Hospitals get funds for repairs
The state is spending more than $450,000 for improvements at four state hospitals on the Big Island and Oahu, the Governor's Office announced last week.
Hilo Medical Center is getting $185,461 to replace the boiler and piping. Leaks are affecting the steam-generating capacity for the laundry and dietary areas of the hospital.
Kona Community Hospital will use $23,500 for nine aging air handlers to allow the air-conditioning system to function properly. The hospital's air handlers are 25 years old and are starting to restrict air circulation in the facility.
Both projects at the Hilo Medical Center and Kona Community Hospital are expected to be completed by December.
About $18,000 will pay for the design for an emergency generator replacement at Kau Hospital.
On Oahu, $242,666 will provide a new fire sprinkler system at Maluhia to include all of the patient rooms. The storage rooms at Maluhia are the only rooms equipped with fire sprinklers. The Governor's Office previously released $500,000 for the project, which is scheduled to be completed in December.
The four facilities are among 13 public hospitals in the state managed by the Hawaii Health Systems Corp.
Grant to aid organ donor project
The Organ Donor Center of Hawaii will extend its Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program thanks to a $50,000 state grant.
Aimed to help Filipino communities, the center will now also serve native Hawaiians and Pacific islanders.
"This grant will help the center expand its education efforts so that more residents are aware of the need for transplants and will be inspired to make a decision that could save another person's life," Gov. Linda Lingle said in a news release.
Fifty percent of Hawaii residents on the national transplant waiting list are minorities, according to the Lingle administration.
As the only "federally designated" nonprofit in Hawaii authorized to handle tissues and organs for transplants, the center's program is designed to raise awareness about transplants and tissue donation among minorities.
Half of the grant will go to public education and marketing expenditures, $5,000 for equipment and $19,000 for personnel expenses.
Police, Fire, Courts
Drive-by shooting leads to arrests
Kauai police have arrested and charged two people with attempted murder in connection with a drive-by shooting at the Kapaa McDonald's restaurant Friday night, police said yesterday.
A 26-year-old man is being held at the police cellblock in Lihue, and a male juvenile was flown to a youth detention center on Oahu after their arrest near Lydgate Park, where police discovered the suspects in a parked car.
Police did not say when they were arrested.
According to a preliminary report, a silver sedan heading south on Kuhio Highway at around 11 p.m. fired two shots toward the McDonald's while customers were leaving the restaurant.
No one was injured but the restaurant sustained damage. Police are continuing their investigation of the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Patrick Balbarino at 241-1684, police dispatch at 241-1711 or CrimeStoppers at 241-1887.
Speed suspected in fatal car crash
Speed may have been a factor in a two-vehicle crash that killed a 20-year-old Pahoa man Saturday, Big Island police said.
Police identified the man as Jonathan W. Tripp-Andrade.
Driving a 1989 Honda sedan northbound on Kahakai Boulevard, Tripp-Andrade hit a 2008 Chrysler multipurpose vehicle that was making a left turn onto Opelu Street at 6:31 p.m., police said.
A 54-year-old California woman driving the Chrysler and three passengers — a 72-year-old woman and two boys, ages 15 and 13 — were not injured. Tripp-Andrade died at the Hilo Medical Center at 10:45 p.m.
Police do not believe alcohol was a factor. Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call Officer Clarence Davies at 961-8118.
Tripp-Andrade was the 13th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year, compared with 16 at this time last year.
Shark-bitten body found in ocean
HILO » Human remains with what appeared to be shark bite marks were found in the area where an opihi picker was reported missing Saturday, according to Big Island police.
Police identified the missing man as Nathan Labarios, 58, of Kainaliu, North Kona. He had been camping with friends along the Kau coastline about five miles north of South Point, an area with 40-foot-high sea cliffs and accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles.
A Fire Department statement said rescue divers taken by county helicopter to the site yesterday found shredded shorts and an opihi bag in the sea.
A second dive "found more definitive evidence of party's fate," the Fire Department statement said without explanation.
Police said "human remains" were found.
Family members approved ending the search following the second dive, the Fire Department said. An autopsy is planned to identify the remains and try to determine cause of death.
Plunge injures Big Isle paraglider
HILO » A Big Island man is in the Queen's Medical Center today after falling 100 feet in a paragliding accident on the upper slopes of Mauna Kea yesterday morning, officials said. Police identified him as Roy Volkoff, 43, of Kailua-Kona.
Fire Department rescue personnel found Volkoff on the ground with "numerous traumatic injuries," they said. He had been caught in a downdraft, they said. The site was Mana Road on the upper east side of Mauna Kea.
Rescue personnel used a spine board to stabilize Volkoff while flying him to Hilo Medical Center using the county medical helicopter. From there, he was transferred to Queen's.
Police arrest 3 after assault
Police arrested three men Saturday night after they allegedly seriously assaulted three other men following an argument in Wahiawa.
At about 10:25 p.m., an argument on the 200 block of California Avenue led to a fight, police said.
A 20-year-old man was hit in the head with a blunt object, police said, and taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. The other two, both 21, also were taken to the hospital after allegedly being hit with a blunt object, possibly a baseball bat.
Three men, ages 21, 24 and 25, all of Wahiawa, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and second-degree assault.
Suspects sought following gunfire
Police are looking for two men who allegedly shot at nine teenagers in a pickup truck early yesterday morning while driving on Nimitz Highway.
A 23-year-old man was driving nine teenagers home westbound on Nimitz Highway when they noticed they were being followed by three other vehicles, according to police. Two men, who police believe to be 18 and 17, allegedly had guns and shot at the truck.
No one was injured.
Water damages luxury condos
A water leak damaged several units of a new luxury condominium in Kakaako yesterday, a Fire Department spokesman said.
Five fire companies responded to the leak at the recently completed Keola Lai at 600 Queen St., across from the Honolulu Fire Department headquarters, said Honolulu fire Capt. Earle Kealoha.
The leak started when a fire sprinkler was dislodged and set off in a 31st-floor unit of the 42-story building at about 6:30 p.m., Kealoha said.
That unit and units two floors below sustained the most water damage, Kealoha said. A firefighter overheard on the radio said one unit had two inches of standing water.
Water traveled as far down as a unit on the 21st floor, seeping along air-conditioning ducts or piping in the walls.
There were no injuries, but the damage promised to be extensive, Kealoha said.
About 20 firefighters came from as far as Aikahi fire station near Kailua, hauling wet vacuums to suck up the water.
The water was shut off quickly, but firefighters spent a couple of hours mopping up.
Woman allegedly raped at business
A 46-year-old woman was allegedly raped and robbed after she opened her office door to two men pretending to want a massage.
According to police, the woman, who was alone, let two men into her business around 11 a.m. Friday when they claimed they wanted a massage. One man then pulled out a knife and forced her into a back room, where she was blindfolded, bound and gagged, police said.
The men allegedly took a undisclosed amount of money and some personal items. During the robbery, one of the men sexually assaulted the business owner, police said.