Stories to watch in Honolulu today

Whales pay rare visit to Honolulu Harbor

Photo by Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin

A mother humpback whale and her two calves paid a rare visit to Honolulu Harbor yesterday, disrupting ocean-going vessels for most of the day while delighting weekend visitors on the waterfront.

The whales, the largest about 35 feet in length, came within 100 yards of Pier 2A at Fort Armstrong. They spent the day in the channel between the fort and Sand Island, occasionally spouting.

Large vessels were not allowed to traverse the channel until the whales swam out of the harbor at about 6:45 last night.

The first sightings within the harbor were at about 7 a.m. Witnesses saw one large spout and two smaller ones near Pier 2A at about 3 p.m.

Later, at least one more whale was seen near the mouth of the harbor, but it did not enter.

250 Kaneohe Marines training in Florida

More than 250 Kaneohe Marines will be training in Florida until the end of the month participating in an exercise to prepare them for possible deployment to the Persian Gulf.

The Hawaii-based Marines would form the senior headquarters for the Marine Forces deployed to the Persian Gulf in any future crisis.

The "Internal Look 96" exercise begins today at Camp Blanding, an Army National Guard facility near Starke in northeast Florida. The exercise will end March 27.

The Hawaii contingent represents Marine Forces Pacific, based at Camp Smith, and 1st Radio Battalion and B Company, 7th Communications Battalion, both based at the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base.

HPD trying new blue lights on motorcycles

Honolulu police are hoping two modified solo bikes expected to hit the road today for a monthlong test run won't cause any confusion.

Two small blue lights - the same as those on the back of the bike - have been added to the front.

It's part of Police Chief Michael Nakamura's push to make officers more visible on Oahu's highways and byways, particularly in heavy traffic. Nakamura hopes the running lights will remind motorists to drive safely and will provide a reassuring presence.

The only time motorists need to react is when the blue lights on the front of the motorcycle and the strobe light on the back are flashing, said Maj. Barbara Wong, head of the Honolulu Police Traffic Division. That means the officer is involved in a pursuit, responding to an emergency or pulling a motorist over.


Rescue workers looking for divers off Big Isle

HILO - Fire Department rescue workers are continuing a search today for two divers missing in separate incidents on the Big Island.

Cole S. Takayesu, 23, of Hilo, was swept out to sea by rough waters Saturday morning while diving at Kaalualu Bay, six miles northeast of South Point, a friend told Fire Department officials. A search with a county helicopter and a rescue boat failed to locate him yesterday.

Rescuers have also been unable to locate Patrick Duffy, missing at Honaunau, South Kona, since Friday when he dove to a depth of 200 feet trying to recover an opelu net.

Haiku man is killed in Hana Highway crash

WAILUKU - A Haiku man died last night when the sedan he was driving was struck by a van on Hana Highway between Baldwin Park and Paia.

Douglas R. Sporrer Jr., 22, was driving toward Haiku when the van, traveling in the opposite direction, crossed the centerline and collided with his car at 5:19 p.m., police said. Police are holding a 54-year-old man who was the driver of the van on a separate contempt of court charge.


- Waikiki fire at Seaside Towers causes $110,000 in damage

- Two stabbings overnight leave two men in Queen's Hospital

- Hauula man dies after crashing into utility pole

- Skydiver in critical condition after jump at Dillingham Field

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