2 more schools hit benchmarks
Two more public schools have met federal progress benchmarks after a review of annual tests results, according to the state Department of Education.
Niu Valley Middle School on Oahu and Kealakehe High School on the Big Island are among 184 schools out of 282, or 65 percent, that met so-called Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Law for the 2006-07 school year.
That's up from 100 schools, or 35.5 percent, that reached AYP in the 2005-06 school year.
Illegal gambling operator free
The man who pleaded guilty Monday to operating an illegal gambling operation that was the center of a conflict between two rival security factions is no longer in custody.
U.S District Judge Susan Oki Mollway ordered Kai Ming Wang, 42, released pending sentencing on May 27 for conspiracy to operate an illegal enterprise.
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Wang will probably get a sentence of between two and three years, said attorney William Harrison. He has been in federal custody since his arrest on Feb. 21, 2006.
Wang also faces deportation. He is a Chinese national who has been in the United States since 1994.
A fight over who would provide security for Wang's illegal gambling operation led to the January 2004 daylight shooting in the Pali Golf Course parking lot, which killed two men.
Police, Fire, Courts
GARY T. KUBOTA / GKUBOTA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Maui police investigators were looking into the death of a man whose body was found floating near shore close to Launiupoko Beach Park in west Maui yesterday.
Body found off beach on Maui
LAHAINA » Police detectives were investigating the cause of death of a man whose body was found floating near a popular recreational beach in west Maui.
A passerby notified police about the body floating near shore about 50 yards south of Launiupoko Beach Park yesterday evening, police Capt. Milton Matsuoka said.
Matsuoka said it was too early to determine the cause of death.
"We're not really sure," Matsuoka said. "We're not ruling out anything."
Matsuoka said it didn't appear that the man went swimming.
Matsuoka said the man appeared to have some minor injuries and investigators were still trying to determine if the injuries occurred while the body was in the ocean.
The dark-haired man was wearing pants, belt, and a T-shirt when his body was examined by police close to 6 p.m. after being pulled from the water.
The body was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where an autopsy is expected to be performed.
Matsuoka said a car found nearby was believed to belong to the man.
He said police have some idea about the man's identity but wouldn't know for sure until the body was identified by family.
The investigation beside the two-lane Honoapiilani Highway caused rush-hour traffic to slow to a crawl for miles in and out of Lahaina.
Crew airlifts sailor to hospital
A Coast Guard helicopter crew airlifted a 25-year-old sick crewman to a Honolulu hospital from a container ship about 80 miles north of Oahu yesterday morning.
The man was picked up about 10 a.m. yesterday and taken to the Queen's Medical Center.
The Coast Guard said the call for help came from the 789-foot motor vessel CMA CGM Purple, operated by the CMA CGM shipping company, at 11:45 a.m. Monday. The ship's captain had contacted the Coast Guard when the vessel was about 600 miles from Oahu.
A Coast Guard flight surgeon recommended the ship's crew members tend to the ill crewman while they awaited the Coast Guard's arrival.
Kaneohe man, 79, found in ditch
Police found a missing 79-year-old Kaneohe man yesterday in a ditch in Kaneohe.
Raymond Kauhane, who suffers from dementia, was taken in serious condition to Castle Medical Center, said spokesman Bryan Cheplic of the Emergency Services Department.
CrimeStoppers had issued a bulletin yesterday. Before he was found, Kauhane was last seen about 2:30 p.m. Sunday on Heeia Street in Kaneohe, according to police.
Mo-ped crash injures 19-year-old
A 19-year-old Waikiki man was in critical condition after his mo-ped crashed early yesterday.
Police said that at about 1:05 a.m., the victim was making a left turn from Kalakaua Avenue to the mauka bound lanes of Seaside Avenue on a 1988 black Yamaha mo-ped.
The driver veered right off the road, striking a curb and a tree and was thrown from the mo-ped, police said. He was not wearing a helmet.
He was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition.
Suspect escapes, deemed dangerous
Police are searching for a 41-year-old man considered dangerous who escaped from the Wahiawa Police Station yesterday.
Tobias Debardeleben was arrested on suspicion of robbery.
While waiting to be booked, Debardeleben somehow slipped away from police custody.
Debardeleben has previous burglary and domestic violence convictions and has served time on the mainland, police said.
He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Debardeleben has several tattoos - one on his neck that says "LUCIFER," another on his left palm that says "BONES," and a skeleton on his left rib cage.
He is known to frequent Haleiwa and Kalihi.
He may be wearing a red shirt, tan long pants and black Airwalk shoes, police said.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911 immediately.
A police Internal Affairs investigation has been opened into the escape.
Police seek clues in bank robbery
Police are asking for the public's help in finding and identifying a man who robbed the Pearlridge branch of American Savings Bank.
Police said the man entered the bank at about 4:50 p.m. Feb. 5 and demanded money from the teller. He then fled on foot towards Toys R Us, police said.
Police have additional security camera photos of the suspect taken outside the bank. A second man, who was seen with the suspect, is wanted for questioning.
Police said the suspect is in his 20s, is 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs about 160 to 170 pounds, and was wearing a black hooded long-sleeved sweatshirt and black long pants. Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
Authorities ID man found dead in park
A 47-year-old homeless man found dead at Hofgaard Park in Waimea, Kauai, was identified as Kenneth Sampson, a Kauai County spokeswoman said.
A passerby found Sampson unresponsive under a picnic bench. Police said there were not visible signs of injury.
Suspect arrested in store robbery
Police arrested a 41-year-old man suspected of robbing a Haleiwa store Monday.
At about 1:34 p.m. the suspect entered a Haleiwa retail store and allegedly walked out with merchandise he didn't pay for.
Police said the suspect punched the store manager after he asked him to return the merchandise. Police arrested the suspect on suspicion of second-degree robbery.
Woman arrested after teens robbed
Police arrested an 18-year-old Kaneohe woman who allegedly robbed two girls, both age 14, at 11:30 p.m. Sunday at a Salt Lake bus stop.
Police said the woman stole a purse from one of the girls and punched her. Police said the woman then demanded property from the second girl.
When the girl failed to respond, the woman searched her and took keys from her pocket and punched her, police said. The woman then fled in a vehicle. Police found the vehicle and arrested the woman on Mapunapuna Street about 2 a.m. Monday for investigation of two counts of second-degree robbery.