Suit filed over ordnance cleanup
Malama Makua is taking the Army back to court because it claims the Army issued a list of high-priority sites for clearing unexploded ordnance in Makua Valley without allowing meaningful public input.
U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway gave the Army until April 15 to identify the high-priority sites and until yesterday to provide a good-faith plan to clear the ordnance and increase access to cultural sites, to comply with the court-approved settlement to Malama Makua's 2000 lawsuit against the Army.
According to a new lawsuit filed yesterday, the community organization claims the list the Army issued on April 22 violates the settlement. Malama Makua is asking the court to order the Army to issue a revised high-priority list that will be finalized only after the public has had an opportunity to view a draft and comment on it. The organization also wants the Army to expand the list.
Maui reserve areas to be closed
WAILUKU » State conservation officials will be enforcing a two-year ban on access to a number of areas in the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve in south Maui effective Aug. 1.
The restricted areas include unofficial trails to Kalua o Lapa, Kalaeloa -- known as "the Aquarium" -- and Mokuha, known as "the Fishbowl."
Access to northern portions of the reserve will remain open during visiting hours, including Waiala Cove and the coastal area along Ahihi Bay known as the "Dumps" surf break. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources decided on the restrictions on May 23.
Land Board Chairwoman Laura Thielen said recent studies have shown that the growing numbers of visitors to the area have severely affected natural and cultural resources.
Persons found in restricted areas could be charged with a misdemeanor punishable with up to $1,000 and imprisoned for up to a year, the state warned.
Auto parts store helps Foodbank
Eighteen Napa Auto Parts stores on Oahu will collect Hawaii Foodbank donations throughout the year to put the brakes on hunger.
"We are excited and grateful for Napa Auto Parts' continued support of the Hawaii Foodbank," Lara Grimm of the Hawaii Foodbank said in a release. "Napa Auto Parts' stores on Oahu will provide convenient means of getting food donations from donors in communities across the island to the Hawaii Foodbank."
Canned-goods donations will be transported to the Waipahu Napa distribution center to await pickup by the Hawaii Foodbank. For more information, visit www.hawaiifoodbank.org or call 836-3600.
Police, Fire, Courts
Seized pawnshop items go online
Photographs of items recovered during a pawnshop investigation are posted online at the Honolulu Police Department's Web site until Aug. 2, police officials said in a statement.
More than 1,700 items, including jewelry and electronics, were recovered from Holoholo Pawn Shop in August. The images were posted June 2.
Anyone claiming ownership of the items must have filed a police report prior to Aug. 3, 2007. The images are available online at www.honolulupd.org.
Vehicle fire leaves man critically hurt
A man was hospitalized in critical condition yesterday after he was found in a burning vehicle.
At 3:07 a.m., firefighters responded to a report of a car fire at the end of Koauka Street in Aiea. When firefighters arrived, they noticed a man still inside the car and pulled him out. The man was not responsive, said fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
The man, who appeared to be in his mid-40s, was taken to an area hospital, and was later transferred in critical condition to a burn treatment facility.
The man had second-degree burns to about 20 percent of his body, said Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic. Fire officials were investigating the cause of the fire.
Teen girl alleges assault in Nanakuli
A 17-year-old girl reported being sexually assaulted by two male suspects in Nanakuli.
Police said the incident occurred Monday before 2:55 p.m.
Police said the suspects are unknown to the girl.
The case is pending further investigation.
2 men wanted in Kalihi robbery
Police are looking for two men who robbed two women in Kalihi early yesterday.
Police said that about 2:30 a.m., the women, ages 20 and 19, were walking home from work in Kalihi when two men approached them.
Police said one of the men threatened the women with a handgun while he and the other man took the women's purses. The suspects then fled. Police did not provide a description of the men, who are wanted for first-degree robbery. The women were not injured.
Suspect sought in sexual assault
Big Island police are asking for the public's help in finding a 28-year-old man indicted Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl.
Mauro Martin Ortiz was indicted on charges stemming from the June 22 sexual assault of a girl in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision of lower Puna, police said.
Ortiz was charged with kidnapping, seven counts of first-degree sexual assault and five counts of third-degree sexual assault.
He is Hispanic, 5 feet 6 inches, about 180 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. Police warn the public not to approach him if he is spotted.
Anyone with information on Ortiz's whereabouts is asked to call Detective Alston Kimura at 961-2278 or police at 935-3311.