Third-floor fire guts apartment
A fire yesterday morning destroyed the interior of an apartment at 1577 Thurston Ave.
No one was injured.
Quick work by firefighters from the Makiki and Kaka'ako stations kept the blaze from spreading to other units.
First Battalion Fire Chief William Kaai said no one was home when the fire broke out in the apartment on the uppermost floor of the older, three-story walk-up building.
The fire was reported at 8:11 a.m. and firefighters from the nearby Makiki station were on the scene two minutes later. The blaze was brought under control at 8:22 a.m.
Fire Capt. Kenison Tejada said 75 percent of the apartment received flame damage, with the bedroom the hardest hit.
An occupant of the apartment returned home about 8:45 a.m., after the fire had been extinguished, and was being assisted by the Red Cross, Tejada said.
WOMAN MISSING SINCE DEC. 23
Police were looking yesterday for a woman who disappeared after telling co-workers she was going to catch the bus home to Pearl City the day before Christmas Eve.
Angela Baker was last seen Dec. 23 at about 10 p.m. leaving her job at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police Investigator Phil Camero at 529-3394, CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, or *CRIME on a cellular phone. Free cellular calls are provided by Cingular, Nextel Hawaii, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless Hawaii.
PETITION DRIVE TO FIGHT TAX HIKE
A group calling itself Let Honolulu Vote planned to begin a petition drive at lunchtime today in downtown Honolulu to call for the repeal of the upcoming increase in the general excise tax on O'ahu.
The tax increase to support a transit system is scheduled to take the 4 percent tax to 4.5 percent, a 12.5 percent increase set to take effect in January 2007.
A group of taxpayers and elected officials gathered yesterday outside of City Hall to announce a goal of gathering 80,000 signatures to propose a City Charter amendment to repeal the ordinance that would increase the state tax with a county surcharge.
TWO INJURED IN H-1 HEAD-ON COLLISION
Police closed the H-1 Freeway's eastbound lanes at Waikele last night after a head-on collision involving a car traveling in the wrong direction. Two people were injured.
Traffic was diverted off the eastbound lanes after the 10:06 p.m. accident. Police said the crash happened near the Kamehameha offramp.
An initial report said two men ages 49 and 29 were injured.
MAKAKILO MAN, 76, HELD IN SHOOTING
A 76-year-old Makakilo man was arrested yesterday in connection with a Dec. 29 shooting of a woman in Nanakuli.
Police had been searching for the man since a 30-year-old woman was shot in the shoulder at Tracks Beach Park. The woman was treated at The Queen's Medical Center.
The man was arrested at the Kapolei police substation yesterday and faced a possible charge of second-degree attempted murder.
STATE GRANT HELPS WELLNESS PROJECT
A $500,000 state grant will help build a wellness center at Pohai Nani Good Samaritan senior living complex in Kane'ohe.
Gov. Linda Lingle announced yesterday that the money has been released for the $4.86 million project. Some $1.5 million will be provided by a federal community development block grant and $2.86 million has been raised in private funds.
Pohai Nani opened in 1964 and is operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society. The 16-acre complex provides 184 senior living apartments, 15 cottages, a 10-resident Care Home and 42-bed skilled nursing community.
DISASTER MEETING HAS TRANSLATOR
A community meeting Sunday for people who speak primarily Cantonese or Mandarin will focus on disaster preparedness.
Translation for both Chinese dialects will be provided by Masaru Oshiro, a volunteer with the American Red Cross. Oshiro will speak on what to do in the event of a hurricane, tsunami, flooding, fire, terrorist attack or other disaster.
The meeting will be from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the New Empress Restaurant in the Chinese Cultural Plaza. For information, call Yuk Pang Law at 536-3883.
CIVILIAN WORKER DEAD IN CAR CRASH
The Navy yesterday identified a man killed Wednesday in a one-vehicle accident at Pearl Harbor Naval Station as Henry Dean, a civilian security worker with Navy Region Hawai'i.
Dean's vehicle hit a light pole on Central Avenue about 9:50 a.m. Wednesday.
VICTIM IDENTIFIED AS TOKYO MAN
The city Department of the Medical Examiner has identified a 77-year-old man who apparently drowned Wednesday at Hanauma Bay as Koji Momose of Tokyo.
Police said Momose had become separated from other family members and had been missing for about half an hour when he was found lifeless in about 3 feet of water.
Lifeguards were able to revive him briefly but he died after being taken to a hospital.
SUNDAY FESTIVAL FOR NEW YEAR
The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i will hold its New Year's 'Ohana Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the center on South Beretania Street and on Mo'ili'ili Field across the street.
The event will feature food booths, entertainment, cultural arts displays and demonstrations, a craft fair, antiques, a book sale, keiki kimono dressing, games and rides.
Admission is free. Parking is available at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa parking garage. Complimentary trolley service will run throughout the day.
For information, call 945-7633 or go to www.jcch.com.