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Newswatch


Newswatch
Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Friday, November 2, 2001


HFD hits record day for anthrax-related calls

The Honolulu Fire Department responded to a record number of anthrax-related calls yesterday. By late last night HFD Hazardous Materials, or HazMat teams, responded to 32 calls, the most in one 24-hour period. That brings the number of "unknown" or "suspicious" Anthrax related calls to 294 since Oct. 12.

Meanwhile on Maui, Lokelani Intermediate School in Kihei was closed today, after a school counselor received suspicious mail, officials said.

A school counselor told his physician he had flu-like symptoms and recalled receiving a mail catalogue from Washington, D.C. on Monday, School principal Marion Muller said.

The counselor is being tested to determine if he has anthrax.

"It's a precautionary measure," Muller said. She expects the school to be opened by Monday and about 710 students to return to classes.

One of the calls yesterday on Oahu, was at the emergency room of Queen's Medical Center which shut down from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

A Hazardous Materials team investigated a report of a white powdery substance in a men's restroom. which turned out to be to be dry chlorine bleach used as a disinfectant.

$1.6 million for ADB security approved

U.S. House and Senate conferees approved spending $1.6 million to reimburse Hawaii law enforcement agencies for expenses incurred during the Asian Development Bank Conference in May.

Sen. Daniel Inouye said the Honolulu Police Department and the state Department of Public Safety had reported about $3.3 million in expenses associated with the conference.

The funds were approved as part of the House-Senate Conference Report of the 2002 Treasury Department budget that passed the Senate late yesterday. The measure must now be approved by President Bush.

Also approved, Inouye said, was $1.92 million for the Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program.

Congress approved another $750,000 to enhance staffing levels at the Honolulu Customs District and pay the salaries of part-time and temporary customs inspector positions at the Honolulu International Airport, he said.

City honors HPD officer for his work

A 17-year Honolulu police veteran and single father of three who went undercover to expose a gambling ring has been named the city's Employee of the Year.

Detective Earl Koanui added the honor to the Officer of the Year award he won earlier this year for posing as a corrupt officer who tipped off known gamblers of impending raids. Police said he was instrumental in obtaining federal grand jury indictments against 32 people in 2000.

Koanui is to be recognized in Sunday's edition of Parade magazine, an insert of the Star-Bulletin, as one of the country's top law enforcement officers.

Mayor Jeremy Harris yesterday also named Denise Tsukayama as the city's 2001 manager of the year. Tsukayama is an equal employment opportunity officer with the Department of Human Resources.

She was cited for her expert knowledge in equal employment opportunity and Americans With Disabilities Act issues.


Corrections and clarifications

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

LEEWARD OAHU

Second suspect charged in jewelry store robbery

Honolulu police charged a second suspect yesterday in the JT Jewelry store robbery.

Larry Tagata, 37, is alleged to have pulled out a handgun and ordered store employees to the ground Aug. 12 at the Pearl Kai Shopping Center. Instead employees resisted and threw things at both robbers until they fled the store.

Tagata was charged with first-degree robbery and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. Another defendant in the case, 33-year-old Edward Benson, was also charged with robbery in August.

WINDWARD OAHU

Woman sought for Laie 'pipe bomb' bank robbery

Honolulu police are looking for a woman who robbed the Laie branch of Bank of Hawaii with a fake pipe bomb Wednesday. Police say the suspect threatened to detonate the device if bank employees did not fill a bag with money.

Police and military bomb experts later disposed of the device with the help of the Army's Androse Robot, known as "Bob" by Army officials.

Police describe the suspect as a female in her 40s, 5 feet 4 inches, and weighing 140 pounds. The suspect is also described as having a "rough throaty voice" and was wearing heavy make-up, large wire frame glasses and a curly, brown wig.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone.

HONOLULU

Motorcyclist critical after collision with car

A 41-year-old man remained in critical condition in the Queen's Medical Center yesterday after the motorcycle he was riding collided with a car on Iolani Avenue near Punchbowl.

Police said the man was traveling south on Iolani Avenue just before 12:30 p.m. Wednesday when a car on Magellan Avenue turned left onto Iolani, colliding with the motorcycle. The driver of the car, an 83-year-old woman, was not injured.

Garbage workers overcome by fumes

Three city refuse collectors drove their truck to the Straub Clinic and Hospital emergency room after they began feeling ill from a chemical odor after picking up rubbish on King Street in McCully.

A Hazardous Materials team and two fire engines responded to the 5:38 call but found nothing irregular in air samples taken in and around the truck. Police shut down Hotel Street behind Straub Clinic & Hospital for two hours while the incident was investigated.

One man was treated for asthma problems and the other two reported burning eyes, hospital spokeswoman Claire Tong said.

The truck was moved to a Middle Street transfer station where a HazMat team will conduct further tests on the load, said Jim Quinones, superintendent of the Refuse Division's Honolulu yard.

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Man in bee costume arrested for assault

LAHAINA >> Police arrested a California man dressed in a bee costume this morning after one of the rubber balls he was tossing struck an officer in Lahaina toward the end of the Halloween celebration.

Police Sgt. Benny Lake said the balls were apparently supposed to be the bee's stingers. Lake said when the officer approached the man about 1:40 a.m., he pushed the officer and slapped him on the face.

The man, who had a few drinks, later banged his head against the police car after his arrest, Lake said.

The man was charged with misdemeanor assault and petty misdemeanor criminal property damage. He was released after posting $500 bail.





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