In Brief | Big Island & State | April 1, 2014


Police arrest woman for Holualoa shooting

Hawaii Island police have arrested a 22-year-old Captain Cook woman on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with an investigation of a shooting Friday morning in Holualoa. Randi-Keli K. Banagan was arrested at 7 p.m. Saturday at a Captain Cook Road residence, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

Police on Friday investigated a report of a 26-year-old Holualoa man being shot in the chest on Waiono Meadows Road. The victim told police he was walking down the road when he and his girlfriend encountered an acquaintance driving up. The victim and a woman in the car, believed to be Banagan, got into a confrontation and she allegedly shot him with a rifle, police said.

The victim was taken to the Kona Community Hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released, police said.

Banagan is being held at the Kona cellblock while Area II Criminal Investigations Section detectives continue the investigation.

Military convoys from Kawaihae to PTA

Oahu-based soldiers will convoy from Kawaihae Harbor to Pohakuloa Training Area from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Convoys will use Akoni Pule Highway, Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Waikoloa Road, Mamalahoa Highway and Saddle Road. Military police will escort the convoys.

The PTA Department of Army police are working closely with local authorities and military units to coordinate this activity in support of unit training and readiness. Motorists are advised to be alert and drive with care.

For more information, call the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs Office at 656-3154 or 656-3160.

Police arrest 15 for suspected DUI

Hawaii Island police arrested 15 motorists for allegedly driving under the influence of an intoxicant March 24 through Sunday. Six drivers were involved in traffic crashes, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

So far this year, there have been 327 supected drunken driving arrests, compared with the 334 during the same period last year, a 2 percent decrease. There have also been 409 major accidents this year, compared with the 330 during the same period last year, a nearly 24 percent increase. In addition, there have been three fatalities on the island, compared with 11 during the same period last year, a 72 percent decrease, police said.

To date, one fatality was related to drugs and another fatality was related to drugs and alcohol.

Invasive species bill reviewed today

The state House committees on energy and environmental protections will review a bill aimed at regulating the interisland spread of invasive species at 8:30 a.m. today.

Parts of SB2347 would prohibit the transportation of the pests and establishes penalties for violations, including language that would require any commercial entity that transports the invasive species to pay a fine equal to the value of the infested shipment.

The possibility of a penalty has caused concern for some Big Island nursery operators.

The bill would put the state Department of Agriculture in charge of identifying infested areas, providing information about managing and mitigating the pest populations and working with commercial entities to implement the practices.

According to a series of emails between the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association and Ken Kakesako, deputy to the chairman of the DOA, representatives from both the association and DOA will meet to discuss issues concerning the bill on April 7.

Coast Guard searching for missing kayaker

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard searched Saturday for a possible missing kayaker approximately half a mile northeast of Kilauea Point on the north shore of Kauai.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Kauai received a call at 11:11 a.m. Saturday from a good Samaritan on shore stating she noticed an unmanned, adrift yellow kayak in the area.

The Kauai Fire Department located the kayak with dive gear that included fins, a wet suit, paddle and weights aboard. The Fire Department searched in the vicinity of the kayak and found no one in distress. The kayak is approximately 15 feet long with the words “KAYAKKAUAI.COM” and “OCEAN KAYAK,” and a single line hanging off the side. There are no other markings on the kayak.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Kauai is actively searching the area. No one has been reported missing or in distress in the area.

The Coast Guard advises the public to register and label all watercraft and equipment with contact information in order to quickly account for owners and prevent unnecessary searches. Through the Operation Paddle Smart program, the Coast Guard offers a free “If Found” decal to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft. The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel’s owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

The Coast Guard is asking mariners to keep a sharp eye out for anyone possibly in distress. Anyone with information that can help identify the kayak’s owner should call the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 842-2600.

Senate passes $12B state budget

HONOLULU — Lawmakers in the Hawaii Senate have passed a state budget that calls for $12 billion in spending during the 2015 fiscal year.

The budget passed Monday envisions less spending than what Gov. Neil Abercrombie originally proposed. The new budget reflects a lower forecast from the Council on Revenues.

Sen. David Ige said the Legislature will face future difficulty that shouldn’t be compounded by irresponsible actions now.

Most senators voted Monday to advance the bill (HB 1700). But Sen. Sam Slom, the lone Republican, voted against the budget proposal.

Slom said a single mom doesn’t have the chance to spend more money than she brings in, so neither should the government.

The budget now goes to a conference committee of House and Senate lawmakers to iron out differences.

Island Air orders 2 new planes for Hawaii fleet

HONOLULU — Plane manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace says Hawaii’s interisland airline owned by Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison has ordered two new turboprop planes for its fleet.

Bombardier said Monday the airline ordered two turboprop planes that can carry 71 passengers each. The company said the deal for two Q400 NexGen airliners is worth nearly $61 million and could go up to $188 million if Island Air exercises options to buy four more planes.

Ellison said in a statement that the planes will help the airline in its mission to redefine regional travel on the islands.

Canada-based Bombardier builds planes and trains.

Kauai ultralight had recent fuel problems

LIHUE, Kauai — A preliminary report in the investigation of a fatal Kauai crash of a light sport aircraft says the motorized hang glider had been experiencing fuel problems.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report Friday. It says the pilot recently had problems with the fuel system suctioning the fuel supply out of the main vent line.

The crash last month killed pilot Gerry Charlebois and Mark McKenzie, a tourist from Ontario, Canada.

The NTSB said the main wreckage was consumed by fire but all major structural components were located within the wreckage debris area.

The Evolution Trikes Revo was registered to Birds in Paradise LLC, a company founded by Charlebois.

The NTSB recovered the wreckage and a camera for further investigation into the cause of the crash.

By local and wire sources