Owners hope to move stranded fishing boat
HILO » The owners of a stranded 68-foot fishing vessel with four tons of fish on board were hoping to get the ship off the rocky eastern shore of the Big Island during high tide last night, said Clifford Inn, of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
With 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board, the longline fishing boat Sky Sun was worrying officials because it went aground at the southern end of the Waiopae Tidepools Marine Life Conservation District 25 miles southeast of Hilo.
When the emergency call came in to Hawaii County Fire Department rescue personnel about 5 a.m. yesterday, they were able to use a helicopter to lift the captain, four crew members and a National Marine Fisheries Service observer from the ship, all uninjured, the Fire Department said.
Firm picked to build UH med school phase
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents selected Townsend Capital LLC yesterday to construct the second phase of the John A. Burns School of Medicine in Kakaako.
The regents also had selected Townsend in March to develop the $200 million Cancer Research Center, immediately Ewa of the medical school. Townsend was selected from among four applicants for the job.
The privately held real estate investment firm is headquartered in Baltimore, with offices in Missouri, Colorado and New Jersey.
Townsend's team for the medical school project includes the design and technical team of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership of Portland, Ore., and GPR Planners Collaborative Inc. and the general contractor, McCarthy Building Cos. Ltd. of St. Louis.
UH regents reappoint task group members
The University of Hawaii Board of Regents reappointed five task groups of its members to answer concerns that original appointments in April were not made in an open meeting.
The task groups and their members, with group chairs listed first, are:
» Presidential search: Kitty Lagareta, Byron Bender, Michael Dahilig, Allan Landon, Alvin Tanaka and Myron Yamasato.
» UH Foundation: Jane Tatibouet, Ramon de la Pena, James Haynes II, Lagareta and Landon.
» Public/private partnership development: Andres Albano Jr., Haynes, Landon, Ronald Migita, Tatibouet and Yamasato.
» E/M personnel: Tanaka, Lagareta and Migita.
» Role and function of board's structure and operations: Bender, Dahilig, Haynes and Landon.
All the appointments are the same as those made in April, Lagareta said. No one testified at yesterday's meeting regarding the board reappointing the task groups, she said.
The presidential search group is authorized by the board to look for a consultant firm to assist regents with the search for a new UH president. Lagareta said there is no deadline for action by any of the task groups, but that the presidential search group will be moving forward as quickly as possible.
Findings and recommendations of all the task groups will be presented to the regents at a noticed board meeting for action.
Family sues resort over death of girl
WAILUKU » The parents of a New Jersey high school cheerleader who died in a fall at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa has filed a lawsuit alleging the hotel was negligent in its conduct.
Charles P. and Diane E. Crossan also named the chaperone Susanne Sadler in the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Maui Circuit Court.
Lauren Crossan died in a fall off the balcony of the hotel's ninth floor on Jan. 12, 2004, after visiting with two California men who had been drinking. Her blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit, which is .08.
The two California men who were with Crossan shortly before her death were below the legal drinking age.
Crossan had come to Maui as a cheerleader to participate in the halftime show at the 2004 Hula Bowl.
The Hyatt was fined $50,000 in November 2004 by the Maui County Liquor Adjudication Board, which had cited the hotel for 25 violations related to serving alcohol to the two California men.
The lawsuit charged that the defendants were negligent in failing to prevent Crossan from consuming alcohol.
The Hyatt was unavailable for comment yesterday.
Tanonaka ready to start prison term
Former journalist Dalton Tanonaka turned himself in to the U.S. marshals at 2 p.m. yesterday so he can begin serving his three-month term for lying about money he received during his unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor and U.S. Congress.
Tanonaka pleaded guilty in July to two counts of making false statements on bank loan applications, failing to list a contract he had as a consultant on a federal financial disclosure form and for accepting a campaign contribution in excess of the $2,000 limit.
After his sentencing in federal court in November, Tanonaka said he accepted the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor and hopes to be able to contribute to the community once he gets out.
Makaha man gets 19 years for sex abuse
The Hawaii Paroling Authority has ordered a Makaha man who sexually assaulted his girlfriend's daughter continuously over six years, impregnating her at age 12, to serve 19 out of 20 years before he can seek parole.
Peter Vierra had pleaded guilty to 12 counts of first-degree sexual assault earlier this year and was sentenced to the maximum 20 years' imprisonment.
"It sends a message that the board is not only taking into account the safety and welfare of this community, but the devastation caused to the family," Deputy Prosecutor Lori Wada said yesterday.
The girl's family had asked that Vierra be ordered to serve the maximum possible for stealing the girl's innocence and trust.
Wada had argued to the board last week that Vierra is a sexual predator who deserves to spend the maximum time in prison. She said Vierra had also abused three relatives, although he was never charged.
Deputy Public Defender William Bento had argued that Vierra is remorseful and accepts responsibility for his actions. Vierra would like to get sex offender treatment so he can come to understand his behavior, he said.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
2 witnesses help catch alleged purse-snatcher
Police arrested a man Wednesday who allegedly stole a wheelchair-bound woman's purse as he rode by on his bicycle.
The incident took place in Wahiawa at about 4:05 p.m.
Two witnesses chased the suspect and grabbed him after he fell off of his bicycle, police said. The victim's purse was recovered, and police arrested the suspect for investigation of second-degree theft. The suspect has since been released pending an investigation.
Man who allegedly cut girlfriend surrenders
A 30-year-old man who allegedly cut his girlfriend with a knife earlier this month turned himself in to police Wednesday.
Police said that on Dec. 3 at about 4:40 a.m. in Hauula, the victim, 26, reported getting into an argument with her boyfriend and that during the argument he punched and kicked her, then pulled out a knife.
The suspect then allegedly threatened to kill the woman as he cut her thigh with the knife.
The suspect turned himself in to police at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and was arrested for investigation of first-degree terroristic threatening and second-degree assault.