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POSTED: Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Electrician hurt in fire at College

An electrician is in critical condition after suffering electrical burns while conducting repairs yesterday at Heald College.

The electrician was in a vault room at the college at 1500 Kapiolani Blvd. when a loud bang was heard at about 12:10 p.m. People in an adjacent building saw a flash and smoke.

“;There was some sort of arcing that caused the flash and fire,”; said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig.

The electrician walked out of the room with burns on the front of his body that were treated by firefighters before paramedics arrived.

“;He was conscious and alert,”; said Seelig. “;He was talking when he walked out.”;

Firefighters extinguished a small fire in the vault room.

The electrician, in his 50s, was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where his condition worsened to critical, said Bryan Cheplic, spokesman for the city Emergency Services Department.

House panel to hear Akaka Bill

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the latest version of a bill designed to give native Hawaiians federal recognition similar to that of American Indians.

The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act was approved by the House and only cleared the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2007.

Sens. Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye reintroduced the so-called Akaka Bill in the Senate, while Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono did the same in the House.

Neighborhood boards cancel sessions

The Downtown and the McCully-Moiliili neighborhood boards will not have their scheduled meetings tomorrow.

The downtown board's next meeting is scheduled for July 2.

The McCully-Moiliili board plans to have a joint meeting with the Manoa and the Makiki-Lower Punchbowl-Tantalus boards on June 23 at the Central Union Church Parish Hall, 1660 S. Beretania St. The meeting includes a presentation by Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children officials.

Kauai to offer coupon book to tourists

The Kauai Visitors Bureau and the Office of Economic Development are teaming up to create a coupon book offering discounts and reduced rates for small, local businesses on Kauai.

Sue Kanoho, executive director of the visitors bureau, said 50,000 copies will be distributed at visitor properties around the island, and coupon books will be effective from July 1 to Dec. 31.

“;We felt it was important not only to fill rooms, but to encourage spending in local businesses while the visitor is here,”; said Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “;We hope the special offers in the coupon book will do just that.”;

The coupon book is part of the county's $1 million Visitor Stimulus Plan, and companies will not be charged to participate. Those interested should contact Maile Telles at 245-3971. Companies must sign up by 1 p.m. June 12.