Holiday sparks 91 firefighter calls
Honolulu firefighters responded to 91 incidents over the Fourth of July weekend, with less than half of them possibly related to fireworks -- a slight decrease compared with last year.
"We definitely saw a decrease in numbers both in the number of calls as well as ones that's probably fireworks-related," said fire Capt. Terry Seelig. "We're very appreciative of that. We hope it's due to the public listening to our caution of using fireworks."
It could be several more weeks before firefighters know the exact number of fireworks-related incidents; however, Seelig said of the 91 incidents from Friday to Sunday, 36 of them probably involved fireworks.
Seelig said the fires were not large, and many were rubbish fires or blazes started in brush. Last year, firefighters responded to 107 incidents, with 41 of them related to fireworks.
Emergency responders were also busy this weekend, attending to about 700 calls. In a typical day there are about 150 calls, according to Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic.
Student bus passes available
The state Department of Education is reminding parents of public school students to buy bus passes for their children before school begins in three weeks.
About 30,000 students who ride the bus, or 75 percent, have not bought passes, according to the Education Department.
Parents can download a bus application form on the Internet at iportal.k12.hi.us/SBT or call their child's school or the Education Department's Student Transportation Services Branch at 586-0170.
The school bus fare is 35 cents per trip, except in Maui County, which provides a subsidy. Fares are purchased by academic quarter or for the full year.
Instruction begins for most public school students on July 28, 29 or 30. School calendars are posted at doe.k12.hi.us/calendars0809.
State gets $300,000 aging grant
A $300,000 grant as been awarded to the state Executive Office on Aging to help people with chronic diseases better manage their health.
The three-year National Council on Aging grant will be used to improve older residents' access to the Stanford Chronic Disease Self Management Program, the agency said.
Hawaii was one of eight states receiving grants to establish a system to provide access to the self-management program.
Dr. Chiyome Fukino, state health director, said the Stanford program "has been scientifically tested and proven to work."
"This is the kind of program that helps to keep older adults healthy as long as possible, minimize disabilities and reduce visits to emergency room departments."
Noemi Pendleton, Executive Office on Aging director, said the new grant, combined with an earlier grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging, will allow the aging-services and public-health networks to make the self-management program available on Kauai and the Big Island.
Dr. Kathryn Braun, University of Hawaii School of Medicine and Public Health, a partner in the program, said it is "showing wonderful results in older adults' health status and offers major benefits."
Native Hawaiians to hold meetings
Rep. Karen Awana (D, Kalaeloa-Nanakuli) and members of the Native Hawaiian Caucus are holding a series of meetings this month to get feedback on the impact of native Hawaiian programs in various communities.
The meetings are sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures with help from the Kellogg Foundation. Participants will review programs and funding sources. Refreshments will be served. Here is the schedule:
» Today, 6 p.m., Ka Waihona o ka Naauao School cafeteria, Nanakuli
» Tomorrow, 6 p.m., Waianae Intermediate School cafeteria
» Thursday, 6 p.m., Stevenson Middle School cafeteria
» Friday, 6 p.m., Waimanalo Public Library
For more information or to register, contact the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement at 596-8155 or toll-free at 800-709-2642, or visit www.hawaiiancouncil.org.
Police, Fire, Courts
Fighter runs away after injuring victim
Police are looking for a middle-age man wanted in the assault of a 31-year-old man who was in critical condition last night after a fight in Maili.
Officers responded to a report of a fight in the area of the Maile Pink Market at about 8:05 p.m. and found the man on the ground unconscious and unresponsive, police said.
The victim was taken by ambulance in critical condition to the Queen's Medical Center, police said.
The suspect fled on foot.
Burglary suspect spotted in store
A 34-year-old man with no local address was arrested early yesterday morning after he was found inside a closed Haleiwa shop. The burglary occurred at 2:46 a.m. yesterday, police said.
Police said a night security guard at a Haleiwa shopping center heard a noise and discovered the man inside the shop.
Responding police officers caught the man at 66-250 Kamehameha Highway shortly after 3 a.m. as he attempted to flee and arrested him for suspicion of second-degree burglary, police said.
Early-morning raid nets 6 drug arrests
Police arrested six people after executing a search warrant yesterday at a house on Waimakua Drive near Kipapa Elementary School.
Police arrested two women, ages 34 and 36, and four men, ages 50, 52, 43 and 44, on drug and drug paraphernalia offenses.
All six were arrested at 6:30 a.m. yesterday at their home at 95-090 Waimakua Drive, police said.
Officers seized drugs and drug paraphernalia, police said.
The drug bust was a joint effort between police and the attorney general's office.
Motorcycle crash kills Kona resident
A 41-year-old Kailua-Kona man died Sunday when the motorcycle he was driving crashed near Pahala on the Big Island.
Police identified him as Peter Paul Quesada III of Kailua-Kona.
Police said Quesada was heading toward South Point on Hawaii Belt Road at 3:22 p.m. when he crossed the center line on a curve in the road and went off the opposite side.
He died at the scene. Police said he was not wearing a helmet. This is the 14th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with 17 at this time last year. The Traffic Enforcement Unit has ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
Police ask anyone with information about the crash to call Officer Joshua Lewis at 326-4646, ext. 229.
Coloradan missing in Big Isle job hunt
Big Island police want help in finding a 39-year-old Colorado man reported missing while looking for work on the Big Island.
Corey Robert Green was last heard from June 9.
He is described as Caucasian, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 160 pounds, with blue eyes and brown-gray, shoulder-length hair, a mustache and beard.
Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Charrise Wakita at 961-2213 or the nonemergency police line at 935-3311. Anonymous calls may be made to CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.