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Man arrested in fatal stabbing

Hawaii County police arrested a 62-year-old Kailua-Kona man Tuesday night in the fatal stabbing of his 57-year-old neighbor and injuring the man’s 25-year-old son.

Police identified the dead man as Edward Wanat, who lived at 77-305 Kalani Way, Unit 5.

The suspect, arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, remains in custody at the Kona Police Station and has not yet been charged.

Kona patrol officers were called to a condominium unit at Seaview subdivision in Kailua-Kona where the three live.

Police said Wanat and his son, Andrew, were involved in an altercation with the suspect, who lives in a separate condominium unit.

The suspect allegedly stabbed both men at about 7:09 p.m.

The elder Wanat was stabbed several times in the chest and abdomen, police said. He was taken in critical condition to the Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8 p.m. His son was cut on his hands, arms, shoulder and face, and was also taken to the Kona hospital, where he remains in stable condition.

Police arrested the suspect at the scene. He also went to the hospital for face, hands and chest injuries he sustained during the altercation.

3 accidents on H-1 snarl traffic

Traffic on the Waianae-bound lanes of the H-1 freeway was backed up for more than an hour last night after a series of accidents starting about 7:23 p.m.

A three-car collision near Middle Street forced police to divert traffic to the Airport viaduct until the vehicles could be towed away.

About two minutes later, a motorcyclist crashed near the Likelike offramp, causing police to temporarily close all lanes and divert traffic off the freeway at Houghtailing Street.

The motorcyclist went to the hospital and police requested the motorcycle be towed away so the lanes could be reopened.

Two cars crashed about 7:34 p.m. near the Palama Street offramp, slowing traffic, but the vehicles were already on the shoulder, police said. 

Fire officials seek $1.1M

The Maui Fire Department is asking for $1.1 million more in funding, saying a busy brush fire season has depleted its budget, the Maui News reports.

The request comes less than six months after the Maui County Council reduced funding for the department’s helicopter, saying the program had been overbudgeted in previous years. But Fire Chief Jeff Murray said this week that more than half his current request was to cover a shortfall for helicopter operations.

With a "very busy summer brush fire season" and some extended search-and-rescue missions, he said, the helicopter program has burned through most of the $760,000 budgeted in July to cover a 12-month period.

"We probably have a few dollars left," Murray said. "I’m talking really small change."

Council Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Joe Pontanilla said he plans to take up the funding request later this month.

Cell phone ban nabs 700

So far this year, police have cited more than 700 Hawaii County drivers for driving while using a cell phone.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that police had issued 672 citations as of Monday to people who used a cell phone while driving, and 38 for causing an accident while using a phone. If all violators paid the maximum amount allowed by law, that means the statute has generated $119,800 in fines.

The ban also applies to hand-held text messaging devices, pagers, personal digital assistants, laptops, video game players and digital cameras.

Anyone convicted of using any of these devices on the road may be fined up to $150. A person involved in a vehicle accident as a result of the phone may be charged up to $500.


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