Former coach pleads not guilty
A former Maryknoll School girls volleyball assistant coach pleaded not guilty in state court yesterday to charges that he had sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Darin Yoshinaka, 28, pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree sexual assault and seven counts of third-degree sexual assault.
He is scheduled to stand trial on the charges April 7.
Prosecutors aim to revoke bail
City prosecutors are seeking to keep the defendants in two recent high-profile cases behind bars without the opportunity for bail pending their trials.
Matthew Higa and Alapeti Tunoa Jr. remain in custody at Oahu Community Correctional Center, unable to post $1 million bail.
Prosecutors were scheduled to ask Circuit Judge Randy Lee this afternoon to revoke bail for Tunoa.
They are scheduled to ask Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario tomorrow to revoke bail for Higa.
Tunoa is facing charges of second-degree murder, assault, property damage, terroristic threatening and firearm possession. Police said Tunoa rammed a sport utility vehicle into his ex-girlfriend's car Jan. 16, dragged her out of her car, fatally beat her with a shotgun and beat a bystander who tried to intervene.
Higa, 23, is facing a second-degree murder charge for throwing 23-month-old Cyrus Belt off a pedestrian overpass onto H-1 freeway Jan. 17.
Trials for both men are scheduled to begin March 31.
Transit panel to meet Feb. 15
The panel of experts selecting the technology for the city's $5 billion fixed-guideway system is scheduled to meet in Honolulu in closed meetings beginning Feb. 15.
Four members of the panel, selected by the city administration and City Council, had several teleconferences last week and agreed to meet over Presidents Day weekend, according to Panos Prevedouros, a panelist and a University of Hawaii engineering professor. They could have a decision as early as Feb. 18.
The panel also selected its fifth member, Ron Tober, former general manager of rail transit operating authorities in Cleveland, Seattle and Charlotte, N.C.
He will join Ken Knight, Washington, D.C., Metro system; Henry Kolesar, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District; Steven Barsony, retired Federal Transit Administration official; and Prevedouros, a vocal opponent of the mayor's desire for rail.
Meanwhile, the state Office of Information Practices is determining whether the panel is subject to the state's Sunshine Law to keep these meetings open.
Kathy Takase, OIP staff attorney, said the staff is expected to meet with city attorneys today.
The city is arguing that the panel will be discussing proprietary information and the panel was created by resolution, so is not explicitly covered by the Sunshine Law.
Lingle releases $10.9M for gym
HILO » Gov. Linda Lingle has released $10.9 million for the construction of a new gymnasium at Hilo High School, she announced. The present gymnasium was built in 1937 and is considered undersized in comparison with modern standards.
Construction is expected to begin in January 2009 and to conclude in March 2010. Design work valued at $1.1 million is already under way.
Police, Fire, Courts
Maui woman dies after truck crashes
WAILUKU » A 44-year-old Maui woman died after her pickup truck crashed on Haleakala Highway.
Roselle Kalalau, of Wailuku, was driving toward Kahului near Keahua Junction at 12:57 a.m. Sunday when she drove off the right shoulder of the highway, hit a concrete barrier, deflected back onto the highway, and went into the oncoming lane, Maui traffic investigator Duke Pua said.
The truck then hit a guardrail and vaulted into a sugar cane irrigation ditch, he said.
Kalalau was thrown from the truck, he said.
Pua said Kalalau, who was not wearing her seat belt, suffered critical injuries and was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where she died.
Kalalau was the second traffic fatality in Maui County this year, compared with two for the same period last year.
2 hospitalized after Hauula crash
A single-car crash in Hauula left a Kaneohe man in critical condition last night.
Police said the driver was initially transported to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition but was downgraded to critical at about 7:30 p.m.
A passenger was in serious condition at Queen's after the 5:05 p.m. accident involving a white two-door Nissan sedan.
Police traffic investigators from Vehicular Homicide Section were later sent to the scene at 53-065 Kamehameha Highway after the man's condition worsened. Police again contraflowed traffic, this time to allow police to investigate.
Police had initially contraflowed traffic around the accident scene before the car was towed.