Newswatch

Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, February 20, 1999

Two plead not guilty in truck torching case

Two men pleaded not guilty this week to federal charges for allegedly torching trucks belonging to rival movie-production truck companies.

George Edward Cambra, 52, president of George Cambra Movie Production Trucks Inc., and Joseph "Joe Boy" Tavares Jr., 42, both face trial on April 20.

Cambra is charged with conspiring to burn trucks belonging to Mokulua Consultants in Waipahu and Auto Mastics on Middle Street on June 10, 1991. He faces five years in prison if convicted.

Tavares is charged with two counts of commission of arson and faces 10 years imprisonment for each count if convicted.

Tavares and an unidentified accomplice allegedly used gasoline and diesel fuel provided by Cambra to torch their competitors' vehicles, causing both businesses to go out of business.

Mililani school principal glad investigation ended

Mililani Waena Elementary School's principal yesterday said he was happy an investigation into an alleged choking incident has been closed, and "we can move forward in our business of educating children."

Gervacio Buenconsejo issued the statement after State School Superintendent Paul LeMahieu said an investigation revealed "varying interpretations" of what occurred Aug. 28, and there is no conclusive evidence to substantiate one account over the other.

Police investigated the matter but declined to pursue the case for lack of evidence, LeMahieu said.

A woman complained to the Board of Education last month that her autistic son was choked by Buenconsejo after he became involved in a second incident in a week with another student. She said Buenconsejo apologized but the apology seemed insincere.

In his statement, Buenconsejo said, "Our most recent Effective School Survey reveals that 93 percent of our parents reported that we have a Positive School Climate where the school is safe, teachers really care about students and children enjoy coming to school to learn."

National conference begins aboard Missouri

Masonic orders from across North America were to begin their national conference today in Honolulu, convening with a ceremony aboard the USS Missouri.

Members were expected to announce the start of a nationwide campaign to raise more than $1 million to build permanent bridges from the pier to the battleship's deck once the vessel is permanently berthed.

The organization noted that Franklin D. Roosevelt and Gen. Douglas MacArthur were Freemasons. Roosevelt was president when the Missouri's keel was laid in 1941, and MacArthur presided when Japan signed surrender documents on the ship's deck in 1945, it said.

Today Blair to take over U.S. Pacific Command

Adm. Joseph Preuher was to step down as commander of the U.S. Pacific Command at a ceremony at Camp Smith this afternoon.

He will be replaced by Adm. Dennis Blair. Defense Secretary William Cohen and U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye were expected to attend the change-of-command ceremony.

Vietnam trip may lead to ID of MIA soldiers

A team of 101 U.S. military specialists, most of them based in Hawaii, left for Vietnam last night in hopes of recovering remains that could lead to the identification of American service members listed as missing in action.

Forty-nine cases in 34 provinces are scheduled to be investigated during the 30-day operation.


CLARIFICATION

A clinical psychologist was unable to conclude that a man committed to the State Hospital for raping a tourist and throwing her off Waialae Iki Ridge over 20 years ago is a psychopath because he did not interview him. In reviewing Warren Miller's history and medical files, Dr. Eric Speth determined that Miller exhibited most of the characteristics of a psychopath. A story about his testimony ran in Thursday's paper.


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Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Arson suspected in Mapunapuna fire

A fire last night gutted a building in Mapunapuna leased by G & M Maintenance Service Inc., a cleaning company, fire officials said.

Six fire companies responded to the 7:03 p.m. blaze at 1024 Kikowaena Place, a single-story structure with a mezzanine floor, said Fire Capt. Rock Silva of the Moanalua Station.

The fire was reported under control at 7:24 p.m. and extinguished at 9:11 p.m.

Police said they believe the fire was deliberately set.

Damage was set at $150,000 to the building and $50,000 to contents, which included an office with computer equipment and cleaning chemicals and materials.

The cause is under investigation. No one was in the building at the time of the fire, and no one was injured, Silva said.

Woman is shot while walking her dog

A woman walking her dog in Wahiawa yesterday was shot three times by a unknown suspect, police said.

The victim, in her early 40s, received wounds to her abdomen, neck and arm, according to police. She was taken to Wahiawa Hospital and later transferred to Queen's Hospital, where a nursing supervisor declined to release information about her condition.

The shooting occurred some time before 5:20 p.m. at Freshwater Park off Walker Avenue, Wahiawa police said.

Many pellets were embedded in the victim's upper body, police said. They described the woman as uncooperative.

The case remains under investigation.

Water main breaks near Aloha Tower

A water main break around 3:10 a.m. today closed several traffic lanes near the Aloha Tower Marketplace, police said.

Traffic was diverted on Nimitz Highway from two westbound mauka lane, and two left-turn lanes onto Alakea. The lanes remained closed as of 7 a.m. this morning.

Autopsy: Woman died of stab wounds

HILO -- An autopsy has confirmed that an elderly woman found dead in her Keaau home south of Hilo Tuesday died of multiple stab wounds, police said.

Earlier they said the victim, Itsuko Ito, 72, was found with puncture wounds on her body. Police also said that Ito's missing Toyota sedan was found in a Puna district subdivision but provided no further details.

Police say they have no suspects, and ask anyone who contacted the victim recently to call 961-2286.

Police seek help finding suspect

Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a man who sexually assaulted a woman in a parking lot just before midnight Sunday.

The man attacked the woman as she walked in the Wailana Coffee House parking lot at 1860 Ala Moana Blvd, police said. The incident was captured by video surveillance cameras. The man was last seen running toward Ena Road, according to police.

The suspect is described as being in his 20s, about 5 feet 8, 140 pounds, with short, dirty blond hair and a medium complexion. He was wearing wire-rimmed glasses, a short-sleeve blue aloha shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime-Stoppers at 955-8300.


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