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Newswatch

Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, April 17, 1999

Judge Lim moves
closer to appeals seat

Associated Press

The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted 6-0 to recommend that the Senate confirm state Circuit Judge John Lim as an associate judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals.

Lim presided over the controversial attempted-murder trial of Kimberly Pada, a Kailua woman charged with nearly beating her 4-year-old son to death. The case has been the focus of efforts to improve Hawaii's child abuse laws and their enforcement.

Pada was convicted of a lesser charge of attempted manslaughter based on Lim's instructions to the jury, which some jurors later said were confusing.

During Lim's confirmation hearing, Public Defender Richard Pollack said Lim's instructions were correct and prevented what could have been an even lesser verdict of assault in the case.

Tapa

State prison agency
taps Hirono aide

By Mike Yuen, Star-Bulletin

Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono's chief of staff, Marian Tsuji, will be joining the state Public Safety Department as its deputy director in charge of prisons.

When Tsuji joins the staff on May 10, said Public Safety Director Ted Sakai, his management team will be in place to impose changes in a problem-filled prison system.

Sakai praised Tsuji, saying, "She is sharp as a whip, tough as nails, and tenacious like a bulldog."

Tsuji is a 39-year-old native of New York City. She has 15 years of experience in corrections, including 12 in New York and three in Hawaii.

Tsuji was assistant commissioner for the New York Department of Corrections, which made her one of the highest-ranking prison officials in New York state.

In Hawaii, she spent a year in the early 1980s as head of the Women's Community Correctional Center.

Earlier, Pauline Namuo was named the department's deputy director for administration. Namuo was Gov. Ben Cayetano's legislative coordinator during his first term.

Tapa

Broken main spews waste into harbor

City crews worked throughout the night to repair a broken sewer line that disgorged perhaps a half-million gallons of untreated waste water into Honolulu Harbor by way of a drain culvert near Pier 35.

State Harbors Division personnel at 9:38 a.m. yesterday reported the break, believed to have been caused by corrosion. Residents from Liliha to Salt Lake were asked to keep water use down as city waste-water crews worked on the broken force main at the Hart Street Pump Station near Pier 35.

A boom was placed across the drain culvert to prevent floating solids from entering the harbor.

Warning signs went up nearby and along Sand Island Bridge.

The underground force main is scheduled to be replaced as part of a $22-million, 18-month improvement project which will begin next January. The city plans to replace about a mile of pipeline from Hart Street to the Sand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The city Department of Environmental Services is testing and monitoring affected waters for contamination.

Dead whale washes up at Marine base beach

A dead sperm whale, 25 to 30 feet long and weighing from 4 to 6 tons, washed ashore yesterday at Marine Corps Base Hawaii's North Beach.

Officials said the whale will be towed out to sea, based on the recommendation of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

ACLU activist to speak at drug policy forum

A plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit by 11 AIDS and cancer physicians and patients in California to prevent punitive action against doctors who recommend medical use of marijuana will speak here Friday.

Dr. Milton Estes of Mill Valley, Calif., will appear at a session sponsored by the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii at 5:30 p.m. at the Kaimuki Recreation Center, 3521 Waialae Ave.

He will discuss the results of the lawsuit and other efforts in California to implement a law removing state penalties for medical use of marijuana.

A national board member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Estes also will conduct an ACLU of Hawaii board seminar.

Queen's sponsors talks on stroke, prostate

Stroke and prostate cancer will be discussed next month in public lectures sponsored by the Queen's Medical Center.

Dr. Cherylee Chang, medical director of Queen's Strike Center, and Kate Klugman, a stroke survivor, will discuss brain attack, or stroke, at 6:30 p.m. May 4 in the Mabel Smyth Auditorium.

The two will discuss risks, signs and symptoms, new treatments and the need for early treatment. Klugman, who suffered a stroke at age 32, will give the perspective of a recovering patient.

Free blood pressure screenings will be offered from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium lobby by Queen's Neuroscience Institute nurses.

Dr. John Lederer, medical director of Queen's Naea Radiation Oncology Department, will discuss "Prostate Cancer: The Role of Radioactive Seeds" at 6:30 p.m. May 26 in the hospital's Kamehameha Auditorium.

He will discuss various treatment options for prostate cancer, a slow-growing disease that affects one in 10 males in the United States.

Reservations are required because of limited space. Call the Queen's Referral Line at 537-7117. Validated parking is available.

First-ladies event nets $250,000 for museum

An April 3 event at the Hilton Hawaiian Village to honor Hawaii's first ladies raised $250,000 to benefit Bishop Museum and its efforts to preserve, document and interpret Hawaii history as told through first ladies and other important island women.

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Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Police/Fire

Maui police seek male driver in fatal accident

WAILUKU - Maui police investigators were searching this morning for a male driver who fled the scene of a traffic accident that left a passenger dead.

Police Sgt. Jayson Kosaki said the man ran into a sugar cane field and disappeared shortly after the car struck a cane haul truck crossing Haleakala Highway at about 11:09 p.m. yesterday.

The dead passenger has been identified as Juan Martinez-Espinosa, 36, of Kihei.

Kosaki said police are still investigating whether alcohol, drugs or speed contributed to the cause of the crash.

The death was the fourth traffic fatality on Maui this year.

Visitor says taxi driver sexually assaulted her

A 31-year-old San Diego woman reported today that she was sexually assaulted by a taxi driver in Waikiki.

The woman said she felt ill from drinking, and she hailed a cab to her hotel at about 11 p.m. yesterday, police said. She passed out in the cab.

The woman said she later recovered in front of her Waikiki hotel. After arguing about the fare, she noticed her clothing was undone, police said.

Police have classified the case as first-degree sexual assault. The woman was taken to Kapiolani Hospital for further examination. The driver is being sought.

Boy, 15, allegedly bites school official's finger

A Leilehua High School student was arrested for felony assault after allegedly biting a vice principal's finger.

School staff observed what appeared to be a packet of marijuana in the boy's pants, police said. The boy, 15, was taken to the vice principal's office for further investigation.

When the boy was asked to produce the packet, he refused."A struggle ensued, and the suspect bit the victim's right index finger," according to a detective's report.

South Carolina man drowns off Kahaluu

KAILUA-KONA - A 56-year-old Fort Mills, S.C., man apparently drowned yesterday while snorkeling off Kahaluu Beach in North Kona, police said.

The victim, whose name was withheld pending notification of next of kin, was found by county lifeguards floating face down on a near-shore reef at 1:45 p.m.

Fires on Maui destroy home, damage another

WAILUKU - Fires destroyed a home and burned a portion of another in central Maui yesterday.

A fire accidentally started by a man using a torch to make jewelry caused $110,000 in damages to the contents and structure of a home at 609 Maalo St. in Kahului, Acting Assistant Fire Chief Joseph Blackburn said.

A stove fire that burned kitchen cabinets and a wall caused about $10,000 in damages to a home at Waiehu Terrace, Blackburn said.

He said the owner of that home put out the blaze before firefighters arrived. No one was injured in either fire.

Tapa

The Courts

Peeping defendant pleads no contest

A former Baskin-Robbins manager in Waikiki accused in a Feb. 7 Peeping Tom case entered no-contest pleas yesterday to three counts of invasion of privacy.

John Robinson, 33, received probation for one year on each count to run concurrently.

District Judge Russel Nagata sentenced him to pay a $500 fine on each of the three counts.

Robinson also will be assessed for possible sex offender treatment. If it's determined Robinson needs treatment, he will be required to undergo appropriate treatment.

Robinson was accused of using a videotaping system in the female employees' locker room at the Baskin-Robbins outlet to tape them changing clothes and using the bathroom.

There were three female victims, the prosecutor's office said. The matter came to light after a female worker found a hidden video camera.

In court action yesterday, an earlier motion to suppress Robinson's original statement to police was dropped.

Auto parts swindler gets 15-year term

HILO - A Big Island woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in connection with a phony auto parts company, the Hawaii County prosecutor's office said.

Davelynn Marie Kuahuia, 26, of Hawaiian Shores had pleaded guilty to five theft and forgery charges.

Kuahuia, along with her boyfriend, Isaac Pauline, allegedly took orders for parts from consumers, collected money, and failed to deliver the parts or delivered the wrong parts, many of which were stolen, the prosecutor's office said.

Pauline pleaded no contest to similar charges in February and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.


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