Heat, wind fuel brush fire on Maui
WAILUKU, Maui — Officials say a Maui brush fire that prompted evacuation orders and diverted flights is far from contained.
The National Guard is helping Maui firefighters and conducting water drops with a helicopter. The blaze fueled by dry brush and strong winds erupted Thursday on northwestern side of the island.
The flames moved toward two communities, leading authorities to order mandatory evacuations for up to 3,000 people and open shelters Thursday. The orders were lifted.
Airlines are working to bring in extra flights to Kahului Airport for more than 500 passengers who had travel plans canceled Thursday.
No injuries have been reported.
Gov. David Ige on Friday declared Maui a disaster area.
Ige said the proclamation allows the state to provide quick and efficient relief to those affected by the fire. The fire was about 20% contained by Friday afternoon after burning 14 square miles since Thursday.
Hawaii man gets 10-year sentence for choking, robbing child
WAILUKU, Maui — A Maui man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for choking a young student while robbing him of an iPad.
Nicholas Slot, 34, was sentenced Wednesday for the March 2017 attack and theft outside a Maui school. Slot was found guilty by 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo in a nonjury trial in December of second-degree robbery and second-degree terroristic threatening.
The boy testified he was 10 and in fourth grade when Slot grabbed his iPad and put a hand against his neck while pressing him against a bench outside Sacred Hearts School. Slot threatened to hurt the boy if he told anyone, the boy testified.
Slot has been incarcerated for more than two years in the case. He asked to be placed on probation so he can enter a dual-diagnosis treatment program for substance abuse and mental health issues on Oahu.
In determining his sentence, Loo noted Slot has 28 criminal convictions and said he squandered his previous chances on probation.
“This is not a test,” Loo said. “This is the real deal. And the real deal in your case calls for a prison term.”