County / In Brief

Coral Reef Alliance set to host water reuse workshop

The Coral Reef Alliance will hold a water reuse readiness workshop for West Maui resort and condominium properties from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility and the Honua Kai Resort & Spa.

The purpose of the workshop is to help the properties in their transition to reclaimed, or R1, water for irrigation and landscaping, as well to learn about the permitting process, a release said.

The workshop will also cover a needs assessment to see which properties need assistance in the transition as well as an overview of how the Honua Kai has been using reclaimed water in its operations. There will be an overview of coral reef health issues as well as an update on the West Maui Ridge to Reef effort on Maui, which is a multifaceted watershed management planning effort under way, and how West Maui resorts can play a role.

There will be a tour of the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation facility.

Space is limited. Advanced registration is required.

To RSVP or for more information, call Coral Reef Alliance Hawaii Field Manager Liz Foote at 669-9062 or 283-1631 or send email to


Isle businesswoman to be Hirono field representative

Maui businesswoman Yuki Lei Sugimura will be U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono’s Maui field representative, the senator’s office announced.

Born and raised on Maui and a graduate of Baldwin High School, Sugimura has experience in both the public and private sectors, the news release said.

She can be reached by phone at 878-1888 or by email at

Sugimura’s appointment was part of a slate of state staff selections released by Hirono’s office. Her state director will be Alan Yamamoto, former aide to the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye.


Civil defense siren system slated to be tested Monday

Civil Defense will test its outdoor siren warning system at 11:45 a.m. Monday, according to an announcement.

The monthly siren test is a steady one-minute tone on all sirens. The siren alerts people to any emergency that may pose a threat to life or property.

Aside from natural hazards, the system could be used for terrorist attacks or acts of war.

When the siren signal is sounded, people should tune to any local radio or television station for emergency information and instructions broadcast by Civil Defense agencies. Participating stations will carry a detailed explanation of what the sirens mean, as well as other related information, during the monthly test.

Tests of Civil Defense sirens and the emergency alert system are conducted simultaneously, normally on the first working day of the month, in cooperation with Hawaii’s broadcasting industry. Disaster preparedness information may be found in the front section of telephone directories.


Shores of Maui, Molokai to see high surf today, Sunday

A high-surf advisory for north-facing shores of Molokai and Maui has been posted by the National Weather Service from 6 a.m. today to 6 p.m. Sunday.

A large northwest swell will produce high surf along exposed north- and west-facing shores. Surf is expected to be 10 to 15 feet.

The surf could produce strong breaking waves and rip currents making swimming dangerous.

County / In Brief

OHA trustee set to report developments

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Maui Trustee Carmen Hulu Lindsey will address the Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce at a meeting April 9 at the Maui Tropical Plantation.

Lindsey will report on new OHA developments and initiatives during the dinner meeting from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event is open to the public. Dinner is $20.

To attend, RSVP by April 5 to Maui Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce President Kai Pelayo at 874-2426 or send email to

For more information, see


Slight decline for Wailuku prices to pump

Average unleaded gas prices in Wailuku dropped a penny to $4.54 per gallon Thursday, while the state’s average price was 15 cents less and unchanged from a week earlier, according to a weekly snapshot of gas prices from AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch.

Wailuku’s average is 9 cents more than last month and 16 cents more than on the same day last year.

The state average of $4.39 is 4 cents more than last month and 16 cents less than the same time last year.

Honolulu’s average price of $4.31 has been unchanged for four weeks and down 11 cents from a year ago. Hilo’s average price of $4.35 is unchanged from last week, 1 cent less than last month and 37 cents less than a year ago.

Only two other states have average gasoline prices above $4 per gallon, AAA said. Those are California at $4.04 and Alaska at $4.02.

The average prices are derived from fleet vehicle credit card transactions at more than 100,000 stations around the country. Prices shown are combined averages of the last card swipe of the previous day.


Abercrombie nominates Gomes to BLNR

James Gomes, operations manager at Ulupalakua Ranch, has been nominated by Gov. Neil Abercrombie to a seat on the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

His nomination is subject to confirmation by the state Senate. If confirmed, his four-year term would begin July 1, according to an announcement from the Governor’s Office.

The Kula resident is listed as a current member of the Maui County Liquor Control Commission, with his term ending Sunday.

Other community service listed by the Governor’s Office includes Gomes serving on the board of the Maui Cattlemen’s Association since 2006 and as director of the Central Maui Soil and Water Conservation District since 2007.

Gomes earned a liberal arts degree from the University of Hawaii Maui College.

He would replace Maui land board member Jerry Edlao, whose term ends June 30.


Bail maintained in assault case

WAILUKU – A judge kept bail at $10,000 Wednesday for a man charged with assaulting a Kihei resident with a beer bottle outside his home.

A June 10 trial is scheduled in 2nd Circuit Court for Guy Pieper, 47, of Kihei. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree burglary and second-degree assault in the March 15 incident.

At 10:43 that night, a resident of Keala Place had just returned home and gone inside when an intruder pushed open the door, asking for “Tiffany,” police said. After the homeowner said he didn’t know anyone named Tiffany, the suspect refused to leave until the resident called Tiffany, police said.

The homeowner pushed the suspect out and tried to close the door when the suspect picked up a beer bottle and threw it at the resident, causing a 2-inch laceration to the left side of his face. The cut required six stitches to treat.

The resident’s girlfriend called police while the man wrestled with the suspect, holding him until officers arrived.

Pieper has been ordered to stay away from the victim and his residence.

County / In Brief

Bail $250,000 in West Maui assault

WAILUKU – Bail was set at $250,000 for a second suspect charged in the robbery and assault of a man who was hit with bats and kicked outside his West Maui apartment last week.

Noah Thomas-Francis, 34, of Pukalani is charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and kidnapping in the attack reported at 9:24 p.m. March 21 at the Maui Sands complex on Lower Honoapiilani Road.

Police said the victim was beaten by four men, then forced to the ground, where attempts were made to bind the victim’s hands and feet with zip-ties. Gasoline was thrown onto the victim in an attempt to set him on fire before the assailants fled as other residents began coming out of apartments to see what was going on, police said.

One man took the victim’s keys and cellphone, police said, and some of the assailants left in the victim’s car, a white 2002 BMW multipurpose vehicle. Police located the car the following morning at a beach access area in Honokowai.

Brok Carlton, 39, of Kihei also was arrested and charged in the case.


Woman charged in escape from jail

A woman arrested for allegedly trying to take a pilot boat from Kahului Harbor was arrested on another charge Monday afternoon when she ran from the Maui Community Correctional Center, police said.

Rena Andrews, 33, who is homeless, was charged with second-degree escape. Her bail was set at $1,000.

The escape occurred at 3:15 p.m. while Andrews was incarcerated at the Wailuku jail. She followed an adult corrections officer out of the premises into the gatehouse, then ran from there onto Waiale Road, police said. Adult corrections officers found Andrews hiding in an abandoned white van about 40 yards away and took her back into the jail, police said.

In her other case, Andrews is charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle after she was seen in a restricted area of the harbor trying to sail off with the pilot boat, police said.


Device lost off Maui surfaces in Taiwan

NEWNAN, Ga. (AP) – A Georgia woman has been reunited with her camera and photos after the camera she lost during a 2007 trip to Maui washed ashore in Taiwan.

Lindsay Scallan says she was on a scuba diving trip when she lost her camera during a night dive off Kaanapali.

Scallan tells WGCL-TV she recently got a Facebook message from a high school friend saying his wife found an article on the Hawaii News Now website about a lost camera. Scallan says a China Airlines employee found the camera and says all the images were still on the memory card.

The airline has offered to pay for Scallan to travel to Taiwan to retrieve her camera and meet the man who found it.

Scallan calls the experience social media at its best.

County / In Brief

Terror case figure spent time on Maui

A former New York resident who had a brief stay on Maui was convicted Monday of making false statements in a matter involving international terrorism, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York.

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, 23, was found guilty following a weeklong jury trial.

According to court filings and evidence introduced at his trial, Shehadeh devised a plan to travel to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan in order to join al Qaeda or the Taliban.

Several weeks after being denied entry into Pakistan in June 2008, he tried to enlist in the U.S. Army at a Manhattan recruiting station. In 2010, he confessed to FBI agents that he had sought to join a jihadist fighting group.

He had a brief stay on Maui in April 2009 before moving to Oahu, where he was arrested in October 2010, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

“Time and again, Shehadeh sought to travel overseas to wage violent jihad against U.S. military forces, going so far as to attempt to infiltrate the U.S. Army,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “When confronted with his attempts to join a terrorist group and kill American soldiers, he repeatedly lied about his actions and his intentions. Due to the tireless work of our law enforcement partners, the defendant did not succeed in his jihadist goals.”

Shehadeh faces a maximum of 21 years in prison when he is sentenced.


Woman charged in boat theft attempt

A homeless woman was arrested Saturday when she tried to sail off with a pilot boat at Kahului Harbor, police said.

Rena Andrews, 33, was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

At the request of the prosecution, her bail was increased to $5,000 when she appeared Monday in Wailuku District Court. She also was ordered to stay away from the harbor.

Andrews was arrested after harbor police saw her in the restricted area where the rigid-hull boat was anchored at about noon, police said.


Vigil planned to mark day King died

Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered at a candlelight vigil from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 4 at the Stone of Hope Monument fronting the Kalana O Maui building in Wailuku.

The vigil will mark the anniversary of the civil rights leader’s assassination in 1968. There will be a short program to follow. The event is free and open to the public. Participants are encouraged to bring lei to adorn the monument.

It is sponsored by Maui County, the African Americans on Maui Association, Nubian Pageant Systems and the Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition – Hawaii (Maui).

For more information, contact Gwyn Gorg, vice president of the African Americans on Maui Association, at 878-8434.

County / In Brief

Plans for regional park topic of meeting

A meeting to discuss state plans for a Central Maui regional park will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Pomaikai Elementary School in Kahului, according to an announcement from the office of Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui.

Consultant R.M. Towill Corp. will join representatives of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources in presenting details of the park’s plan and listen to residents’ comments and concerns. Plans call for building a regional park with baseball, softball and soccer fields, concessions, restrooms and parking.

Tsutsui is expected to attend along with Central Maui Sen. Gil Keith-Agaran and Rep. Justin Woodson.

Maui County Council Member Don Guzman of Kahului said having a new 60-acre park in Kahului would “make an enormous difference towards supporting the healthy lifestyle our community enjoys.”

“Maui is in dire need of more parks for our families to use and sports teams to play on,” he said.

For more information, call state parks officials in Honolulu at (808) 587-0230.


Coast Guard rescues group of kayakers

The U.S. Coast Guard reported Monday that a group of kayakers was rescued Saturday when “weather took a turn for the worst” three miles off the coast of Wailea.

A vessel operator notified the Coast Guard that four kayakers, one adult and three children, were being blown out to sea by approximately 25 mph winds, officials said. Sea conditions had worsened to swells of 3 to 4 feet.

A 45-foot response boat from the Coast Guard’s Maui Station was conducting training in the area and was diverted to the scene. The kayakers were picked up and taken to shore at 2 p.m., officials reported. They were wearing life jackets and were uninjured.


Alleged shoplifting leads to man’s arrest

A Kahului man was arrested Friday afternoon when he left Walmart in Kahului without paying for merchandise, police said.

Nicholas Among, 35, also was charged with two prior incidents of shoplifting from the store, police said.

His bail was set at $3,000 for three counts of second-degree theft.

The prior shoplifting incidents occurred at 2 p.m. March 6 and 9:30 a.m. March 7, with Among leaving before being apprehended, police said.

He was arrested at 1:34 p.m. Friday after he was seen on store surveillance video removing security devices from computers and walking out of the store without paying, police said. When a store security officer grabbed Among to detain him, he shook her off and she fell, police said.


Abuse charge for woman in choking case

A 22-year-old Lahaina woman was arrested on a felony abuse charge after her boyfriend reported losing consciousness when she grabbed his neck over the weekend, police said.

Bail was set at $5,000 for Alohilani Lucas.

Police were called at 7:35 p.m. Saturday after the couple argued in their residence on Lower Honoapiilani Road. The argument turned physical, with Lucas punching her boyfriend several times in the face, causing swelling, police said. After he fell back onto a bed, she mounted him and grabbed his neck with both hands, police said. He reported being unable to breathe and losing consciousness, police said.


Arrest in report of man being run off road

Police arrested a 21-year-old Waihee man in a robbery investigation after a moped operator reported that a vehicle tried to run him off the road Sunday night in Napili.

The incident occurred at about 8:20 p.m. on Lower Honoapiilani Road, with the moped operator laying down his moped to avoid a collision with the vehicle. Three males and a female were in the vehicle.

As the operator was standing up the moped, a man approached and punched the moped operator’s helmet while demanding that he turn over the moped, police said.

The operator refused to give up the moped and managed to get away and call police. The operator suffered abrasions to his arm and leg when he laid down the moped, police said.

The 21-year-old was arrested at 12:42 a.m. Monday and later released pending further investigation by the Lahaina Criminal Investigation Division.

County / In Brief

Groundbreaking set for Nahiku center

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Nahiku Community Center will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The new 2,689-square-foot community center includes a social hall, covered entry lanai and full kitchen along with restrooms and storage.

The total contract for the center was $641,206 and was awarded to Maui Kupono Builders LLC.

Funding for the center included a $250,000 state grant.

Because all of the funds have not been garnered yet, county officials say it could take as long as two years to finish the project. Construction is scheduled to begin in May.


Offices to close for Good Friday holiday

State and county offices and public schools will be closed Friday in observance of the Good Friday holiday.

The University of Hawaii System offices will be closed along with county pools.

The Hana, Lanai and Molokai landfills will be closed. The Central Maui Landfill and EKO Compost will be open from 6 a.m. to noon, and the Olowalu Landfill will be open from 8 a.m. to noon.

Curbside residential trash collections will not be affected.

All public libraries will be closed Friday and on Sunday for Easter.

Three libraries on Maui will be open Saturday. They are Kahului, Kihei and Lahaina public libraries. For service hours visit or call the libraries.

The Maui News business offices will be open during normal hours from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.


Vencl will speak to Rotary Club of Maui

Terryl Vencl, executive director of the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, will speak to the Rotary Club of Maui on Thursday at the University of Hawaii Maui College.

She will discuss issues relating to Maui County’s hospitality industry.

Vencl has been MVCB executive director since 2003. Previously, she served for 11 years as executive director of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association and is the past chairwoman of the Maui Chamber of Commerce.

The gathering will be at noon in the Class Act Restaurant and is open to the public. The cost is $20.

County / In Brief

Help sought in wood chipper fire probe

Police are asking for the public’s help in the investigation of a fire that destroyed a wood chipper last month in the back parking lot of the Easter Seals building in Kahului.

Wailuku patrol officers responded to the 3:58 p.m. alarm Feb. 18 at 155 S. Wakea Ave. The Maui Fire Department also responded and extinguished the fire.

A Vermeer wood chipper valued at $17,000 was destroyed.

Anyone who has information on the fire is asked to call the police Criminal Investigation Division at 244-6431.


Airline to halt some, start other services

Island Air will stop flying to the Kapalua-West Maui Airport on May 31 as the airline phases out its old, small Dash 8 aircraft, the airline announced.

However, the airline will relaunch daily service to Kahului beginning April 15 with the addition of a new ATR 72 aircraft. The airline also will provide daily service between Kahului and Lanai, it said.

“We are pleased that we can expand service to Kahului with the addition of our new ATR 72 aircraft,” said Les Murashige, Island Air president. “We regret that we will no longer serve Kapalua. However, as we phase out the Dash 8 aircraft, which are reaching the end of their economic life, our larger aircraft will not be able to land on Kapalua Airport’s short runway.”

For more information, go online to


Improvement funds slated for Lokelani

Lokelani Intermediate School in Kihei is the only school cited as receiving part of $2 million in capital improvement funds for noise and heat abatement projects statewide, according to an announcement from the Governor’s Office.

Although the money is for the design and construction of noise and heat abatement at “various schools to improve the learning environment,” the announcement pointed only to Lokelani Intermediate.

The capital improvement money is part of Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s release of more than $26.2 million for public schools statewide.

The announcement said that the work “will improve Hawaii public school facilities while stimulating the state’s economy and generating jobs.”

County / In Brief

Schools, offices will shutter for holiday

State and county offices and public schools will be closed Tuesday in observance of the Prince Kuhio Day holiday.

All public libraries and the University of Hawaii System offices also will be closed Tuesday.

From Monday through Friday, the UH System offices and campuses statewide will be reducing or suspending operations on noninstructional days. For more information on individual campus functions and activities that may be affected, go online to

On Tuesday, all county pools will be closed along with the Hana and Molokai landfills.

The Central Maui Landfill and EKO Compost will be open from 6 a.m. to noon. The Olowalu and Lanai landfills will be open from 8 a.m. to noon.

Curbside residential trash collections will not be affected.

The Maui News business offices will remain open during normal hours, 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.


Man arrested in connection with assault

A 39-year-old Kihei man was arrested early Friday in an investigation into the robbery and assault of a Honokowai man, who was struck with bats and kicked by four men outside his apartment Thursday night, police said.

The assault was reported at 9:24 p.m. at the Maui Sands complex on Lower Honoapiilani Road.

After being beaten, the victim was forced to the ground, where attempts were made to zip-tie the victim’s hands and feet, police said. Gasoline was thrown onto the victim in an attempt to set him on fire before the assailants fled as other residents began coming out of apartments to see what was going on, police said.

One man took the victim’s keys and cellphone, police said, and some of the assailants left in the victim’s car, a white 2002 BMW multipurpose vehicle.

The victim was treated at the scene. He knew some of his attackers, police said.

After Lahaina Criminal Investigation Division detectives spoke to the victim, police arrested the Kihei man at 3:41 a.m. Friday. Police located the victim’s car Friday morning at a beach access area in Honokowai.

Police were continuing to investigate.


Teenager arrested for shooting at buses

A 16-year-old Kahului boy was arrested in an investigation into reports that shots were fired Wednesday at two Lahaina-bound buses, shattering windows, police said.

The shootings occurred from Wednesday afternoon to evening as the buses headed toward Lahaina on Honoapiilani Highway near Ukumehame.

One bus, operated by Akina Bus Service, was carrying children, police said. The other bus, operated by Polynesian Adventure Tours, also had passengers.

No serious injuries were reported.

On Thursday, Lahaina Criminal Investigation Division detectives located and spoke to several juveniles at Ukumehame Park. The teenager who was arrested admitted to using a pellet rifle to shoot as a bus passed, police said. The boy was later released to his mother.


Police warn residents about solicitations

Police are reminding residents to be wary of solicitations asking that money be sent overseas in exchange for a larger payout.

If unsure about a solicitation, people can contact police or their financial institution before deciding to make a financial transaction, said Maui police spokesman Lt. Wayne Ibarra.

A Kula woman reported receiving a letter Tuesday saying she had won a $135,000 sweepstakes. She said that the letter included a $3,750 check to cover nonresident taxes on the United Kingdom prize. The check had the name of an actual Indianapolis bank. But when she called the bank, she said she was told the check was fake.

The woman said she was afraid that others might believe the solicitation was real and send money.

Ibarra said that the solicitation appeared to be a recurring scam that has also surfaced by email. He said some signs of a scam include solicitations asking people to pay money to receive money and requests to send money overseas.

County / In Brief

DLNR official to talk story with fishermen

Maui fishermen are invited to “talk story” with the chairman of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, William J. Aila Jr., from 6 to 8 p.m. today at Maui Waena Intermediate School.

“It is our hope that we can work with the fishing community to come up with positive solutions to fishing issues in Hawaii,” he said.

The gathering is an opportunity for fishermen to share their fishery-related concerns and to have their questions answered directly by Aila, the DLNR news release said.

It will be an informal meeting, “aimed at allowing open and honest conversations about fishing issues,” the news release said, adding that similar meetings have been held on Oahu.

For more information about the fishing talk-story session, contact the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources Maui office at 243-5294.


Fairmont slated to observe Earth Hour

The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui will turn off its lights at 8:30 p.m. Saturday as part of Earth Hour, a worldwide event aimed at drawing attention to climate change.

The event is organized by the World Wildlife Fund, and Fairmont hotels and resorts around the world will go dark.

In addition to switching off nonessential lighting, the Fairmont will hold its first annual Lights Out Picnic, with a portion of the proceeds going to the World Wildlife Fund.

Those attending will be able to pick up their picnic dinner and blanket at the resort’s Caffe Ciao Bakery & Deli, beginning at 6 p.m., and walk down to the oceanfront Polo Lawn, where there will be hula and Samoan fire dancing and stargazing with astronomer Becky Sydney, founder of the Maui Astronomy Club.

Picnics will cost $45 for two people.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. Last year, 6,950 cities and towns across 152 countries participated in the event.


Car seat inspections Saturday in Kahului

Free child car seat and booster seat inspections will be done from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Maui Marketplace near Sports Authority on Dairy Road in Kahului.

Those interested in having child car seats checked to see whether they’re properly installed should show up with the child, car seat or booster seat and car. An inspection takes about 30 minutes for each seat.

The inspections are done on a first-come, first-served basis.

The inspection Saturday follows one last month where most of the 25 car seats checked had problems. Under state law, child car seats are required for children under age 4. Children from ages 4 to 7 are required to be restrained in either car seats or booster seats while riding in vehicles.

Information about upcoming child car seat inspections is available on Facebook by looking up Maui County Child Passenger Safety at mauichildpassengersafety.


Monday last day for senior nominations

Nominations for male and female Outstanding Older Americans are being accepted until 4 p.m. Monday, according to the Maui County Office on Aging.

Nominees must be 65 years or older and Maui County residents. Any individual, club or organization may nominate candidates for the award. Previous winners are not eligible.

This is the 45th year of the awards, which have been presented since 1968. Wendell Crockett was the first Maui County recipient of the award. Last year’s awardees were Michelle Paularena of Kahului and Matthew Napier of Kaanapali.

The awards will be presented at a luncheon to be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 7 in the Maui Beach Hotel’s Elleair Rainbow Ballroom.

Nomination forms are available by calling 270-7755, by going to the website or by emailing

Nomination forms may be turned in at One Main Plaza, 2200 Main St., Suite 547, Wailuku 96793. Completed forms also may be faxed to 270-7935.

County / In Brief

New Wailuku Pool reopening delayed

Work at the new Wailuku Pool is taking longer than expected, meaning that the pool won’t reopen until Friday, the Department of Parks and Recreation, Aquatics Division announced Wednesday.

The work on drain covers had been expected to be completed in time for reopening today.

For more information, call Duke Sevilla at 270-6135.


High-surf advisory for Maui, Molokai

A high-surf advisory has been posted for north- and west-facing shores of Maui and Molokai, beginning at 6 a.m today to 6 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service said.

A new northwest swell was building from Wednesday night and will remain elevated through Friday. Surf heights are expected to be 6 to 8 feet today.

There will be strong breaking waves and rip currents as a result of the swell.


Family looking for 15-year-old girl

Family members are asking for the public’s help in locating a 15-year-old girl who was last seen in the Wailuku area.

Chantel Marie Dejetley is described as 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighing 126 pounds. She has “Hana” tattooed on her right outer calf and “East” tattooed on the knuckles of her left hand.

Anyone who has seen her or who has information on her whereabouts is asked to call Maui police at 244-6400.


Vehicle fire thought to set brush ablaze

A vehicle that was apparently set on fire started a brush fire that burned about an acre above Olowalu General Store before it was extinguished Tuesday night, a fire official said.

The fire was reported at 5:04 p.m., with engine crews from Lahaina, Napili and Wailuku responding along with a Kahului tanker company.

Firefighters made their way about a quarter-mile above the store to reach the fire, said Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga. The fire was contained at 5:49 p.m. and extinguished at 7:30 p.m., he reported.

No injuries or damages were reported. A West Maui Land Co. tanker also assisted in fighting the fire.

County / In Brief

Tsutsui attends Washington event

Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will attend the National Lieutenant Governors Association Federal-State Relations meeting today to Friday in Washington, D.C.

He will be joined by more than 20 other lieutenant governors in a gathering aimed at opening new economic opportunities for Hawaii, while identifying challenges coming from the federal government due to sequestration and other actions, a news release about his trip said.

He will explore opportunities to assist in increasing employment rates among veterans and the disabled and to increase opportunities in the life sciences fields.

“The meeting is an opportunity to work with international leaders to open doors of trade and commerce while working with federal leaders on issues that may impact the way Hawaii serves its people and families,” said Tsutsui.

He also will meet with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the Ambassador of Mexico to the U.S. Eduardo Medina-Mora, and officials from the embassies of Germany and Israel.


New Wailuku Pool closed for repairs

The new Wailuku Pool is closed for repairs and will reopen Thursday.

The county Department of Parks and Recreation, Aquatics Division will be working on the drain covers at the pool.

For more information, call Duke Sevilla at 270-6135.


Project SAM to meet on Lanai

Project SAM, or Smart Approaches to Marijuana, will hold a meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele.

The group is holding community meetings throughout the state to discuss marijuana use and the potential impact it has on health. Project SAM is looking to form a Hawaii chapter, said Kevin Sabet, SAM co-chairman and former senior adviser to the Obama administration on national drug-control policy.

“The legalization of marijuana is moving fast in parts of the United States, and it looks as though the domino effect could quickly move to other states such as Hawaii,” said former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Project SAM co-chairman. “We decided to bring SAM to Hawaii to spur discussions about marijuana use and misuse.”

Project SAM has four main goals:

* To prevent the establishment of “Big Marijuana” – and a 21st-century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.

* To promote research of marijuana’s medical properties and to produce nonsmoked, nonpsychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.

* To inform public policy with the science of today’s marijuana.

* To have an adult conversation about reducing the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.

County / In Brief

Glenn Frey will play Maui show May 4

Glenn Frey, co-founder of the Eagles, will perform May 4 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in his only appearance in Hawaii.

As a solo artist and a member of the Eagles, Frey has earned gold and platinum records, a news release from the MACC said. He penned some of the most celebrated Eagles songs, such as “Desperado,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Best of My Love,” “One of These Nights,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Take It to the Limit,” “Hotel California” and “Life in the Fast Lane.”

In 2012, Frey released “After Hours,” a collection of classic love songs from the ’40s to the present.

He will perform in the Yokouchi Pavilion/A&B Amphitheater.

The show begins at 7 p.m.; doors open at 5 p.m.

Tickets will go on sale for MACC members Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. The general public may buy tickets beginning March 30 at 10 a.m.

Prices are $55, $79 and $89, with a limited number of premium $129 tickets.

Tickets may be obtained at the MACC Box Office, charged by phone at 242-7469 or bought online at

Frey’s appearance is being presented by Marek Lieberberg, Ron Gibson Entertainment and the MACC.


Puuone Tract to lose water for hours

Residents in a portion of Puuone Tract will be without water service for about 7 hours late Wednesday and early Thursday for the hookup of new waterlines, the Department of Water Supply announced Monday.

The new waterline tie-in will be on Pio Drive and Imi Place and should run from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 5:30 a.m. Thursday.

During the work, customers will be without water on Pio Place, Imi Place, Nana Street, the western portions of Pio and Imi drives, and Liholiho Street between Nana Street and approximately Lihi Street.

Affected customers have been notified by the contractor and are advised to store water for the night if needed.

Customers may want to flush their waterlines for a short time Thursday morning to ensure that no sediment has accumulated during the project.

Besides the water issues, the department advises motorists in the area during the work period to drive carefully because local traffic will be affected.

Customers are requested to call the 24-hour service line, 270-7633, only if a water problem occurs.


Man accused of ramming truck

A Keanae man was arrested Friday after he was seen twice ramming his wife’s truck in a parking lot at Kahului Shopping Center, police said.

Valentine Redo, 46, was released after posting $21,000 bail on charges of first-degree criminal property damage and driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

Patrol officers were dispatched to the parking lot at 11:32 a.m. Friday and arrived to see a gray Chevy pickup leaving, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division. He said officers arrested Redo after stopping the truck on Puunene Avenue near the Maui Mall.

That morning, an argument between Redo and his 30-year-old wife began in the parking lot of Down To Earth in Kahului before she decided to leave, Rego said. As she drove toward Kahului on Puunene Avenue, Redo chased her in the truck, following when she turned into the Kahului Shopping Center parking lot, Rego said.

He said witnesses were in the parking lot when Redo twice rammed his wife’s truck, leaving dents in the back fender of her truck and the front fender of his truck. She wasn’t injured.


Intruder looking for Tiffany finds trouble

An intruder hit a homeowner with a beer bottle before he was wrestled to the ground and arrested Friday night at a residence on Keala Place in Kihei, police said.

Police responded to a 10:43 p.m. call, finding the resident bleeding on the right side of his face as he tried to wrestle the suspect to the ground, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

Guy K. Pieper, 47, of Kihei was arrested and charged with second-degree assault. His bail was set at $1,000.

Rego said the homeowner reported that he had just gotten home and gone into his house when the suspect pushed open the door and began asking for “Tiffany.” When the resident said he didn’t know Tiffany, the suspect said he wasn’t leaving until the resident called Tiffany, Rego said.

He said the resident pushed the suspect out and tried to close the door when the suspect picked up a beer bottle and threw it at the resident, causing a 2-inch laceration to the left side of his face. The resident’s girlfriend called police while the man wrestled with the suspect, Rego said.


Man accused of burglarizing home

A 35-year-old man was charged with burglarizing the residence of his former girlfriend last month, police said.

Bail was set at $1,000 for Barnabas Kahuhu, who was charged with first-degree burglary.

An all-points bulletin had been issued for Kahuhu before he was arrested Saturday morning for shoplifting at Walmart, police said. He was released on his own recognizance on a charge of fourth-degree theft in that case.

The burglary occurred at about 8:20 p.m. Feb. 8 while Kahuhu’s former girlfriend and the owner of the home were asleep and heard glass shattering, police said. The woman recognized Kahuhu’s voice, police said.


Man accused of assault on woman

A Kahului man was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend, who suffered a broken jaw when she was punched Saturday night, police said.

Bail was set at $7,000 for Larry Tadeo, 35, on charges of abuse and second-degree assault.

He was arrested after patrol officers responded to a report of a woman screaming for help at 8:40 p.m. at a residence on Kea Street in Kahului, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

At the home, he said, officers found the victim on the floor and bleeding from her mouth. Tadeo was seen leaving a bathroom with blood on his hands, Rego said.

Both Tadeo and the woman were intoxicated and had gotten into an argument that turned physical, with Tadeo punching the woman in her jaw, Rego said.

She was taken to the hospital for treatment.


Makawao man charged in damage

Bail was set at $5,000 for a Makawao man who shattered the glass window of a vehicle during a confrontation Friday night in a Makawao parking lot, police said.

Shelden Spencer, 18, was charged with first-degree criminal property damage.

He was arrested after police were called to Stopwatch Sportsbar & Grill on Makawao Avenue at 9:45 p.m. Police said Spencer approached four juveniles in a vehicle and got into a confrontation with them.

Spencer struck the rear driver’s side door with his elbow, causing glass to shatter onto the back-seat passenger, police said. Damage was estimated at $150.


Homelessness topic at brown bag event

Homelessness on Maui will be topic of today’s Mental Health America Maui County Branch monthly brown bag lecture from noon to 1:30 p.m.

There will a panel, including officials from the Family Life Center, Mental Health Kokua, Catholic Charities and the Veterans Affairs Department.

The topic is “The Ground Floor of Services for the Unsheltered Homeless on Maui.”

The meeting will be held in the Maui Economic Opportunity’s Classroom No. 1 in Wailuku.

Certificates of attendance will be available.

MHA sponsors a different Brown Bag topic each month. For more information, go to the website brownbag.mauimen

County / In Brief

Website recognized for its transparency

Maui County’s website is one of the most transparent government websites in the nation, according to Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency.

Maui County is one of the winners of the organization’s fourth annual Sunny Awards, Maui County Council Chairwoman Gladys Baisa announced last week.

For the 2013 awards, editors at Sunshine Review analyzed the top-ranked 1,000 of the more than 7,000, government websites and graded each on a 10-point transparency checklist. Editors looked at content actually available on government websites against what ideally should be provided.

The editors sought information on items including budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes. The winners of the Sunny Award all received an “A” grade during the extensive grading process.


Kihei association to host public meeting

Kihei Community Association will hold a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Kihei Charter School, 41 East Lipoa St.

The agenda includes an overview of the state Land Use Commission and its functions as well as an update to the Pump Don’t Dump program and learning about our “Sense of Place.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. for pupu and talk story. Nonperishable food donations will be accepted for the Maui Food Bank.

For more information, call (508) 499-9996 or visit


UH-MC nets grant for dental services

The HMSA Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to support the University of Hawaii Maui College’s “Improving Oral Health for Native Hawaiian Prenatal Mothers and Children” demonstration project.

The program will provide educational sessions and oral health screenings for 3rd- and 7th-grade students. It will also provide the service at Maui schools, churches and health fairs for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. The outreach will allow UH-Maui College students to gain hands-on service-learning experiences.

Women and children will also receive oral health and blood pressure screenings and recommended preventative dental care an referral for further treatment when necessary.

The program is a collaboration between the college, Hui No Ke Ola Pono and Maui schools.


Bank award offers funds for nonprofits

Grants for nonprofit organizations are being offered through the Bank of Hawaii Mike Lyons Maui Community Awards.

Nominations/applications currently are being accepted from members of the public or from 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. The application deadline is April 17.

The award provides one or more grants totaling up to $25,000.

The award was established in honor of the late, retired bank Senior Vice President and Maui District Manager Michael H. Lyons II, who was a dedicated community leader in his 41-year career with the bank.

Award selection will be based on exemplary fulfillment of the organization’s mission, the leadership demonstrated by the organization’s executive director and board and the organization’s engagement in one of the following focus areas: community development, education, human services and arts, and culture.

Nomination forms are available at all Bank of Hawaii branches in Maui County or by calling: (808) 856-2302. Nomination materials should be submitted to: Maui Regional Office, Bank of Hawaii, 2105 Main St., Wailuku 96793.

County / In Brief

High-surf, wind advisories issued

The National Weather Service has issued high-surf and wind advisories for Maui.

A high-surf advisory for the north-facing shores of Maui and Molokai begins at 4 p.m. today and continues through 4 p.m. Monday.

Surf along north-facing shores of Maui and Molokai is expected to reach 10 to 15 feet this evening, peaking at 12 to 18 feet tonight and decreasing to 12 to 16 feet Sunday.

Beachgoers are urged to stay out of the water and away from the shore break.

A wind advisory has been issued for the Haleakala summit through 6 p.m. today. There may be sustained winds of 30 mph or gusts of 50 mph.

Southwesterly winds of 25 to 35 mph with localized gusts of more than 45 mph are expected through this evening.

Winds can make driving difficult especially for high-profile vehicles, and people should secure loose objects that may become airborne or move them indoors.


Phishing scheme targets customers

Territorial Savings Bank is warning of a potential phishing scheme that has been targeting the bank’s customers.

Several customers on Oahu and on the Neighbor Islands have reported that they have received suspicious phone calls over the past week that originated from a Mainland number, according to a news release from Territorial Savings. The caller on the line tells the customer that their card has been deactivated and the customer is asked to press “1” to reactivate it.

The caller then asks for the customer’s card number. The caller does not indicate bank name or type of card, such as debit or credit.

The bank said it will never ask for personal financial information over the phone.

Customers that suspect they have been victims of the scheme should call Territorial Savings Bank and ask for the Electronic Banking Department at (808) 946-1400.

Customers also may contact the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Consumer Response Center at (877) ID-THEFT or (877) 438-4338 or go online to for more information.


Maui gasoline price heads higher

The price of unleaded gas in Wailuku on Thursday was $4.56 a gallon, up a penny from last week, according to the AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch.

The Wailuku price was 28 cents more than last month and 2 cents more than a year ago.

The Maui price was 17 cents higher than the state average price of $4.39 a gallon. The Hawaii average was a penny less than last week, up 15 cents from last month and down 4 cents from the same time last year.

Honolulu’s average price was unchanged from last week at $4.31 a gallon. That was still up 11 cents from last month but down 2 cents from a year ago.

Hilo’s average price also was lower than Maui’s at $4.37 per gallon, unchanged from last week. That was 9 cents more than last month and 23 cents less than this time a year ago.

AAA Hawaii Weekend Gas Watch is a weekly snapshot of gas prices. Prices are derived from fleet vehicle credit card transactions and are the combined averages of the last card swipe of the previous day.


Cashiers boost cafeteria business

Maui Memorial Medical Center recently added cashiers to its cafeteria alleviating the need for customers to purchase a ticket in order to get meals.

The hospital said that since switching over to the new cash-based system, the cafeteria as seen a “robust” increase in both visitor and staff use.

The cafeteria is open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. It features both hot and cold items and a variety of beverages. There will be upgrades and food item additions in the coming weeks.

County / In Brief

Trial set for man in arms case

WAILUKU – A June 3 trial is set in 2nd Circuit Court for a man who was arrested after gunshots were fired in a Waikapu neighborhood.

During his arraignment Thursday, Christopher Alvarado Hook, 37, of Waikapu pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree reckless endangering, four counts of first-degree terroristic threatening, keeping a loaded firearm in an improper place and resisting arrest.

He is being held in lieu of $70,200 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center, with a bail hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Police officers responding to Wilikona Place the night of March 1 said Hook was yelling obscenities and threatening to kill the officers before a Taser was used to subdue him. Hook had reportedly used an AK-47 assault rifle to fire shots into the air before police arrived.

During his court hearing Thursday, Hook was ordered not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs. He also was ordered to have no contact with the four officers who responded to the neighborhood that night.


Store grand opening Saturday

The Maui Friends of the Library will hold the official grand opening of its used bookstore at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

The event will feature Mayor Alan Arakawa at the blessing and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. There will also be cake, food, entertainment and half-priced books.

Although the store opened in November, it is now finally fully stocked with 12,000 books.

The used bookstore opened in response to the closing of Borders, Kahului’s only major bookstore, a news release said.

Staffed by 35 volunteers, the store sells books for $1 and up. Proceeds help raise funds for the Maui Friends of the Library, which assists special programs and supplies other needs for Maui County libraries.


Property assessments in mail

Maui County real property assessment notices will be mailed to property owners today, the county Real Property Tax Division announced.

The notice will show the net taxable value of land and (if applicable) improvements, the amount of allowed exemptions, the person who received the exemption and the classification assigned to the property. Property owners are encouraged to carefully review the document.

If a property owner disagrees with the assessment, general land class or exemption shown on the notice, the owner may file an appeal with the Board of Review. The appeal deadline is April 9, and the filing fee is $75. Appeal forms may be obtained at the Real Property Tax Office or at

The assessment notice is not a bill.

Residents who prefer a paperless version for next year’s notice may go to the website shown on the assessment notice and enter the code that appears on the card.

Those not receiving an assessment notice or with questions may contact the division by phone at 270-7297, in person or view assessment information online at

The Real Property Tax Office is located at Maui Mall on the Safeway side of the mall, 70 E. Kaahumanu Ave., Suite A-16.


Truck fire disrupts traffic flow

A vehicle fire near Mile Marker 14 along Honoapiilani Highway on Thursday afternoon disrupted traffic for about 45 minutes.

At about 2:40 p.m., firefighters responded to a report of a vehicle fire. Upon arrival, they extinguished the fire involving an unoccupied pickup truck with no license plates and a small brush fire nearby, said fire spokesman Capt. Paul Haake.

There were reports of an occupant in the vehicle prior to the fire but no driver was located, he said. There were no injuries.

The fire caused a road closure of at least 45 minutes with a period of alternating one-lane traffic.

The cause of the fire was undermined, Haake said.


Red Cross to host Hats Off fundraiser

The Hawaii Chapter of the American Red Cross will hold its annual Hats Off fundraising event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Sunday at Walmart and at other locations in Kahului and Hana and on Molokai on Saturday.

Off-duty firefighters, service members and other volunteers will take their hats off and ask the public to fill them with donations for the Red Cross.

On Saturday, donations also will be solicited from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. at Whole Foods Market at the Maui Mall as well as at Hasegawa General Store in Hana and at Friendly Market on Molokai. Donations also may be made online at Checks may be sent to the American Red Cross, 45 N. Market St., Suite A, Wailuku 96793.

“In Maui County, our Red Cross volunteers respond to everyday disasters like house fires and floods, providing emergency assistance and emotional support to those affected,” said Michele Liberty, Maui Red Cross county director. “Because we are not a government agency, we rely on the generosity and aloha from the people in Maui County to help us provide these critical services for our community.”

County / In Brief

Motorcyclist, 40, dies in crash

A motorcyclist was killed in a crash Wednesday morning on Kauna Lipo Drive in Wailuku, police said.

The operator was identified as 40-year-old Zaul Acevedo Gonzales of Wailuku.

Police said the single-vehicle crash occurred at 10:22 a.m. as the black 2009 Yamaha R1 motorcycle was traveling north on Kauna Lipo Drive, crossed the centerline and struck a curb on the southbound edge of the roadway. The motorcycle rolled over, then continued north and struck the northwest curb of Kauna Lipo Drive and Maka Hou Loop, police said.

The motorcycle and its operator ended up in the backyard of 14 Maka Hou Loop, police said.

Acevedo Gonzales suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Traffic was rerouted onto adjacent side streets while police conducted an investigation.

The fatal crash was the third this year, the same number as at this time last year.


Arrest in first-responder attack

A Kihei man was arrested on a felony assault charge after he kicked an ambulance technician while being transported to the hospital Tuesday morning, police said.

Bail was set at $1,200 for Kevin Galbraith, 47. He was charged with second-degree assault and resisting arrest.

The ambulance crew was called to Galbraith’s residence on Akahai Street after he complained he was having a heart attack, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

On the way to the hospital, Galbraith became agitated and began yelling so the ambulance was forced to pull over on Honoapiilani Highway at Pilikana Place in Waikapu, Rego said.

He said Galbraith kicked one of the ambulance workers in the head. When the driver went to the back door to help, Galbraith jumped out of the ambulance and ran toward Waiko Road. He refused to place his hands behind his back when police caught up with him and arrested him, Rego said. The felony assault charge applies when someone intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to any emergency medical services provider who is engaged in the performance of duty.


Direct deposit for benefits

Direct deposit of unemployment insurance benefits is being offered by the state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

Direct deposit is a faster and more secure method of payment for claimants and will save the state by reducing postage costs, according to a labor department news release.

Implementation of the direct deposit system will be in phases, starting with Kauai and progressing to the other islands. By April, all residents across the state will have access to direct deposit.

“We are pleased to offer the option of having unemployment benefits deposited directly into individuals’ personal bank accounts,” said department Director Dwight Takamine. “Waiting for the mail to arrive, standing in line at the bank or relying on paper checks that may get lost or stolen can now be avoided by registering on our website.”

To qualify, individuals must have a personal registration account on the website

Newly established registrants or existing users should log in and check for the direct deposit feature as it becomes available where they reside.

County / In Brief

Maui-Phoenix flight diverted to Honolulu

HONOLULU (AP) – A US Airways flight from Maui to Phoenix was diverted to Honolulu after crew members noticed a problem with one of the plane’s pressurization and air-conditioning kits.

Airline spokesman Todd Lehmacher said the red-eye flight was less than halfway to Phoenix when its crew decided to be cautious and turn the plane around. It landed in Honolulu early Tuesday without incident. Nobody was hurt.

Lehmacher said the Boeing 757 had two kits, and one was malfunctioning. He says about half the plane’s 166 passengers was to depart Tuesday night, while the other half was rebooked on other airlines.


Panel backs funds for housing nonprofits

WAILUKU – The Maui County Council’s Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday recommended approval of $2.1 million for three different nonprofit organizations that tend to the affordable housing needs in Maui County.

The committee recommended that:

* Na Hale O Maui receive $800,000 to purchase four to five bank-owned homes to be rehabilitated and sold at affordable prices.

* Habitat for Humanity receive $500,000 for either the purchase of homes or the rehabilitation of homes for those who cannot pay market prices for homes.

* Family Life Center receive $800,000 to assist the organization in purchasing an apartment building at 1096 Lower Main St. in Wailuku. The building will be used for affordable rentals with half of its 10 units dedicated to clients who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

The committee deferred action on $400,000 for Lokelani ‘Ohana’s house acquisition project and on $3.25 million in additional funding for the Kihei Police Station.


County sees its first double-decker bus

Maui County’s first double-decker bus, which can hold 90 passengers, was dedicated Tuesday morning.

The passenger capacity is more than double that of the average bus. The double-decker was manufactured by Alexander Dennis in the United Kingdom and purchased, used, through Soderholm Sales & Leasing for $375,000.

Video cameras are stationed on both levels of the bus so that drivers can monitor passenger activity.

The ceremony that included Mayor Alan Arakawa, Council Chairwoman Gladys Baisa and Transportation Director Jo Anne Johnson officially dedicated Maui County’s first double-decker bus. Drivers took the bus on a test run through Kahului with county officials riding in the upper and lower levels.

The bus is scheduled to go into service by the end of March or early April on the Kihei Islander route. The Kihei Islander route was selected because of the large number of residents and visitors who use the Maui Bus to travel between Central and South Maui.

The fare will remain the same for the double-decker bus as it is for other Maui Bus vehicles, $2 per boarding or $4 for an all-day pass.


Body ID’d as Kahului man

Maui police have identified the man whose body was found in waters in Pilala Bay in Haiku on Monday afternoon as 30-year-old Harold Mangantulao of Kahului.

Mangantulao was fishing and picking opihi with two friends Monday morning when the friends lost sight of him, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

Mangantulao had gone to pick opihi by himself around 10 a.m., Rego said. Around 12:30 p.m. the victim’s friends went to look for him. As they approached the point of the bay, they noticed the waves were too large to pass and did not see their friend anywhere in the area.

The friends then hiked back up to the top of the bay to report him missing around 2:16 p.m., police said.

Rego said that, about 3:10 p.m., fire rescue crews along with the Fire Department’s Air One helicopter located the victim’s body floating about 100 yards off shore in high surf. The area is accessible via Haumana Road in Haiku.

Mangantulao was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death.

No foul play is suspected, Rego added.


Man being held for abuse

A 34-year-old Molokai man was being held on $6,100 bail at the Wailuku Police Station on Tuesday morning after he allegedly choked his live-in girlfriend in front of several children Monday morning, police said.

Solomon Blevins of Kamalo was charged with felony abuse, four counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, police records show.

Lt. Gregg Okamoto said that police responded to a call around 7:20 a.m. Monday at the Molokai Community Health Center.

The victim, a 27-year-old woman, reported that while she was riding in a vehicle with Blevins and three children, the two got into an argument and Blevins put his arm around her neck and inhibited her breathing, Okamoto said. Blevins also slapped the woman, he said.

At the health center, Blevins was disorderly and refused to comply with police orders, Okamoto said. When police tried to arrest the suspect, he grabbed his infant son.

County / In Brief

Tulsi Gabbard slated to speak in Waikapu

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who represents the 2nd Congressional District that includes Maui County, will speak to the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce on March 25 at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.

“An Evening with Tulsi Gabbard” will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The congresswoman is expected to speak on economic and cultural issues impacting the lives of Native Hawaiians and the businesspeople of Maui.

Gabbard is one of two female combat veterans serving in Congress and is the first Hindu and first female of Samoan ancestry. She sits on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and Pacific and on the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Borders and Maritime Security.

The meeting is open to the public. Dinner is $20.

Those attending must RSVP by March 22 with Kai Pelayo by phone at 874-2426 or by email at For more information, call Katherine Smith at 268-0787 or go to the website


Condo council to host Waikapu seminar

The Condominium Council of Maui will hold a seminar on securing association property, residential safety and protecting against cyber theft beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu.

Speakers will provide information on security. There also will be vendors on hand, and prizes will be given out.

The cost is $50 for members and $60 for nonmembers. The fee includes a buffet lunch. All attendees must RSVP by mail or register online. For more information on how to register, visit the council’s website at


Installation of planters to impact traffic

The Department of Parks and Recreation will install concrete planters near 1377 Front St. in Lahaina on Tuesday, and traffic will be affected.

During the installation from 8 to 9 a.m., Front Street will be blocked off. The county advises motorists to adjust their travel schedules.


Haleakala official to be at visitor center

New Haleakala National Park Superintendent Natalie Gates will appear at a Kipahulu community meeting beginning at 5 p.m. March 20 at the park’s visitor center in Kipahulu.

Topics on the agenda include updates on the commercial services plan and on the Kipahulu comprehensive site plan.

The meeting is an opportunity to raise issues, to learn more about the park and to meet park staff.

County / In Brief

Firefighters battle Hale Kamaole blaze

Firefighters were on the scene and battling a fire in the upper floors of the Hale Kamaole condominium complex on South Kihei Road at about 9 p.m. Thursday.

“Large flames were leaping out of the third floor,” said a caller to The Maui News, who was a resident of a nearby condominium. He did not want to be identified.

Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga confirmed the call at about 9 p.m. to Hale Kamaole and reported five fire units on the scene – Engine 10 from Kahului, Engine 6 from Kihei and Engine 14, Ladder 14 and Tanker 14 from Wailea.

He could not provide any other details about the extent of the fire or about possible injuries at about 9:15 p.m. Thursday.

Hale Kamaole is located across from Kamaole Beach Park III.


Crews rescue 3 lost in fog in Polipoli

Firefighters rescued three hunters early Thursday after they had become disoriented and lost in fog and darkness for at least five hours in Polipoli, said Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

Makawao firefighters and a Kahului rescue crew responded to the 9:08 p.m. Wednesday alarm and located the three men at 2 a.m. on the Waiakoa Loop Trail.

The men, ages 40, 27 and 21, were in good health and were safely led to the trailhead in about an hour, Mainaga said. The state Division of Forestry and Wildlife assisted in the rescue.


Coast Guard to offer boating safety class

An “About Boating Safety” course, offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 16 at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary office in Kihei.

The class costs $35, payable at the class. Books are provided by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Boat insurance may be discounted with completion of this course.

Instructors are trained by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and volunteer their time to promote safe boating.

This class will satisfy the new Hawaii boat operators requirement, except for the “state law” section. That will be offered for free as a short supplemental seminar when curriculum becomes available.

For more information, call 214-2118. To register, go online to The sanctuary office is located at 726 S. Kihei Road.


Happy Valley robbery nets more charges

A second man faces felony charges in connection with the gunpoint robbery of a woman early Sunday morning in Happy Valley, police said.

Keoni Andrade, 23, of Wailuku was charged with first-degree robbery and burglary, police said. Co-defendant Joseph Kahananui, 29, of Waiehu is accused of the same charges.

The allegations arise from the robbery of a 48-year-old woman taking shelter in an abandoned bus in the Piihana Farms area along Piihana Road.

Around 12:45 a.m. Sunday, the men approached the woman, with Kahananui holding what appeared to be a handgun, police said. He took the woman’s purse, containing $200 and a cellphone, while Andrade pointed a rifle at her, she told police.

When the woman confronted the men as they were leaving, she was pistol-whipped in the back of the head, she reported.

The woman provided police the license plate of the getaway vehicle.

Police located it in Wailuku, finding a .22 caliber rifle, an airsoft pistol and some of the stolen items, police said.

Kahananui was arrested Monday, while Andrade was arrested a day later.

Bail was set at $70,000 for each man.

County / In Brief

State posts insurance rate comparisons

A complete list of home and auto insurance rates statewide has been compiled and released by Hawaii Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito for the first time.

Home and condominium owners and renters may use the list of premium rates from all insurance companies to help compare options offered for the same coverage, a news release said.

The comparison tables show rates for homes and condominiums of different construction types, such as double-wall or single-wall construction, in various parts of the state.

The guide and comparison rates may be found at

Last year, the Legislature and Gov. Neil Abercrombie passed a law requiring all homeowners’ insurance companies to provide premium information for consumers to compare. State law already required such information for motor vehicle insurance.


Kahoolawe waters to open for trolling

The waters around Kahoolawe will be open for trolling Saturday and Sunday, the Kaho’olawe Island Reserve Commission has announced.

The waters around the reserve also will be open March 16 and 17.

All vessel operators interested in trolling around the island must register annually with the commission before entering the reserve. Registered vessels also are required to file a catch report with the commission, whether fish are caught or not.

There is a $25 permitting fee for the registration.

Access to the reserve is restricted because of the presence of unexploded ordnance and for the protection of marine life.

To register or for more information, contact Dean Tokishi at 243-5889, send email to or go online to Registration packets are available at the state Division of Boating and Recreation, 210 Imi Kala St., Suite 205 in Wailuku.


Mayor, officials to appear in Kihei

Mayor Alan Arakawa will hold a “County on Your Corner” from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Lipoa Street Farmer’s Market.

Joining Arakawa will be Managing Director Keith Regan, the mayor’s Chief of Staff Herman Andaya, Department of Parks & Recreation Deputy Director Brianne Savage and the mayor’s Executive Assistants John Buck and Zeke Kalua.

In addition, Maui County fire officials will provide information and applications for free smoke detectors as part of the Fire Prevention Bureau’s Smoke Alarm Maui program. The smoke detectors will be available for display at the event and qualified applicants may have the devices installed at a later date free of charge by a licensed electrician under the supervision of Fire Department personnel.

“County on Your Corner” is scheduled in a different location each month so that residents can interact with county officials to address issues.

The farmers market will be held at 95 Lipoa Street in Kihei. For more information, call 270-8222.

County / In Brief

Three firefighters receive promotions

Three firefighters have been promoted to the rank of firefighter III, fire apparatus operator.

The promoted firefighters are 13-year veteran Peter Vanderpoel, 11-year veteran Aaron Boswell and eight-year veteran Tim O’Connor, Fire Chief Jeffrey Murray announced.


Car veers off highway; visitors injured

A car went off Hana Highway and ended up about 15 feet below the highway Friday afternoon.

A Hana fire crew, medics and police responded to the 2:41 p.m. call at Milepost 27 and found four female visitors whose injuries were not considered life threatening, according to Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.

They had made it out of their vehicle. Medics treated the four females and took them to Maui Memorial Medical Center, he said.

No information was available on the victims’ ages or residences.


Road improvements will get under way

Maui County will be beginning road improvement work at sites in Central and South Maui this week.

The county Department of Public Works will be resurfacing roads, fixing manholes and water valves and installing pavement striping and markers on Iao Valley Road, Church Street from Vineyard to Wells streets and Kinipopo Road. Work begins Monday and is scheduled for completion on May 14.

Kupono Builders LLC is the contractor for the $584,484 project.

The Liloa Drive-Hale Kuai Street intersection improvement project begins Monday and is scheduled to be completed March 25. The work includes removing existing signs and installing new signs, pavement striping and raising the height of the median.

Arisumi Brothers Inc. is the contractor for the $15,260 project.

Both projects will involve closing down one lane and contra-flowing traffic around construction sites during weekdays. On the weekend, both lanes of Church Street and Kinipopo Road will be closed to complete work as soon as possible, a news release said.

Motorists and pedestrians are urged to follow all safety signs.

For more information, contact Public Works project engineer Eassie Miller at 270-7745.


War Memorial gains disabled parking

Disabled access parking stalls are being installed at the Little League fields at the War Memorial Complex.

The Department of Parks and Recreation will be working on Halia Nakoa Street and Kanaloa Avenue from Monday to May 10.

Besides providing accessible parking stalls, the project includes building an accessible sidewalk, stairs and new fencing.

During construction, the Little League fields will remain open to the public, but access from Halia Nakoa Street and Kanaloa Avenue will be affected. The public is asked to follow all posted instructions regarding available access points to the fields to ensure safety.

The cost for design and construction of the project is $403,443. The general contractor is West Maui Construction LLC.

For more information, contact Robert Halvorson, chief of planning and development, at 270-7931.

County / In Brief

Man arrested in robbery case

A 29-year-old man was arrested for allegedly punching a resident on Kai Ani Lane in Kihei and attempting to steal his mountain bike early Wednesday morning.

Daniel C. Stephens, who provided no local address, was charged with second-degree robbery.

The victim reportedly heard his front gate open and saw a Caucasian male attempting to remove his mountain bike, said Lt. Jayson Rego of the Criminal Investigation Division.

The victim asked Stephens what he was doing. When he attempted to retrieve his bike, Stephens punched the victim three or four times in the face and chest before fleeing, Rego said.

Stephens was later found walking near the South Kihei Road and Auhana Road intersection around 7 p.m.

Police arrested Stephens, who was later identified as the assailant by the victim, Rego said.

Police learned that Stephens already was wanted on a $3,500 warrant that included three counts of contempt of court and one count of failure to appear.

His total bail was set at $8,500.


Field backing Paia Gym closed

A portion of the play field behind Paia Gym is scheduled to be closed beginning today for construction of a backstop and foul line fencing, the Department of Parks and Recreation said Thursday.

Work on the $61,960 project is expected to take about three weeks. David’s Fencing Inc. is the project contractor.

For more information, contact Paul Taylor, parks project manager, at 270-6173.


Emergency system test today

The monthly test of the Civil Defense outdoor siren warning system and the coordinated test of the live audio broadcast of the Emergency Alert System will be held at 11:45 a.m. today.

The siren test is a steady one-minute tone on all sirens. The steady tone is used to alert the public to any emergency that may pose a threat to life and property. Besides natural hazards, the Emergency Alert System could be used for terrorist incidents or acts of war.

Contact the Maui County civil defense/emergency management agency to report siren operations issues. The phone number is 270-7285.

Tests of civil defense sirens and the Emergency Alert System are conducted simultaneously, normally on the first working day of the month, in cooperation with Hawaii’s broadcasting industry.


Wind advisory through today

The National Weather Service has posted a wind advisory for areas exposed to trade winds on Maui, Lanai and Kahoolawe through 6 p.m. today.

A robust high-pressure system passing north of the state will produce the advisory-speed winds in exposed areas.

Winds are expected to be from the northeast, 20 to 35 mph, with localized gusts of more than 50 mph.

The winds can bring down tree branches and make driving difficult for high-profile vehicles.


Bail remains at $200K for man

A 2nd Circuit judge denied a bail reduction Thursday for a Makawao man who was indicted last week on a charge of second-degree attempted murder for an attack on a homeless woman.

Calvin Borge, 49, remained in custody at the Maui Community Correctional Center, with his bail set at $200,000.

During Borge’s bail hearing in 2nd Circuit Court, Deputy Public Defender Annalisa Bernard requested his bail be reduced by $100,000. She said Borge has been a resident of Makawao for about 30 years, has no prior convictions and has been employed for more than two years.

Judge Joseph Cardoza denied the request and maintained Borge’s bail. He ordered him to make no contact with the victim and witness in the case.

According to police reports, Borge slit the 53-year-old victim’s neck with a letter opener at a gathering last week in a Lahaina apartment. Witnesses told police that Borge approached the woman from behind and slit the front portion of her neck after a brief conversation.

The woman was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

A jury trial is set for May 13.


Pianist Rotman set to perform

Juilliard-trained pianist Sam Rotman will perform in a free concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at Kihei Baptist Chapel.

The chapel is at 1655 S. Kihei Road at the corner of Welakahao Road.

For more information, call 875-2112 or send email to