In Brief | Big Island and state 08-19-13


2 victims of Hilo house fire identifed

The two victims of a fire in Hilo early Thursday have been identified through dental records as William Hachmeister, 67, and Dixeen Sakamoto, 60, both of Hilo.

An autopsy conducted Friday also determined that both victims died of toxic carbon monoxide inhalation brought on by the house fire.

The fire at a home on Wainaku Avenue was reported at 1:08 a.m. Thursday. After firefighters extinguished the flames, the two bodies were discovered in the rubble. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Drunken driving arrests down so far this year

Police arrested 30 motorists for alleged drunken driving between Aug. 12 and Sunday. Three of the drivers were involved in traffic crashes. Three were younger than 21.

So far this year, there have been 792 DUI arrests compared with 878 during the same period last year, a 9.8 percent decrease.

There have been 853 major accidents so far this year compared with 926 during the same period last year, a 7.9 percent drop.

So far this year, there were 21 traffic fatalities on Hawaii Island compared with 24 during the same period last year, a 12.5 percent decrease.

To date, three fatalities were related to drugs only, one to alcohol only and four, a combination of both.

DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue islandwide.

1st report card under new system released

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s Department of Education on Monday released its first report card of how public schools are doing under a new accountability system, made possible by a federal waiver from certain provisions of the No Child Left Behind law.

A key result is that nine schools serving a large number of children from low-income families are among 14 considered the highest-performing and highest-growth schools. The results also show that a majority or the state’s lowest-performing schools showed growth after receiving targeted support.

The new Strive HI Performance System uses multiple measures including science assessments, chronic absenteeism and college enrollment, instead of relying on No Child Left Behind’s “Adequate Yearly Progress,” or AYP, based mostly on reading and math scores. Critics of No Child Left Behind call it a rigid, one-size-fits-all approach to education.

According to the department, data from the 2012-13 school year shows the percentage of students proficient in reading and math improved slightly. Students proficient in reading increased to 72 percent, from 71 percent a year ago. Math proficiency was 60 percent, up from 59 percent.

Visitor bitten by shark is on life support

HONOLULU — A German visitor who lost her arm in a shark attack while snorkeling off Maui was on life support, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday.

Jana Lutteropp was in very critical condition, Maui Memorial Medical Center spokeswoman Carol Clark said. Lutteropp’s family requested that people respect their privacy during this difficult time, Clark said.

Lutteropp, 20, was snorkeling 50 to 100 yards off Palauea Beach in Makena on Wednesday afternoon when the shark bit off her right arm.

A California high school teacher swam out to bring her to shore after he and other bystanders heard her scream. Her arm wasn’t recovered.

It’s not known what type of shark bit Lutteropp. State officials investigating the attack said witnesses didn’t see the animal.

Soldiers may fully use Oahu range this year

HONOLULU — Soldiers may soon be allowed to fully use an Oahu training range for armored vehicles the Army has been working to build for years.

The training range has roads, as well as stationary and moving targets for Strykers, support vehicles and soldiers on foot. The Army is building the training area to accommodate the conversion of a Schofield-based light infantry unit into a brigade organized around Stryker armored vehicles.

The Army started on the $42 million Battle Area Complex project at Schofield Barracks in 2005 but ran into several problems that delayed completion, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Religious leaders sign gay marriage appeal

HONOLULU — More than two dozen Hawaii faith leaders of various religions signed a resolution Monday calling the state to pass a law legalizing gay marriage.

Jewish, Unitarian, Methodist and other leaders read and signed the poster-sized declaration at an interfaith brunch at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu.

“It’s all about standing on the right side of history,” said Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kupono Kwong of the First Unitarian Church.

Kwong said the groups would continue to press on the issue until more people are in favor of gay marriage.

The resolution asks Hawaii lawmakers to extend civil marriage benefits to same-sex couples. Hawaii currently has a civil unions law, but some say it doesn’t go far enough in fully recognizing couples as married.

By local and wire sources