POSTED: Monday, November 09, 2009

Credit card scam targets merchants

Police are warning about a credit card scam aimed at merchants.

The scam might spread from Oahu to the neighbor islands, Big Island police said.

It involves what appears to be a valid, debit, credit or gift card. When used to pay for merchandise, a “;bad swipe”; error code appears. The scammers then ask the cashier to call an 800 number printed on the card, police said.

The 800 number actually goes to a co-conspirator posing as a bank representative, who provides false or stolen credit card information that allows the transaction to go forward, police said.

Merchants are asked to report any suspicious activity involving debit, credit or gift cards, and members of the public are advised to check their credit card statements and report any unauthorized charges.


Water cut off at 2 high-rises, school

An 8-inch water main broke near 'Iolani School early yesterday morning, cutting off water to the school and two high-rises.

At about 3:35 a.m. the main ruptured at 594 Kamoku St., between Date and Lauiki streets. Several buildings were affected, including 'Iolani School, the Royal Iolani and Iolani Court Plaza.

Crew members of the Board of Water Supply replaced the broken water main with 10 feet of pipe, said spokeswoman Tracy Burgo.

Water service was restored at about 3:30 p.m., but Burgo said it might take some time for water to reach the upper floors of the high-rises.


Talk covers arms dumped in ocean

A University of Hawaii mapping cruise to locate munitions dumped by the U.S. military since the late 1940s in the ocean near Pearl Harbor will be discussed in a public lecture at 5 p.m. tomorrow in Room 127, Pacific Ocean Science and Technology (POST) building, 1680 East-West Road.

Speaking will be Margo Edwards, director of the Mapping Research Group in the Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, who led a 12-day mapping cruise aboard the UH's Kaimikai-o-Kanaloa.

The team identified about 2,000 conventional and chemical munitions using side-scan sonar, submersibles and a remotely operated vehicle. They also collected water, sediments and sea life samples for analysis to determine presence of chemical agents.

Edwards was named the 2009 Scientist of the Year by the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) in recognition of her group's work in advancing understanding of the sea floor.

ARCS is a national nonprofit organization that raises funds to support graduate students in science, engineering and health fields.



Coast Guard escorts boat to harbor

The Coast Guard cutter Galveston Island escorted a 41-foot sailboat back to Honokohau Small Boat Harbor yesterday after five people spent the night aboard, tossed in rough seas about 50 miles west of the Big Island.

At about 8:30 p.m. Saturday the Nostromo reported losing its rigging west of Kailua-Kona.

A Coast Guard C-130 dropped a search and rescue kit containing food, water, flares and a radio for the crew until the Honolulu-based 110-foot Galveston Island could arrive, said Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer 3rd Class Luke Clayton.

At about 3:30 a.m. yesterday the Galveston Island reached the sailboat and tried to repair the rigging but did not have the right equipment, Clayton said.

The Galveston Island crew gave the stranded boaters' fuel and escorted them back to Kailua-Kona Harbor at a low speed because of the rough seas, Clayton said.

The sailboat, which left Ala Wai Harbor on Oct. 30, arrived in Kona after 4 p.m. No one was injured.