary vog and sulfur dioxide increases.
"Know that staying indoors, closing windows and doors, using air conditioners and limiting physical activities are very helpful in minimizing health effects," the Civil Defense agency said.
Tents OK'd for temporary jail use
HILO » Building tent-like structures to house inmates on the Big Island won't significantly affect the environment, according to a final environmental assessment.
The conclusion by the Office of Environmental Quality Control last week brings the state one step closer to housing inmates in "prefabricated temporary housing structures" on the grounds of existing correctional facilities.
The Department of Public Safety wants to use the new structures "to address the current backlog of inmates awaiting program opportunities, and to relieve overcrowding and open up bed space in higher-security facilities," according to the environmental assessment.
One of the buildings would house up to 64 female inmates at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo. The Kulani Correctional Facility would receive two of the structures, each capable of housing 128 male inmates.
Both the Kulani and Hale Nani Annex would receive one structure each for drug abuse treatment programs.
Most of their $3.8 million cost would be paid by the U.S. Department of Justice through grants to purchase the tents. The state will cover 10 percent of the cost, or $380,000, to pay for assembling the structures later.
To make room for the tents, the state proposes demolishing the 103-year-old yellow Hilo Jail building and a dilapidated metal building at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo.
The State Historic Preservation Division objected to the demolition of the old Hilo Jail.
The public will have 30 days to submit comments on the environmental assessment.
The Public Safety Department is also trying to acquire similar structures on Maui.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man, 38, charged in sex assaults of 3
Prosecutors charged a 38-year-old Village Park man with multiple counts of sex assault against a woman and two minors over a period of several months.
Bail for Albert Ancheta Pedro Jr. was set at $1 million.
Police arrested Pedro at about 4 p.m. Friday, at his Kauweke Place home for allegedly sexually assaulting a 33-year-old woman and two girls, ages 10 and 5, last year and this year.
Pedro was charged with eight counts of first-degree sexual assault, 12 counts of third-degree sexual assault, and four counts of continuous sexual assault of a minor.
Apartment intruder assaults resident
Police arrested a 40-year-old woman after she allegedly broke into another woman's Waianae apartment and assaulted her.
About 4:30 p.m. Friday, the suspect entered an apartment on Farrington Highway in Waianae and allegedly assaulted a 48-year-old woman living there.
Police were called and arrested the woman on suspicion of first-degree burglary. The victim sustained minor injuries and refused medical treatment.
Repeated use of stolen card costly
Police arrested a 43-year-old man who allegedly tried a stolen credit card one too many times.
At about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, the suspect went to Don Quijote at 801 Kaheka St. and made a purchase with a credit card, police said.
The suspect returned an hour later to purchase more items with the same card, police said. That's when an employee became suspicious and store security detained the man until police arrived.
The store then learned that the credit card belonged to a 30-year-old woman. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of fraudulent use of a credit card, unauthorized possession of personal information, second-degree identity theft and second-degree forgery.