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Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, October 23, 1999


Palace to celebrate
Kalakaua's birthday

The Friends of Iolani Palace will hold its annual commemoration of King Kalakaua's birthday Nov. 16 at the palace grounds.

The palace will be decorated with red, white and blue bunting, and Hawaiian flags will re-create the palace decorations used for King Kalakaua's Jubilee -- his 50th birthday on Nov. 16, 1886.

Events include a concert of monarchy-period music by the Royal Hawaiian Band, a review of the Royal Guard and other music performances.


Wong, Peters denied bid to appeal removal

A state judge will not allow ousted Bishop Estate trustees Richard Wong and Henry Peters to appeal an order removing them from the trust.

Probate Judge Kevin Chang yesterday denied Wong's request for permission to file an interlocutory appeal of Probate Judge Colleen Hirai's Aug. 31 order temporarily removing him and Peters until March 28, 2000.

Chang noted that Hirai's ruling is not a final order and that the two former trustees will be subject to a permanent removal trial, set to begin Dec. 13.

Under state law, Wong and Peters can appeal Hirai's order only if the case is considered complete or if a judge grants them permission to file an interlocutory appeal.

Hirai removed the two trustees after she found they violated court orders barring them from accumulating millions of dollars of trust income, and for taking commissions on construction expenses.

Hirai's removal order essentially extended Chang's previous order temporarily removing Peters, Wong, and trustees Lokelani Lindsey and Gerard Jervis until the completion of the permanent removal trial.

Bishop Estate archive



Heco proposes painting Waahila power poles

Hawaiian Electric Co. said some lines and poles in its proposed Kamoku-Pukele transmission line project could be painted to help them blend in with Waahila Ridge's landscape.

Other poles also could be relocated to lower areas so they don't break the ridgeline, reducing visual impacts, the utility said.

The suggestions are in a revised draft environmental impact statement Heco has submitted to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The $31 million project has been criticized by residents, who object to, among other issues, running overhead lines on steel poles on the ridge. The utility says the project will improve reliability.

"We're doing our best to address community concerns and balance them with cost, environmental, technical and engineering requirements to give our customers the service they expect," Heco spokesman Chuck Freedman said in a news release.

Under the proposal, 1.5 miles of underground lines would go from the Kamoku substation, through the University of Hawaii's lower campus and under Dole Street, before transitioning to a 2.3-mile overhead portion along the ridge to the Pukele substation in back of Palolo Valley.

A 45-day comment period on the impact statement begins today.

Private firms hired to collect back taxes

State tax district offices on Maui, Hawaii and Kauai will now use collection agencies to retrieve back taxes, according to the state Department of Taxation.

The department has awarded three separate one-year contracts to private collection services on those islands. Each contractor will receive a percentage of the taxes collected, based on a formula that takes into account the value of the delinquent account.

Maui Collection Services will seek collection from 2,000 accounts, with the average delinquency amounting to about $1,000. The company could receive up to $305,000 in commissions for the work. EM Associations, doing business as State Wide Collections, will handle 1,000 accounts on the Big Island, where the average delinquency is $800, and 450 accounts on Kauai, where the average is $500. It could earn up to $207,000 in commissions from the two contracts.

The Oahu district tax office had signed four contracts for collecting delinquent accounts, part of a move to increase privatization of state services.

The first collection agency brought in $314,000 to the state after commissions; the second, $165,000; and the third, $288,000. Collections under the fourth contract thus far has brought in $187,000 to the state.





Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Man killed when his car hits bus in Waipahu

A 39-year-old man died this morning after crashing his car into a city bus near Waipahu late last night, police said.

Both vehicles were traveling north on Fort Weaver Road when the man, who was driving a 1999 Nissan 4-door sedan, slammed into the bus at 11:37 p.m. near Laulaunui Street, according to traffic investigators.

The bus was accelerating after a stop, and was going about 5 to 10 mph when the car slammed into it.

The driver of the Nissan was taken to Queen's Hospital in critical condition, but later died, police said.

No other passengers were in the car.

Investigators said he may have been under the influence of alcohol and speeding.

The bus driver was not hospitalized. It was not immediately known if passengers were on the the bus.

The fatality was Oahu's 36th of the year compared with 51 at the same time last year.

Pauline charged with threatening a jail guard

HILO -- Frank Pauline Jr., convicted and sentenced for the murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault of Big Ireland newcomer Dana Ireland, faces a new, unrelated charge of threatening a jail guard.

Pauline was indicted this week for terroristic threatening for allegedly making a verbal and physical threat against Hawaii Community Correctional Center Sgt. Randal Waltjen in April.

The charge would normally be a misdemeanor, but since Waltjen is a public official, the charge is elevated to a felony, Deputy Prosecutor Lincoln Ashida said.

Meanwhile, Judge Riki May Amano on Monday is to hear two motions by Pauline's attorney, Clifford Hunt.The motions seek to acquit Pauline because of insufficient evidence in the murder trial, or to grant him a new trial because of alleged irregularities in showing evidence to the jury.

Pauline still faces another charge of sexual assault unrelated to the Ireland case.

Seen these fugitives? Please call 329-8181

KAILUA-KONA -- Police are asking for the public's help in finding three people wanted on unrelated bench warrants.

Bullet Danyeal R. Moreno, 24, is wanted for bail violation. He is 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighs 105 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Bullet West Paul Kapono Vannatta, 40, is wanted for three counts of contempt of court. He is 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighs 190 pounds, and has a scar on his left wrist.
Bullet VictoriaLee Denis-Dagdag, 27, is wanted for contempt of court, revocation of a plea, and theft. She is 4 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 110 pounds, and has "PV" tattooed on her left hand and a scar on her left shin.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181.

Kaimuki fracas was case of 'road rage,' police say

Police arrested a 57-year-old truck driver in connection with yesterday's "road rage" case in Kaimuki.

A 19-year-old man was driving his car when the truck pulled alongside him at about midnight, police said. The trucker was screaming and eventually cut off the younger driver at 21st Street and Harding Avenue.

The truck driver walked up to the teen's car and allegedly punched him.

Police sais they arrived and arrested the trucker for unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, drunken driving and driving without a license.

Tapa

The Courts

Woman sues state in granddaughter's death

Renita Edwards, grandmother of Cedra Edwards, has sued the Department of Human Services in the death of 20-month-old Cedra, battered to death by her mother in December 1997.

The lawsuit said Cedra was taken from her mother and placed in a foster care home in August 1996.

A year later, the Family Court ordered that Cedra be returned to her mother and under the supervision of the Department of Human Services.

Despite warnings of injuries to the baby and problems between the mother, Jennifer Edwards, and her boyfriend, Mika Mika Jr., the department left Cedra in her mother's care, the lawsuit claims.

It says the department failed to investigate reports of Cedra's injuries and provide counseling to the couple in order to secure Cedra's safety.

Cedra died on Dec. 17, 1997, after being punched and stomped by her mother. She died of an infection caused by a rupture in her small bowel.

Jennifer Edwards was sentenced to 20 years in prison for reckless manslaughter.

The lawsuit alleges that the Department of Human Services was in effect custodian and caretaker of Cedra and was ultimately responsible for the child's safety.

The lawsuit asks for unspecified general and special damages, reimbursement of costs of Cedra's last illness and of her burial, and payment of Cedra's loss of future earnings.

Human services officials could not be reached for comment.

Associations, others blamed in drowning

The parents of a boy who died several days after he and a friend were pulled unconscious from a Waikakalaua Stream swimming hole have filed a lawsuit against seven condominium associations and other businesses and property owners in the stream area for negligence.

On Aug. 27, Richard Landingin, 10, was swimming in the hole known as Devil's Swamp when he submerged and did not surface. His friend, Makaio Rich, 12, jumped in to try to save the first boy, submerged himself and also did not resurface, the lawsuit says.

The two were pulled out unconscious by a Honolulu Fire Department team and taken to the hospital. Both died Sept. 4.

Judith and Manathis Rich, parents of Makaio Rich, filed the lawsuit in Circuit Court yesterday, asking for unspecified general, special and punitive damages.

The lawsuit alleges that the property owners and businesses failed to adequately warn users of the dangerousness of Devil's Swamp, failed to eliminate the risk of harm and to monitor and supervise the area, didn't take adequate measures to restrict entry, and perpetuated the hazardous conditions.






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