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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 6, 2006

HAWAI'I BRIEFS
Injured man linked to killing

Advertiser Staff

INJURED MAN LINKED TO KILLING

A man allegedly involved in a killing in Wai'anae on Saturday remained in critical condition at The Queen's Medical Center last night, police said.

Last night, no one had been charged in the death of Shantel Figueroa, 21, of Wai'anae. Figueroa was beaten to death with a hammer at a pig farm on Ma'ili'ili Road, police said, and her boyfriend was hospitalized with stab wounds to the stomach.

Family members said her boyfriend, 40-year-old pig farmer Clayton Higa, told them he had attacked Figueroa. They said Figueroa was in an abusive relationship with Higa.

Police did not identify the man taken to the hospital, but did say he told them he had attacked the young woman.

Charges are pending the man's release from Queen's. Police reported that he is "expected to survive." The wounds appear to be self-inflicted, according to police.

WOMAN DROWNS AT KO OLINA

A woman drowned at Ko Olina Resort yesterday, Emergency Medical Services personnel said.

The woman, believed to be a tourist, was pulled from the water at Lagoon 2 yesterday in "very, very critical condition," EMS personnel said.

She died at St. Francis medical Center-West, a hospital spokeswoman said.

No further information about her was available.


KAUA'I

2 DROWN TRYING TO SAVE WOMAN

Two men died yesterday while trying to assist a swimmer in distress at 'Anini Beach in the Hanalei district of Kaua'i.

One of the two men, a visitor from Wichita, Kan., was the husband of the swimmer, who was rescued, said Russell Yee, Kaua'i battalion fire chief. The other man was a visitor from Vacaville, Calif.

Yee did not release the names of the drowning victims, who were both in their 50s. The woman was taken to Wilcox Memorial Hospital for observation, Yee said.

The incident occurred at about 2:15 p.m. Yee said the two men went to assist the woman, who was caught in the riptide about 100 feet offshore, and got into trouble themselves. "With the high surf, the rip was very strong," Yee said.


BIG ISLAND

VISITOR SOCIETY SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

KAILUA, Kona The Visitor Aloha Society of West Hawai'i is recruiting volunteers to provide support services to visitors who are victims of crime and medical emergencies.

The organization is in special need of bilingual volunteers.

A volunteer orientation and training session will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce office. Call Linda Allen at (808) 756-0785 or vashwh@yahoo .com.

FREE TAX FILING HELP OFFERED

KAILUA, Kona AARP and the Internal Revenue Service are sponsoring free tax-preparation assistance in the Kona and Captain Cook areas.

Walk-in service is provided from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays at Yano Hall in Captain Cook, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays at Hale Halawai, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays at the mayor's Kona office conference room at Hanama Place.

Assistance by appointment only is provided from 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the Royal Kona Hotel.

All sites offer electronic filing. A counselor trained in preparation of military returns also will be available. Call the AARP office at (808) 334-1212.


STATEWIDE

AUDUBON ENLISTS BIRD-COUNT HELP

The Audubon Society's national Great Backyard Bird Count is scheduled for Feb. 17 to 20. It's an event in which bird lovers keep track of all the kinds of birds they see during a specific period.

Hawai'i birders can participate. Last year's results and details of this year's event are available on the Web at www.birdsource.org/gbbc.

Contact the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at (800) 843-2473 or cornellbirds@cornell.edu or see citizenscience@audubon .org or visit www.audubon.org.


MAUI

COLLEGE ADVICE AT BALDWIN HIGH

WAILUKU A free workshop for college-bound students and their parents will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Baldwin High School auditorium.

The event is sponsored by First Hawaiian Bank and the Hawai'i Association for College Admission Counseling. Topics include choosing a college, financial aid, admission criteria, entrance exam tips and what high school courses to take.

HONOAPI'ILANI WIDENING STUDY

LAHAINA The state has released $2.5 million for a planning study to realign and widen Honoapi'ilani Highway from Ma'alaea to Launiupoko.

The two-lane highway is the main link between West Maui and the rest of the island. Wrecks, brushfires and other events sometimes prompt police to close the road for hours, creating major traffic jams.

Gov. Linda Lingle has proposed an additional $1.2 million in her budget request to the Legislature for the design of Phase 1B of the highway-widening project, which would run from Launiupoko to Lahainaluna Road.

BALDWIN HIGH LIBRARY PLANNED

WAILUKU Planning for a new or expanded library at Baldwin High School can begin with the release of $765,000 in design funds.

A portion of the money will be used to determine the feasibility of expanding the existing space or constructing a separate, new facility.

The project is priority No. 18 of 30 in the Department of Education's Revised Capital Improvement Project Implementation Plan. The total project cost is $10.3 million. The design is expected to be completed by October.

PODIATRIST TO SPEAK ON DIABETES

WAILUKU The Diabetes Support Group at Maui Memorial Medical Center will host podiatrist Dr. Douglas Birch from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the hospital's Nutrition Education Classroom.

Birch will discuss foot care and diabetes.

The support group meets on the second Wednesday of each month. Call Marianne Vasquez at (808) 242-2090. Free valet parking is available.