A co-defendant in the upcoming theft trial of former city housing official Michael Kahapea changed his plea today.
Ewa Village defendantBy Debra Barayuga and Suzanne Tswei, Star-Bulletin
Under a plea agreement, Claude Hebaru pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree theft, one count of money laundering and another count of filing false tax returns stemming from the alleged false billing scheme involving the relocation of businesses in the city's Ewa Village project. He also pleaded no contest to one count of first-degree theft in connection with another project on Middle Street.
In return, Hebaru has agreed to cooperate "fully and truthfully" in the upcoming trial against Kahapea and others involving the theft of about $6 million in city relocation monies for the Ewa Villages and Middle Street projects, as well as a separate investigation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said deputy prosecutor Randal Lee.
Hebaru's attorney, David Gierlach, was not available for comment.
Hebaru faces a maximum 10 years imprisonment when sentenced later this year.
Isles 2nd toughest state for gun laws, study saysHawaii has the second-toughest gun control laws in the nation, following Massachusetts, according to an Open Society Institute study released today.
The survey showed that only seven states scored above 30 percent, based on 30 weighted gun control measures.
Massachusetts, the only state requiring both registration and licensing for guns, scored 76 percent. Hawaii was 71 percent.
Next were California, 53 percent; Connecticut, 50 percent; Maryland, 43 percent; New Jersey, 35 percent, and Illinois, 35 percent.
California and Connecticut are the only two states that have banned private sales of assault weapons, the study showed.
The average score was 9 percent, with 42 states under 20 percent.
The worst were Maine, -10 percent; Louisiana, Alaska and Texas, each with -8 percent; Montana and Kentucky, each -6 percent; and Vermont, North Dakota, Georgia and Arkansas, each -5 percent.
The Open Society Institute's Center on Crime, Communities and Culture made the survey with the Funders' Collaborative for Gun Violence Prevention.
No probe opened here on serial-killer suspectHonolulu Police have not launched an investigation as of this morning into a former Navy man being investigated for multiple prostitute murders in several states, including Hawaii, and countries.
John E. Armstrong, accused of killing five prostitutes in Detroit, told police he also killed prostitutes in Norfolk, Va., Washington state and Thailand, said Detroit Police Chief Benny Napoleon.
Investigators are also looking at Armstrong, 26, as a possible suspect in the prostitute strangulations in Hawaii, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Israel -- all ports for the USS Nimitz, Napoleon said. He worked as a fueler for the aircraft carrier.
The last time the USS Nimitz docked in Hawaii was in May 1996 for four days at Pearl Harbor, said a U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman today. Prior to that was in 1993, but it was only for one day.
"We're continuing to discover murders that he has been involved in. We're trying to track his career in the Navy to determine just how many bodies he has left in his wake," Napoleon told a Detroit radio station. "He's cooperating."
FBI spokesman John Gillies said the Honolulu office has no information connecting the suspect to murders in Hawaii as of mid-morning today.
Lt. William Kato, head of the homicide detail for the Honolulu Police Department, said no one in Detroit contacted him about the suspect or any unsolved Hawaii cases.
Lunalilo Street booked for water line workLunalilo Street will be closed in certain areas for water line work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and weekdays for a number of weeks.
Sunday work will take place between Liholiho and Kaihee streets and between Ernest and Pensacola streets.
The Lunalilo Street off-ramp will be closed during these hours. Lunalilo Street will be completely closed from Liholiho to Kaihee and only one lane will be open from Ernest to Pensacola.
Work will continue between Liholiho and Pensacola with one lane of Lunalilo open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kahala car wash to aid isle leukemia victimA fund-raiser car wash, to help a man fighting leukemia, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Andy's Kahala Chevron.
The proceeds will go to Maurice "Willie" Osby, his wife, Shelly, and their 2-year-old son, Shemaur, while Osby begins his bone-marrow transplant process in Seattle May 3.
The fund-raiser car wash will be repeated April 23 at the same Chevron.
Grants and donationsMaui AIDS Foundation has received $31,350 from Liberty House and M.A.C. (Make-up Art Cosmetics).
M.A.C. gave every cent made from its "Viva Glam" deep-red lipstick shade to the foundation.
The Palolo Chinese Home has received a new van through donations from the McInerny Foundation, May Templeton Hopper Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation, and Servco Pacific Inc.
The van will help in transporting elders to special events and delivering hot meals to homebound elders.
Catholic Charities Money Management Assistance Program for the Elderly has received $1,000 from the Hawaii Hotel Association and the Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation.
Ronald McDonald House Charities has received $10,000 from Unity House.
The money was raised from Unity House's Arthur Rutledge Invitational Memorial Golf Tournament.
Catholic Charities Family Services' Mary Jane Home, a transition home for pregnant women 18 and older, has received $1,000 from the Jhamandas Watumull Fund.
The money will be used to expand and renovate the new Mary Jane Home in Kailua.
Winners at Work Inc. has received $10,000 from the McInerny Foundation and $5,000 from the Sophie Russell Testamentary Trust for its Ke Ala Holomua--School-to-Work Transition Component.
The Honolulu Academy of Arts has received $35,000 from Bank of Hawaii.
The money will enable school groups to experience the academy's newest exhibit "Mystery on the Nile: Treasures from Ancient Egypt" at a reduced rate.
Waikiki Elementary School has received $5,000 from the Radisson Waikiki Prince Kuhio hotel.
St. Patrick School has received a $5,000 grant from the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation for faculty-training workshops.
Officers namedThe following local organizations have appointed new officers:
Honolulu Quarterback Club: Mark E. Zeug, president/head coach; Al Minn, vice president/assistant head coach;
Lydia Lake, secretary/water girl; Daniel Spencer, treasurer/ water boy; Earl Galdeira, past president/head coach; and Paul Durham, Neal Everett, Ken Kau, Les Keiter, Elizabeth Rathburn and Bob K.C. Young, board members.
American Society of Travel Agents, Hawaii Chapter: Mary Lou Lewis, president; Paul Oneha, vice president/newsletter chair; Diane Nakamura, secretary; Wendy Goodenow, treasurer; Shirley Tsukano and Glenn Sasano, allied co-chairs;
Bonnie Gutner, ASTAPAC; Grayce McCullough and Randy King, education/programs co-chairs; James Cox, industry affairs; Mary Jane Smith and Wendi Vasconcellas, membership co-chairs; Sharon Lester, public relations; Gloria Keller, special events; and Rachel Shimamoto, past president.
Catholic Charities: Sandra Ohara, chair; Jim Walsh, chair-elect; Douglas Smith, vice chair; Cathy Sekiguchi, secretary; and Bob Tong, treasurer.
Also, board members David Bello, the Rev. Joseph Bukoski III, Jeffrey Case, Dr. Leslie Correa, Lisa Dohrn, I. Patrick Griggs, Alan Ito, Lynne Kaneshiro, Linda C. "Fritz" McKenzie, Dr. Gene Ward, Richard Stack Jr., Daniel Lee, Dr. Gilbert Wergowske, Stephanie Pahia, Jeff Woode, Sister Patricia Chang, Antoinette Leahey and Jane Jackson.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Want to become one of Honolulu's finest?
Interested in being a
police officer? Act now
If you move fast, you can apply for the next metropolitan police recruit exam by tomorrow's deadline. Turn in your application by then, and you can take a written test on May 20.
You can pick up applications and more information at any police station, satellite city hall or the city Department of Human Resources -- or call 529-3171.
Recruits earn $2,573 a month, plus benefits. After 18 months of satisfactory service, they become eligible for promotion to metropolitan police officer with salary of $2,807 a month, plus uniform and weapon allowances and benefits.
At time of application, applicants must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or permanent resident aliens. They also must be age 20 or older, have a high school diploma or equivalent, have a valid motor vehicle driver's license, and be legally eligible to carry firearms. Background checks, psychological screenings and medical and polygraph examinations will follow for those who pass the written exam.
As of late February, the Honolulu Police Department had 2,032 sworn authorized positions for police officers, and 257 vacancies.
Did anyone witness Middle Street accident?Police are seeking witnesses to a fatal pedestrian accident that occurred Tuesday in Kalihi.
A 72-year-old man was hit by a 1993 Honda Accord while crossing Middle Street at 8:09 a.m., police said. The man was walking inside the crosswalk.
Police say speed and alcohol are not factors.
Anyone with information can call traffic investigators at 529-3499.
Suspect is arrested in 7-Eleven hold-upPolice arrested a man for allegedly holding up a Kapiolani 7-Eleven with a knife this morning.
The man brandished a knife and demanded money from the cashier at the 7-Eleven next to the Convention Center at 4:58 a.m., police said. He was arrested shortly after.
Big Isle police probing thefts from farmsHILO -- Police are asking for the public's help in solving thefts of produce and farming equipment in and near Hilo in the last three months, including a tiller, pressure washer, backpack sprayer, lumber.
Anyone with information is asked to call 961-2395 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.