Top Maui Headlines: June 27, 2018
On Monday June 25, law enforcement recovered rare silversword plants or “ahinahina” that had been removed by a visitor from Haleakalā’s summit. They say a park visitor witnessed an individual removing two “keiki” or juvenile silversword plants from the ground and placing them in her clothing before leaving the area in a vehicle. The witness took a picture of that vehicle and immediately notified Haleakalā National Park staff. Park rangers were able to locate the individual and driver in Paia Town about an hour later and released both from the scene with charges pending. Park biologists will attempt to replant the recovered silverswords, which are federally listed as threatened and found only on the slopes of Haleakalā at altitudes above 6,900 feet. Visitors are reminded that removing or damaging them is a federal crime.
Hawaiʻi Island Police say a man who circumvented blockades has gone missing in a lava evacuation zone. The missing person is identified as 48-year-old Mark Lawrence Kramer, a resident of the Puna district. Kramer is described as a 5-feet-9-inches tall, 160 pounds, medium build with wavy shoulder-length hair.
Kramer had reportedly gone into the evacuated Kapoho area on June 18, getting around blockades with the intent of resupplying an acquaintance who had remained within the evacuation zone. It was reported that his last contact was during a phone call, when Kramer related he was lost on a hardened lava flow. The communication ended when his phone battery died. According to reports, Kramer never reached the residence within the evacuated area and had not been heard from or seen since. Hawaiʻi police say Kramer also has an outstanding warrant of arrest, which is pending service.
On Tuesday, June 26th, the power was out to the entire island of Moloka‘i. Officials with Maui Electric say around 10:05 a.m. the outage was triggered after a loose sheet of roofing flew onto power lines, bringing then down along Mauna Loa Highway near the landfill and recycling center. The island-wide outage affected around 3,229 customers.
On July 1st, a new law goes into effect in Maui County that makes it illegal to smoke or vape in vehicles when children under the age of 18 are present. The fine for a first time violator is $200. Public health advocates say secondhand smoke in cars is 10 times more concentrated than the level considered unhealthy by the EPA, even with the windows down. The measure brings Maui County in line with similar laws already in place on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, and Oʻahu.