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Newswatch
Star-Bulletin staff and wire

Thursday, August 11, 2005





WELDERS IGNITE BRUSH FIRE

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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Welders working on ranch fences sparked a 200-acre brush fire near Honokai Hale yesterday, a fire official said. The fire, which began at about 1:30 p.m., did not threaten any homes. About 80 to 90 fire personnel battled the blaze into the night. They were assisted by the fire helicopter and a military helicopter. The fire was mauka of Farrington Highway between Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park and Laaloa Street. On Saturday a brush fire on the makai side of Farrington Highway near Honokai Hale damaged wooden railroad ties on the historic Oahu Railway & Land Co. line.




EPA seeks feedback on Kunia cleanup

The public has until Sept. 4 to comment on an agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Del Monte Fresh Produce that requires the company to clean up soil and ground-water contamination at its site in Central Oahu.

Under the deal, Del Monte will carry out an EPA-approved plan that is expected to cost about $13 million and be completed in 2014.

"This is a critical step in getting the site removed from the Superfund's National Priorities List," said Keith Takata, director for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region's Superfund Division.

The site was added to the list in 1994 -- 14 years after state health officials found agricultural pesticide ethylene dibromide and dibromochloropropane in a Kunia well.

The well -- the site of a 495-gallon EDB spill in 1977 -- was immediately disconnected from the drinking water supply system after the contamination was found, and is no longer in use.

A Del Monte official did not return a call for comment on the agreement yesterday.

To comment on the deal, write to the U.S. Department of Justice Environmental and Natural Resources Division, 950 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20530.

2 admitted robbers sentenced to prison

Two Oahu men were sentenced yesterday to federal prison for an armed robbery of the Aiea 7-Eleven store in which an employee was beaten and kicked.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra sentenced Hekesi Folaumahina, 20, to 10 years' imprisonment for a total of three holdups at 7-Eleven stores, and imposed a five-year, 11-month sentence on Rory Kealii Sitani, 20.

Both men pleaded guilty in the Dec. 16, 2003, robbery of the Aiea Heights Drive store. Sitani admitted using a handgun to force an employee to open both cash registers.

In their plea agreements, the men said two other people participated in the robbery, which netted $1,422 in cash, beer and other merchandise.

Folaumahina admitted to robbing 7-Eleven stores at 1755 Nuuanu Ave. and 1900 Dillingham Blvd. on June 21 and 22, 2003.

U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo said the men were prosecuted through the Project Safe Neighborhoods cooperative effort among local and federal law enforcement and prosecutor agencies targeting firearms offenses and violent crime.

HPU graduation will honor Northridge VP

More than 350 students will receive their degrees from Hawaii Pacific University at a summer commencement ceremony at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday at the Waikiki Shell.

Louanne Kennedy, emeritus provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University at Northridge, will deliver the commencement speech.

Kennedy will also receive the Fellow of the Pacific Award, the university's highest accolade, in recognition of her outstanding contributions and service to the community and higher education.

Valedictory speakers are Melissa Opacic (Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology), representing undergraduates; Anna Dihne (MSIS), representing graduates; and Richard D. DesJardin Jr. (Bachelor of Science degree in computer science), representing military campus programs.


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Taking Notice

» Tiki's Grill & Bar has donated $3,000 to the Hawaii Red Cross and $750 to the Life Foundation. The Waikiki restaurant also raised more than $25,000 in pledges for Public Broadcasting Station Hawaii in March.

» The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has donated $24,999 to Ke Kula'o Samuel M. Kamakau, a K-12 Hawaiian Immersion Laboratory Public charter School in Kaneohe. The funds will be used to hire two Ola Pono Project coordinators who will provide a broad curriculum of cultural and health-related activities.

» The Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation has provided $3,000 to fund the D.T. Fleming Arboretum's "Native Plant Inventory & Database Upgrade." The arboretum is in Ulupalakua, Maui.

» Hawaii Maoli, a part of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, has received $46,250 from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to continue the documentation of memories of kupuna (elders) for preservation and future use.

» Catholic Charities Hawaii's Ma'ili Land Transitional Housing Program has received $100,000 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

» Young Brothers Ltd. and Hawaiian Tug & Barge have given the American Cancer Society $1,000 to support the Friend to Friend education program for women living on Molokai and Lanai.


"Taking Notice" also runs Tuesdays and Saturdays.





Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

LEEWARD OAHU

Man allegedly punches elderly woman

Police arrested a man who allegedly punched a 69-year-old woman in the face several months ago in Waipahu.

Police said that on May 20 the suspect, 39, got into an argument with the victim, who is the mother of the suspect's ex-girlfriend. During the argument, the suspect allegedly punched the victim in the face, causing a cut.

The suspect was arrested yesterday under suspicion of second-degree assault and then released pending investigation.

Man breaks into house and threatens friend

Police arrested a 42-year-old man early yesterday after he allegedly broke into a friend's Makakilo home and threatened her if she called police.

The suspect allegedly broke a window to get inside the home and refused to leave when told to by his friend, a 45-year-old woman. The suspect then allegedly threatened her with a crowbar to keep her from calling police.

The victim escaped and called police from a neighbor's house. Police later found the suspect hiding inside the victim's house and arrested him for investigation of first-degree terroristic threatening.

HONOLULU

Woman allegedly threatens husband

Police arrested a 34-year-old Palolo woman who allegedly hit her husband with a flashlight and threatened to kill him with a knife after he came home late on Tuesday night.

Police said the 40-year-old man reported that he got home from work at about 11:30 p.m. when his wife allegedly attacked him with a flashlight, hitting him on the head and body.

When police arrived at the couple's front door, the woman allegedly put a knife to her husband's throat and threatened to kill him to keep him from saying anything, police said.

The man stayed in his bed until yesterday morning when he fled and called police.

Police arrested the woman on suspicion of second-degree assault and first-degree terroristic threatening.

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Girl who disappeared in January still missing


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Brandy Ann DeCosta: The 16-year-old Puna girl is reported missing since Jan. 25


Big Island police are looking for a 16-year-old Puna girl reported missing from her home in Mountain View since Jan. 25.

Brandy Ann DeCosta is described as 4 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 129 pounds, with a medium build, black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Officer Peter Kualii at 961-2373 or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.

Anonymous calls can be made to CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.


Police find fugitive 4 months after escape


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Christopher Neal Nasario: He escaped on April 2 from a correctional center in Hilo


Big Island police apprehended a 38-year-old man Tuesday who escaped four months ago from the Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo.

Christopher Neal Nasario, who had been on the run since April 2, was arrested at 11 a.m. Tuesday at a Railroad Avenue home where vice officers were executing an unrelated search warrant.

Nasario was charged with escape.

Police said Nasario allegedly violated the terms of his furlough by failing to report to HCCC personnel, who reported him missing April 2.



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