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Driver indicted in fatal Laie crash

A pickup truck driver who crashed his vehicle in Laie last year, killing one of his passengers and injuring two others, was driving drunk, Chris Van Marter, deputy prosecutor, said yesterday.

An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging Bryan Thomas Miller III with first-degree negligent homicide.

Former Kahuku High School star quarterback Waika Carvalho, 23, died in the crash, He was the front-seat passenger.

Miller, 20, was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Two other male passengers, both 18 at the time, were hospitalized in critical condition.

Miller’s blood-alcohol content was 0.19, Van Marter said.

It is unlawful for drivers under 21 years old to operate a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. For those 21 or older, the threshold is 0.08.

Ethics panel taps Kondo for director

The state Ethics Commission says it has selected Leslie Kondo as its new executive director.

The commission said in a statement yesterday that Kondo will assume office on Jan. 11.

Kondo has served as a member of the state Public Utilities Commission since 2007.

Before that he directed the state Office of Information Practices, where he provided guidance on the state’s open government laws to officials and the public.

The University of Hawaii law school graduate has been an attorney in private practice.

The commission fired its last executive director, Dan Mollway, in June. The commission cited an investigation faulting Mollway’s management style and "unpredictable work schedule" for the dismissal. 

Lava tree monument reopened

Lava Tree State Monument has reopened after months of maintenance work.

The Big Island monument had been closed since September so a private contractor could trim trees in the parking lot and rebuild the entry road, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said yesterday. The company also reconstructed parts of the parking lot.

The work cost the state about $230,000.

The agency plans further improvements, including repaving walkways, rebuilding the pavilion and installing an information kiosk.

The park southeast of Pahoa is known for its "lava trees" — molds of tree trunks left behind when a lava flow swept through the forest.

Wastewater discharged into harbor

Kauai residents are advised to avoid the water at Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor due to a recent discharge of treated wastewater.

At 8:10 p.m. last Thursday, crew members opened the Kikiaola ditch to drain treated effluent mixed with storm water into the ocean to prevent flooding in Waimea. Kauai County spokeswoman Mary Daubert said the ditch was opened because of the storm that battered the island last week. The ditch was closed at noon Monday.

The public is advised to avoid contact with the water at the harbor and adjacent coastal areas. The mixture of storm water, treated wastewater and brown water may contain harmful microorganisms that can cause illness.

State health officials are monitoring the harbor’s water quality.

Recent donations to the Good Neighbor Fund

Milton & Flo Kakaio $500
John Noland $500
5-C Carpet Care $250
Malia, Greg, Daniel & Michael $250
Robert Nathanson $250
Laura K. Murray $200
In memory of Jean Nouchi from the Christmas Gang $150
Rotary Club of Pearlridge $128
In Memory of T. Imamura $100
In Memory of Andrew Shoji $100
In Memory of Grant Yorita $100
Wayne, Keith and Kevin $100
Lance Akama $100
Melanie Bailey $100
Maryann & David Berry $100
Judith Buffington $100
E. Jean Garcia $100
Harold H. Karimoto $100
Amber & Isaac Kono $100
Susan A. Sakai $100
Nyssa & Allegra Thompson $75
Glenn & Karen Hamada $50
Hatsuko Kaneshiro $50
Edna Y. Kawai $50
William W. Lee Jr. $50
Watson W.S. and Doris Tak Yee P. Li $50
Thomas Y. Nakano $50
Paul and Sue Nozaki $50
Alan T. Okamoto $50
Nelson K. & Nancy L. Smith $50
Margaret Bergman $25
Paula Faulkner $25
Janice Y. and Terrence Y.V. Kong $25
Nancy E. Pearl $25
Wallace & Pearl Pratt $25
John F. Roufs $25
James N. and Patricia R. Siquig $25
Judith Lee $20
Kenneth Monroe $20
Nancy Prentice $10
Anonymous (6 donors) $367

Total $4,545
Total to date $36,754

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