One Drowning and Several Rescues Prompts Special Weather Statement for Maui

A Special Weather Statement was issued today, Wednesday, February 17, 2010, following a number of water rescues in Maui County. The Maui Police Department reported a drowning and several rescues resulting from adverse wind, wave and water conditions.

At 11:56 a.m., Lahaina Patrol Officers were aassigned to a possible ocean rescue as two people were observed yelling for help from the area known as Black Rock in West Maui.

When police arrived at the scene, the victim was being pulled out of the ocean. Attempts were made to resuscitate the victim at the scene, however, they were unsuccessful. The victim was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The victim was later identified as Daniel Barney, 54, of Spokane, Washington.

County officials are advising the public to be extremely cautious of ocean conditions for the remainder of the day.

Swimmers, surfers and other marine interests are advised to be mindful of their skill level and remain out of the water and well away from areas of potential danger.

Beach goers are also urged to stay out of the water and well away from the shore break due to hazardous wave action and strong rip currents.

The advisory states: If caught in a rip current, do not try to swim against the current. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current and then swim toward shore.

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Maui Teacher Faces Drug Charges

A Maui teacher is free on bail this morning after her arrest on drug charges on Tuesday, February 2, 2010.

47-year-old Cheryl Bisera was charged with various drug related offenses including 3rd degree promotion of a dangerous drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and promotion of a controlled substance near a school.

Courtesy Photo.

Maui police executed a search warrant on the woman’s Molokai Akau Street home at 6:40 a.m. on Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation.  During the search, authorities say they recovered 2.9 grams of crystal methamphetamine, a glass pipe, empty drug baggies and digital scales.

Maui Police Capt. Gerald Matsunaga with the MPD Vice Division said the maximum penalty for the three charges is 5 years in jail for each count, for a maximum total term of 15 years.

Bisera was released after posting $3,000 bail.

Kanemitsu Promoted to Maui Police Captain

Maui Police Department Lieutenant Donald Kanemitsu was promoted to the rank of Captain in the latest round of promotions announced by Chief Gary Yabuta today.

Maui Police Department Lieutenant Donald Kanemitsu was promoted to the rank of Captain in the latest round of promotions announced by Chief Gary Yabuta.

Kanemitsu is a 20 year veteran with the department and most recently served in the Criminal Intelligence Unit, where he has served in three separate assignments as a Patrol Officer, Sergeant and Lieutenant.

Kanemitsu joined the department in December of 1989.  As a Patrol Officer he was assigned to the Wailuku Patrol District, Lahaina Patrol District, Lahaina Patrol’s Crime Reduction Unit and the Criminal Intelligence Unit.

Following his promotion to the rank of Sergeant he was assigned to the Molokai Patrol District, Wailuku Receiving Desk, Criminal Investigation Division and the Criminal Intelligence Unit.  When rising to the rank of Lieutenant, he served as the Communications Section Commander, Lanai Patrol District Commander, Community Relations Section Commander and lastly the Criminal Intelligence Unit Commander.

In his new capacity as Captain, that took effect on February 1, 2010, Kanemitsu is being assigned as the District Commander of the Kihei Patrol District.

Maui Police Department Lieutenant Donald Kanemitsu was promoted to the rank of Captain in the latest round of promotions announced by Chief Gary Yabuta today.

Kanemitsu is a 20 year veteran with the department and most recently served in the Criminal Intelligence Unit, where he has served in three separate assignments as a Patrol Officer, Sergeant and Lieutenant.

Kanemitsu joined the department in December of 1989.  As a Patrol Officer he was assigned to the Wailuku Patrol District, Lahaina Patrol District, Lahaina Patrol’s Crime Reduction Unit and the Criminal Intelligence Unit.

Following his promotion to the rank of Sergeant he was assigned to the Molokai Patrol District, Wailuku Receiving Desk, Criminal Investigation Division and the Criminal Intelligence Unit.  When rising to the rank of Lieutenant, he served as the Communications Section Commander, Lanai Patrol District Commander, Community Relations Section Commander and lastly the Criminal Intelligence Unit Commander.

In his new capacity as Captain, that took effect on February 1, 2010, Kanemitsu is being assigned as the District Commander of the Kihei Patrol District.

Kihei Man Suffers Fatal injuries in Haleakala Highway Crash

A second traffic accident in as many days claimed the life of a Maui resident.  The latest accident was reported shortly before noon today (Wednesday, January 27, 2010) on the Haleakala Highway.

The accident occurred when a 1995 Dodge Neon four-door sedan traveling north on the highway lost control while negotiating a curve.  The vehicle slid into the ongoing lane of travel and collided with a 1994 Ford Ranger pickup truck.

According to police reports, the driver of the Neon, 22-year-old John Michael Bolosan of Kihei had to be extricated from the vehicle.  Bolosan died of injuries he sustained in the crash after being transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center.

The 61-year-old Kula man driving the pickup truck received minor injuries and declined treatment at the scene.  The drivers of both vehicles were the sole occupants at the time of the crash and both were wearing seatbelts.

Haleakala Highway (Hwy 377) was closed above Kealaloa Avenue during the police investigation.

The accident was the second traffic fatality on Maui county roads this year compared to 2 at the same time last year.

A second traffic accident in as many days claimed the life of a Maui resident.  The latest accident was reported shortly before noon today (Wednesday, January 27, 2010) on the Haleakala Highway.

The accident occurred when a 1995 Dodge Neon four-door sedan traveling north on the highway lost control while negotiating a curve.  The vehicle slid into the ongoing lane of travel and collided with a 1994 Ford Ranger pickup truck.

According to police reports, the driver of the Neon, 22-year-old John Michael Bolosan of Kihei had to be extricated from the vehicle.  Bolosan died of injuries he sustained in the crash after being transported to Maui memorial Medical Center.

The 61-year-old Kula man driving the pickup truck received minor injuries and declined treatment at the scene.  The drivers of both vehicles were the sole occupants at the time of the crash and both were wearing seatbelts.

Haleakala Highway (Hwy 377) was closed above Kealaloa Avenue during the police investigation.

The accident was the second traffic fatality on Maui county roads this year compared to 2 at the same time last year.

It was also the second accident in as many days on the Valley Isle.  In a separate accident last night on the Piilani Highway, 42-year-old Shannon L. Vannatta of Kihei died of injuries she sustained after being struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Authorities say the woman was standing in the travel lanes at the time of the accident.  According to police reports, her vehicle was found parked and unattended on the shoulder of the highway.

The accident was reported at 9:09 p.m. on the Piilani Highway just north of the Kulanihakoi intersection.

Both accidents were investigated by crews from the Maui Police Department Traffic Section.

It was also the second accident in as many days on the Valley Isle.  In a separate accident last night on the Piilani Highway, 42-year-old Shannon L. Vannatta of Kihei died of injuries she sustained after being struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Authorities say the woman was standing in the travel lanes at the time of the accident.  According to police reports, her vehicle was found parked and unattended on the shoulder of the highway.

The accident was reported at 9:09 p.m. on the Piilani Highway just north of the Kulanihakoi intersection.

Both accidents were investigated by crews from the Maui Police Department Traffic Section.

Maui Records First Traffic Fatality in New Year

Maui Police are investigating the cause of a fatal collision Tuesday night that killed a Kihei woman.

The accident was reported at 9:09 p.m. on the Piilani Highway just north of the Kulanihakoi intersection.

Police say an 2005 Nissan SUV operated by a 23 year old Kihei man was traveling north on the highway when it collided with a woman standing in the travel lanes.

The woman was later identified as 42-year-old Shannon L. Vannatta of Kihei.  The Nissan operator was not injured, but Vannatta died after being transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center.  Authorities say her vehicle was found parked and unattended on the shoulder of the highway.

The incident was the first traffic death in Maui County this year compared to 2 at the same time last year.

The Piilani Highway was closed to through traffic between Kulanihakoi Street and Kaonoulu Road during the investigation.  The road was completely reopened at 1:51 a.m. Wednesday morning.

(Posted by Wendy Osher)

Maui Police are investigating the cause of a fatal collision Tuesday night that killed a Kihei woman.

The accident was reported at 9:09 p.m. on the Piilani Highway just north of the Kulanihakoi intersection.

Police say an 2005 Nissan SUV operated by a 23 year old Kihei man was traveling north on the highway when it collided with a woman standing in the travel lanes.

The woman was later identified as 42-year-old Shannon L. Vannatta of Kihei.  The Nissan operator was not injured, but Vannatta died after being transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center.  Authorities say her vehicle was found parked and unattended on the shoulder of the highway.

The incident was the first traffic death in Maui County this year compared to 2 at the same time last year.

The Piilani Highway was closed to through traffic between Kulanihakoi Street and Kaonoulu Road during the investigation.  The road was completely reopened at 1:51 a.m. Wednesday morning.

(Posted by Wendy Osher)

Visitor Dies After Being Pulled From Ocean At Little Beach

By Wendy Osher

An Oregon man died this afternoon after being brought to shore at Oneloa Beach (also known as Little Beach) in Makena.

The victim, who had been swimming at the South Maui location, was identified as a 49-year-old man from Portland, Oregon.  Maui police, who responded to the scene at 12:17 p.m., say the man and his swimming companion encountered trouble when they became caught in an apparent riptide.

Both were brought to shore by lifeguards, who performed CPR on the victim, but were unable to revive him as he expired at the scene.

The second male was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment and was last listed in good condition.

Official identification of the deceased is pending notification of next of kin and an autopsy.

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By Wendy Osher

An Oregon man died of an apparent drowning this afternoon while swimming at South Maui’s Oneloa Beach (also known as Little Beach) in Makena.

The victim was identified as a 49-year-old man from Portland, Oregon.  Maui police, who responded to the scene at 12:17 p.m., say the man and his swimming companion encountered trouble when they became caught in an apparent riptide.

Both were brought to shore by lifeguards, who performed CPR on the victim, but were unable to revive him as he expired at the scene.

The second male was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment and was last listed in good condition.

Official identification of the deceased is pending notification of next of kin and an autopsy.

Case Of Reckless Endangerment Launched Against Parents Of Waiehu Kids Injured By Fireworks

The parents of two Waiehu children critically injured in a New Years Day fireworks incident are being accused of reckless endangerment.

According to police records cases of Child Abuse/Neglect, Endangering the Welfare of a Minor II, and Reckless Endangering II have been initiated against the parents. The cases are being forwarded to the County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

A further investigation into the January 1, 2010 incident revealed that the parents of the victims failed to properly care for and protect their children, and recklessly endangered them by allowing them to play with fireworks in the bed of a pickup truck.

According to Maui Police, the parents also failed to recognize that there was an imminent risk of bodily injury when they allowed their children to play with the fireworks. The fireworks ignited and severely burned both children.

The 7 year old female suffered 3rd degree burns to both legs and the 11 year old male suffered 2nd degree burns. Both victims were listed in critical condition.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Supporting information provided by Maui Police)