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Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Friday, October 25, 2002


Brief power failure hits 1,500 in Kapolei

Power was cut to about 1,500 Hawaiian Electric customers in Kapolei for about 90 minutes yesterday afternoon, according to spokesman Fred Kobashikawa.

The power went out about 1:48 p.m. and was restored at about 3:27 p.m. when HECO switched to an alternate circuit.

Kobashikawa said it was unknown what caused the outage.

Students pledge not to bring guns to school

Oahu students are collecting pledges from their peers in the elementary, middle and high school levels to never bring a gun to school and to never use a gun to solve their problems.

The effort by the Hawaii State Student Council and Student CrimeStoppers is a first for Hawaii.

"Our only goal is that there is a proactive (movement) against gun violence," said Jason Yoon, co-chairman of the Council's Safety Committee.

Though reports of gun violence in Hawaii schools are rare, students and law enforcement officials want to prevent any incidents from happening in the future, said CrimeStoppers Detective Letha DeCaires.

Last year, more than 2.4 million signatures were collected nationwide.

Kauai sues Pflueger over hillside grading

LIHUE >> Retired auto dealer Jimmy Pflueger has been sued by Kauai County for allegedly violating special management area laws with un-permitted hillside grading.

The grading caused a mudslide on Thanksgiving weekend of 2001. Pflueger already has been sued by the environmental group EarthJustice and residents of the area whose property was buried by the landslide.

County attorney Hartwell Blake told the County Council two weeks ago that the county prosecutor is expected to file misdemeanor criminal charges against Pflueger for violating the county's grading ordinance.

Pfleuger could not be reached for comment.

Hawaii public schools fare poorly in report

A new national report card ranks Hawaii's public education system near the worst in the nation.

Hawaii ranked 38th in the Report Card on American Education, compared with 34th last year and 47th in 2000.

The report released yesterday by the American Legislative Exchange Council based its rankings on scores from three national standardized tests.

"This year's Report Card will serve as a valuable tool for Hawaii state legislators as they debate the future of education," ALEC Executive Director Duane Parde said. "Now more than ever it's critical for America to focus on student achievement."

Wisconsin -- followed by Washington, Minnesota and Iowa -- had the best public elementary and secondary schools in the nation. Mississippi and Louisiana ranked at the bottom.

The council was founded in 1973 by Democratic and Republican state legislators.

Police DUI roadblocks going up this weekend

Honolulu police will be conducting drunken-driver checkpoints during the next two weekends. The checkpoints will be set up beginning tonight through Nov. 4.

So far this year, 54 people have died on Oahu in traffic collisions, compared with 61 at this time last year.

Police have determined that 12 of this year's fatalities were alcohol- or drug-related.

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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 Managing Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at fbridgewater@starbulletin.com.






Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

CENTRAL OAHU

Fire damages home at Schofield Barracks

Fire damaged a second-floor bedroom of a Schofield Barracks housing unit yesterday. Army officials said there were no injuries in the 3:15 p.m. fire in a multifamily housing unit on Lakeview Drive. The cause and damage estimate were under investigation.

Honolulu

Bullet-riddled car leads to man's arrest

Police are investigating whether a 25-year-old Maili man was involved in a confrontation with two state deputy sheriffs at Honolulu Airport last week.

The sheriffs stopped a man to question him about flashing blue lights on the car he was driving.

Police said the man was stopped at an airport checkpoint last Thursday but fled when sheriffs discovered the car was stolen. The sheriffs fired at the fleeing car, shattering a windshield and puncturing the car with bullets.

Police said a witness to the Thursday airport incident spotted the damaged car about 6 p.m. yesterday at Kapolei Shopping Center and called police. The suspect was arrested for investigation of car theft, illegal drug possession and other charges after a brief foot chase.

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Visitor from California dies after swimming

KAILUA-KONA >> A California man died Wednesday after experiencing difficulties while swimming in Kealakekua Bay, Kona police said.

Barry Allen Rogoff, 60, of Fremont, Calif. was coughing and experiencing shortness of breath, police said. Fire Department paramedics said Rogoff had no pulse when he was brought to shore on a kayak by his son.

Rogoff was pronounced dead at Kona Community Hospital at 11:45 a.m.



[ COURT BRIEFS ]

Man accused in 3 bank robberies is indicted

A federal grand jury indicted Robert Enoka Torres yesterday in connection with the robbery of three Honolulu banks.

The indictment said Torres held up the Kaimuki branch of Hawaii National Bank on Oct. 9, the Kapiolani Boulevard branch of American Savings Bank on Oct. 10 and the Kailua branch of Bank of Hawaii on Oct. 11.

A complaint filed on Oct. 15 in federal court said Torres admitted robbing each bank.

Former cop appeals food scandal decision

Retired Honolulu Assistant Police Chief Rafael Fajardo Jr. is appealing a decision by the Police Commission to deny him legal representation in a food scandal case.

Fajardo and Maj. Jeffrey Owens were indicted on Aug. 23, 2001, for third-degree theft for allegedly buying food for police officers and higher-ups with money that was earmarked to feed inmates.

The alleged theft took place between Jan. 16, 1995, and Sept. 30, 2000.

In the appeal filed in Circuit Court, Fajardo's attorney, Howard Luke, said the commission erred in the denial. He said the commission did not have a majority when it voted. Fajardo was informed of the denial in a letter.

After a June 26 hearing, the commission decided to use public funds to pay for Owens' defense.

Trial is set for Jan. 23.



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