Contra-flow plan to be discussedThe state's plans to contra-flow Nimitz Highway from the H-1 freeway to Pier 32 will be presented to the public at an informational briefing at 7 p.m. Thursday at Puuhale Elementary School.
The $5 million project will allow one Ewa-bound lane of Nimitz to become town-bound from the Keehi Interchange of the H-1 freeway until the point where Nimitz Highway becomes four lanes near Pier 32, just before the Hilo Hattie store from about 5:30 a.m. until about 8 a.m. on a trial basis.
If the project is successful in reducing commute times, the state may extend the Zipper Lane in 2004 from the H-1 freeway near the airport, where it currently ends, to the contra-flow lane on Nimitz.
Construction to create the cross-over lanes at the beginning and end of the contra-flow, to widen the left-hand turn onto Sand Island Access Road and to put in traffic signals facing town-bound in the Ewa lane would start this summer and the contra-flow could begin in the fall.
The contra-flow project is seen as a cheaper alternative to a $200 million proposal floated and apparently killed six years ago to extend the airport viaduct toward town.
The contra-flow idea has been floated before and was opposed by businesses on the makai side of Nimitz Highway because of concerns about increased traffic on the narrow streets in those neighborhoods and because left-hand turns into Kalihi Kai would be banned in the morning, except for the turn onto Sand Island Access Road.
The $5 million for the project was approved by the Legislature last session.
>> Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson is a former governor of Wisconsin. A story on Page A1 in late editions Friday incorrectly referred to him as a former governor of Illinois.
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 Managing Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Aiea woman dies after H-1 Freeway car crashA 36-year-old Aiea woman, who was critically injured in a three-vehicle accident Friday on the H-1 Freeway, died yesterday at Queen's Medical Center at 2:20 p.m.
The accident occurred about 11 p.m. east of the Aiea Heights overpass, police reported.
The driver of a Chevrolet pickup was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence of alcohol.
He was traveling eastbound on the freeway and crashed into the rear of a Nissan driven by the woman, who had slowed and stopped to avoid an unrelated motor vehicle collision, police said.
The pickup driver continued traveling east and struck the rear of a BMW. The driver of that car wasn't injured.
This was the 13th traffic fatality on Oahu compared to 13 the same time last year.
3 suspects arrested in assaults of 2 menPolice arrested three suspects after two men, 19 and 20, were assaulted about 12:30 a.m. yesterday at Royal Hawaiian Avenue and Lauula Street in Waikiki.
Two 19-year-old men and one 18-year-old man were charged with second-degree robbery and two second-degree assaults in the incident.
Officers called to the scene found one man incoherent, lying on the sidewalk with a laceration about his eyebrow, police said. Witnesses said the suspects punched and kicked the man and took his cell phone.
The second victim, found a short distance away, said one suspect assaulted him with a rock and the other with a beer bottle. He had a substantial injury to his head, police said.
Both were taken to a hospital, treated and released.
Big Isle man charged in hostage standoffBig Island police charged a Hilo man yesterday with kidnapping and other felony offenses stemming from an armed standoff and hostage situation at the Naniloa Hotel on Thursday and Friday.
David R. Field, 33, was also charged with terroristic threatening, burglary, robbery, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal property damage. He is being held without bail.
Police said Field took a 51-year-old Maui man hostage in an eighth-floor room at the hotel on Banyan Drive and kept police at bay for more than 15 hours. He released the hostage about 1 a.m. and surrendering without incident at 9:45 a.m. Friday, police said.
Police evacuated many of the hotel's 300 guests while they surrounded the building and talked Field into surrendering.
The incident began about 1 p.m. Thursday when police, acting on a tip, tried to arrest Field. Police said he fled by crashing through a plate glass window and climbing up a hotel balcony.
Pursuing police officers discovered the location of Field and his hostage on the eighth floor, and the standoff began about 6:30 p.m.
Maui man dies after motorcycle accidentWAILUKU >> A Maui man died Friday morning after the motorcycle he was driving struck a telephone pole.
Jesse Lee Ellis, 44, of Haiku was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, police traffic investigator Duke Pua said.
The motorcycle was traveling north on Kauhikoa Road near Kaupakalua Road, lost control and hit a telephone pole about 1:30 a.m., Pua said.
Ellis was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6 a.m. Pua said alcohol is suspected as being a contributing factor in the crash. The death is the second fatality on Maui this year, compared to two for the same period last year.
Possibly harmful Navy canister destroyedWAILUKU >> An Army unit has destroyed a potentially harmful Navy canister that washed ashore on a rural beach in central Maui.
The canister containing red phosphorous, dropped into the water from a Navy ship, emits smoke to mark locations, sometimes for a man overboard or in training exercises, authorities said.
The red phosphorous in the canister can burn human skin upon contact, police Lt. Sara Cluney said.
Cluney said a fisherman found the canister on the Waihee side of Iao Stream and a written warning on the casing advised people to call police.
Authorities said the canister, "Mark 58 Model 1," about 2 to 3 feet long and about 6 inches in diameter, apparently was a dud and probably washed ashore on the tide.
Cluney said the nearest house was roughly a little more than 100 yards away and residents as far as 150 yards away were told to remain in their homes during the detonation.
Cluney said the canister was exploded by the Army ordnance unit shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday.
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