Mayor Kim to get bypass surgery
Big Island Mayor Harry Kim will undergo heart bypass surgery tomorrow at the Queen's Medical Center.
Kim, 69, was flown to the Honolulu hospital Thursday after suffering his second heart attack in a month and his third attack in three years. He is in stable condition and resting comfortably, said his press secretary, Janet Snyder. "After consulting with doctors and his family, he will have surgery," she said.
Kim had been working half-days since he returned to work after an Aug. 10 heart attack. He spent two nights at Queen's after that episode, which occurred while he was at home on a weekend.
On Thursday, Kim drove himself to a fire station after feeling chest pains while working to train new workers at the Hawaii County Civil Defense agency. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center but transferred to Queen's because the Big Island hospital is not equipped to provide cardiac care.
Doctors put two stents -- wire mesh tubes -- in small blood vessels of his heart after a heart attack in May 2005. Hawaii County Managing Director Dixie Kaetsu is acting mayor during his absence, Snyder said.
Kim has less than three months left in his second term as mayor. He was administrator of the civil defense agency for 16 years before running for mayor.
Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste, 52, died June 22 of an apparent heart attack. He was recuperating at Wilcox Memorial Hospital after undergoing quadruple bypass surgery at Queen's.
Symphony musicians get raise
Honolulu Symphony musicians will receive a 12.5 percent wage increase by the end of a three-year labor contract reached with symphony management.
But the musicians will see no pay increase during the current 2008-2009 season, according to a joint announcement made yesterday by management and the musicians. The agreement between Musicians Association of Hawaii Local 677 and the orchestra board of directors was ratified by the musicians on Sept. 5.
The base salary will increase to more than $40,000 in 2011.
The musicians agreed to play without paychecks for 10 weeks during the spring season as the financially struggling symphony sought support from the state and private donors. They were reimbursed after the season ended in May.
"The new contract is an important step towards continued financial stability for the symphony as we continue to make strides in audience development and extension of music education programs for children on Oahu and across the islands," Tom Gulick, symphony executive director, said in a news release.
Army beefs up isle troops
The Army announced yesterday that almost 2,000 more soldiers would be stationed in Hawaii as part of a realignment of forces in the Pacific Theater.
A total of 1,680 combat support soldiers and combat service support soldiers will be added at Schofield Barracks. An additional 300 soldiers would be added at Fort Shafter.
In the realignment Alaska would get an additional 2,200 soldiers, while 254 would go to Fort Lewis, Wash.
Today's announcement mirrors a recommendation made earlier this summer.
Police, Fire, Courts
Police seek man in store robbery
Police are asking for help in finding a man in his 20s who they say robbed a Waikiki convenience store Sept. 2.
Police said the man entered the 7-Eleven store at 1960 Kapiolani Blvd. at 2:10 a.m. and approached the cashier to pay for an item. The man reached into the open cash register and grabbed an undisclosed amount of cash, police said. He fled on foot toward Waikiki.
He is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, between 140 and 160 pounds and clean shaven. He was wearing a beige, short-sleeved shirt, white shorts, white tennis shoes and a white baseball cap.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
Honolulu police seek help in finding this man who allegedly robbed a 7-Eleven store Sept. 2 at 1960 Kapiolani Blvd.
Man, 81, nabbed in drug raid
Big Island authorities charged an 81-year-old Kau man yesterday with drug and weapon offenses.
Police arrested Leovegildo Mercado and a 64-year-old man Thursday afternoon after executing a search warrant on a Pakalana Street home. Investigators discovered 506 marijuana plants, 4.9 pounds of dried marijuana, two rifles, a handgun and ammunition, police said.
Police also seized $44,000 in cash for forfeiture. Mercado was charged with three counts of commercial promotion of marijuana, promoting a detrimental drug and six firearm violations. Bail was set at $10,700. He remains in the Kona cellblock, police said.
The 64-year-old man was released pending an investigation.
Suspect sought in assault at bar
Big Island police were looking for man who allegedly critically injured another man Thursday during an assault at a Hilo bar.
Police said the suspect hit the victim in the face in the restroom of the bar at about 11:55 p.m. and fled on foot. The victim, a 27-year-old Hilo man, was treated at Hilo Medical Center and flown to the Queen's Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition.
The suspect is described as in his early 20s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 185 pounds, with short black hair. He was wearing a light-colored shirt and dark shorts and was last seen running makai on Haili Street and south on Kamehameha Avenue.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Regino Saludares at 961-2379 or the police nonemergency line, 935-3311.
200 acres burn in Big Isle wildfire
Eucalyptus trees made a Big Island brush fire in Ookala difficult to extinguish, Hawaii County fire officials said.
The stubborn fire, which began at 7:53 a.m. mauka of Kukui Camp, consumed about 200 acres yesterday, fire officials said. The fire was along Highway 19 at the 30-mile marker on Ranch Road. When firefighters arrived, winds were pushing the fire mauka.
The Fire Department used fire breaks created by county and private bulldozers, and the blaze was 90 percent contained by 4:15 p.m.