HMSA covers uninsured children
Children of Hawaii families with no medical coverage who are affected by business closures can get free health coverage through the end of this year.
The Hawaii Medical Service Association will enroll them in the Keiki Care Plan starting tomorrow, according to a news release.
The Legislature this year passed a bill to expand eligibility temporarily for the Keiki Care Plan to assist children of workers who lost their jobs when Aloha Airlines, ATA and Molokai Ranch closed.
The bill, which became law without the governor's signature, is designed to assist children of employees of a Hawaii-based corporation which ceased doing business or filed for bankruptcy and stopped doing business in Hawaii between Feb. 29 and Sept. 30, 2008.
The 2007 Legislature developed the Keiki Care Plan to provide basic health coverage for children 31 days old to 18 years in families at 300 percent of the federal poverty level who do not qualify for other state or federal health programs.
HMSA and the state split costs of the premiums.
Parents and guardians are asked to contact HMSA for enrollment information: 948-5555 on Oahu, and (800) 620-4672, toll-free, on the neighbor islands.
DLNR aids native Hawaiian plants
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is giving $150,000 to the Lyon Arboretum's programs to manage and restore rare native Hawaiian plants.
The arboretum maintains rare plant seeds, which can be used in restoration efforts.
Native Hawaiian plant seeds will be obtained from a variety of sources, including federal and state agencies, and other botanical gardens and land owners, and will be stored at the arboretum.
"The ultimate goal is to aid recovery of rare species in Hawaii. These funds will greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of rare plant recovery," said Christopher Dunn, the arboretum's director.
Half of all known native Hawaiian plants are classified as threatened or endangered or are considered by specialists to be potentially threatened.
$6M to help isle health centers
Three community health centers are getting more than $6 million in grant-in-aid money for construction and improvements, the governor's office has announced.
The Bay Clinic in Hilo will receive $1 million to cover design and construction costs for a new Kau Family Health Center. Money will also go toward improvements to the existing Pahoa Health Center and Keaau Family Health Center.
The Bay Clinic provides medical services to about 14,000 low-income residents. About $701,000 in private funds will also be used toward improvements at the clinic.
The Community Clinic of Maui will receive $1.35 million to renovate a two-story building in Wailuku in an effort to replace the aging clinic in Kahului.
The new facility will allow the clinic to expand its high-quality primary care to low-income residents. The clinic, which has been providing health care services for the past 12 years, is also receiving about $8.9 million in federal and private funds.
The Waianae District Comprehensive Health and Hospital Board will use $3.75 million toward upgrades and expansions of treatment and specialized service rooms at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.
Money will also go toward improvements to the deteriorating 30-year-old building. The health center also obtained nearly $1.2 million from a community development block grant and $200,000 in private funds.
Police, Fire, Courts
Home-invasion suspects sought
Police are looking for four to five males in connection with a home-invasion robbery of three other men early today.
At about 1:15 a.m., four to five males entered a Manoa home occupied by three men, ages 18,19 and 20, and took a wallet and other items, police said.
The victims claim that one of the suspects was armed with a shotgun, and another with a crow bar.
Police did not immediately disclose the exact location of the alleged robbery or provide descriptions of the suspects.
Suspect arrested in store robbery
Police arrested a 49-year-old man after he allegedly robbed a Waikiki store and assaulted an employee.
About 4:25 p.m. Tuesday, the suspect was stopped in a Waikiki store by an employee after he was caught shoplifting, police said. The suspect allegedly assaulted the employee before fleeing.
Police found him nearby and arrested him on suspicion of first-degree robbery and second-degree assault.
Man allegedly chokes girlfriend
Police arrested a 29-year-old man who allegedly choked his girlfriend until she lost consciousness.
Police said that at about 9:20 last night, a 28-year-old woman and her boyfriend were arguing over the preparation of dinner at their Kalaunu Street home in Kalihi.
Police said the suspect punched his girlfriend and choked her until she became unconscious. Police arrested the suspect on suspicion of abuse of a household member.
Roommates' tiff ends in arrest
Police arrested a 43-year-old Moiliili man who allegedly threatened and assaulted his roommate.
Police said that at about 8 a.m. yesterday, the suspect argued with his roommate, a 56-year-old woman. Police said he assaulted her and later threatened to kill her while brandishing a pair of scissors.
The suspect then allegedly restrained the victim briefly before she fled their Varsity Circle home. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening, kidnapping, and abuse of a household member.
Woman accused of attack in Kalihi
Police arrested a 26-year-old woman after she allegedly attacked another woman who was sitting in a car in Kalihi.
About 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, a 25-year-old man was parked on Linapuni Street, picking up his children. The man left his vehicle to get the kids while a 19-year-old woman sat in the front passenger seat of his car, police said.
The 26-year-old woman, who is the children's mother, then opened the passenger door of the car and assaulted the teenage woman, causing minor injury.
Police were called and arrested the suspect on suspicion of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
Police say man held woman in car
Police arrested a 19-year-old Lualualei man who went to an 18-year-old woman's workplace in Honolulu, allegedly held her inside her own car and squeezed her neck yesterday.
Police said the woman was relaxing in the back seat of her car before work at 7 a.m., when the man entered her car without permission and grabbed her cell phone.
The man looked through the lists of calls she made and received and questioned her about them, police said.
The woman tried to escape, but the man prevented her from leaving. He grabbed her by the neck and squeezed it, police said.
A co-worker called police, who arrested the suspect on suspicion of unlawful imprisonment and unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
Police recapture escaped convict
Police found a convict two days after she ran from custody.
At 11:45 a.m. Monday, 21-year-old Roxanne Garcia, who had been released to the custody of her attorney, was returning to Oahu Community Correctional Center after attending a meeting for a court-ordered program.
Police said Garcia fled from her attorney in the parking lot of OCCC.
Officers found her at a Waianae home last night, and arrested her on suspicion of second-degree escape. She was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Crew rescues woman on Big Isle
A Big Island fire crew rescued a 23-year-old woman who was injured when she fell while hiking in Waipio Valley.
Officials were called at 3:41 p.m. Tuesday. The woman was flown by chopper from the valley floor to North Hawaii Community Hospital for treatment.