Search for Maui woman suspended
Officials yesterday suspended the search for a Maui woman who has been missing since she went camping alone on Sunday.
Laura Vogel, 43, was last heard from Sunday when she sent a text message to a friend saying she planned to camp in the Pauwela area near Ha'ikū. When she failed to show up for a tutoring job on Monday, friends began to worry and launched a search for her.
Vogel's van was found near a homeless encampment with the keys in the ignition and driver's door open. Friends on Wednesday discovered what they believed to be part of her cell phone in the same area.
Maui police and fire personnel joined the search on Tuesday. Tracking dogs from state Civil Defense were used yesterday.
Maui police yesterday said the search was suspended pending any new developments. Police continue to investigate Vogel's disappearance.
MCCULLY BUILDING FIRE SAID INTENTIONAL
An early morning fire that destroyed a four-unit apartment building in McCully yesterday was determined to have been intentionally set, the Honolulu Fire Department said.
The case was referred to the police department.
The building is on 760 Hauoli St., across from Lunalilo Elementary School.
Fire Capt. Terry Seelig said four families with a total of 18 people lived in the two-story building. He said everyone got out safely.
Seelig said firefighters responded at 3:40 a.m. and saw smoke and flames coming from the second-floor units. Five engines, two ladders, one rescue unit and a battalion chief were needed to fight the fire.
Seelig said firefighters from the McCully station used the department's new compressed air foam system to knock down the fire and keep it from spreading.
"In cases like this, when the destruction has already been done, we're just trying to contain the fire," Seelig said. "If it had spread it could have collapsed the structure."
Seelig said the second-floor units were destroyed while first-floor units sustained water damage.
KALIHI HILLSIDE WORK CUTS ROCKFALL DANGER
Work is expected to be completed today on the Kalihi Valley Homes hillside where two boulders fell on Jan. 22.
The Board of Water Supply yesterday said the area above the housing project will be secured by today.
A geotechnical engineering firm hired by the Board of Water Supply to assess the hillside had identified three boulders and two rock overhangs for remedial action.
Two contractors were brought in to expedite the work recommended by the firm. Since then, three boulders on the hillside have been broken apart and nettings have been secured over the two rock overhangs.
KAUA'I MAN GIVEN 5 YEAR ICE-SALE TERM
A Kaua'i man has been sentenced to five years in prison for selling $200 worth of crystal methamphetamine to an undercover police officer in the parking lot of Kapa'a Elementary School, the Garden Island newspaper reported.
Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe imposed the sentence Tuesday, saying 26-year-old Dustin McNamara will have to serve a minimum of one year and eight months behind bars.
Under a plea agreement, McNamara pleaded guilty to the class C felony of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.
County Prosecuting Attorney Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho said McNamara sold the drug about 6 p.m. on a school day, when teachers and students were present. Undercover officers from the Big Island aided the bust.