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Newswatch


Newswatch
Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, February 27, 2001


Safeway settles with harassment victim

With a $250,000 settlement, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has concluded a male same-sex sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against Safeway's Kapolei store.

After unsuccessful conciliation efforts, the EEOC lawsuit was filed Aug. 25, 1999. It alleged a male employee, food clerk Timothy Quitoriano, was subjected to frequent and severe sexual harassment of both a physical and verbal nature by his supervisor, which resulted in a hostile, abusive and intimidating work environment.

Quitoriano was fired after he complained about harassment, the suit said.

The out-of-court settlement also provides for annual training of Safeway's Hawaii employees on sexual harassment and retaliation.

Debra Lambert, Safeway's corporate director of public affairs, said Safeway has zero tolerance against sexual harassment in any form. "Although the company strongly disputes the government's claims here, it makes sense to put this costly and time-consuming litigation behind us."

Judge denies release for accused attacker

A Circuit Court judge today denied the request of a Kapolei man accused of sexually assaulting his wife's 13-year-old cousin to be placed on supervised release pending trial.

Victor Flores is being held on $250,000 bail since he and his wife, Celeste, were arrested Feb. 1 on charges he sexually assaulted the girl over a four-month period. The girl is now pregnant.

Judge Reynaldo Graulty said although Flores' father appears a viable sponsor, the couple's strong ties to the Northern Marianas and the seriousness of the charges makes him a flight risk. Graulty also denied a request to reduce Flores' bail.

Flores' attorney Brook Hart said police seized Flores' passport when they searched his home. "He can't leave without his passport -- he's not a fugitive kind of guy."

The Oahu Intake Services, which supervises pretrial detainees, had recommended Flores' father as a sponsor who would be able to provide 24-hour supervision.

Flores is an engineer in charge of back-up electrical equipment for various private facilities and placing him on supervised release would allow him to continue working and help prepare for his defense, Hart argued.

Graulty had earlier granted Celeste Flores' request to be released to the supervision of a niece. She was placed under electronic monitoring and curfew restrictions.

Celeste Flores just gave birth to a baby girl but the infant is expected to be placed under the state's care, as is the 13-year-old victim. The couple's other three children are currently with relatives.

Boys & Girls Club, YMCA receive Weinberg grants

Grants worth $1 million from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation will help fund youth programs in Hawaii.

Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii and the YMCA of Honolulu each will receive $500,000. The Boys & Girls Club grant will go toward construction of The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Teen Center in Ewa Beach. The YMCA of Honolulu grant is to support initial development of the YMCA Waianae Coast branch. Of that $500,000, $300,000 is for construction and maintenance of a small office and play field, $200,000 is for site maintenance.

The grants will be presented to the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA at a Thursday luncheon at the Sheraton-Waikiki Hotel.

Boy to receive honors for saving playmate

Mayor Jeremy Harris was to honor a 4-year-old Ewa boy today for saving a playmate from drowning last November.

Noah Oleyer, son of Barbie and Ron Oleyer, dived into a swimming pool to save his friend Eola Liwai Manoa, also age 4.

Noah was to receive a "Honolulu Hero" award and honors from the Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services for his life-saving action.

Philippine group head to speak at luncheon

Alfonso T. Yuchengco will be speaking at a luncheon at the Ala Moana Hotel tomorrow in celebration of 25 years of Philippine Studies at the University of Hawaii.

Yuchengco has built an empire called the Yuchengco Group of Companies, which includes Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., the 6th largest private commercial bank in the Philippines, and the Alfonso Yuchengco Foundation.

Since its inception in 1970, his foundation has contributed to programs to improve community development and social progress. The Yuchengco Foundation has sent at least 5,000 Filipino youths to school.

The luncheon costs $20 a person and will be held in the Garden Lanai Banquet Room from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

McCully library seeks book sale donations

The McCully-Moiliili Library is seeking donations for its book sale. Proceeds will benefit the library, and receipts for tax deduction purposes are available.

Books can be dropped off at the library, at 2211 S. King St., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.

For more information, call 973-1099.

Poster child sought for Epilepsy Foundation

The Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii is looking for a youngster to be its "winning kid" poster child and represent the state in a nationwide contest sponsored by the foundation's parent organization.

Any child between the ages of 5 and 9 who has a seizure disorder is eligible to enter, said Dr. Alan Stein, president of the Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii.

To get an entry blank, call the Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii at 528-3058, or write 245 North Kukui St., Suite 207, Honolulu 96817. Entries must be returned by March 30. The state winner will be announced by May 1, Stein said.

The Hawaii "winning kid" goes to the national contest, whose winner will be announced in November.

A national "winning kid" is chosen each year to represent the 300,000 American children who have epilepsy.

Tomorrow

Some events of interest

Tapa

Bullet 7:30 p.m., Mililani Rec. Center III: Mililani/Waipio/ Melemanu No. 25 Neighborhood Board meeting, 95-281 Kaloapau St. For information, call 527-5749.

Corrections

Tapa

Bullet Seth Schimberg was shot on Nov. 29, 1999. An article Thursday about a trial on Maui had the wrong year.

Bullet Kamehameha the Great ruled from 1795 to 1819. A review of "Waikiki: In the Wake of Dreams" in the Today section Friday gave an incorrect time span.





Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Girl, 17, kidnapped twice from vehicles; 20-year-old arrested

Police arrested a 20-year-old man after he allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend for a second time.

The suspect's ex-girlfriend, 17, of Waipahu, was riding in a car driven by her cousin on Feb. 19 at about 10:10 p.m. At Kahuamo Street and Kahuamo Place, the suspect allegedly jumped onto the hood of the car, pulled the teen-ager out and dragged her away.

The victim was able to escape from the suspect at about 6:30 the next morning, police said.

The suspect kidnapped the victim again Saturday around 9:30 in the morning while she was riding in the bed of a pick-up truck, police said

The 17-year-old was able to contact police yesterday morning without the suspect's knowledge.

As the suspect and his ex-girlfriend left his aunt's house, officers from the Pearl City Crime Reduction Unit and Special Services Division arrested and subdued the suspect after a brief chase, police said.

2 men rob Dave's Ice Cream store in Waimanalo and assault clerk

Police are searching for two masked men who robbed the Waimanalo Dave's Ice Cream store at 41-537 Kalanianaole Highway on Sunday night. Both men entered the store near closing time at around 9:48 p.m. and assaulted a lone employee, police said.

The suspects were armed with a handgun and a hammer.

They took an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register. One suspect is described as 5 feet 9, 190 pounds. The other suspect is described as 5 feet 7, 150 pounds. Both wore black ski masks and black clothing during the robbery.

The employee was taken to Castle Medical Center where he was treated and released for a head injury.

Bank robbery suspect arrested while he's in court on other case

A 33-year-old man was arrested yesterday at Circuit Court for the robbery of the First National Bank at 540 Lagoon Drive last week.

Police located and arrested the suspect while he appeared in court for a hearing on a temporary restraining order. The FBI identified the suspect from a surveillance photograph.

The man allegedly robbed the Hawaii National Bank, Airport Branch, Friday at about 12:15 p.m.

He told a teller he had an explosive device in his backpack and escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Hot metal caused tire recycling facility fire

Fire investigators determined a fire at a tire recycling facility Sunday was not deliberately set.

The fire at Unitek Environmental Services Inc. at Campbell Industrial Park was caused by metal from the tires which became heated during the shredding process, fire department spokesman Capt. Richard Soo said.

Ill Halawa inmate, 59, dies in prison infirmary

A 59-year-old inmate died at the Halawa prison infirmary on 99-902 Moanalua Road yesterday afternoon.

The inmate was confined in the infirmary for medical reasons. At about 4:50 yesterday afternoon, Halawa staff discovered the victim lying on his bed and not breathing. It appeared that he vomited on himself, police said.

The 59-year-old man was taken to Pali Momi Medical Center.

He was pronounced dead at 5:46 p.m. His name has not been released.






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