Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Keck telescope spots 'orphan' star clusters

HILO >> Hundreds of "orphan" clusters of up to a million stars have been discovered in areas of otherwise empty space using the Keck telescope on Mauna Kea and the Hubble Space Telescope, says University of Hawaii-Hilo astronomer Michael West.

West is the head of one of two teams of astronomers who reported findings to the International Astronomical Union meeting in Sydney yesterday.

Astronomers have long known about "globular clusters" visible in nearby galaxies.

The new globular clusters were discovered far from galaxies and millions of light-years from Earth, West said.

"Because they're so far away, these objects are very faint, almost a billion times fainter than the unaided human eye can see," West said.

The clusters were probably once part of larger galaxies, but the gravity of one galaxy passing another can tear a galaxy apart and free a cluster, West said. Using that theory, astronomers may be able to estimate how many galaxies have been torn apart during the life of the universe, he said.

Work to close portion of Ewa-bound H-1

The state Department of Transportation will close the Ewa-bound lanes on the H-1 freeway airport viaduct between the Keehi interchange and Radford Drive overpass from 10 p.m. today to 6:30 a.m. tomorrow to repair expansion joints, striping, lighting, pothole repair and drain cleaning.

The airport viaduct onramp and the Nimitz Highway onramp to the westbound H-1 will remain open.

State transportation officials also will close the Kamehameha Highway northbound onramp to the H-2 freeway from 10 p.m. today to 6:30 a.m. tomorrow for guardrail repairs. All northbound traffic will be rerouted to Farrington Highway onto Kamehameha Highway.

Senate panel OKs funds for Pacific ag lab

Construction of what is expected to be the largest tropical agricultural laboratory in the Pacific region would get a second multimillion-dollar appropriation under a bill unanimously approved yesterday by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.

The committee approved $5.4 million for the U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center under the bill, which will now be sent to the full Senate for approval.

The funds are part of $20 million meant for Hawaii's farming and agriculture initiatives.

The center, with an estimated construction cost of $45 million, has received $19.9 million so far. It received $3 million last year.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Public's help sought in locating fugitive


Honolulu and Maui police are asking for the public's help in locating fugitive Alan Alika Vegas.

Police said Vegas, 39, has eight felony convictions including escape, weapons, forgery, terroristic threatening and theft. He also has warrants for failure to appear on drug offenses, assaulting a police officer, attempted first-degree theft and bail jumping.

Police said Vegas is known in the rodeo circuits in Hawaii and may visit the Waimanalo area on Oahu. Vegas was also spotted in the Kula area on Maui last week.

Vegas is described as 6 feet 1 inch tall, 225 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes, a mustache and goatee, and missing his right index finger.

Anyone with information about Vegas on Oahu may call CrimeStoppers Honolulu at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone. Those on Maui may call the Maui CrimeStoppers Hotline at 242-6966.


Man, 32, apparently drowns at Kapena Falls

A 32-year-old St. Louis Heights man apparently drowned yesterday while swimming at Kapena Falls.

Fire rescue personnel pulled his body from the pool below the falls about 9 a.m. They found him under 10 feet of water, said Capt. Kenison Tejada, Honolulu Fire Department spokesman. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man's companions, two visitors from Texas and two residents, went to the falls about 7:30 a.m. after staying up all night, said Detective Robert Cravalho, Honolulu Police Department homicide detail. They said they had been drinking at a Waikiki nightclub the night before, Cravalho said.

The companions told rescuers the man seemed to be fine after diving into the pool and surfacing. When he disappeared, they thought he was playing a prank, Cravalho said. When they could not find him, they called 911.


19-year-old arrested in home robbery case

Big Island police have arrested a 19-year-old man for allegedly taking part in a home invasion robbery that occurred near Puna yesterday.

Police said that at 1:30 a.m., five men forced their way into a residence on Ka'ohe Homestead Road mauka of Pahoa. According to the male victim in the case, two of the robbers were armed with guns, and one was armed with a crossbow.

The victim said the suspects demanded drugs and cash, took an undisclosed amount of money and fled on foot. Patrol officers responding to the victim's 911 call spotted several males walking along Ka'ohe Homestead Road and arrested one of them. The rest fled.

The suspect is being held in the Hilo police cellblock. Anyone with information about the incident or the identity of the robbers is asked to call Detective Richard Sherlock, of the Hilo Criminal Investigation Section, at 961-2379 or the police nonemergency number at 935-3311.

Autopsy is ordered to ID body found in car

Big Island police have ordered an autopsy to determine the identity and cause of death of a body that was found Tuesday inside a parked car at a Wainaku macadamia nut orchard.

South Hilo patrol officers found a decomposed body inside a green 1993 Honda sedan after it was reported to them at 3:30 p.m. Police said the body was so decomposed that the victim's sex or identity could not be immediately determined.

Anyone with information about the death or the identity of the victim is asked to call Hilo Detective Uwao Chartrand at 961-2382 of the police nonemergency number at 935-3311.


Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --