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Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Friday, March 23, 2001


No one injured in crash of Niihau Ranch copter

PORT ALLEN, Kauai >> It lasted through "Jurassic Park." It transported people to Niihau.

But Niihau Ranch's helicopter crashed yesterday during a Federal Aviation Administration check ride at Burns Field, Kauai Fire Department officials said.

Neither the pilot nor the FAA inspector aboard was injured. The aircraft landed on its side, and there was major damage to the rotor blade and the landing gear, according to the fire department.

The helicopter, which appeared in "Jurassic Park," is used for tours of Niihau and to transport residents to and from the island, which is owned by brothers Bruce and Keith Robinson. Neither of the Robinsons could be reached for comment late yesterday.

State OKs lower fees for some quarantined pets

The state Board of Agriculture yesterday approved temporary fee reductions for owners of dogs and cats that were quarantined in Hawaii from July 1, 2000, to June 30 of this year.

Currently, fees are $1,080 for the standard 120-day quarantine and $655 for pets that qualify for the 30-day quarantine. Fees were reduced by $120 for dogs and cats belonging to civilians and active-duty military grades E-7 to 0-3, and $220 for active-duty military grades E-1 to E-6. No fee reduction will be given to active-duty military officers above grade 0-3.

Last year, the state Legislature appropriated $500,000 to provide temporary fee subsidies for military personnel until federal legislation provided subsidies through the U.S. Department of Defense.

The retroactive reimbursements are expected to take effect after May 1. Pet owners seeking reimbursement should contact the Animal Quarantine Station for an application.

Crime fund offers money for compensation, aid

The Office for Victims of Crime has awarded the state $457,000 for crime victim compensation and $1,929,000 for assistance programs.

The awards come from the Crime Victims Fund, which is financed by fines and penalties collected by U.S. attorneys, the U.S. courts and the Bureau of Prisons.

These funds are available to victims of both state and federal crimes in Hawaii.

The federal grant supplements state funds used to pay claims for medical costs, lost wages, counseling, funeral expenses and other costs resulting from violent crimes committed against innocent victims. In fiscal year 2000, $777 million was collected for the Crime Victims Fund nationwide.

For more information, call 586-1150.

Honolulu songwriter plays for Ehime Maru

OSAKA, Japan >> An ukulele player from Honolulu arrived in Japan yesterday to promote a song he has dedicated to victims of last month's sinking of the Ehime Maru by a U.S. submarine off Oahu.

Jake Shimabukuro, 24, arrived at Sendai airport in Miyagi prefecture and will stay in Sendai, Osaka and Tokyo until Wednesday to promote his song "Ehime Maru."

Proceeds from sales of the song will be donated to a foundation set up in Honolulu for the Ehime Maru. He is scheduled to perform live in Sendai and appear on TV and radio in Osaka and Tokyo.


[THE COURTS]

Man guilty of kidnapping as woman was robbed

A man accused of holding an 82-year-old Kailua woman against her will as he and another man stole items from her home pleaded guilty yesterday to kidnapping.

Kawika Crites-Burgess made the plea one day after his trial began in Circuit Judge Sandra Simms' courtroom. He pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and second-degree robbery.

He faces a mandatory three years and four months to 20 years, as does his co-defendant, Evan Lowther, when sentenced in August.

If convicted of kidnapping, Crites-Burgess would have faced a mandatory 20 years because the victim was over 60 years old.

Momoye Sakata was shoved and handcuffed after two men broke into her home early on Aug. 21 and took two suitcases stuffed with items. She suffered a broken wrist.

Evan Lowther also pleaded guilty Wednesday to identical charges. He denied shoving Sakata and was to testify against Crites-Burgess.

Sex assault victims' parents sue ex-teacher

Parents have filed a lawsuit in Circuit Court against former Mililani art teacher Brian Ibaan after he sexually assaulted their daughters two years ago.

In April 2000 the Hawaii Paroling Authority set a minimum of 10 years Ibaan must serve for fondling 13 girls who attend Mililani Uka, Mauka Lani and Barbers Point elementary schools. He pleaded guilty to 20 counts of third-degree sexual assault.

The victims were female students between ages 11 to 13. The assaults occurred from November 1998 to April 1999.

According to the suit, the students experienced difficulty concentrating in school and fears of being alone after they were sexually assaulted by Ibaan.

High court suspends Oahu attorney Hirokawa

The Hawaii Supreme Court suspended Oahu attorney Mark M. Hirokawa, 38, from the practice of law for one year and one day effective April 19.

Hirokawa neglected to prosecute his clients' cases, failed to inform his clients about the status of their cases and failed to respond to requests for information, according to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Hirokawa was admitted to the Hawaii bar May 15, 1990, and is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law.

[CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS]

>> It was a World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle in 1999 that was marred by riots and protests. A story in the morning edition Tuesday listed a different multinational organization.

>> Wahiawa General Hospital operates a Medicare-certified home health care agency. A story Friday excluded it from a statewide list of similar agencies.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Publisher and Editor in Chief John Flanagan at 529-4748 or email him at jflanagan@starbulletin.com.






Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

2 pedestrians die after being hit by cars

Two pedestrians died in separate accidents on Oahu yesterday and this morning.

Police arrested the driver of a pickup truck that hit and killed a 43-year-old Nanakuli woman who was delivering newspapers in front of a house at 89-316 Nanakuli Avenue at about 3:30 a.m. today.

The 33-year-old woman driver, who was arrested for negligent homicide, told police she fell asleep at the wheel.

Yesterday morning, a 77-year-old Waipahu woman died after she was struck by a car as she was crossing Lumiauau Street. She was not in a crosswalk.

The woman was initially listed in serious condition following the 7:10 a.m. accident, but her condition worsened and she was pronounced dead three hours later.

The driver of the car was not arrested.

Students head for break early after shooting scare

WAILUKU >> A school shooting scare brought an early spring break for about 1,700 Maui High students yesterday.

Faculty sent students home shortly after 10 a.m. after rumors about a threat of a shooting spread through campus.

School Principal Dennis Manalili canceled classes for students today as well.

Students are expected to return on April 2, after spring break.

More mercury found at Waianae Boat Harbor

Honolulu Fire Department hazardous-materials personnel cleaned up another mercury spill yesterday in Waianae.

This is the seventh such incident since the mercury contamination at a public housing project in Halawa 10 days ago.

Fire officials said a few drops of mercury were found on a Waianae Boat Harbor pillar at 1 p.m.






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