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Newswatch


Newswatch
Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Friday, December 22, 2000


State earns bonus for welfare reform effort

Hawaii's efforts in welfare reform have earned it a $4.9 million bonus from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Hawaii was credited with the greatest improvement nationally in earnings gain from the year before and was ranked second overall for improved success in the work force. The state's 1999 job retention rate of 88 percent was first in the nation, exceeding the 77 percent national average.

When Hawaii started its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program in 1997, the number of families needing assistance averaged 23,573 a month. For the 2000 fiscal year, the average was 20,612.

Roofing company chief gets 6-month sentence

Failure to report the escape of hazardous asbestos into the environment in 1998 led to a sentence of six months imprisonment for the president of an Oahu roofing company.

Frederick Botelho, 42, of Pearl City, received the sentence yesterday from U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor.

Botelho and Sunset Roofing Co. failed to dispose of friable asbestos roofing material from a residence in an authorized landfill. It was dumped it in a vacant lot next to Waianae Mall instead, U.S. Attorney Steven Alm said.

Homestead group may intervene in lawsuit

The State Council of Homestead Associations and its chairman, Anthony Sang, are seeking to intervene in a lawsuit challenging programs and funding for native Hawaiians.

The motion, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, seeks to intervene in Patrick Barrett v. State of Hawaii on behalf of native Hawaiian beneficiaries of the Hawaiian home lands trust.

Barrett, a disabled Moiliili resident, filed suit in U.S. District Court in October challenging the validity of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and laws protecting traditional and customary Native Hawaiian gathering rights.

If the motion is granted, the State Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations would be allowed to become a party to the lawsuit and speak on behalf of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries.

Hilo soccer field shut for soil analysis

HILO - State Health officials have cordoned off a Hilo bayfront soccer field after discovering material that may be creosote wood preservative, the mayor's office announced.

The area was flooded and covered with a layer of dirt, rocks, and debris during the major storm of Nov. 1-2. Discolored soil was discovered when a cleanup crew began restoring the area, the mayor's office said.

The results of a soil analysis are expected next week.

"There is no immediate threat,' said county Managing Director Dixie Kaetsu.

Homestead group may intervene in lawsuit

The State Council of Homestead Associations and its chairman, Anthony Sang, are seeking to intervene in a lawsuit challenging programs and funding for native Hawaiians.

The motion, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, seeks to intervene in Patrick Barrett v. State of Hawaii on behalf of native Hawaiian beneficiaries of the Hawaiian home lands trust.

Barrett, a disabled Moiliili resident, filed suit in U.S. District Court in October challenging the validity of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and laws protecting traditional and customary Native Hawaiian gathering rights.

The State Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations is a statewide organization comprised of 23 Hawaiian homestead community associations. Its goal is to protect and defend the Hawaiian home lands trust and work for the betterment of Hawaiian home land beneficiaries.

There are over 7,000 Hawaiian home lands lessees and another 31,000 homestead applications pending.

If the motion is granted, the State Council of Hawaiian Homestead Associations would be allowed to become a party to the lawsuit and speak on behalf of Native Hawaiian beneficiaries.

Tomorrow

Some events of interest

Bullet 5 p.m., Kahala Mall: Merry TubaChristmas.
Bullet 8 p.m., Royal Hawaiian Hotel: Honolulu Boy Choir.


Corrections

Tapa

Bullet The Swiss Haus in Niu Valley Shopping Center, formerly known as Swiss Inn, is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday nights. Incorrect days of operation were listed in Wednesday's Food section.

Bullet Bishop Museum will be closed Monday, Christmas Day. A Christmas listing Wednesday incorrectly listed it as being open.






Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Police hunt 2 robbers who 'bag' their victim

Police are looking for two men who allegedly placed a bag over the head of a man walking home from Lower Kalihi to Punchbowl before kidnapping and robbing him Wednesday night.

One of the men stopped the 35-year-old man for directions near Kaumualii and Kohou Streets at about 9 p.m., police said.

They drove him to a house in a large vehicle, removed the bag from his head and stole his wallet, then replaced the bag over his head and dropped him off near his home uninjured, police said.

The men are described as in their 30s, between 5-foot 5 to 5-foot 9, with brown hair and eyes.

Woman arrested in trying to cash stolen check

A 37-year-old woman tried to cash a stolen check at the Kalihi branch of American Savings Bank at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

They said several checks were stolen from Hawaii Credit Counseling around Dec. 18, two days earlier.

The woman was detained at the 1851 North King St. location and arrested for second-degree forgery.

Unidentified man, struck by bus, critically hurt

An unidentified man, approximately 40 years old, remains in critical condition after being hit by a bus at 12:20 a.m. yesterday.

He stepped off the curb at the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Niu Street.

He ignored the don't walk sign and failed to look in both directions, police said.

The man was struck by an Oahu Transit Bus that had a green light.

Missing Las Vegas girl hunted on Big Island

HILO -- Big Island police are searching for a Genesis "Genny" Makaneole, a 14-year-old girl missing from her home in Las Vegas since Nov. 7, they said.

Makaneole may have come to the Big Island to stay with relatives, they said.

She is described as 5 feet 4 inches tall, 140 pounds, with burgundy-tinted brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about her is asked to call police at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.






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