This image made from television shows passengers being evacuated by inflatable chutes last Tuesday after a Honolulu-bound American Airlines flight made an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport.
Faulty plane devices investigated
LOS ANGELES » Federal officials said yesterday they were investigating whether oxygen masks and an emergency chute deployed properly during last week's emergency landing of a Honolulu-bound American Airlines jet at Los Angeles International Airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration was also looking into reports that some of the masks failed to provide oxygen after passengers pulled the activation pin, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The Boeing 757 took off from Los Angeles last Tuesday but turned back an hour into the trip when the pilot noticed a smell and a smoky haze in the cabin.
Gregor said a seal burst, spraying oil onto the engine. All the chutes functioned, but crew members had trouble deploying one, he said.
The plane's 188 passengers and seven crew members were evacuated using the chutes. Several passengers were examined for minor injuries, but none were taken to a hospital.
Last year, several incidents spurred the FAA to order carriers to inspect and repair faulty mask systems in Boeing 757s, 737s and other commercial aircraft.
Shark is seen off Magic Island
Ocean safety officials posted warning signs at Magic Island yesterday afternoon after a shark was spotted offshore from the peninsula at Ala Moana Park.
A diver alerted lifeguards after returning to shore with a dive bag of fish that had been bitten by a shark, said Bryan Cheplic, of the city Emergency Services Department.
A lifeguard said the shark was estimated to be about 12 feet long, but it is not known what kind of shark it was.
The incident took place outside the reef that protects the shoreline, but "because of the heavy traffic in the area, we decided a warning was indicated," Cheplic said.
Health system gets $2.37 million
Ho'ola Lahui Hawaii will receive a $2.37 million grant from the U.S. Department sof Health and Human Services, U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono announced last week.
"This money is really critical to us being able to keep our doors open," said David Peters, Ho'ola Lahui Hawaii chief executive officer. "It means the we're able to continue to provide services to native Hawaiians and their families for health care."
Ho'ola Lahui Hawaii, a native Hawaiian health care system, has facilities in Waimea and Kapaa on Kauai. About 6,500 patients a year receive services from the organization, Peters said.
Funds will be used to provide access to 340-B pharmacies, a program that provides prescription medication at a reduced cost. Grant money will also go to provide native Hawaiian patients on Kauai with dental care, chronic disease management and general health care, among other services.
For more information about Ho'ola Lahui Hawaii, visit www.hoolalahui.org.
Medical marijuana big on Big Isle
HILO » Nearly two-thirds of the 4,200 Hawaii residents who are licensed to use medial marijuana live on the Big Island.
That is according to a state database provided to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
The Big Island has 13 percent of the state's population but 63 percent of the marijuana license holders.
Only a small number of doctors have issued the licenses. Two out of every five licenses have been issued by Dr. James Berg of Hawi.
Berg has issued licenses to 1,822 patients, 1,767 of whom live on the Big Island.
Under existing law, patients applying for medical marijuana must be diagnosed with either cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe muscle spasms.
Police, Fire, Courts
Mo-ped crash hospitalizes man
LIHUE » A 54-year-old Kauai man is in the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition after losing control of his mo-ped and crashing into a wall.
Police said that Gary Craft of Lihue was attempting to make a left turn at about 8:20 a.m. Saturday when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a concrete wall.
Craft was taken to Wilcox Hospital in an ambulance and then airlifted to the Queen's Medical Center for treatment.
He was listed in critical condition yesterday, county officials added.
Windsurfer sought after gear is found
The Coast Guard is asking for information from the public in its search for a windsurfer reported missing off Kahului.
A call from security personnel came in at 1 p.m. of a possible missing windsurfer when a broken, reddish-orange windsurf board was found on the shore and a sail was found in the water about a mile offshore, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard was on scene assisting the Maui Fire Department at 3 p.m.
Security personnel near the beach got the call.
A Coast Guard helicopter searched 36 square miles along the shoreline until 4 p.m.
Anyone with information is asked to call Coast Guard Sector Honolulu at 842-2600.
Fires hit storage unit, apartment
Firefighters in Waipio were busy yesterday morning with two separate fires that charred an apartment and a storage unit.
At 7:44 a.m., firefighters were called to a fire at a second-floor unit at 95-023 Waihau St. Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig said a female resident of the unit was home when the fire started. The smoke alarm activated and she left the unit safely, he said. She and another resident were displaced but were being housed by friends.
Seelig said the fire caused an estimated $70,000 worth of damage to the structure and $20,000 to the contents of the unit. The fire was extinguished at 7:56 a.m., he said.
About an hour later, firefighters responded to a blaze at the Metro Self Storage business at 94-1355 Waipio Uka St. The fire was contained to one unit that contained an individual's personal items, Seelig said.
Damage was estimated at $15,000 to the structure and $2,000 to the unit's contents.
Seelig said causes for both fires are being investigated.
Man, 47, accused of sexual assault
Authorities charged a 47-year-old Aiea man yesterday with allegedly raping a 13-year-old boy early Sunday.
Frank Lefrandt was charged with first-degree sexual assault and was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
The boy told police he was sexually assaulted by the man at about 1 a.m. in a Leeward area commercial parking lot.
Girls allegedly try to flee detention
Two teenage female inmates at a Kailua detention facility tried to escape Sunday, and one allegedly struck a guard in the head.
Police said their escape was foiled when other corrections officers arrived at the scene.
The girls, ages 16 and 17, reportedly tried to escape the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility at 4:15 p.m.
The 16-year-old girl allegedly struck an officer with a portable radio and tried to scale the wall with the other girl, police said.
The two were arrested on suspicion of attempted escape, and the younger suspect was arrested for investigation of second-degree assault and first-degree escape.