WAILUKU -- Two Molokai men face probation based on a plea agreement on the burning of a ranch house five years ago.
Suspects reach plea
agreement in house arson
Walter Ritte Jr., 55, pleaded guilty Monday to the misdemeanor charge of third-degree criminal property damage in the Sept. 10, 1995, fire that destroyed the Kaupoa House in West Molokai.
The plea agreement calls for Ritte to be placed on probation for a year and in home confinement for eight months.
Ritte, a former Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee, is also required to perform 500 hours of community service and is prohibited from entering Molokai Ranch land without permission.
Clarence H. Kaopuiki, 44, pleaded no contest to second-degree property damage. The agreement calls for Kaopuiki to be placed on five years' probation. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5.
Humidity, rain to pass within 12 to 24 hoursIslanders can expect gradual relief from the sweltering humidity and showers caused the past few days by a passing disturbance.
Improvement is expected during the next 12 to 24 hours as the storm moves west, Bob Larson, National Weather Service lead forecaster, said today.
"There's rain around," he said, with showers coming into Honolulu from the southeast off Molokai.
But the trend is for diminishing showers, he said.
Humidity has been near 90 percent or in the 90s, with southeast winds.
Normally, it's 70 to 80 percent in the mornings and 50 or 60 percent in the afternoon with tradewinds.
Waipahu man charged with 3 home burglariesPolice have charged a 23-year-old Waipahu man with three burglaries this month in which homes were robbed while residents were asleep.
Michael Dahilit was captured last week in Niu Valley following two early morning break-ins Sept. 15 on Niuiki Circle. He is also accused of a Sept. 14 burglary at Alewa Heights.
Dahilit is charged with three counts of burglary and drug offenses. His bail totals $125,000.
Dahilit's case has been bound over to Circuit Court for trial.
Police said Dahilit allegedly entered homes in early-morning hours by cutting screens or through unlocked doors and took jewelry, cash and credit cards from wallets.
Dahilit was captured after police responded to one of the Niuiki Circle break-ins.
Judge's illness delays Kahapea sentencingSentencing for former city housing supervisor Michael Kahapea was delayed this morning because Circuit Judge Reynaldo Graulty was ill.
A jury found Kahapea guilty Aug. 2 of stealing $5.8 million from the Ewa Villages relocation fund, the biggest theft of funds in the city's history.
The sentencing was to be continued on 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 19.
Deputy Prosecutor Randal Lee argued in court briefs that Kahapea should get 100 years in prison.
But Donald Wilkerson, Kahapea's attorney, says Kahapea should get probation so he can attempt to repay the money.
Prosecutors say instead of using money to relocate Ewa Villages businesses as part of a city revitalization project, Kahapea funneled money to companies created by friends and relatives for work either not done or done at inflated prices.
Water main break shuts Aliamanu IntermediateAliamanu Intermediate School in Salt Lake was closed today when a water main on the property burst and left the school without water.
School officials were busy calling parents this morning so they could arrange to pick up their children.
TomorrowSome events of interest9 a.m.-6 p.m., Hilton Hawaiian Village: Public fact-finding meeting with the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding the Rice vs. Cayetano decision. Contact: 572-8038.
The agreement to put the Honolulu Star-Bulletin up for sale was reached in April 2000. An article Tuesday had an incorrect date.
Hawaii students finalists for awards in scienceFour Hawaii students will compete at the Smithsonian Institution as finalists in the second annual Discovery Young Scientist Challenge. Nominated from the last State Science Fair:
Jonathan-James T. Eno, 13, of Kahului, Maui, Iao Intermediate School.They were among 40 finalists of the competition created by Discovery Communications, Inc., with Science Service. All finalists are invited to Washington, D.C., Oct. 21-26 to compete for $40,000 in scholarship awards and other prizes. Top prize will be $10,000.
Whitney S. Nekoba, 13, of Kurtistown, Big Island, Waiakea Intermediate School.
William H. Thomas, 12, of Kaneohe, St. Ann's School.
Kolea C. Zimmerman, 13, Volcano, Big Island, Waiakea Intermediate School.
Three Hawaii semifinalists in the Discovery Young Scientists Challenge were: Kimberly E. Reinhold of Hilo, St. Joseph Junior/Senior High School; Michelle S. Tsang Mui Chung of the Big Island, Waiakea Intermediate School, and Stacey Puanani Yamada, of Honolulu, King Intermediate School.
Holiday parade planning already in full swingChristmas is three months away, but planning for the second annual Waikiki Holiday Parade is in full swing.
The parade is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 24 from Fort DeRussy, along Kalakaua Avenue, to the Honolulu Zoo.
Marching bands from Illinois, Colorado and Wyoming will join bands from Castle and Kamehameha schools, the Hawaiian Thistle and Pipe Band and the Royal Hawaiian Band. The parade will include Damien High School cheerleaders, Girl and Boy Scouts, U.S. Coast Guard, Honolulu Fire Department, Baywatch Hawaii actors, Miss Hawaii, the mayor and a Hawaiian Santa Claus in an outrigger canoe.
A tree-lighting ceremony will be held at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center at 6 p.m., preceding the parade.
The parade, chaired by Jake Peppers, is sponsored by the Doubletree Alana Waikiki Hotel.
Group seeks applications for community grantsThe Ho'opono Ko'olau Loa Community Foundation is seeking applicants for grants of up to $10,000 to fund programs that provide creative solutions to community problems.
The foundation serves people of the Ko'olau Loa "moku," which includes traditional ahupuaa (districts) from Kaaawa to Waimea on Oahu.
Programs should target these areas: grassroots/cultural; social services; community service; community development and organization, education, youth, business/economic development and health. Projects which will be considered include training and education, direct services (e.g., social, recreation, health care), creative activities, micro-enterprise, community-based economic development, seed money, and special projects' operating costs, direct service costs, communications, conferences, special events, challenge grants, matching grants and unrestricted gifts.
Complete application packages may be obtained from Sunset Beach, Kahuku, Laie, Hauula and Kaawa elementary schools; Kahuku Intermediate and High School; the Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center's Windward Unit, Hale 'Aha; Kahuku Public and School Library; and the Queen Emma Foundation.
Nov. 3 is the deadline to turn in applications. For more information, contact Richard K. Paglinawan at 594-4748.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
Man hides money in vacuum, claims robberyA custodian was arrested in Waikiki yesterday after allegedly hiding money in a vacuum cleaner and lying about being robbed.
The man, 42, reported he was robbed and assaulted at his workplace on Dudoit Lane by unknown suspects, police said.
Officers discovered he had taken the money and hidden it, police said. He was booked for second-degree theft and possession of dangerous drugs.
Kaimuki robbery suspect gives up at Pali LookoutA 39-year-old man was arrested yesterday at the Pali Lookout and charged with Tuesday's robbery of Territorial Savings and Loan's Kaimuki branch.
James T. "Kimo" Ellis was identified as the suspect in calls to the FBI and CrimeStoppers. Police found Ellis at the lookout shortly before noon.
He threatened to jump off the ledge but was talked into surrendering by police negotiators at about 1:30 p.m.
Man buys shave ice with counterfeit $100 billThe U.S. Secret Service is investigating a Wailua man who was arrested for reportedly using a counterfeit $100 bill at a shave ice store.
The suspect went into the Waiola Store in McCully on Tuesday and allegedly used a phony $100 bill, police said. The owner called police after viewing the bill.
Kalapana man held for cocaine possessionHILO -- Police are holding a suspected narcotics dealer after a drug-sniffing dog alerted them to 2.2 pounds of cocaine valued at $40,000 in the man's possession, they said.
Om Folger, 28, of Kalapana is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail after being charged with promoting a dangerous drug Tuesday.
Vice officers said a drug transaction appeared to be underway about 1 p.m. Monday at Prince Kuhio Plaza shopping center.
Maui police seek man in Kihei abduction attemptWAILUKU -- Maui police detectives are looking for a man who tried to abduct a 22-year-old woman who was walking along South Kihei Road on Maui.
Police Lt. Glenn Cuomo said the attempted abduction occurred about 3:30 a.m. Sunday near the Kamaole One Condominium.
He said the woman's car had broken down, and she was walking from the Kihei Boat Ramp when a man hiding behind a hedge dragged her toward a parked car.
The commotion awoke a man from a nearby condominium who confronted the suspect, Cuomo said.
Cuomo said the man fled in a dark-colored, mid- to full-size sedan.
The man is described as in his 20s, 5 feet 8 inches tall and slim, weighing 145 pounds. He has a fair complexion with straight, dirty blond hair short on the sides, a pointed nose and slender face.