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Wong to fill out Board of Education

Caroline S. Wong, who recently retired as principal of Moanalua Middle School, was appointed yesterday to the Board of Education by Gov. Linda Lingle to fill the seat vacated by Breene Harimoto, who resigned last month.

Wong will serve until a new member is elected in the November general election to serve out the remaining two years of Harimoto’s term.

In 2005 Wong was named the Hawaii State Middle School Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. In 2008 she was a semifinalist in the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award.

Wong joined the Department of Education in 1969 as a teacher at Leilehua High School and oversaw the restructuring of Moanalua from a traditional junior school into a middle school. She was principal at Moanalua from 1991 until retiring last year.

Wong earned her master’s degree in social science and secondary education from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Hawaii. She is a graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois.


Lava flows over house

Lava from Kilauea Volcano destroyed a Kalapana Gardens house early yesterday morning.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the lava flow advanced about 250 feet in the last day, setting afire the westernmost house on Highway 137 around 3:30 a.m. By sunrise, only the roof and water tank of the home were visible.

According to the observatory, the lava filled a depression on the northern edge of Hakuma horst, a raised, vegetated block of earth shaped roughly like California, and progressed through a low spot southwest of the leading flows.

A narrow lobe of lava reached the ocean just after 2 p.m. yesterday, residents told the USGS.

Errors led to glider crash

An instructor-pilot’s decision to continue flying a motorized hang glider despite a low-fuel warning — coupled with a misprint in the glider’s manual — likely caused an April crash on Kauai, the National Transportation Safety Board has concluded.

The engine on the Revo trike cut out during a student-pilot’s first dual instruction flight, forcing the instructor to make a hard landing on a dirt road, the NTSB said.

The glider, operated by Birds in Paradise LLC, "nosed over" during the landing and incurred substantial damage, the NTSB said.

An examination of the craft showed that it had 1.2 gallons of fuel, and the instructor-pilot told witnesses that he ignored a fuel monitoring system that activates when the fuel level drops below 2.7 gallons, the NTSB said.

The manufacturer — Evolution Trikes — reported that the unusable fuel level is 1.4 gallons. But an error in the flight manual stated the unusable fuel level was 0.4 gallons, the NTSB said.

As a result of the investigation, Evolution Trikes corrected the error in its flight manual, the NTSB said.


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