Star-Bulletin staff and wire

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Girl's accused rapist goes to trial July 11

A 39-year-old unemployed fisherman accused of abducting an 8-year-old Waianae girl and raping her last month pleaded not guilty yesterday in Circuit Court.

Yomeo Eieta was indicted by an Oahu grand jury on Thursday with four counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count each of kidnapping and third-degree sexual assault.

Circuit Judge Derrick Chan confirmed bail for Eieta at $150,000. Eieta remains in custody, unable to post a bond. Trial was set for July 11.

Spiny lobster fishing is banned for summer

Fishing for spiny lobsters, slipper lobsters and Kona crabs is banned until midnight Aug. 31.

The summer closure started May 1 and allows the crustaceans to be undisturbed during their egg-laying season.

"It is important to keep harvesting practices in balance with the reproductive life cycles of lobsters and crabs, to ensure a strong population of these species," said Peter Young, director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Violation of the closure is punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 and/or 30 days in jail, per animal taken. Civil penalties and forfeiture of gear and boats also are possible.

The state prohibits spearing or taking lobsters and Kona crabs with eggs at any time.

To report violations, contact the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement's 24-hour hot line on Oahu at 587-0077. Neighbor islanders can call toll-free by calling the operator and asking for "Enterprise 5469."

Letter carriers begin food drive on Saturday

More than 240,000 mail carriers will lead the Postal Service's effort to "Stamp Out Hunger" by collecting food donations throughout Hawaii and across the country Saturday for the 13th annual National Association of Letter Carriers' Food Drive.

Last year, Hawaii's mail carriers collected and delivered more than 336,000 pounds of food to community food banks, such as the Hawaii Foodbank. Of the state's post offices, the Pearl City Post Office collected the most at 32,000 pounds. More than 70 million pounds of food was collected nationwide.

Residents are asked to place nonperishable food items next to their mailbox for pickup before the usual pickup time. Mail carriers will then transport the donations back to their post offices where employees and their families will sort the food and deliver it to their nearest community food banks.

Neighbor island post offices without residential delivery are collecting items this week.

Items needed include canned meats, pastas, soups, pork and beans, and fruits and vegetables. Packaged dry beans, pasta, rice and cereal are also needed.


[ Taking notice ]

» The American Cancer Society has received $1,000 from Young Brothers Ltd. and Hawaiian Tug & Barge to help prevent lung cancer and promote early detection of prostate and colon cancer among men on the Big Island.

Cathy Hashimoto, executive director of the ACS's East Hawaii Unit, said the gift will help increase public awareness of the importance of cancer prevention and early detection for Big Island men.

The society holds men's health programs year-round focusing on colon, prostate and lung cancer.

For more information, call the East Hawaii office at 808-935-9763; the West Hawaii office, 808-334-0442; or 800-ACS-2345; or see www.cancer.org.

» Cindy Lee Meiers has been named administrator of the Hi'olani Care Center, scheduled to open this spring at Kahala Nui, Honolulu "Life Care" senior living community.

The six-story care center is located on the same campus as the Kahala Nui independent-living apartments at 4389 Malia St., next to Star of the Sea Parish and School.

It encompasses 41 assisted-living sites, 22 memory-support suites and 60 skilled-nursing beds, including 40 in private rooms and 20 shared.

Meiers was administrator for Beverly Manor/Avalon Care Center before joining Kahala Nui, and was previously assistant administrator at Hale Nani Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.

"Taking Notice" runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff


Police seek information after pedestrian is killed

A 47-year-old pedestrian died Sunday after he was struck by a vehicle as he tried to cross a Kona highway, according to Big Island police.

Police identified him as Hiram K. Kanuha of Kailua-Kona.

Police said Kanuha attempted to cross the mauka side of Kuakini Highway from the Kona Coast Condominium driveway about 10:15 p.m. Saturday when he was struck by a vehicle traveling south.

Kanuha was not in the crosswalk, and the driver was not injured. Police said Kanuha was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he died early Sunday. An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death. Police have initiated a negligent-homicide investigation.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Officer Sharlotte Bird of the Traffic Enforcement Unit at 326-4646, ext. 299, or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.

Kanuha's death was the Big Island's 15th traffic-related fatality this year, compared with 17 at the same time last year.

Kona Police Station trying to fix its phones

Big Island police said their Kona Patrol Division is having problems with its new phone system.

Residents attempting to call the Kona Police Station have been intermittently disconnected or have not had their calls answered.

"We are aware of the phone system problems, and we are working hard to rectify them," said Assistant Chief Ronald Nakamichi, head of the West Hawaii Operations Bureau.

Callers who want to report an emergency can call 911. For non-emergencies, call 935-3311.


2 male suspects sought in liquor store robbery


Friday, May 13, 2005

» The owner of a Waialua liquor store was allegedly assaulted by two men early Monday. A police brief that ran on Page A4 incorrectly stated that the victim was an employee.

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 corrections@starbulletin.com.

Police are looking for two men who robbed a Waialua liquor store yesterday.

About 5 a.m. yesterday, an employee unlocked the front door of the Brown Bottle when he was assaulted by two men. Police said the victim was struck in the face, possibly with a handgun, and forced to the ground.

The suspects stole an undetermined amount of cash from the store's safe before they fled.

Police described the first suspect as being in his late 20s to early 30s, 5-foot-10, about 170 pounds, with a medium build, a mustache and wavy brown medium-length hair. The second suspect is described as 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-7, about 140 pounds with a slim build.


Nanakuli brush fire quickly extinguished

About 20 firefighters responded to a brush fire in Nanakuli yesterday.

The 1 1/2-acre blaze started at 8:26 a.m. behind Nanakuli High School off Haleakala Avenue. Fire Capt. Kenison Tejada said no homes were threatened.

Firefighters had the fire under control at 9:10 a.m. and extinguished shortly after. It is unknown how the fire was started, Tejada said.


Woman struck in face by purse snatcher

A 51-year-old woman was hit in the face with a rock, and her purse was stolen, just before 1 a.m. Sunday in the Kapiolani area, police said.

The victim had been sleeping in her vehicle with the driver's window open near Kapiolani Boulevard and Pensacola Street when someone struck her in the face and took her purse, police said.

She was taken in good condition to an area hospital and treated.

19-year-old is accused of public masturbation

Police charged a 19-year-old man with misdemeanor sex assault for allegedly masturbating in front of two women on separate occasions in the last year.

Police arrested Preston Afong on Friday and charged him with two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault for incidents that allegedly occurred on July 13 and March 26. In both incidents he allegedly approached the victims and masturbated in front of them.

Police said the July incident occurred while a 22-year-old woman was working at a Waikiki business. The second occurred as a 45-year-old woman was picking up her daughter from school, according to police.

The suspect was identified by both women through a photographic lineup and arrested. His bail was set at $2,000.

E-mail to City Desk


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