Voter registration deadline today
The deadline for new voters to register to vote in the Sept. 20 primary election is today, according to the Office of Elections.
Completed voter registration forms must be turned in to the appropriate county clerk by 4:30 p.m. or postmarked by midnight if mailed.
Wikiwiki voter registration forms are available at post offices, public libraries, in the yellow pages, online at www.hawaii.gov/elections, county clerk offices and most state agencies. To vote, individuals must be U.S. citizens, Hawaii residents and at least 18 years old.
Registered voters who have changed their name or moved since the last election should re-register before the voter registration deadline.
State after-school project grows
Hilo Intermediate School launched an after-school program yesterday to prevent students from getting into trouble because of a lack of adequate supervision.
The 496-student campus joins 17 other public middle schools in the state participating in the after-school program, which receives $2.4 million in federal grants, Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona said in a news release.
The goal is to eventually have all 52 public middle schools in the program, which began as a pilot project at Molokai Middle School in 2004 and now reaches more than 4,000 isle students, officials said.
At Hilo Intermediate it offers math, physical fitness and cultural exploration classes.
Maile Way gate to close at night
The University of Hawaii at Manoa will close the Maile Way gate to the campus off University Avenue from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in an effort to improve campus safety, the university announced in a news release.
The closure will start Monday.
The East-West Road gate on Dole Street will remain open during those hours.
The Maile Way Gate will be closed in both directions with the use of physical barriers -- metal poles inserted in the driveway, with prominent warning signs posted and a flashing red light.
A source of continuing concern to campus security in past years have been incidents in which outsiders responsible for thefts and other problems have driven through campus late at night, the university said.
Maile-Amber Alert finds glitch
A glitch was discovered in yesterday's statewide test of the Maile-Amber Alert system when the audio portion of the message was either soft or "a little garbled" during the broadcast on TV and radio, the coordinator of the Missing Child Center-Hawaii said.
"We received a lot of calls," said coordinator Charlene Takeno. "That's the purpose of a test."
The test revealed a glitch in the equipment, which Takeno said is hopefully easily fixed.
Takeno said some callers said there was silence during the broadcast, but it may have just been hard to hear. That might have led some to believe there was an actual abduction. If there had been an actual alert, the message would have included more information such as a description of the child, suspect and vehicle used in the abduction.
Yesterday's alert was merely a test conducted biannually, but an actual alert would signal a child abduction incident. The alert system also includes messages appearing on signs above the H-1 and H-2 freeways, which worked well yesterday. Portable highway signs are not being used currently, Takeno said.
The Emergency Alert System notification is one aspect of the alert system.
The emergency message is also sent to the media.
Yesterday's test originated from the Maui Police Department at 11:45 a.m.
$8M set to fix tsunami sirens
Gov. Linda Lingle has released $8 million to upgrade existing or install new Civil Defense sirens with solar-powered sirens in tsunami inundation zones across the state.
State Civil Defense identified 249 sirens this year that need to be installed or replaced on the Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu.
The $8,047,740 in funds will pay for 96 high-priority sirens in tsunami inundation zones. Additional project funding will be requested in the future to replace obsolete sires or add warning sirens at the remaining sites.
Construction will begin in November and be finished in December 2009.
Police, Fire, Courts
Seat-belt stop leads to stolen-car arrest
Police arrested two men who were caught in a stolen car early today.
At about 2:45 a.m. a police officer saw a vehicle heading Koko Head on South King Street and noticed that the driver was not wearing a seat belt. The officer then learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen.
Police arrested the driver, a 32-year-old man, on suspicion of auto theft. The front passenger, a 47-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of unauthorized entry into a vehicle.
While the passenger was being taken to the hospital for a medical condition, he gave the officer a glass pipe containing methamphetamine residue, police said.
Police said the suspect told the officer he wanted to get rid of the pipe, but did not want to dump it in the police vehicle. The passenger was arrested again on suspicion of drug charges.
1 of 2 men caught in girl's kidnapping
Police arrested yesterday a 24-year-old Honolulu man, one of two men who allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl earlier this month at a Honolulu high school.
Police said the girl reported two men intimidated her into getting into a black pickup truck outside a Honolulu apartment building.
The men then drove her to a Honolulu high school, the name of which police would not reveal, where both men allegedly sexually assaulted her sometime between 12:01 and 1:29 a.m. Aug. 1.
Through investigation, police learned the name of one of the suspects, and the victim identified him. Police found and arrested the man yesterday on suspicion of kidnapping, three counts of first-degree sexual assault and three counts of third-degree sexual assault.
The other suspect has not been located.
Attack on cabbie leads to arrest
Police arrested a 36-year-old Palolo Valley woman yesterday who allegedly punched a taxicab driver while seated in his parked taxi in Waikiki.
Police said the cabdriver, a 47-year-old man, was sitting in his taxi, waiting for his next fare, when the woman came up to him and started arguing.
During the argument, the woman allegedly punched the cabdriver in the face through the open window. The incident occurred at 6:20 p.m. yesterday.
Police arrived and arrested the woman for unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle.
Housemate blamed in sexual assault
A sexual-assault charge is pending against a 57-year-old Honolulu man who allegedly sexually assaulted a 41-year-old woman who is a tenant in the same household.
Police said the woman reported yesterday that the man sexually assaulted her between 9 and 10 a.m. Monday.
Police said the man and woman rent separate rooms in the same home on Monsarrat Avenue.
Police arrested the man at his home yesterday morning on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault.
4 male suspects wanted in robbery
Police are looking for four men who allegedly robbed three other men of their money and a guitar early yesterday.
Police said that shortly after midnight, three men -- ages 21, 19 and 19 -- were hanging out in a parking lot on 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.