Big Island police effective on DUI
HILO, Hawaii - Big Island police accounted for 71 percent of all statewide arrests made at drunken driving roadblocks in a recent one-year period, according to the state Department of Transportation.
From October 1999 through September 2000, Hawaii County officers were responsible for 131 of the 185 drivers arrested at roadblocks for driving under the influence of alcohol.
By comparison, Honolulu police made 38 roadblock arrests for DUI, Kauai police 10 arrests, and Maui six.
During that same period, Big Island police stopped 47,700 vehicles at DUI roadblocks, compared with 5,696 for Honolulu, 4,844 for Kauai and 2,100 for Maui.
Hawaii County police Sgt. Randy Apele said the department made a commitment to remove drunken drivers from the road by pursuing federal grants and allocating staff for DUI enforcement.
Big Island police also produced the most citations statewide - 6,991 - for seat belt and child restraint violations. In addition, the department targeted "rave" parties at public parks and private homes, arresting 130 underage drinkers.
Despite the strong performance at roadblocks, Big Island police reported only 1,081 DUI arrests overall last year, a decline of 10 percent from the record 1,207 drivers in 1999.
Chemical testing planned for pests
KIHEI, Maui - A study is scheduled to begin tomorrow to test how two products work against the swirling clouds of spotted-winged midges that swarm out of Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge each winter.
A public informational meeting about the study will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Kihei Community Center.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday that a trio of entomologists have formed a team to conduct the study: Richard Merritt of Michigan State University, Martin Berg of Loyola University of Chicago and Ashad Ali of the University of Florida.
The scientists will be studying s-Methoprene, a chemical compound, and Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium, at the pond over a two-month period.
The gnat-like creatures swarm at night, dawn and dusk during winter and early spring. The midges are attracted to light and are tiny enough to fly through window screens, creating a major nuisance for nearby condominium residents.
Glynnis Nakai, refuge manager, said the chemical compound and bacterium are no threat to humans.
Kauai residents endure blackouts
LIHUE, Kauai - Residents and businesses have suffered several short power outages in recent days because of Kauai Electric production problems.
Company representative Jennie Fujita said the main problem has been with the voltage regulation of the firms largest power generator, its No. 2 gas turbine, which produces 23 megawatts.
Fujita said the widespread outages - the most recent during the dinner hour Thursday - were short because the firm was able to quickly divert other power generators to cover the loss. She said the big turbine is still operating, but crews were working to resolve the voltage regulation problem.
Hula o Leilani to hold annual show
LIHUE, Kauai - Leilani Rivera Bonds Halau Hula o Leilani will hold its annual Hula Hoike at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall, featuring entertainment by the halau as well as Darlene Ahuna, Maila Gibson and Kaawa Solomon.
The doors open at 5 p.m. for crafts and refreshment sales. The show will include both ancient and modern Hawaiian hula and Tahitian dances by students from Kauai and Reno, Nev. Tickets at the door are $20 for adults and $15 for keiki. Tickets in advance are $15 for adults and $8 for keiki at Larrys Music, Jack Wada Electronics, Paradise Music, Sueoka Store, Salt Pond Store and Steves Mini Mart.