City spokesman arrested on DUI
Honolulu city spokesman Bill Brennan was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of an intoxicant early today.
Brennan, 55, was stopped by police at about 2:20 a.m. at the intersection of Hunakai Street and Waialae Avenue, not far from his Kahala home.
At 2:45 a.m., police arrested him on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence. Brennan was later charged with DUI and released after posting $500 bail shortly before 7:30 this morning.
In a written statement, Mayor Mufi Hannemann's office said Brennan's arrest is not connected to his city work, but stressed that he takes "all issues of public safety very seriously and believes public servants must be held to high standards."
Brennan has taken a leave of absence while the mayor evaluates potential disciplinary action, the statement said.
Public invited to Samoan ritual
To welcome the Samoan head of state to Oahu, a public "ava faatupu" ceremony will be held, allowing attendees to witness what is usually reserved for Samoan nobility.
Returning from a visit at the Beijing Olympics, Samoa Head of State Afioga Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese will visit Oahu for three days before heading back home.
"I don't think a lot of people know about Samoa. So, we are inviting the public if they wish to learn about Samoa. We would like them to know about our culture and our music," said Muavaa Ati Soo, vice president of Samoans United in Action, the organization hosting Monday's event.
Part of the ava faatupu, or royal ava ceremony, includes the drinking of kava, an herbal drink made out of a dried root. The "sua," or presentation of ceremonial gifts, will follow. During this time some of the 100 warriors in attendance will present the head of state with a cooked pig. Other festivities include singing and a traditional greeting ceremony. Free food will be provided for all visitors.
The free event is scheduled for 3-6 p.m. Monday at Keehi Lagoon Park. For more information, call 945-3437.
$15M released for school repairs
The state has released $15 million to launch projects to improve 248 Hawaii public schools.
The funds are part of nearly $66.5 million the state will spend in electrical repairs, re-roofing, resurfacing of driveways and drainage work at those schools. The projects are expected to be completed by June 2010, according to Gov. Linda Lingle.
Lingle has also authorized the release of $10 million to close and convert cesspools at schools to comply with the U.S. Clean Water Act.
Burn planned for Schofield area
Weather permitting today, Army fire and safety specialists, with the help of federal firefighters, will conduct an annual prescribed burn of a 1,200-acre impact at Schofield Barracks as part of its range maintenance program.
The impact area is north of Kolekole and Trimble roads and west of the Maile Terrace, Kolekole Ridge and Hendrickson Heights military housing areas.
The prescribed burn is part of the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's ongoing plan to manage and protect range areas, decrease the danger of wildfires and survey for depleted uranium. Air monitors will be placed both up and downwind of the prescribed burn, in order to continue to address public concern about depleted uranium. Laboratory results from the air samples of Schofield's prescribed burn in 2007 showed no health hazard from the burn and accompanying smoke.
Asthma management class added
The American Lung Association of Hawaii has received $10,000 from the Morgan Stanley Foundation to support the Open Airways for Schools Plus program.
The new program, being tested in elementary schools in the next school year, adds a parent component focusing on home-based asthma management to the class curriculum.
It is intended to help students better manage their asthma, miss fewer classes and improve academic performance.
ALA of Hawaii Executive Director Jean Evans attributed the grant to volunteer efforts of Doug Yee of Morgan Stanley and expressed gratitude for his support to ALA of Hawaii over many years. "The Morgan Stanley grant will continue his fine work to help asthmatic children."
Police, Fire, Courts
Man, 20, arrested in theft of car
Police arrested a 20-year-old man who was seen allegedly driving a stolen car.
Police said a witness saw the suspect driving the car Wednesday night. The witness knows the registered owner, a 74-year-old woman, and knew her car was recently reported stolen.
After the witness called police, officers found the suspect at his home behind Punchbowl and arrested him on suspicion of auto theft.
Man accused in sex assault on boy
Police are looking for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a teenage boy yesterday.
A 13-year-old boy reported that he was sexually assaulted by a man at about 4:50 p.m. in the suspect's vehicle while parked near Ala Moana. Police said officers are following leads after receiving a description of the vehicle, which has not been released.
2 men arrested in stolen car case
Police arrested two men in a stolen car early yesterday.
At about 2:45 a.m. a police officer saw a vehicle heading toward 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. The passenger was arrested again on suspicion of drug charges.
Rental car returns with illegal drugs
Budget Car Rental employees discovered what appeared to be illegal drugs left in a car that had been returned and called airport sheriffs at about noon yesterday, said Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Louise Kim McCoy.
Airport deputy sheriffs found what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine. Deputy sheriffs arrested a 38-year-old man at 6:52 p.m. yesterday after checking rental car records.
Big Isle residents warned of scam
Big Island police are warning residents about a cashier's check mail scam. Police said a Hilo woman reported that she received a letter in the mail claiming to be from Confidential Evaluations Inc. with a Web address of www.imyst.com. The letter included a cashier's check and instructions to spend specific amounts of money at certain businesses and then to send the leftover money back to the company.
Police say the letter is a scam and advise people not to respond.
Waimea man, 46, missing on Big Isle
Big Island police need help finding a 46-year-old Waimea man missing since June.
Clinton Ross is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing about 140 pounds. He has blue eyes and long blond hair, and has numerous tattoos on his upper body. He was last heard from on June 7.
He often wears a bandanna and could 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.