Isle-based cutter gets Persian Gulf mission
The Honolulu-based Coast Guard cutter Walnut has been given a new mission in the Persian Gulf.
The Walnut was preparing to replace channel buoys in the Khor Abd Allah Waterway, which flows to the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, Coast Guard officials announced Wednesday.
"We hope to improve the ability of all vessels -- military, humanitarian aid and commercial -- to safely navigate the narrow channel that serves Iraq's most critical seaport," said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Smith, the cutter's commanding officer.
The Walnut's original mission was to respond to any acts of environmental terrorism committed by the regime of Saddam Hussein, the officials said.
Feds say plant made counterfeit Viagra pills
Federal agents busted what they called "an elaborate and complete counterfeiting operation" of the impotence drug Viagra in Waikiki.
Seon Il Kim was charged yesterday with counterfeiting Viagra and selling the drug without a valid prescription.
According to an affidavit filed in federal court, Kim admitted selling about 15 bottles of Viagra a month to customers in Japan and Hawaii at a cost of $300 a bottle from 1997 until October of last year.
Kim told Customs and Food and Drug Administration agents he is a pharmacist and the manager of the Waikiki Pharmacy on Kalakaua Avenue.
Customs agents in Japan intercepted packages containing Viagra bottles with Kim's return address which were said to contain "health food" or "food supplements."
Agents also seized three pill presses with the "Pfizer" logo dye cast, hundreds of labels and inserts with the Viagra logo, empty pill bottles, an industrial-size mixing machine and compressor, bins containing unknown white powdery substances and other materials during a search of Kim's apartment Wednesday.
Pfizer is the pharmaceutical company that makes Viagra.
Two other men were arrested Tuesday afternoon after they allegedly sold six bottles of Viagra to undercover agents in the parking lot of the Waikiki Zoo. Yoshihiro Kurashima and Morikatsu Hirata were charged Wednesday with dispensing the drug without a prescription.
Nishimura named to Oahu Circuit Court
Rhonda Akemi Nishimura is Gov. Linda Lingle's first appointment to Oahu Circuit Court.
Nishimura, a District Court judge, was selected from a list of six candidates submitted by the Judicial Selection Commission to fill the seat being vacated by Judge Wilfred Watanabe.
Nishimura has been a District Court judge for the past six years, focusing on both civil and criminal matters, and has also presided over Circuit Court criminal and civil matters as a substitute judge.
Nishimura also has 14 years of experience as a trial lawyer as a partner with the law firm of Ayabe Chong Nishimoto Sia & Nakamura.
Nishimura received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Hawaii, and is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law. Her appointment is subject to state Senate confirmation.
Kilo Moana arrives in Alaska
The University of Hawaii's Research Vessel Kilo Moana pulled into the Kodiak, Alaska, Coast Guard base Cargo Pier yesterday after a nine-day trip from Honolulu.
The 186-foot twin-hull oceanographic research ship is carrying two teams of scientists who conducted various experiments while en route to Kodiak. One team did bottom mapping while the other team used equipment to gather water samples. The vessel is expected to stay in the North Pacific to conduct further oceanographic studies.
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 Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at email@example.com.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Sailor arrested after claiming he was shot
BARKING SANDS, Kauai >> A Navy seaman assigned to the Pacific Missile Range as a security guard was arrested yesterday on suspicion that he filed a false police report claiming he had been shot by two assailants.
Police said the seaman, 19, was hit in the chest but was uninjured because he was wearing body armor. Detectives said the seaman shot himself but it was not clear whether the shooting was accidental or intentional.
Neither police nor the Navy said what kind of weapon was used. The seaman was treated at Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital and released. He was turned over to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
More than 30 Kauai police officers, several state game wardens, a helicopter and Navy security officers set up roadblocks and scoured Polihale Beach State Park and the east end of the missile range where the sailor was shot in a hunt for the nonexistent suspects.
Dwelling on Maui is destroyed by fire
WAILUKU >> Maui fire officials said a dwelling in upper Kanaio was destroyed by fire about 10:50 a.m. yesterday.
Assistant Fire Chief David Kamalani said no one was home when firefighters arrived in the remote area.
Police arrest two men in parking meter theft
Two men were arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft yesterday after police found them in a drainage ditch trying to break open a parking meter.
Michael Kume and Jay Terry, both 20 and with no local addresses, were charged with fourth-degree theft.
They were arrested after police responded to report of two suspicious males banging on an object near Kaelepulu Elementary School. Police found a parking meter head that was taken from a pole in Kailua.
Autopsy confirms woman was a suicide
A 44-year-old woman who plunged onto the H-1 Freeway from an overpass Wednesday was a suicide, the Honolulu Medical Examiner said.
An autopsy determined that she died of multiple blunt force injuries. The woman jumped from Queen Emma Street overpass and was struck by a vehicle after she landed in the Koko Head-bound lanes, police said.
Police closed part of the freeway while investigating her death, delaying traffic.
Hotel guest claims he was robbed by 3 men
A 30-year-old Honolulu man who was staying at the Pagoda Hotel reported being robbed Wednesday night by three men who forced their way into his room.
The man told police he opened his door about 6:30 p.m. when someone knocked. He said he was confronted by three men who forced their way into the room. He told police one of the men was carrying a sawed-off shotgun which was used to strike him on the head.
The victim said the suspects covered him with a sheet and forced him to remain on the floor while they searched the room. The fled after taking money and other items, he told police.