By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, December 29, 1999

Millennium Moments

Millennium special

The doctor also practiced botany

The original staff of Queen's Hospital around 1850 consisted of one physician: Dr. William Hillebrand, who came here desiring a better climate for his health.

A busy practitioner, Hillebrand also was the Hawaiian royal family's private doctor, the Board of Health president and a staffer with the mental health facility, according to "Vignettes of Old Hawaii" by David Free.

There's more: Hillebrand also co-owned a drug store with J. Mott-Smith, and was among the first to diagnose and seek a cure for leprosy.

In his spare time, the doctor, also an ardent botanist, imported rare trees into Hawaii, many of which ended up at his home, according to Free.

Today, Hillebrand's home is known as Foster Botanical Garden.


Hawaii's population off 0.4% in latest year

Hawaii's population dropped 0.4 percent in fiscal 1999, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today -- one of five states to see a population decrease.

Population on the islands sank to 1,185,497 in July 1999 from 1,190,472 a year earlier.

The nation's overall population rose 0.9 percent to 272.7 million. The fastest growing state for the 14th consecutive year was Nevada, with a growth of 3.8 percent.

Hawaii was among five states that saw less population, along with West Virginia, Wyoming, North Dakota and Pennsylvania.

The District of Columbia also lost population.

The islands saw 20,112 people leave for other states, while 4,721 international immigrants arrived here.

Births still outnumbered deaths: 17,548 compared to 7,431.

Detour of bus route will start on Monday

Buses operating eastbound on King Street between Iwilei Road and Richards Street will be detoured onto Hotel Street, beginning Monday.

The city said the detour will be in effect for about four months because of a King Street sidewalk widening project in Chinatown between River and Bethel streets.

Notices will be posted at affected stops, and bus personnel will be stationed on King and Hotel streets next week to assist riders, the city said.

Bulletproof vest funds approved for Honolulu

The Bureau of Justice Assistance has approved $70,480.82 for Honolulu to purchase bulletproof vests for law enforcement personnel, said Congresswoman Patsy Mink.

Hawaii County was allocated $6,000, Mink said. Kauai County already has received $8,000 to purchase the vests.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Police arrest man, take tons of fireworks

Police say they filled a Matson shipping container with 14 tons of legal and illegal fireworks seized from the Sung Chong Lim warehouse near Sand Island.

Officers also arrested a 40-year-old man for selling fireworks without a permit, which is a petty misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail or a $500 fine.

The bust was made after an undercover officer purchased illegal aerial fireworks for $110 at 1:15 p.m. yesterday, police said. An anonymous caller told police about fireworks being sold from the warehouse.

In the past week, police seized 2,000 pounds of illegal fireworks from a Mililani home and 500 pounds from a Waipio Gentry residence.

16-year-old arrested in Ewa firecracker fire

Firecrackers caused an estimated $500 in fire damage yesterday to an abandoned home in Tenney Village in Ewa, fire officials said.

The 10:19 a.m. fire at 91-1696 Orrick St. apparently began in the living room when a 16-year-old boy set off firecrackers.

He was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal property damage, which is a misdemeanor, police said. He told fire officials he accidentally started the blaze.

No one was hurt, and the fire was extinguished by neighbors and firefighters by 10:25 a.m., said Fire Capt Richard Soo.

Soo said fireworks under state law may be set off legally for only four hours -- from 9 p.m. New Year's Eve to 1 a.m. New Year's Day.

Soo added that since the Fire Department started tracking fireworks-related incidents Friday, firefighters responded to two rubbish fires, one brush fire, two structure fires and one eye injury.

Info Box

'Backpack bandit' hits Kahala bank, his 7th

A man being called the "backpack bandit" is suspected of robbing his seventh bank this month.

The suspect, with a black fanny pack slung over his shoulder, robbed the Kahala branch of American Savings Bank at about 2:40 p.m. yesterday, the FBI said.

He entered the bank at 1215 Hunakai St., passed a demand note to a teller, received an undisclosed sum and left, according to the FBI.

He is described as in his early to mid-20s, about 5 feet 10, slim, about 160 pounds, with acne marks and dirty blond curly hair. He wore a black cap, white T-shirt and dark pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 521-1411 or CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.

This was the state's 48th bank robbery of the year.

Bicyclist hit by car Dec. 19 dies on Maui

A bicyclist hit by a car on Piilani Highway died Christmas Day at Maui Memorial Hospital, police said.

Michael Banfield, 49, of Pavilion, Wyoming, had been in critical condition since being struck by the car on Dec. 19.

Charges are pending against the 35-year-old Wailuku man who was driving the 1979 Chevrolet which hit Banfield, police said.

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