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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Neighbor Island briefs

Advertiser Staff and News Services


Maui sex assaults under investigation

WAILUKU, Maui — Maui detectives are investigating whether the same burglar is responsible for three sexual assaults since May 11.

The suspect is described as a male in his 20s, of medium or short stature, with a medium or slim build.

The latest attack occurred Saturday morning when a woman in her 70s returned to her Wailuku home and found an intruder inside, said Lt. Glenn Cuomo of the Maui Police Department. The woman told police the man raped her before fleeing.

A Kahului woman reported she woke up in the early morning hours of May 11 to find a unknown man fondling her, and a Spreckelsville woman reported a similar incident last Thursday. The two woman were middle-aged, Cuomo said.

In all three cases, the assailant is believed to have entered the homes through unlocked doors, Cuomo said.

Six injured in crash near Maui raceway

KIHEI, Maui — A rush-hour wreck yesterday closed Mokulele Highway and sent six people to Maui Memorial Medical Center.

The near head-on collision between a van and a small sedan occurred at 5:30 p.m. near the entrance to Maui Raceway Park. Four women and two men were transported in ambulances to the hospital for treatment of injuries that were not considered life-threatening, officials said.

Two-lane Mokulele Highway is the main road connecting Kahului and Kihei.

Pa'ia traffic plans to be discussed

PA'IA, Maui — The state Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday to gather public comments on alternatives for traffic improvements in Pa'ia.

Some of the improvements being considered include parking alternatives, curb and sidewalk reconstruction, traffic signal improvements and an exclusive right turn onto Baldwin Avenue.

The meeting will be at the Pa'ia Community Center.

Maui court seeks child advocates

WAILUKU, Maui — Court officials on Maui are looking for volunteer guardians ad litem to represent the interests of abused children.

These trained volunteers are appointed by the court to represent the best interests of a child in abuse or neglect proceedings. The guardian ad litem is responsible for keeping the court informed about the child and the progress of services provided to the child's families.

A training session is planned for July. Volunteers must be at least 20 years old and able to spend between four and 30 hours a month working on a child's case. Children are matched to volunteers according to the seriousness of the case and the amount of time a volunteer has available.

For more information, call Gail Nakamae at (808) 244-2871.


Big Island mayor going to South Korea

HILO, Hawai'i — Big Island Mayor Harry Kim is joining a tourism promotion visit to South Korea and Japan on his first out-of-state trip since becoming mayor.

The Hawai'i Visitors and Convention Bureau asked Kim to join the state contingent because of his family heritage and because Korean travel to the Islands is expanding, increasing 54 percent in the first nine months of last year, the most recent period for which figures are available.

Kim, who was born and reared in a Korean immigrant family in Puna, said he would like to help renew interest in direct flights from Korea to Kona International Airport. Such flights were contemplated four years ago before the Asian economy's downturn.

Kim leaves Monday and will return June 11. Managing Director Dixie Kaetsu will be acting mayor while he is gone.

Other Big Island officials joining Kim on the trip are Councilman Aaron Chung of Hilo, who also is of Korean ancestry, and George Applegate, executive director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau.


Koke'e park trail to be improved

KOKE'E, Kaua'i — Volunteers hope to upgrade an old trail in the Koke'e park lands that connects the Pu'uhinahina Lookout to the Canyon Trail leading to Waipo'o Falls.

The work, being organized by the Division of State Parks and the Koke'e Resource Conservation Program, will be done on National Trails Day, June 2, with chainsaws, picks, shovels and weed trimmers. Volunteers can call the Ellen Coulombe at the conservation program for details at (808) 335-9975 or e-mail rcp@aloha.net.

Once it is repaired and open, the trail will allow people to reach the Canyon Trail, the most used of the Koke'e trails, via the trail rather than through a longer route down Halemanu Road.

Owner sought after dogs attack horse

LIHU'E, Kaua'i — Police are trying to find the owner of three pit bulls that attacked a horse Friday, causing it to throw and trample its rider and then fall into a canyon in Princeville.

A North Shore woman was riding the horse on Kapaka Road near Pooku Stables at about 6 p.m. when the dogs attacked, police said. She apparently escaped serious injury, police said.

It is not clear if the horse died from injuries in the fall or from the attack.

The dogs' owner was described as a local male, 5 feet 8 inches tall and between 140 and 180 pounds. His brown hair was in a crew cut and he had a mustache.

Two of the dogs were black and the other was brown.