Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Friday, November 30, 2001

Judge Ezra won't appoint receiver for special ed

A federal judge said today he will not appoint a receiver to take over the state's special education system.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra said the state has made "substantial progress" in complying with the Felix consent decree, the mandate to improve educational and mental health services to special-needs children.

"We are moving very rapidly in the right direction," Ezra said in a hearing this morning.

Ezra had set a Nov. 1 deadline for the state to meet certain benchmarks or face federal receivership.

But Ezra said there is still much work to be done. "We are going to move forward until we hit that March deadline," he said, referring to the deadline he set to end federal court oversight.

Bulletin's Sunday edition reduces price to 75 cents

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin is lowering the newsstand price of its Sunday edition to 75 cents from $1.25 starting this Sunday.

It will be the first time in more than 20 years that a Sunday newspaper in Oahu will cost 75 cents, according to Star-Bulletin Publisher Don Kendall. "We hope this will make it affordable for everyone to pick up a Sunday newspaper," he said.

New Akaka bill may help chef Chai stay in U.S.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D, Hawaii) has introduced a bill that could result in permanent residency for chef Chai Chaowasaree.

Akaka's spokesman, Paul Cardus, said this morning that Akaka introduced what is called a private bill on Wednesday on behalf of the chef, who owns Chai's Island Bistro and Singha Thai Cuisine.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which will request a report from the INS and a stay of deportation for Chaowasaree, Cardus said.

The INS has been trying to return Chaowasaree to his native Thailand for more than 10 years, based on an allegedly fraudulent marriage between the chef and a U.S. citizen.

The case has been on appeal since 1991, but the INS stepped up proceedings a few months ago, saying Chaowasaree -- Vichai Sae Tung -- abandoned his appeal when he returned to Thailand last year to see his ailing father. Chaowasaree says an INS official OK'd his trip.

New York artist selected to paint Cayetano portrait

The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts has selected Daniel Greene, a New York artist, to paint the official portrait of Gov. Ben Cayetano.

Executive Director David Farmer said the final selection was made by Cayetano from a small group of artists who had submitted portfolios to the foundation.

The state will spend $30,000 for the portrait, with Cayetano expected to make up any extra payments, Farmer said.

Corrections and clarifications

>> Two photos taken by staff photographer Dennis Oda were miscredited in recent Sports sections. His photo of Prince Brown taken during Friday's St. Louis-Kailua game appeared yesterday on Page B1, and his photo of Ashley Lelie taken during the University of Hawaii-Air Force game Saturday ran Monday on Page B10.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Managing Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers


Fire at 2-story home blamed on short circuit

Fire investigators believe yesterday's fire at 210-B S. Kalaheo Ave. was caused by an electrical short circuit. The 4:30 a.m. fire at the two-story Kailua home caused $100,000 damage. The fire started in the second-floor bedroom, investigators said.


Beating incident becomes an attempted-murder case

Police have opened an attempted-murder investigation in connection with the beating of a 39-year-old man Wednesday night in Whitmore Village.

Police said they received an anonymous call that two males were fighting in the parking lot of the Whitmore Gym just before 9:30 p.m. When officers arrived, an ambulance was already on the scene treating the victim.

He was taken to Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. None of the people in the parking lot reported seeing anything or knowing the identification of the man. Police said the gym has been closed for several weeks. They said people have been going to the parking lot to drink.


Last suspect in killing at cockfight turns self in

The fifth defendant in the beating death of a 39-year-old man in Kalihi over an alleged fixed cockfight turned himself in to police Wednesday.

Lamaar Richardson, 21, of Kapalama turned himself in at HPD headquarters at 801 S. Beretania St.

An Oahu grand jury indicted Richardson, Don Cabinian, 29, Branden Kakugawa, 30, Evan Kakugawa, 33, and Jason Yoshimura, 34, for second-degree murder in the death of Leon Fernandez at a home on Bannister Street on Nov. 16.

The five defendants were also indicted for the attempted murder of Eufracio Esmerelda, 41, who was also beaten. Richardson was the last defendant to turn himself in. Bail for each is $500,000.

Yoshimura and Evan Kakugawa are free on bond. The others remain in custody.

13-year-old accused of trying to knife classmate

A 13-year-old boy was arrested for terroristic threatening for allegedly chasing a Dole Middle School classmate around the campus with a large kitchen knife Wednesday.

Police said the boy and another 13-year-old boy were arguing and challenging each other to fight at the Kalihi school about 8:30 a.m. when one boy pulled out the knife and chased the other boy.

School officials separated the boys and called police.


Fireworks experiment costs man part of hand

A 27-year-old Waipahu man lost part of his left hand in a fireworks explosion.

Police said the man was experimenting with fireworks at his Hianakiu Street home about 3 p.m. Wednesday when some fireworks blew up in his hand.

He was taken to Queen's Medical Center for treatment.

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