Blaze battle gets isle helpHILO >> Two 20-person crews of national park firefighters from Pacific parks are going to California tomorrow to battle the 17,000-acre "Martis Fire" east of Truckee in the Sierra Nevada range, the National Park Service announced.
The fire is already being fought by 3,000 personnel, but is only 30 percent contained.
One team from Hawaii will consist of firefighters from Hawaii Volcanoes, Puuhonua o Honaunau, Puukohola Heiau, Kaloko-Honokohau, Haleakala, Kalaupapa, and the USS Arizona Memorial parks. The other team will come from American Samoa.
Last year's fire season was the most challenging since 1910, said park service acting director Denis Galvin.
Melvin Matsuda named DOE employee of the yearMelvin Matsuda, head custodian at Holomua Elementary School, was named employee of the year by the state Department of Education.
Matsuda received $200 and becomes the department's nominee for the Governor's Award for Distinguished State Service.
Also recognized by the Department of Education for superior work, and receiving $100 each, were Central District speech pathologist Ana Gamble, school safety specialist Rodney Goo, Waihee Elementary school custodian Amy Hashimoto, Kauai High School student activities coordinator James Kawamura, Hokulani Elementary school administrative services assistant Kayleen Kawamura, Kailua Intermediate student activities coordinator Blain Shinno, and Waiakea High SASA Jessie Veriato.
AFTERNOON CAR SNARL
Former Hawaii senator nominated to HUDPresident Bush has nominated former state Sen. Michael Liu as assistant secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. If confirmed by the Senate, he will be the highest-ranking Hawaii person in the Bush administration.
The White House announced Liu would succeed Harold Lucas, who has resigned.
Liu, a Republican, served in the state House from 1984 to 1990 and the Senate from 1994 to 1996. He lost his bid for re-election in 1996 and made an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor in 1998.
Barbara Marumoto, Hawaii Bush for President chairwoman, said Liu, an attorney living in Illinois for the last two years, "is eminently qualified."
Coast Guard searching for overdue boatThe U.S. Coast Guard was searching this morning for an overdue 22-foot fishing vessel off the Big Island.
The vessel was reported missing at 10:30 last night when the men failed to return to Keauhou Bay in Kona.
The fishing boat Kinole was last seen 15 miles west of Kau Loa Point yesterday afternoon after another fisherman helped the Kinole after the vessel broke down.
Kauai swimmer charged with stealing foodLIHUE >> Matthew Davidson, the naked swimmer who was pulled from the water by a Navy rescue crew while trying to swim from Port Allen to Niihau, was bound over to Kauai Circuit Court on a felony charge of burglary yesterday.
Davidson, 27, was arrested shortly after midnight Saturday by Kauai police responding to a burglar alarm at the Java Kai Roasting Co. in Hanalei. Police said they found Davidson inside the restaurant. He was charged with taking fruit, yogurt, a bagel and some butter.
After a preliminary hearing in Kauai District Court, Davidson was unable to make the $1,000 bail and returned to the Kauai Community Correctional Center. He will be arraigned in Circuit Court on July 10.
On June 8, Davidson swam 17 of the 27 miles from Port Allen to Niihau. His father alerted the Coast Guard and after a day-long search, he was spotted by a Navy helicopter from the Pacific Missile Range on Kauai and reluctantly agreed to be rescued.
>> Ricardo Pena, 20, is charged with attempted murder in connection with a stabbing in Waikiki Saturday. A report in Wednesday's morning edition said Pena was charged with attempted murder in connection with a different incident.
Corrections and clarifications
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Publisher and Editor in Chief John Flanagan at 529-4748 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Police thwart suspect's attempt to rob bank vaultHonolulu police arrested a man who allegedly tried to rob the vault of the Waianae branch of First Hawaiian Bank yesterday morning. John M. Kelilikane was scheduled to appear in Federal Court today to face attempted robbery charges.
Police said Kelilikane walked into the bank located at 86-020 Farrington Highway at 9:30 a.m., and approached a teller station where a child was being helped. Police said Kelilikane prevented the child from leaving and then demanded money from the teller.
Police said Kelilikane then approached the bank's service consultant and demanded to be let into the vault. As the consultant opened the vault police arrived and arrested him.
Primary suspect caught in home invasion casePolice say they have captured all three suspects in a home invasion robbery May 22.
Police arrested a 32-year-old Waianae man in his Imipono Place home and a 30-year-old Waianae man at a nearby beach yesterday.
On Wednesday they arrested a 25-year-old man in Waianae who they described as the primary aggressor. On June 7, they arrested a 20-year-old Waianae man for selling seven guitars stolen in the robbery.
The suspects allegedly broke into a Makakilo home, tied up the homeowner with duct tape, assaulted the homeowner and then asked him for money and drugs.
The suspects then fled with money and the guitars.
Two in critical condition in separate accidentsTwo people were in critical condition this morning at Queen's Medical Center after they were hit crossing the street in two separate accidents last night.
Police said a 72-year-old man had just stepped off the curb at the intersection of Moanalua Road and Hekaha Street in Waimalu about 10:30 p.m. when he was struck by a sport utility vehicle traveling west on Moanalua Road. Police said the man was in a cross walk but he tried to cross against the traffic light.
At about 11:40 p.m. a man and a woman were struck as they tried to cross Fort Weaver Road in front of St. Francis Medical Center West in Ewa. The woman, 36, was transported to Queen's Medical Center where her condition later worsened to critical. The man was also transported to Queen's where he was treated and released.
Suspect in sex assault of man, 83, soughtHonolulu police are looking for a 40-year-old male caregiver who may have sexually assaulted an 83-year-old Manoa man.
Police said the suspect had previously been observed physically restraining the victim and was terminated as caregiver after unexplained bruises were found on the victim. Police said sometime later the victim told his daughter that the suspect sexually assaulted him.
Woman arrested after threatening landlordA 22-year-old woman threatened her landlord with a broken broomstick after he shut off her electricity according to police.
The incident took place on Cleghorn Street after they argued about rent.
Police said the suspect grabbed a broomstick, struck the driver-side rear-view mirror of the victim's car, then pointed the sharp end of the broomstick at the victim.
Police said the suspect then verbally threatened to kill the victim.
The suspect left the scene briefly and was arrested by police upon her return.
Noted surfer appears in court on robbery chargesLarry Bertlemann, 45, a world-renowned surfer in the 1970s, made his initial court appearance yesterday on robbery, threatening and firearm charges.
Police said Bertlemann pointed a handgun at a bartender in Waikiki just after midnight Tuesday after the bartender asked him to pay for his beer. Bertlemann was caught by police in his car in the bar's parking lot, police said. He remains in custody.
Boat's propeller cuts leg of Maui visitor on diveWAILUKU >> A 63-year-old visitor was in stable condition at Maui Memorial Medical Center yesterday after her right leg was severely cut by a boat propeller.
Marge Burkett of Cornelius, S.C., was on the dive charter boat Reliant off Molokini crater when she went off the back of the boat and her leg was cut from the inner thigh to the heel, authorities said.
A Coast Guard vessel from Maalaea arrived and administered emergency aid 24 minutes after receiving the distress call at 9:30 a.m., Petty Officer Brad Reuhl said.