In Brief | Big Island & State | 12-13-13


Ka‘u beach reopened after shark attack

Waters off Punaluu Beach Park in Ka‘u reopened at noon Thursday after an aerial observation turned up no sign of sharks in the area following a reported shark attack on Wednesday, according to the Hawaii County Fire Department.

A 29-year-old Captain Cook man was hospitalized with lacerations to his right hand and right leg following a reported shark attack about 8 a.m. Wednesday in waters south of the beach park at Ninole Bay, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. The man was taken via private vehicle to Ka‘u Hospital, where he was treated for the injuries and released.

The fire department closed the beach shortly after the attack Wednesday pending Thursday morning’s aerial observation. The park’s facilities remained open.

Police charge man who allegedly ran over girlfriend with car

Hawaii Island police have charged 35-year-old Justin Lee in connection with a domestic violence incident reported Monday night in Hilo.

Lee was charged Wednesday with second-degree reckless endangering and two counts second-degree assault, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. His bail was set at $22,000.

He is being held at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

The charges stem from a domestic violence incident reported about 9:30 p.m. Monday, according to police. A 41-year-old woman told police that sometime between 9 and 9:30 p.m., she was involved in an argument with Lee at their Hilo home. As the argument escalated, Lee reportedly ran over her with a car and then fled on foot. The woman was taken to the hospital and later flown to Oahu in serious condition. Police did not provide an update on her condition.

Police: Gun threat at UH-Hilo unfounded

Hawaii Island police have determined that a report of a gun threat Monday on the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus was unfounded.

The terroristic threatening case has been closed and the man who reported it, 25-year-old Louis H. Bartlow of Kalapana, has been charged with a crime, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. Bartlow was charged Thursday with false reporting to law enforcement authorities, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year incarceration. His bail was set at $500 pending an initial court appearance slated for today.

On Monday morning, Bartlow, who also claimed to be an employee of UH-Hilo, reported he had been accosted on campus by a man with a firearm, according to police. Investigation by police determined that the incident did not occur and Bartlow is not a university employee.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park revises lane closure schedule

Alternating lane closures will now be in effect just four days a week on Crater Rim Drive within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The westbound lane fronting Steam Vents will be closed Monday through Thursday while crews replace 3,000 feet of a deteriorated water main, according to the National Park Service. The pipeline supplies water to Jaggar Museum and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

Both lanes will be open when no active construction is occurring. Crews will work from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Work will not occur Fridays, according to the park service, which announced the change on Thursday. Wait times are expected to be less than 15 minutes.

Ex-airline worker pleads guilty in meth case

HONOLULU — A former American Airlines employee accused of using his airline credentials to bypass airport security and bring methamphetamine to Hawaii is pleading guilty.

Defense attorney Todd Eddins said Tulituafulu Tuli Maata pleaded guilty Thursday to charges involving conspiracy and meth distribution.

Court documents allege he was an aircraft fueler who used his credentials to hand-carry 5 to 10 pounds of crystal meth on flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

He was arrested in April when he landed at Honolulu International Airport after a Los Angeles flight. The FBI said agents found three pounds of crystal meth in a bag he was carrying. He’ll be sentenced in March.

Veterans cemeteries to enforce decoration limits

HONOLULU — The manager of the veterans cemetery at Pearl Harbor said staff members are enforcing rules that limit the decoration of graves to cut flowers and wreaths.

Willie Hirokane told KHON-TV that the cemetery sent out a notice in September that it will start enforcing the rules. All decorations have to be less than 2 feet tall. He said workers will remove Christmas trees and other holiday decorations that violate the rules.

Hirokane said the rules will be enforced at all veterans cemeteries, including Punchbowl.

Faculty seeks ouster of UH Cancer Center chief

HONOLULU — The head of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center is under fire from current and former faculty members for what they say is mismanagement and retaliation against employees.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Michele Carbone is the subject of a campaign calling for new leadership. A university spokeswoman said Carbone was not available to be interviewed.

Faculty member Lynne Wilkens said management problems identified in 2009 have continued.

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly said the 20 complaints filed against Carbone are the highest number reported for any university unit.

But state Sen. Josh Green said that until last week, he heard nothing but positive comments about the cancer center. And state Sen. Roz Baker said faculty members are trying to discount fine things done by the center under Carbone.

By local and wire sources

Honolulu man charged in 2011 fatal hit-and-run

HONOLULU — A Honolulu driver suspected of striking and killing a college student in a crosswalk two years ago has been charged with fleeing the scene of a fatal accident.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported 31-year-old Dominic Franklyn was indicted Wednesday on the felony charge in the death of 19-year-old Mariah Danforth-Moore of Oneida, Wis. His bail is set at $11,000.

Danforth-Moore was a student at Hawaii Pacific University. Honolulu police said Danforth-Moore on Nov. 20, 2011, was in a crosswalk on Kamehameha Highway when a car traveling toward Kaneohe struck her.

She died at Castle Medical Center. Franklyn turned himself in two days later. He was arrested but not immediately charged.

By local and wire sources