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Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, January 13, 2001

Japan's science minister
tours Hawaii facilities

Scientists at the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus were included in visits by Takashi Sasagawa, science and technology policy minister of Japan, who is making the rounds at cutting-edge American research facilities.

Sasagawa yesterday visited Ryuzo Yanagimachi, director of the Institute of Biogenesis at the John A. Burns Medical School, who gained worldwide attention with historic cloning of generations of mice. His visits included scientists at Manoa's International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.

The Subaru Telescope on the Big Island was also part of Sasagawa's Hawaii trip. Before Hawaii, Sasagawa and his team visited NASA Johnson Space Center, Texas Medical Center and high-tech facilities in Silicon Valley.

His trip to America aims to foster more cooperative scientific work between the two countries.

Driver hurt as truck hits Pali guardrail

By Ronen Zilberman, Star-Bulletin
The 52-year-old driver of a pickup truck was in guarded condition
at Queen's Medical Center this morning after his truck hit the
guardrail on Pali Highway near Castle Medical Center.

By Ronen Zilberman, Star-Bulletin
The man told police that his Honolulu-bound truck was rear-
ended, shoving its front end over the guardrail, according to
a fire official. The other vehicle's driver fled the scene.

Three accidents tie up H-1 westbound flow

Westbound traffic was backed up on the H-1 freeway for almost an hour this morning, after three accidents between 6:48 and 7:30 a.m. involving as many as a dozen cars, police said.

Police officer Marlo Romualdo said the earliest accident involved a van spinning out of control on the wet road and blocking two lanes of traffic near the Pearl City offramp. He said all five westbound lanes were backed up to the Kaonohi Street overpass for some time and as many as eight vehicles were involved in that accident.

A second accident past the same offramp occurred about the same time.

The last accident, near the Kaonohi overpass, occurred about 7:30 a.m.

"Traffic was stopped and I tried to slam on my brakes, but my car started sliding," said Chanel Uwaine of Mililani, the driver of a Honda Civic that hit a Nissan.

One man in his 20s was taken to Pali Momi with minor injuries.

Traffic was flowing again before 8 a.m.

Trolley, VIP status may help in Blaisdell jam

People heading to the Blaisdell Center tonight are advised to arrive early or seek alternate parking because of two popular events: the Elton John and His Band Concert and the Narcissus Queen Pageant.

Parking options include VIP parking for the pre-concert dinner at the Blaisdell Center's Hawaii Suite. Call 594-4015 for dinner and parking reservations.

Also, a complimentary trolley ride to and from the Blaisdell Center will be provided to patrons of the following restaurants at Victoria Ward Center: Ryan's Grill, Stuart Anderson's Cattle Company, Brew Moon, Compadres and Kincaid's.

Trolley service will deliver patrons to the Blaisdell and to the Galleria Driveway on Ward Avenue. Diners should call the restaurants for reservations.

Looking Ahead

Some events of interest


Bullet 1-3 p.m. Monday, Kahaluu KEY Project, 47-2000 Waihee Road: Community meeting to discuss smoking prevention and control. Call 566-5536.

Bullet 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Waimanalo Teen Project, 41-1347 Kalanianaole Highway: Community meeting to discuss smoking prevention and control. Call 566-5536.



Bullet Hawaiian Electric paid more than $35 a barrel for fuel oil in November. By the beginning of this year, the price had dropped 11.4 percent. The price and percentage drop in a story yesterday on gas prices were incorrect.

Bullet State Rep. Barbara Marumoto represents Waialae Iki, Waialae Nui, Kahala and Wilhelmina Rise. A story Thursday incorrectly identified her as a former legislator.

Bullet In a story yesterday about charges related to the December killing of Kaneohe store owner Song Chol Marshall, his name appeared incorrectly in one paragraph.

State records show that Eric K. Vance, 31 -- not Marshall -- has 20 prior criminal convictions. Vance is currently charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery, auto theft and two firearm offenses in connection with Marshall's death.

Police, Fire


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Drowning death merits further investigation

An investigation continues into the Nov. 23 apparent drowning death off Sandy Beach of Ian K. Pezel, 27, of Honolulu, a banquet porter at the Ilikai Hotel.

Although the preliminary cause of death is listed by the medical examiner's office as drowning, results are still awaited from a mainland toxicology lab test for other possible factors in his death, such as earlier ingestion of drugs.

The victim's mother and others believe there is evidence he may have been the target of a hate crime.

"The case is being handled by our homicide detail," said police spokeswoman Jean Motoyama. "Right now it is classified as an unattended death," she said. "The detectives are still looking for the reporting person. They want to question the reporting person again."

That person told police that Pezel was swimming at around midnight, got into trouble and was calling for help. His body was found later, floating about 100 yards offshore.

Sentences meted out in Big Isle drug cases

HILO -- Five people charged with federal drug offenses committed on the Big Island have been sentenced to two to 10 years in a federal penitentiary, Hawaii County police said.

Six others who pleaded guilty in federal court are awaiting sentencing. The information was released by police in a status report on a joint police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration operation that began Feb. 22, 2000.

Ten members of a Los Angeles-based DEA team focused on hard drugs in East Hawaii.

On April 27, police announced 32 arrests had been made, most of them from undercover drug purchases or anonymous tips.

Charges were filed against Donald Soares, sentenced to 120 months in prison, Vince Agliam, 50 months, James Costa, 41 months and $35,000 in fines and restitution, Thomas Wuscher, 24 months and a $1,000 fine, and Ronald Auwae, 37 months.

Awaiting sentencing are John Caputo Jr., Henry Lani, Lance Kailimai, Rafael Solis, Daniel Miller and Zak Shimose.

During the operation, police and DEA agents seized 10 ounces of crystal methamphetamine valued at $45,000, 11 ounces of cocaine valued at $16,500, 918 marijuana plants and 5.9 pounds of processed marijuana valued at $23,000, and 15.7 grams of heroin valued at $3,200.

They also seized $108,310 in cash, 13 vehicles, jewelry valued at $30,000, a surveillance camera and six guns.

Paauhau man, 79, dies from Dec. 26 injuries

HILO -- A Big Island man died yesterday from injuries suffered in a Dec. 26 accident, police said. He was identified as Zamora Asuncion, 79, of Paauhau.

Asuncion was driving on Plumeria Street in Honokaa when he lost control and hit an embankment. He was not wearing a seat belt. He had been under treatment at Queen's Hospital for head injuries since then.

His passenger, Alberta Asuncion, 75, was treated at North Hawaii Community Hospital, but police were not immediately able to determine her present condition.

Asuncion's death will be counted among year 2000 fatalities, bringing the total to 39, compared to 31 for 1999.

Big Island had more cars stopped at roadblocks

HILO -- The Big Island led the state with the number of vehicles stopped at drunken-driving inspection roadblocks last year, police said. The number was 47,700, resulting in 131 arrests for drunken driving.

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