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In Brief | Big Island & State | 3-18-14

March 18, 2014 - 8:46am

Kona students to compete in state bee

Hope Kudo of Kealakehe Intermediate School and Christianne Abella of Konawaena Intermediate School will compete Saturday for the state spelling bee crown. The competition, featuring 14 finalists in fourth through eighth grade, airs live at 7 p.m. on PBS Hawaii.

The winner will represent Hawaii in May at the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

During Saturday’s aio Hawaii State Spelling Bee, students will be asked to spell words in a round-robin-style format until all other contestants have been eliminated and only one remains. That student must correctly spell one final word to become the champion. Once contestants start to spell a word, they cannot go back and change their order of spelling. One round of vocabulary testing has been added this year to help prepare for the national competition.

“We’re proud to continue the spelling bee tradition in Hawaii, giving our youth the tools they need to improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct use of the English language,” aio President Susan Eichor said. “Participating in spelling bees yields lifetime benefits for students.”

Police identify Ocean View shooter

Big Island police have identified the man who shot himself during an attempted murder and suicide in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates subdivision last week.

He was identified as 48-year-old Clyde Hawse Criswell, also known as Cris Criswell, of Ocean View.

Shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday, Kaʻu patrol officers responded to a report of a shooting at a property on Tiki Lane at the intersection of Luau Drive.

Police investigation determined that two men, who live in separate dwellings on the property, got into an argument. The victim, a 37-year-old man, entered his house and Criswell followed him and shot him. He then stepped out of the house and fatally shot himself.

The victim was flown to Kona Community Hospital and then to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu, where he remains in critical but stable condition.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal investigations section are continuing the investigation as an attempted murder and suicide.

State jobless rate drops

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped in January, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Monday. January’s rate was 4.6 percent, down from the revised rate of 4.7 percent in December. Statewide, there were 625,650 employed and 30,250 unemployed in January, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 655,900. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in January, down from 6.7 percent in December.

Hawaii County had the highest county unemployment rate, at 6.1 percent, actually recording an increase from December’s rate of 5.9 percent. Only Molokai had a higher rate, at 6.9 percent.

Police looking for burglarly suspect

Police are investigating a residential burglary that happened Sunday evening in Hilo and are looking for a suspect who was captured on video surveillance.

Sunday night, police responded to the upper portion of Kukuau Street after receiving a report of a burglary. Officers discovered that the house had been forcibly entered while its occupants, a 45-year-old Hilo man and his 43-year-old wife, were in a separate portion of the home. Police learned that several valuables were removed from the house.

Officers recovered surveillance video footage. It appears to depict a man exiting a light-colored, late-model, four-door sedan, which he parked on the shoulder in front of the property before walking to the front door. The man momentarily remains at the door before returning to the vehicle, which is seen leaving. The same man is seen returning to the home several minutes later, but he leaves the area prior to officers’ arrival.

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man, who appears to be Caucasian, in his 30s, between 6-feet tall and 6-foot-4 with a slim build, a fair complexion and neatly cut dark brown hair. He was last seen wearing khaki shorts, slippers and a black long-sleeved shirt with images on both the back and front.

Police ask anyone with information on this incident or anyone who may recognize the man to call the police department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective John Rodrigues Jr. at 961-8222 or

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Pahoa woman reported missing

Big Island police are searching for a 48-year-old woman who was reported missing.

Danielle Caron was last seen March 6 at her Pahoa home. She is described as Caucasian, being 4-foot-11, and having brown shoulder-length hair and brown eyes. She may be in the Puna District and frequents Keaau, Kalapana and the Pahoa town areas, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the police department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311. Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Police arrest 26 for DUI

Big Island police arrested 26 motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant from March 10 through Sunday. Two of the drivers were involved in traffic crashes. One was younger than 21.

Kona officers arrested nine motorists, South Kohala seven, South Hilo eight and Puna officers nabbed two drivers.

So far this year, there have been 280 DUI arrests compared with 266 during the same period last year, an increase of 5.3 percent.

There have been 340 major accidents so far this year compared with 288 during the same period last year, an increase of 18.1 percent.

So far this year, there have been three traffic fatalities on Hawaii Island compared with 10 during the same period last year, a decrease of 70 percent.

To date, one fatality was related to drugs and one to a combination of both drugs and alcohol.

Keaau structure fire extinguished, probed

The Hawaii County Fire Department is investigating the cause of a Monday morning structure fire in Keaau.

Responding to a 7:52 a.m. call, 11 county firefighters and three volunteer firefighters discovered a wood workshop in a garage-like structure on Hibiscus Street engulfed in flames. They were able to control the fire from spreading to the single-story residence and used approximately 8,000 gallons of water to extinguish it at 8:45 a.m.

Fire officials estimated the damage to the 22-by-20-foot workshop at $200,000. No injuries were reported.

Waimea Women’s Center awarded grant

The March of Dimes Hawaii Chapter awarded a $5,000 grant to the Waimea Women’s Center at North Hawaii Community Hospital.

This grant will enhance the CenteringPregnancy group model of prenatal care. Hospital officials said CenteringPregnancy “empowers women to make healthy life choices and has been found to increase babies birth weights and gestational age, which improves pregnancy outcomes.”

Nominee for Hawaii Supreme Court OK’d

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Senate has approved Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s nominee for the state Supreme Court, despite concerns raised about the nominee’s work with women.

All but one senator — 24 to 1 — voted to approve Circuit Judge Michael Wilson to the post on Monday. Sen. Rosalyn Baker was the only senator to vote against him.

The Hawaii State Bar Association had rated Wilson “unqualified” because of concerns over his work ethic and professionalism.

The Senate Women’s Caucus had also asked for more details on Wilson’s record, prompting Judiciary Committee Chairman Clayton Hee to hold a weekend hearing to allow Wilson and others to discuss the nomination.

‘Jurassic World’ audition attracts 1,500 on Kauai

LIHUE, Kauai — More than 1,500 people in Kauai are hoping to land one of at least 50 spots in the background in the next “Jurassic Park” sequel.

The Garden Island newspaper reported Monday that those who auditioned for “Jurassic World” were asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement by the film’s production company, EEB Tide Productions.

The new movie is expected to use popular filming spots on Kauai, including Lawai, Olokele and Manawaiopuna Falls.

Kauai is the same island where 1993’s “Jurassic Park” was filmed. The dinosaur movie is based on Michael Crichton’s series of novels.

By local and wire sources