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Newswatch

For Wednesday, May 11, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:



Bill would ban cellphone use while crossing streets

Bill 43

» http://bit.ly/kIkcw2 (.pdf)
Testimony submittal instructions:
» http://bit.ly/jYUHPe

City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi wants to make illegal pedestrian use of a cellphone or electronic device while crossing streets.

KHON reported Monday that Kobayashi has sponsored the measure, which faces an initial vote at the Council today.

Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu says the department does not track whether electronic devices play a role in pedestrian fatalities. So far this year, five pedestrians have been killed on Oahu roadways, with three of those deaths in marked crosswalks.

Flash flood watch remains in effect for Kauai, Oahu

The National Weather Service extended a flash flood watch for Oahu and Kauai through this afternoon as a weather system northwest of the islands still poses a threat of thunderstorms despite moving away from the islands.

Forecasters say moist air from the south and unstable weather conditions could bring heavy rain and thunderstorms through tonight. Rain through the last several days has saturated the ground, creating conditions for flooding.

Mental health tests ordered for suspect in stabbing

A state judge has ordered accused killer Tittleman Fauatea to undergo another set of mental health evaluations to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial for murder and is legally responsible for his actions in connection with the fatal stabbing of a Waianae High School teacher.

Three mental health examiners had previously found Fauatea, 27, mentally fit to stand trial for the Feb. 27, 2009, fatal stabbing of Asa Yamashita at Ewa Town Center. But his previous lawyer later said Fauatea stopped taking his medication for mental illness and was not cooperating in preparing for trial.

Send food, postage free

Mail carriers will collect food donations in Hawaii and across the country Saturday as part of the U.S. Postal Service “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign. Hawaii mail carriers collected more than 565,000 pounds of food last year, with 48,000 pounds collected by the Wahiawa Post Office. Residents may place nonperishable items next to their mailbox for pickup before their usual pickup time on Saturday.

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

15-year plan for Hakalau refuge ready

Federal officials have prepared a plan to manage a 38,000-acre wildlife refuge on the slopes of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa that is home to endangered Hawaiian forest birds. The plan is expected to guide how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge for the next 15 years. The agency said it aims to plant koa trees, remove pigs and other invasive animals, and build fences to keep out pests. The area includes more than 30,000 acres of native forest and grassland on Mauna Kea’s windward slope and more than 5,000 acres of forest on Mauna Loa’s leeward slope.

It’s home to 14 native bird species, including eight that are endangered, such as the Hawaii akepa.

2 swimming pools to close for training

The Waimea swimming pool on the Big Island will be closed Tuesday for lifeguard training and will reopen the next day.

The Kapaa swimming pool will be closed for training Tuesday morning and will reopen that afternoon from 1 p.m.

For more information, call 241-4460.

Air concerns to police at meeting

The Hawaii County Police Department will hold a community meeting noon to 2 p.m. May 24 at the Cooper Center in Volcano.

Residents can meet the Police Department’s command staff and discuss concerns with the police chief and commanders who oversee operations in the Puna District.

Those interested in participating but unable to attend may email their concerns or comments to copsysop@hawaiipolice.com. For more information, call acting Capt. Glenn Uehana at 965-2717.





More From The Star-Advertiser

Suspect ordered to State Hospital




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