Drowning victim gets hero award
An Alabama man who drowned trying to save a 14-year-old Honolulu boy from drowning at Lumahai Beach on Kauai in 2006 was among 26 people recognized for heroism by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.
The commission awarded the medals last month to a diverse group of Americans and Canadians, retelling the stories of courage that came to their attention from newspaper articles, tips or through its Web site.
The 26 recipients, or their survivors, will receive $6,000 in addition to the medal.
On Dec. 17, 2006, 14-year-old Rick C. Abille was swept out near the river mouth at Lumahai Beach. Dwayne D. Trotti, 43, of Killen, Ala., along with Jeffrey W. Sellers, 34, of Hazel Green, Ala., and Patrick S. Payne, 41, of Grant, Ala., jumped in to try to help. But with a 4-foot swell and a strong current, Trotti drowned during the rescue attempt.
Sellers and Payne also received heroism medals.
Steel baron Andrew Carnegie launched the hero fund in 1904 after hearing about rescue stories from a mine disaster that killed 181 people. Since then, $30.6 million has been awarded to 9,199 people.
State gets electric-vehicle grant
The state has been awarded a $50,000 grant to analyze the costs and benefits of electric vehicles and any infrastructure improvements that would be needed in order to accommodate such vehicles on a large scale.
Hawaii was one of 12 states to receive the grant from the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices, Gov. Linda Lingle's office announced last week.
Grants are awarded to help states overcome obstacles to achieving greater energy efficiency and conservation and to foster the use of clean energy resources, Lingle's office said.
$9.4M to aid ordnance cleanup
The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $9,467,466 contract to a native Hawaiian organization to continue the cleanup of unexploded ordnance in Waikoloa on the Big Island, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye announced Tuesday.
Dawson Group/Environet Joint Venture LLC was awarded the contract to continue the ongoing cleanup at the 137,00-acre former military training site used in World War II in the Waikoloa Village-Waimea area.
The Army Corps disposed of about 2,000 unexploded munitions, cleared more than 8,000 acres and recycled more than 250 tons of munition and other military debris from 2002 to 2008.
"It is important that we continue and expand our efforts to clear ordnance from former military sites," Inouye said. "This is our obligation. Additionally, I wish to commend the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for reaching out to qualified Hawaii companies to continue the cleanup effort. I have no doubt that they will undertake their tasks with professionalism and environmental and cultural sensitivity."
UH-West Oahu hires administrator
The University of Hawaii at West Oahu has hired a Kamehameha Schools executive as its new vice chancellor for administrative affairs.
Ann Nishimoto, formerly the facilities planning manager at Kamehameha Schools, is now UH-West Oahu's chief administrative and financial officer.
Nishimoto also worked as a finance administrator with the state Department of Budget and Finance.
A resident of Aina Haina, Nishimoto earned a bachelor's degree from Purdue University and a master's degree with a certificate in planning from the Pacific Urban Studies Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Police, Fire, Courts
Pedestrian struck by van is identified
The city's Medical Examiner's Office identified yesterday the 27-year-old pedestrian who died after a van hit him in Kailua as Brandon Anderson of Hilo.
Anderson was crossing Kailua Road in a crosswalk near Uluoa Street shortly after 9 p.m. Friday when an 87-year-old man driving a Ford van struck him. The driver of the van was not injured.
Anderson died at about 10:25 a.m. Saturday at the Queen's Medical Center. An autopsy will be performed today to determine the exact cause of death.
Arson is suspected in Liliha store fire
An early morning blaze that caused $220,000 damage to a Liliha convenience store yesterday appears to have been intentionally set, firefighters said.
The fire started at 6:44 a.m. inside an old wooden building at 1658 Liliha St. The building houses two businesses: CS Mart — which sells soda, fruit and souvenirs — and Liliha Barber Shop.
The fire began in CS Mart and never damaged the barbershop, said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig. The fire caused $220,000 damage.
Police opened a second-degree burglary investigation, saying there were signs of forced entry.
The owners of the store were trying yesterday to salvage what remained of the store's contents. While the fire was contained to the back of the store, smoke had damaged most of the items.
James Kaneshiro, 20, whose parents opened CS Mart about 18 months ago, said it was the second time in about two months that someone had broken in through the store's back door. Both times, burglars only took small items like cigarettes or lighters, he said.
His parents were sad and disappointed, he said.
Kaneshiro's mother, who declined to give her name, said police told her there were two other break-ins nearby the same night, at a restaurant and a flower shop. Neighbors who live behind the mart said they did not hear anything before the sirens.
Kaneshiro said his parents have insurance for the business.
Motorcyclist, 41, dies on Big Island
A 41-year-old Kailua-Kona man died yesterday when the motorcycle he was driving crashed near Pahala on the Big Island.
Police said the man was heading toward South Point on the Hawaii Belt Road about 3:22 p.m. when he failed to negotiate a curve, crossed the center line and went off the opposite side of the road.
He died at the scene. Police said he was not wearing a helmet. This is 14th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 17 at this time last year.
Woman off to court in sex assault case
A 28-year-old Puna woman is scheduled to appear in court today on charges of second-degree hindering prosecution in connection with the sexual assault of a girl last month.
Big Island police charged Nohealani Cabarloc on Thursday after she allegedly made false and misleading statements to detectives in an attempt to derail the investigation, a Hawaii County news release said. She was being held in lieu of $500 bail.
The victim was assaulted June 22 in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision of lower Puna, police said.
Police were still looking for Mauro Martin Ortiz, an acquaintance of Cabarloc, for questioning in connection with the assault.
Ortiz is 5 foot 6, about 180 pounds and has brown eyes and hair. Police are warning the public not to approach him and to call police if they see him.