In brief | Big Island & state briefs 090813


Mamalahoa Highway road work planned

Alternating single lane closures are planned this week in both directions on Mamalahoa Highway, between Uluoa Street and Old Kona Village Road, for pavement striping and guardrail installation, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Crews will be working from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Work is weather permitting.

Police still seeking 2nd Hale Nani escapee

Big Island police continue to search for 23-year-old Robert C. Garcia, one of two men who escaped a Hilo area minimum security correctional facility Wednesday night.

Garcia is described as being African-American, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes. He often wears a goatee and mustache, and he has tattoos on his right forearm and the left side of his neck. He was last seen wearing a white Hawaii Community Correction Center shirt and blue HCCC shorts, according to police.

Police caution the public not to try to apprehend him, but rather to call police at 911.

On Friday, police apprehended 27-year-old Andrew Wanat, who fled the Hale Nani Correctional Facility along with Garcia, in Kailua-Kona. He was arrested by police officers at 11:50 a.m. after two foot chases.

Wanat and Garcia, who are both part of Hale Nani’s reintegration program, were not present for a 10:30 p.m. Wednesday headcount at the minimum security facility’s housing unit, said state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz. The headcount is conducted about once per hour, she said. The men were last seen about 9 p.m.

Both men were at the facility for violations of terms or conditions of probation, Schwartz said. Garcia was scheduled for release on Oct. 2 while Wanat was slated to be released Jan. 13.

Hale Nani is a minimum security facility. It provides an offender reintegration and a work release program for sentenced inmates who will be released on Hawaii Island, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Jewell visits Hawaii internment camp site

HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers and volunteers are asking U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to help preserve the site of a former Japanese internment camp.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Jewell met Friday with the Honouliuli Park Site Advisory Committee.

Committee members told Jewell that they want the Honouliuli camp and the stories of Japanese-Americans interned there to reach a broader audience.

Jewell says Honouliuli serves a vital role in telling another side of the story of World War II.

Seed company Monsanto Hawaii, which owns the land that Honouliuli sits on, wants to donate the 160-acre area to the National Park Service.

Jewell says it’s too early to determine if Honouliuli will become a member of the national parks system. She says local partnerships and support are key.

Inmate accidentally released from Oahu prison

HONOLULU — Honolulu police are searching for an inmate who officials say was accidentally released from Oahu Community Correctional Center.

Hawaii News Now reports that 51-year-old Edward Robins was mistakenly let out Friday at about 4:55 p.m.

Authorities say Robins was not due for release until Sept. 13.

Both police and state sheriffs have been notified.

Robins was serving a sentence for third-degree assault.

Police are asking anyone with information about his whereabouts to call authorities.

By local and wire sources