Neighbor Island briefs
Bank, store robbed in Kihei, Kahului
Maui police suspect two similar robberies on Tuesday may be connected.
The first holdup occurred at 3 p.m. at the First Hawaiian Bank branch in the Lipoa Center in Kihei. No weapon was seen during the robbery, but the bandit had his hand in his pocket as if carrying a gun and told the teller he would shoot her if she didn't give him cash, said detective Ron Hiyakumoto of the Maui Police Department.
After placing the money in a white plastic Foodland bag, the robber ran away. He was described as a clean-shaven, Caucasian man about 18 to 23 years old, 5-feet 6-inches tall, and 125 pounds.
The second robbery occurred at 7:35 p.m. at the Foodland on Kane Street in Kahului when a Caucasian man wearing a dark-colored hooded jacket approached the courtesy booth near the store entrance and demanded money, said Lt. Michael Kaho'ohanohano. A store employee put the money in a bag and handed it over to the man, who said he would shoot anyone who tried to follow him. No weapon was seen.
In the Kahului crime, the man appeared to be about the same age as the Kihei thief, but was described as at least 6 feet tall and weighing 160 to 170 pounds, Kaho'ohanohano said.
Call Maui detectives at 244-6425 or CrimeStoppers at 242-6966.
Fire destroys Kaua'i business
LIHU'E, Kaua'i A fire destroyed the Island Soap & Candle Works in Kilauea early yesterday.
The fire was extinguished before it could damage neighboring structures.
Firefighters said the blaze caused an estimated $150,000 damage. It appeared to have been caused by a damaged transformer that was left plugged into an electrical outlet, fire investigators said.
Maui man arrested in sex assault case
WAILUKU, Maui A Kahului man was arrested Tuesday night on 39 counts of sexual assault involving a female juvenile.
Erwin Fagaragan, 37, was arrested without incident at his home, said Lt. Michael Kaho'ohanohano of the Maui Police Department.
A Maui grand jury earlier indicted Fagaragan on the charges, which involve a single victim. Details of the case were not available.
Parade in Lihu'e slated tomorrow
LIHU'E, Kaua'i The annual "Lights on Rice" holiday parade will go on as scheduled at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, despite recent rain and road construction on Rice Street in Lihu'e.
Thirty-six floats are entered in the parade, which will run from Hardy Street, up Rice Street to Eiwa Street at the Historic County Building. Nearby, Kaua'i Museum will hold a holiday craft fair on its grounds from noon into the evening.
People attending the parade can park at the Civic Center complex, at the Lihu'e Baseball Field behind the police station, or at the Kmart parking lot, where shuttle service to the Historic County Building will be provided.
Viewers are advised to bring lawn chairs, flashlights, rain gear and, because of the construction, covered shoes.
Maui plants kukui for Arbor Month
WAILUKU, Maui A kukui tree was planted yesterday at the Kalana O Maui building in observance of Arbor Month.
The kukui, or candlenut, is the state tree and in the Native Hawaiian culture represents knowledge or enlightenment.
The planting also kicked off the "Adopt the County Building" project between the county, the University of Hawai'i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, the Maui Association of Landscape Professionals and the Community Work Day Program.
Work done so far includes the cutting back of trees and removal of sick ones to make way for new plantings. In addition, the front lawn of the county building on High Street was fertilized, sprinkler heads were changed and sod was added to the lawn.
In the next phases, edging will be installed and the soil and beds will be readied for planting new trees, plants and ground cover. Plans call for using native plants when possible.
Rangers to lead hike in Haleakala
HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK, Maui National park rangers will lead a daylong hike through Haleakala Crater Dec. 8.
The strenuous 12-mile trek will take hikers from Sliding Sands to Halemau'u, past volcanic landscapes and unique subalpine plants.
Hikers should meet at 8 a.m. at the Halemau'u parking lot, where the hike will end around 5 p.m. Rangers recommend bringing layered clothing for cold and warm weather, sturdy shoes, sunscreen, a hat, rain gear, lunch, snacks and two liters of water.
The hike is free, but a $10-per-vehicle park entrance fee may be charged.
Naturalist to receive award
A Sri Lankan naturalist will receive the prestigious 2001 Seacology Prize in ceremonies tomorrow at the national Tropical Botanical Garden on Kaua'i.
Anuradha Wickramasinghe, as a founder and director of the Small Fishers Federation of Sri Lanka, in 1994 launched a program to conserve mangrove lagoons, which are important to the protection of fisheries.
He was cited for his work in mangrove conservation as well as efforts to improve the economic standing of mothers, widows and children of poor fishing villages of Sri Lanka's Southern and Uva provinces.
The $5,000 Seacology Prize is given annually to an indigenous islander for the preservation of island culture and environment.
Doris and Take Matsuda of Hana on Maui won the prize in 2000 for their work on the restoration of the Pi'ilanihale heiau.
Midges in Kihei to be discussed
KIHEI, Maui Those pesky midges that have become an annual nuisance in Kihei will be the subject of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service meeting at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Kihei Community Center.
Results from a study conducted last winter at Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge using two larvicides on alien and native midge species will be presented by a trio of entomologists. Possible control strategies for the upcoming midge season also will be discussed.
The scientists studied s-Methoprene, a chemical compound, and Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium, at the pond from January to March.
Swirling clouds of spotted-winged midges swarm out of the pond each winter at night and at dawn and dusk. The midges are attracted to light and are tiny enough to fly through window screens, creating a major nuisance for nearby condominium residents.
Moloka'i center celebrated today
HO'OLEHUA, Moloka'i A ceremony today will celebrate the completion of the $3 million Lanikeha Ho'olehua community center on seven acres fronting Farrington Avenue.
The 10,250-square-foot center, built of concrete block, will hold social, educational and community events. It includes a commercial kitchen that local groups will be able to use to make food for fund-raisers, said Kenneth Toguchi of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, which developed the project.
The new building, whose name conveys the meaning "place of dignity" or "place that makes one strong," replaces the dilapidated Moloka'i Recreation Center that was built in 1976. Financing came from Maui County, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, private money and in-kind services.
Tenants include Punana Leo O Moloka'i, Alu Like's Pono No Na Kupuna and Moloka'i Habitat for Humanity.
Central Construction Inc. was the general contractor for the building, which was designed by Ushijima Architects.
AIDS Day rites set for Kihei
KIHEI, Maui The Valley Isle will commemorate World AIDS Day with a 5 p.m. service Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church By the Sea in Kihei.
The church is at 100 Kulanihakoi St. For more information, call (808) 242-4900.