Committee OKs Akaka's vets bill
U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka thanked the Veterans' Affairs Committee for approving his Mental Health Improvements Act of 2007.
The Democrat said in a news release that the legislation would address the needs of veterans. He says it would ensure high-quality mental health services at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities and in their communities.
Akaka says the measure would make VA more capable of addressing the invisible wounds of war faced by servicemen and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Akaka, who chairs the committee, says the VA must make veterans' mental health a priority.
The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
1 lawyer disbarred, 1 suspended
The Supreme Court disbarred a former Honolulu-based attorney and suspended a Hilo-based attorney from the practice of law, according to news releases from Office of Disciplinary Council.
The disbarment of Howard J. Gravelle Jr., formerly of Honolulu, was effective Nov. 8. He was previously suspended on April 7, 2006, after he abandoned his law practice, a release said.
Gravelle's multiple ethical violations in four cases include failure to cooperate with the disciplinary counsel's investigation of his misconduct.
Gravelle was admitted to the Hawaii bar in 1975.
Steven B. Johnson, 47, of Hilo has been suspended from the practice of law for 90 days effective Dec. 10. The Supreme Court suspended him after he was suspended in Oregon for misconduct in four cases.
Johnson, 47, stipulated that he committed multiple acts of misconduct, such as failing to maintain mandatory records and engaging in a conflict of interest.
Johnson was admitted to the Hawaii bar in 2005.
Postage reduced for Pacific isles
Mail to Micronesia and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific will be delivered at the domestic U.S. postage rates starting tomorrow.
The Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands are former trust territories of the United States and had been able to receive mail at the U.S. domestic rates until Jan. 8, 2006.
Now, the Postal Service says technical and other problems with phasing in international rates have led to the decision to restore the lower U.S. domestic rates.
The two nations comprise about 630 islands with a total population of nearly 170,000.
Charter panel applicants sought
Candidates interested in serving on the Charter School Review Panel have until tomorrow to apply to the Board of Education.
The 12-member panel issues charters, monitors and oversees charter schools, and revokes charters.
The board is looking for a University of Hawaii representative not affiliated with any charter schools, an educational officer at a conversion charter school and a start-up charter school teacher.
Qualified individuals should apply by submitting a letter of interest and resume by tomorrow to: Board of Education, Re: CSRP, PO Box 2360, Honolulu, HI 96804.
Visit the Board of Education's Web site at www.boe.k12.hi.us or call 586-3735 for more information.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man accused in woman's attack
A 22-year-old man was arrested after allegedly trying to suffocate a woman in a Waikiki apartment.
About 4 p.m. Friday, police responded to a domestic call at an apartment at Seaside Avenue. The suspect allegedly grabbed a 24-year-old woman from behind and tried to suffocate her with a pillow.
Police said she struggled free and called for police. The suspect was arrested on suspicion of felony abuse.
1 caught, 1 sought in hotel robbery
Police arrested one teenage boy and were looking for another in connection with a robbery at a Waikiki hotel Tuesday.
Police said that about 10:30 p.m., a 13-year-old boy was walking to his hotel room when two other teenage boys followed him into the lobby. Police said the suspects threatened the victim and demanded his property. Both fled on foot.
Police later arrested a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of second-degree robbery and were looking for the other suspect.
Teenager arrested in sexual assault
Police arrested Thursday a 16-year-old boy who allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in Waianae.
Police said the suspect and the victim are acquaintances. Police said the incident occurred about 8 p.m. Oct. 4. Police opened a first-degree and third-degree sexual assault case.