POSTED: Friday, April 10, 2009

Parents suing daughter's slayer

The parents of slain Japanese visitor Masumi Watanabe are suing the man convicted of their daughter's murder.

Hideichi and Fumiko Watanabe are also suing Terminix International, whose subsidiary, Hauoli Termite and Pest Control, is the former employer of convicted murderer Kirk M. Lankford.

Lankford, 24, said he accidentally struck Watanabe with his work truck on Pupukea Road on April 12, 2007, while on the job.

As he was driving her home, Lankford said Watanabe, 21, jumped out of the truck, struck her head on a rock and died. He said he later disposed of her body in the ocean off Kualoa.

Watanabe's body remains missing.

A state jury rejected Lankford's story and found him guilty of second-degree murder.

According to the lawsuit filed in state court Wednesday, Terminix was negligent because it knew of previous incidents in which Lankford damaged his work vehicle and had been contacted by Honolulu police in connection with an alleged sexual assault involving Lankford's work truck.


Jet bound for Maui has emergency

An American Airlines 767-300 jet bound for Maui from Dallas was forced to make an emergency landing Wednesday in Los Angeles after a warning light signaled low hydraulic fluid.

The 216 passengers on Flight 7 were transferred to another aircraft and were on the ground for only two hours, an American spokesman said, before they resumed their journey to Kahului.


Sewage prompts stream warning

The state Department of Health yesterday posted signs warning people to stay out of Kanaha Stream downstream from the Papakolea area because of a sewage spill.

About 3,000 gallons of raw sewage overflowed at 2289 Tantalus Drive due to roots and grease in the line, according to an announcement from the Clean Water Branch. It flowed down a vegetated slope and into the stream.

The area is controlled by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.


WCC chancellor search is under way

A search committee to find a new chancellor for Windward Community College is interviewing candidates and hopes to have someone in place by July 1, according to Carolyn Tanaka, the University of Hawaii associate vice president for external affairs.

Angela Meixell, the current chancellor, is slated to become the interim state director for career and technical education. Her reassignment is on the agenda for next month's Board of Regents meeting.

The search committee to find her replacement has been working since January. Meixell's term as chancellor is scheduled to end on June 30. She has been chancellor since 2002.


Council panel seeking city clerk

A City Council search committee is seeking applicants for the position of city clerk.

The Council will fill the job, vacated by the retirement of Denise De Costa, for a six-year term.

Councilmember Gary Okino, who heads the committee, said it seek someone with at least five years of management experience and knowledge and experience with the laws and operations of voter registration and elections. A candidate should also be familiar with city government and the civil service system and be able to communicate with the public and the media.

April 24 is the deadline for applications. Resumes and references should be submitted to Okino at Honolulu City Council, 530 S. King St., Room 202, Honolulu, HI 96813.


Land board OKs Mauna Kea plan

HILO » The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has approved the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan, but with conditions.

The board said yesterday that the University of Hawaii must submit sub-plans addressing public access, natural resources, cultural resources and the decommissioning of telescopes atop Mauna Kea.

In addition, implementation of the management plan drawn up by the university could be delayed if opponents get their way and a contested case hearing is held.

“;They can't implement anything if we go forward with it,”; said Kealoha Pisciotta, president of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou, one of several groups that requested a contested case hearing. The request was also made by the Sierra Club, the Royal Order of Kamehameha I and KAHEA, the Hawaiian environmental alliance.

The board's unanimous vote came after two days of public testimony on the 299-page document that lays the framework for protection and conservation in the more than 11,000-acre area managed by the university. University President David McClain pledged full financial support of the plan, estimated to cost an additional $1.5 million a year.