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In Brief | Big Island & State | 5-2-14

May 3, 2014 - 12:05am

Pepeekeo man killed in Thursday crash

A 54-year-old Pepeekeo man died Thursday from injuries he suffered after the sedan he was driving sideswiped a flatbed truck on Highway 19 in Pepeekeo.

Responding to a 1:54 p.m. call, South Hilo patrol officers determined that Colin Y. Ishii was operating a 1998 Toyota sedan traveling northbound on the highway when he crossed the centerline in the vicinity of mile marker 9 and sideswiped a 2013 Ford flatbed truck traveling southbound that was being operated by a 29-year-old Naalehu man, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

The driver of the Ford was not injured, according to police.

Hawaii County Fire Department rescue personnel took an 82-year-old woman, who was a passenger in the Toyota, to Hilo Medical Center, according to police. She did not receive any significant injuries but was held overnight as a precaution.

Ishii was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:24 p.m., according to police.

All occupants were wearing their seat belts, and it does not appear that speed, alcohol or drugs were involved, police said.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. Anyone with information about this crash should call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119.

Man stranded on island in river rescued

Hawaii County Fire Department personnel rescued an 18-year-old man who was stranded on an island in the Wailuku River Thursday evening.

Rescue personnel swam to the island and used rope tethers and swift water equipment and techniques to bring the man to shore. He was uninjured and refused further medical evaluation or treatment.

The situation remained under investigation, Fire Department officials said.

The incident took place on the river near Ululani St. and Wailuku Drive, and caused traffic to be temporarily rerouted.

DWS monitoring HOVE well after breakdown

The Department of Water Supply is performing emergency repairs on the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates deep well, following a breakdown Thursday.

The well was in operation again Friday afternoon and water was flowing into the storage tank, officials said. Officials asked for continued patience as they employ close monitoring of the well through the weekend. The drinking water spigots will remain open for normal operating hours. While water spigots remain open for general community access, users are asked to limit their consumption to potable needs only. The standpipe facility for water haulers is closed until Monday.

The Department requests cooperation, patience and understanding during this monitoring period. For additional information, contact 961-8790.

State to install fence to protect forest

LIHUE, Kauai — The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will install a fence to protect Kauai forest from the Na Pali Coast to the Alakai plateau.

The project in the Hono O Na Pali Natural Area Reserve will control invasive weeds such as Australian tree ferns and remove pigs and goats.

The department said Thursday the plan will help protect native forests that are essential for supplying fresh water on Kauai. The forests act as a sponge, absorbing rain and fog moisture from passing clouds.

This project is funded in part by U.S. Forest Service grants and the state’s “The Rain Follows the Forest” watershed initiative.

Machines ruled as gambling taken down

HONOLULU — A company that distributes sweepstakes machines in Hawaii is taking the machines out of businesses after a federal judge ruled they are part of a gambling operation.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday that PJY Enterprises LLC is working to get the machines moved out of bars.

U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi ruled this week that people who use the machines are gambling, which is illegal in Hawaii. Gambling in the state is defined as risking money on a game of chance.

The machines sold users discount coupons to buy products online. Along with the coupons, users got free entries into a sweepstakes to win cash prizes.

Kobayashi said in her decision that many coupons were left in the machines or discarded, showing customers were really looking to win cash.

Woman in zip-line death identified

MAKAWAO, Maui — Police say the woman who died in a zip-line accident in Makawao worked for the company operating the attraction.

Police identified the victim as 29-year-old Patricia Rabellizsa of Kihei. She worked for Piiholo Ranch Zipline.

Officials from the company haven’t responded to requests for comment. A posting on the company’s Facebook page expresses condolences and says it is cooperating with the police investigation.

A cause of death is pending autopsy results.

Fire officials say she fell about 150 feet into a gulch on Thursday. It’s not clear if she fell from a zip-line tower or was on the zip-line course.

By local and wire sources