The federal government is warning drivers to avoid hitting nenes like these along the Saddle Road on the Big Island.
Don't hit nenes, feds tell drivers
Motorists on the Big Island are being reminded that killing the nene is a no-no.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a warning to motorists to use extra caution to avoid hitting the endangered Hawaii state bird, especially on the Saddle Road, which runs through Waimea.
The latest collision occurred there Aug. 8. Since last June, five birds have been killed by cars, particularly between mile markers 29 and 30, where they gather in the pastures along the road.
The area is next to their breeding grounds in the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, and more birds are expected to flock from now to October.
Motorists should look for warning signs, slow down and prepare to come to a sudden stop or make a turn to avoid birds, a release said.
The nene, related to the Canada goose, is No. 8 on the list of endangered waterfowl species in the world. There are about 2,000 of the birds on Maui, Molokai, Kauai and the Big Island.
Penalties for killing or harming nene range from $500 to $50,000, and/or imprisonment of up to one year under the Endangered Species Act, a release said.
Bilge-waste dumper evades prison
A former Coast Guard warrant officer will not spend any time in prison for lying about ordering subordinates to dump about 2,000 gallons of bilge waste into Honolulu Harbor.
U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright sentenced David G. Williams Jr., 46, to two years probation for making a false statement to investigators. He pleaded guilty to the charge earlier this year.
Williams was a chief warrant officer 2nd class and the engineering department's main propulsion assistant aboard the Honolulu-based Coast Guard cutter Rush on March 2006 when he ordered subordinates to bypass the vessel's oily water separator systems and dump untreated bilge waste directly into the harbor.
The 25-year Coast Guard veteran has since retired from the service.
According to his indictment, investigators determined there were 10 other discharges of untreated bilge water into the ocean while the Rush was performing law enforcement patrols off Central America and South America between September and December 2005.
Nonaka guilty of boy's sex assault
Lyle Nonaka, co-owner of the popular School Street eatery Mitsu-Ken Catering, faces a mandatory 20-year prison term when he is sentenced in October for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.
Nonaka pleaded guilty as charged in state court Monday to three counts of sexual assault in the first degree, two counts of sexual assault in the third degree and one count of promoting child abuse in the first degree.
In exchange for his guilty pleas, the city prosecutor promised to ask the Hawaii Paroling Authority to require Nonaka to serve no more than eight years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
Nonaka remains free on $150,000 bail.
According to his indictment, Nonaka posed as a teenage girl online and blackmailed the boy into meeting him on two occasions in September and October last year.
Nonaka picked up the boy at a prescribed location and took him to his Aiea home, where he sexually assaulted him, according to the indictment.
State births decline with nation's
New Census data show that a smaller percentage of women in Hawaii are giving birth each year.
The U.S. Census Bureau says Hawaii women ages 15 to 50 gave birth at a rate of 54 per 1,000 women in 2006, compared to 61 in 2000.
Hawaii is following a national trend of declining births.
Nationwide, 55 out of 1,000 women gave birth in 2006, down from 65 in 2000.
Sylvia Yuen at the University of Hawaii Center on the Family says women are putting off having kids as they go to school and seek career advancement.
Hawaii ranked as the 27th most fertile state in the nation. Utah topped the list with 83 births per 1,000 women.
Police, Fire, Courts
Teen boy arrested in armed robbery
Police arrested Monday a 17-year-old boy who allegedly robbed two other teenage boys at knife-point.
Police said that about 11 p.m. Monday, the victims, 17 and 18, were walking to a store on Kamehameha Highway in Kahaluu when they were approached by the suspect.
Police said the suspect held out a knife and demanded money. When the victims refused, the suspect allegedly began punching and slapping them. Friends of the suspect intervened, police said.
Police arrested the boy on suspicion of two counts of first-degree robbery and possession of a prohibited weapon.
Head-butt suspect busted over abuse
A 47-year-old man accused of abuse also allegedly assaulted a police officer.
About 3:40 p.m. Monday, police responded to a domestic abuse case in Makiki. Police arrested the suspect on suspicion of felony abuse.
While escorting the suspect to a police vehicle that was to take him to the cellblock, the suspect head-butted the officer in the face, causing extreme pain, police said.
The suspect was then subdued and controlled before being taken to the police station without further incident, police said. He was also arrested on suspicion of first-degree assault on a police officer.
Classmate at large after sexual assault
Police have not yet arrested a 17-year-old boy who allegedly sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl in Honolulu.
The girl told police she had been sexually assaulted 2:30 p.m. Monday by a classmate.
Police have opened a second-degree sexual assault case.
Police looking for 4 alleged robbers
Police are looking for four men who allegedly robbed three other men of their money and a guitar early today.
Police said that shortly after midnight, three men — ages 21, 19 and 19 — were hanging out in a parking lot along Kapiolani Boulevard when the suspects approached them.
Police said the suspects told the victims to sit down, and punched one of them when he tried to stand up. One of the suspects allegedly pulled out a 12-inch knife and told the victims to empty their pockets.
The suspects took wallets from two men and a guitar from the third, then fled, police said.
The only description of the suspects was that they appeared to be in their 20s.
Homeless man released after heist
Police arrested a 21-year-old homeless man who allegedly robbed a 31-year-old man.
Police said the alleged robbery occurred at about 12:20 a.m. yesterday in Waianae.
A 35-year-old woman called police and said the 31-year- old man had been kidnapped. She identified to police the victim and the vehicle he was driving.
The victim told police he was going to give the suspect a ride and money because he was afraid the suspect was going to hurt him.
Police arrested the 21-year-old on suspicion of second-degree robbery.
He was released pending investigation.
Blaze continues burning at Na Pali
KEE, Kauai » A fire in a remote valley on Kauai's Na Pali Coast continued to burn yesterday as firefighters from the state and county fought the blaze.
The county's contract rescue helicopter, operated by Inter-Island Helicopters, was back doing water drops yesterday after being down the past few days for maintenance, according to Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward.
The Kalalau Trail remains closed and will be until further notice. Even after the fire is put out, Ward added, rock slides have occurred in the area and the trail must be inspected.
Campers kayaking or being dropped off by boat at Kalalau Beach or Milolii Beach are unaffected by the wildfire at Hanakapiai, she added.
Public's aid sought in search for man
Big Island police need help finding a 46-year-old Kamuela man missing since June.
Clinton Ross is described as 5-foot-9, weighing about 140 pounds. He has blue eyes and long blonde hair, and has numerous tattoos on his upper body. He was last heard from on June 7.
He often wears a bandana and may be riding a black and white Harley Davidson motorcycle, license plate number 550 HNP.
Anyone with information is asked to call officer Joslyn Kabalis at 326-4646, ext. 245 or the police department at 935-3311.