Newswatch

Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, February 10, 1999


Local Special Olympics team
seeks, sells kokua

Hawaii's Special Olympics team has begun selling the "Kokua Card" to raise money to go to the 1999 World Games.

The public can buy the cards for a minimum donation of $1 each at various locations.

The Special Olympics will gather 7,000 athletes from around the world for the nine-day event this June in North Carolina. The athletes will represent 150 countries in 19 sporting events.

For information on where the Kokua Cards are available, call 531-1888.


School athletics bill aims to support girls

The state House Education Committee has advanced a bill aimed at closing the gender gap in school athletics.

The bill would create a new statute that provides for gender equity in public school athletics and alignment with Title IX, a federal law which guarantees girls the same opportunities as boys in athletics.

House Education Chairman Ken Ito said the bill was amended to allow the school superintendent to appoint 12 members to an advisory commission and to require the superintendent to report to the Legislature on the department's compliance efforts.

Former officer may face up to 30 years in prison

Former Honolulu police officer Elizabeth Savage, who had been on probation for theft and forgery convictions, could face extended prison terms of up to 30 years on three new charges.

Savage, 33, yesterday pleaded no contest to two new felony cases in 1998.

Attempted theft and forgery charges were filed after she was arrested for trying to cash a bogus check at First Hawaiian Bank using fake identification.

She was also charged with unauthorized entry into a vehicle and attempting to remove a portable stereo from the back seat.

She will be sentenced on the charges May 18.

Savage, an officer for six years, resigned from the force in March 1996 after she came under investigation for a series of thefts. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 1997 to a year's imprisonment and five years' probation.

Circuit Judge John Lim yesterday revoked her probation.

January tax revenues fell compared to 1998

Tax revenue collections for January were $276.8 million, a drop of $5.3 million, or 1.9 percent, when compared with January 1998, state Tax Director Ray Kamikawa announced today.

Despite the decline, tax revenues for the first seven months of this fiscal year were $1.7 billion, an increase of $34.8 million, or 2.1 percent, over collections during the same period in the previous fiscal year, Kamikawa said.

The Council on Revenues has projected that general treasury tax deposits for the 1998-99 fiscal year, which ends June 30, would be 1 percent more than the last fiscal year.

Last month, revenues from the general excise and use taxes dropped $8.5 million, or 7.3 percent, compared to January 1998.

But individual income tax collections last month rose $4.6 million, or 3.4 percent. "This increase pushed cumulative general fund deposits from the individual income tax to $14.2 million, or 2.1 percent ahead of the previous fiscal year's pace," Kamikawa said.

Project allows for filing electronic tax returns

The state has begun a pilot program allowing some taxpayers to file electronically, Tax Director Ray Kamikawa said.

So far, participants are limited to payroll service providers authorized by the state who already submit withholding tax payments through electronic funds transfer.

This method may attract other such providers, Kamikawa said.

Interested payroll service providers may ask for a packet of hardware, software and procedures by calling 587-4242 or 1-800-222-3229 toll-free.

Community group funds available in Ewa Beach

Community organizations in Ewa Beach may apply for grants from the Ewa Beach Community Trust Fund. Grants of up to $1,000 each will be awarded this year.

For an application, call Steven Kaneshiro of the Hawaii Community Foundation at 536-6333.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 28.

Straub seeks students for summer program

College and university students interested in participating in Straub Foundation's annual Summer Student Research Program must apply by March 1.

Priority for the program, from June 14 to Aug. 6, is given to students who are Hawaii residents.

The program, offering direct experience in clinical research, is open to students planning a career in health and medicine.

Call 524-6755 for information.

Kalanianaole Highway traffic to be diverted

Honolulu-bound traffic on Kalanianaole Highway will be detoured through Kalama Valley and Hawaii Kai for roadwork between Sandy Beach and Hanauma Bay.

The lane closure will be 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 23 while crews do surveying work for a guardrail and roadway improvement project. Motorists will be diverted at Kealahou Street to Hawaii Kai Drive to take Lunalilo Home Road and return to Kalanianaole Highway.

Kaumualii Highway in Kauai to be improved

Kaumualii Highway in Waimea Town, Kauai, will get pedestrian accessible route improvements under a $112,031 contract to Highway Construction Co.

Work is to begin in June.

Improvements include removing sidewalks at intersections and crosswalks, constructing curb ramps, reconstructing damaged sidewalks and adding new pavement markings, said the state Department of Transportation.

Health plan members surveyed by QUEST

QUEST members will soon receive a mail survey asking their satisfaction with QUEST health plans, said the Med-QUEST Division of the Department of Human Services.

This month, 2,500 surveys will be sent to a random statewide sample of members.

The information gathered will work to improve the quality of QUEST services, said Susan Forbes, executive director of the Hawaii Health Information Corp.

Results will be presented to state officials and legislators and to QUEST members making enrollment decisions.

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
See our [Search] [Info] section for subscription information.




Police, Fire

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

POLICE

Man feels 'bee sting' -- shot while walking

Police are looking for a suspect who shot a man walking in Ewa Beach last night.

The man told police he felt a "bee sting" to his stomach as he was walking near Kauiki and Kehue streets at about 10:35 p.m.

When he walked to a lighted area, he saw blood.

The man walked home and was taken to St. Francis-West Hospital, police said.

He was then taken to Queen's Hospital in guarded condition.

Police at 10:35 p.m. also received a call from a woman reporting hearing a gunshot and seeing a car speeding away from Kauiki and Kehue streets.

Farrington blaze probably electrical

Electrical problems probably caused the blaze that damaged Farrington High School classrooms last week, fire investigators said.

There is no indication of a break-in or arson, fire officials said today. The final determination of the cause is pending.

Meanwhile, yesterday's blaze in Waipahu that claimed the life of 30-year-old Wendell Gomez is still under investigation.

Gomez created handmade Hawaiian crafts and sold them at the swap meet, his mother said. The Gomez family and their next-door neighbors, whose home was also damaged, are receiving help from the American Red Cross.

Capt. Glenn Solem, lead investigator for the Honolulu Fire Department, said there was no evidence of flammable materials found inside Gomez's bedroom, where the fire appears to have started.

Liquor store owners shot at while being robbed

Two men robbed a Kalihi liquor store last night and fired a round at the business owners before running away.

The men entered The Keg Liquors at 743 Waiakamilo Road at about 11:40 p.m. and demanded money, police said.

After getting an undetermined amount of cash, a man with a gun fired a round between the two owners, striking a wall, police said.

Police have no suspects as of this morning.

Man, 22, allegedly assaults fellow guard

Police yesterday arrested a 22-year-old security guard for allegedly assaulting a fellow guard at the Koko Marina Center.

The suspect was booked for second-degree assault.

Both work for Allied Security Co., police said.

Woman, 37, arrested in $20,000-plus forgery

A 37-year-old Hawaii Kai woman was arrested for allegedly forging 42 checks totaling $20,624.

The woman is the treasurer for Friends of the International Karate Federation, police said.

For the past three years, she has been forging a name on the nonprofit group's checks, police said.

The woman turned herself in yesterday and was booked for first-degree theft and 42 counts of second-degree forgery, police said.


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See our [Search] [Info] section for subscription information.




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