POSTED: Sunday, March 08, 2009

Heavy rain closes Big Isle roads

Several Big Island roads were closed yesterday because of heavy rain and flooding, police said.

Almost 9 inches of rain fell in Hilo during the 24 hours ending at 9:30 last night, the National Weather Service. The island was under a flood advisory until 10:30 p.m. last night. Forecasts for today predict mostly cloudy skies and scattered windward showers.

Kamehameha Avenue was closed between Ponahawai Street and Pauahi Street. Pauahi was closed from Kamehameha to Aupuni Street, police said.

East Kaiulani and Kukila streets in Hilo also were closed.

Police said there was a report of a landslide on Highway Belt 19 in Hakalau. No one was hurt and there were no reports of damage from flooding, police said.


Overdue hikers make it to safe spot

The Honolulu Fire Department helicopter and rescue crews were called out last night after three hikers were reported overdue.

The hikers, two men and a woman, began their hike at about 10 a.m. on the Kealia Trail above Dillingham Airfield in Mokuleia, said Capt. Earle Kealoha of the Honolulu Fire Department. The husband of the woman hiker called the fire department at about 7 p.m. because the trio hadn't returned.

He was able to reach the group by cell phone and learned they were lost and unable to make their way down, Kealoha said. But about an hour later, the hikers were able to reach the Kaena Point satellite tracking station and were taken down the mountain to the guard shack there.


Power outage cripples Kapolei stores

Parts of West Oahu were hit with a power outage for nearly six hours yesterday, including a Kapolei shopping center featuring a new Target store that was flooded with shoppers on its opening weekend.

Target had a backup generator and customers were only in the dark for about 15 minutes. Store manager Jon Radtke said it was shopping as usual, only slightly darker, with the 160,000-square-foot store powered by the generators.

However, several other retailers at the new Kapolei Commons weren't so fortunate. Sports Authority, located next door to Target, was holding a grand opening when the businesses lost power. Office Max also had to temporarily close.

Hawaiian Electric said the outage in Kapolei and Makakilo started at 9:15 a.m. and was caused by an equipment problem. Power was restored to all 25 stores by 3 p.m.


Aaron's restaurant closing March 15

A popular fine dining restaurant and nightclub is closing its doors after 25 years in business.

Aaron's Atop Ala Moana will serve its last meal and drink on March 15. Aaron Placourakis, president and chief executive officer of the Tri-Star Restaurant Group, and the restaurant's namesake, said he and his partners decided not to renew their lease due to the economic recession.

Thirty full-time employees at the restaurant are being given opportunities to work at the company's four other locations: Nick's Fishmarket on Maui, Sarento's on the Beach, Sarento's Top of the “;I,”; and Son'z Maui at Swan Court.

Placourakis said it's a bittersweet time. “;I moved to Hawaii for that place,”; he said. Dozens of employees who started working there have gone to open their own restaurants. “;Friends became family members,”; he said.

Gift certificates for Aaron's Atop Ala Moana can be used at the four other restaurants.


Silent march honors Kauai victim

The Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence is holding a silent march Tuesday in honor of 53-year-old Fredlynn Hoapili, an apparent domestic violence victim, according to a news release from the coalition. Hoapili's husband, Joseph, has been charged with second-degree murder in her stabbing death last week. She is survived by six children.

The march will begin at 5:30 p.m. in front of the state Capitol on Beretania Street.