POSTED: Thursday, September 25, 2008

White Rabbit candy sales halted

Following news of tainted milk sickening thousands of Chinese infants, a Hawaii retailer and candy distributor have voluntarily halted sales of White Rabbit candies purely as a precautionary measure, said Hawaii Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

Longs Drug Stores have voluntarily pulled White Rabbit candies from their store shelves and the candies' Hawaii distributor, KTM Services, has also voluntarily withheld them from sales, Okubo said.

Tests in Hong Kong and Singapore found melamine in Chinese-made White Rabbit candies.

However, the Health Department does not have evidence that the milk candies contain contaminated milk or pose any health risks, Okubo said. If it did, it would quickly warn the public, she said.

The department is awaiting results of tests by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has pulled samples of the candies and other products.

Tainted baby formula has sickened nearly 53,000 Chinese infants and has already cost the head of the country's food safety watchdog his job. Four deaths are blamed on contaminated milk powder.


Beachgoers alerted of jellyfish

About 300 box jellyfish were found on Waikiki beaches before 9 a.m. today.

The stinging creatures come into nearshore waters about 10 days after a full moon to spawn. City lifeguards advise people who don't want to risk getting stung to stay out of the water. Beaches that are usually affected by the jellyfish influx include Waikiki, Ala Moana, Diamond Head, sometimes Hanauma Bay and sometimes Makaha.

People who get stung are advised to flush the affected area with copious amounts of white vinegar and use heat or cold for pain.


Water main break closes school

Kaiulani Elementary School in Palama closed for the day because of a water main break on North King Street fronting the school.

The break at 783 N. King St. between Palama Street and Robello Lane happened about 3 a.m. today and also cut water to at least 10 other customers, including businesses and homes, according to the Board of Water Supply.

The water board was trying to set up water wagons for those without water. There was no word on how long repairs would take.


Accident killed sailor, Navy says

The Navy says Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael A. Gentile, a machinist's mate, died during an accident while the ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska was submerged in waters off Oahu on Saturday.

Gentile, 21, of Fairfield, Maine, enlisted in the Navy in July 2005. He had been assigned to the USS Nebraska since Nov. 15, 2006.

Because of an ongoing investigation, Pearl Harbor officials declined to release any other information about the incident.

However, on Sunday, a Navy spokesman told the Associated Press that Gentile was mortally injured while the sub was beneath the surface of the ocean. He was given emergency medical treatment on board the sub and was placed on a medical helicopter, but died before reaching a hospital.

The Navy said then that there was no indication that a mechanical problem or malfunction was involved, nor was anyone else injured.

Gentile had previously served on the ballistic missile sub USS Alaska.

He belonged to the Nebraska's “;Blue”; crew - one of two assigned to the 560-foot submarine, which is normally stationed in Bangor, Wash. Each crew has about 150 sailors.


Guide focuses on youth drinking

A resource guide for parents and other adults is in today's daily newspapers as part of a state campaign against underage drinking.

Lt. Gov. James “;Duke”; Aiona kicked off “;We Don't Serve Teens Week”; yesterday with a news conference. He said the campaign underscores “;that we, as parents and responsible adults, have more power over the choices our children make than we may realize.”;

The 12-page leaflet provides information and support for a community effort to fight youths' consumption of alcohol, which is abused by more teenagers than any other drug, according to the announcement.



Teen arrested in home break-in

Police arrested a 14-year-old boy on suspicion of burglary after he allegedly broke into a Makakilo home Monday and asked for money from a 32-year-old woman.

The woman was wakened by the rattling of vertical blinds of her front window at 7:52 a.m. Monday, so she got up and found a teenager standing in her living room, police said.

She yelled at him to get out of her house, police said. The teen then asked her if she had any money to give him, police said. The woman continued yelling, and the boy ran out of the house through the front door, police said.

Police caught the teen 20 minutes later and arrested him on suspicion of first-degree burglary.



Kaneohe man accused of abuse

A 68-year-old Kaneohe man was charged in the sexual assault of a 9-year-old girl.

Patrick C. Ah Yuen was charged Monday afternoon with first-degree sexual assault, after being arrested that morning at his Kaneohe home.

The girl reported she was sexually assaulted between Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 by Ah Yuen.

His bail was set at $20,000.



Police charge 2 in robbery of store

Authorities charged two men who are accused of robbing the owner of a small store at gunpoint.

Alex Singleton and Stirling Ragasa were charged Friday with first-degree robbery. Bail was set at $30,000 for each.

The owner of 808 Hula Mart at 1027 Pensacola St. was sitting behind the counter when two men with bandanas over their faces entered the store at 8:35 p.m. Thursday and approached her.

Singleton allegedly brandished a handgun and demanded and took cash from the owner, police said.

But after Singleton allegedly demanded money, the owner did not respond, so he allegedly pulled the trigger of the handgun and the owner heard a clicking sound, police said.

Singleton then allegedly reached into the open cash register and took some cash and put it inside a backpack.

The two men fled onto Pensacola Street and ran toward South King Street.

Police, who spotted the men stuffing black clothing into backpacks, pursued and caught Singleton hiding inside the office of La Gelateria on Cedar Street. He was wearing no shirt and a thick jacket used by workers to enter the freezer at the Italian ice cream shop.

Police caught Ragasa lying face down in the bushes on Kapiolani Boulevard with cash in one pocket and a black head rag in the other pocket.


Examiner IDs body found near Ala Wai

The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office has identified the man whose body was found along the Ala Wai promenade as Todd Norton, 46, who has no local address.

Norton's body was found Friday morning behind the Hawaii Convention Center.

The Medical Examiner's Office has not yet determined the cause of death.


Kalihi man accused of abusing his wife

Police arrested a 38-year-old Kalihi man who allegedly abused his wife.

Police said that the suspect's 40-year-old wife told them that about 8:30 p.m. Sept. 2 her husband pushed her onto a bed and choked her. She reported the incident on Sept. 10, police said. She also told police that her husband threatened her on June 22, and abused her on May 25 and Feb. 21.

The suspect turned himself in to police Monday and was arrested for investigation of felony abuse of a household member, first-degree terroristic threatening and three counts of misdemeanor abuse of a family member.



Big Isle police seek missing Puna man

;  Big Island police are looking for a 72-year-old Puna man who was reported missing Sunday.

Edwin M. Cobile, of Mountain View, was last seen on Banyan Drive on Sept. 14.

He is described as Filipino, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing about 180 pounds with balding gray hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police nonemergency line at 935-3311.



Man allegedly choked girlfriend

Police arrested a 32-year-old man early yesterday for allegedly choking his girlfriend.

Police said the suspect and the victim, 21, live together in Village Park and were arguing at about 1 a.m. before he grabbed her neck, impeding her breathing.

Police arrested the man on suspicion of felony abuse of a household member.