Local News

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Blaze consumes former sugar cane fields

Flames erupt from a dried-out sugar cane field Thursday afternoon near Haleakala Highway. The blaze remained out of control later in the evening with bright orange flames visible throughout the central valley. Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said the fire was reported at 3:56 p.m. in the ...

A lifeguard patrols Big Beach in Makena looking for signs of sharks Thursday afternoon.
• The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

Shark closes South Maui beaches

MAKENA — A 7-foot Galapagos shark “aggressively” snatched a small catch of fish from two local fishermen’s dive float while they were diving Thursday afternoon off of Makena, a fire official said. The two men were spearfishing about 20 yards out from the rocky point between Big Beach ...

Makawao Elementary School teacher Alyssa Balderas Silva works on a reading exercise with 1st-graders Callie MacDonald (from left), Stormy Smith, Peter Ortiz-Calasa, Kala‘ikeha Wong and Siena MacDonald on Wednesday afternoon during the school’s after-school program. The school posted a 9 percentage point improvement in student achievement in English language arts/literacy from 2015 through 2017, according to the state Department of Education’s Strive HI report.
• The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

91 percent of Kamalii students meet or exceed science mastery

Ninety-one percent of students at Kamalii Elementary School in Kihei are meeting or exceeding science standards, one of the highest percentages of student subject-area proficiency in the state, according to a performance report released Tuesday by the state Department of Education. But along ...

Edward Martin

Prosecutors amend charges in reported kidnapping attempt

WAILUKU — A judge kept bail at $40,000 for a man with a criminal past who was arrested for allegedly trying to lure two schoolgirls into a car Tuesday morning in Kihei. Edward J. Martin, 39, of Kihei was charged with two counts of attempted second-degree custodial interference. With the ...

Swimmers advised to avoid harbor area

State Department of Health officials are advising people to stay out of the ocean north of Kahului Harbor because of a Wednesday morning sewage spill. The county Department of Environmental Management reported that approximately 62,500 gallons of wastewater entered the ocean after an ...

Submissions sought for craft fair guide

The Maui News will be publishing a Holiday Craft Fair Guide on Oct. 15. To be included in the guide, please submit the following information no later than 5 p.m. Oct. 6: • Name of the event. • Sponsoring organizations or businesses. • Date and time. • Location. • A ...

Military academy hopefuls wanted

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono is accepting applications from Hawaii students seeking a nomination from her office to attend a military service academy. Each year, the senator nominates Hawaii students to the Air Force, U.S. Military, Naval and Merchant Marine academies. Applicants need a strong ...

Maui Youth and Family Services’ new Upcountry transitional shelter features an open floor plan. The facility serves the nonprofit’s independent-living program, which helps youths too old for foster care find housing and develop and achieve educational and employment goals.
• Maui Youth and Family Services photo

Transitional shelter opened for former fosters

The Maui News – Maui Youth and Family Services has opened an Upcountry transitional shelter for former foster youths. The shelter, named “Ka Lewa Nu‘u,” or “Rise High,” is part of the nonprofit’s independent-living program. It helps youths too old for foster care find housing ...

J. Kalani English

State senator recognized for work to combat climate change

The Maui News – State Sen. J. Kalani English, who represents East Maui, Upcountry, Molokai and Lanai, was recognized by the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum last month for his leadership in establishing a legal commitment for the state to combat climate change. English was presented the 2017 ...

Surveillance photos show a man suspected of stealing a speaker valued at more than $400 from a Kahului store.

Crime Stoppers

The Maui Police Department is seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who stole a speaker valued at more than $400 from a store at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center. The theft occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Sept. 9. The man, who was seen in surveillance photos, is described as Caucasian, 50 to ...

mt baldwin skim 9-20-17

Me and my shadow

Haiku’s Mario Ferrer skims alongside his loyal dog Shadow on Wednesday afternoon at the north end of Baldwin Beach Park. “She loves the ocean. She loves the beach. She loves to play,” Ferrer said. “She gets super excited.” National Weather Service forecasters predict mostly sunny ...

Edward Martin

Arrests made in alleged kidnap attempt

The Maui News – Two Kihei men were arrested for allegedly trying to lure two girls into a black Mercedes sedan Tuesday morning as they were walking to Lokelani Intermediate School, police said. The car pulled up next to the girls at 7:18 a.m. as they were walking on Aliilani Place in Kihei ...

Way cleared for cannabis dispensaries to begin selling products without smoke

In a little over a week, Maui Grown Therapies plans to expand its line of medical marijuana products to ones that do not require smoking, a company spokeswoman said. The development came this week after the state Department of Health approved Hawaii’s only cannabis lab to begin testing ...

Molokai man accused of threatening wife, children with rifle

WAILUKU — Bail is set at $27,000 for a Molokai man arrested for allegedly breaking into a house where his wife and children were staying and threatening her with a loaded rifle. William Greenwell, 33, of Kualapuu was arrested after police were called to the home of his wife’s parents in ...

Stephen B. Schmidt has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder of his estranged wife, 24-year-old Kehau Farias Schmidt. Her throat was slit at the Kehalani Foodland store while she was shopping with a friend the evening of April 19, 2016.
• The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo

Hearing date set to determine mental fitness of Schmidt

WAILUKU — A hearing to determine whether murder suspect Stephen B. Schmidt is mentally fit to stand trial is set for Oct. 20. Schmidt, 45, of Kahului had been examined by three doctors previously. They had differing opinions about the extent to which Schmidt was exaggerating or faking ...

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Senior center prepares for fun day

Like movie set builders or prop men, Kaunoa Senior Services maintenance men Jerry Tumacder, (from right) Kevin Kanemoto and Nat Royum build a bright ice cream stand Wednesday in Spreckelsville. The men helped create the feeling of a plantation-style village for today’s Kumiai Day celebration, ...

Con-man-turned-FBI-consultant Frank Abagnale will give a presentation next month on Maui. His exploits were the basis for the 2002 movie “Catch Me If You Can.”

Former con man offers free movie, fraud presentation

The Maui News – A free showing of the movie “Catch Me If You Can” will be presented at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Regal Maui Mall Megaplex 12, nearly three weeks ahead of the in-person appearance of con-man-turned-FBI-consultant Frank Abagnale, according to an announcement. Abagnale will ...

Wastewater spill flows into ocean

About 62,500 gallons of wastewater overflowed Wednesday morning off of Kahului Beach Road in Wailuku, the county Department of Environmental Management reported. Discovered at 10:20 a.m., the overflow was stopped 25 minutes later. The spill flowed over a dirt access road and into the ocean, ...

Eatery tournament to benefit food bank

Lahaina seafood restaurant Down the Hatch will host a “Connect Four” tournament on Saturday to benefit the Maui Food Bank, according to an announcement. The restaurant’s goal is to donate 6,000 pounds of food or $6,000 for the agency. Nonperishable food is being collected at the ...

Kaanapali retail mall sells for $14M

The Fairway Shops at Kaanapali has sold for $13.97 million to a Mainland buyer, according to seller representative Matthew Bittick, senior vice president with CBRE Capital Markets in Hawaii. The sale was a leasehold transaction, meaning that the fee simple ownership of the 35,491-square-foot ...