Former CIA agent heads to Kauai
PUHI, Kauai » Former Central Intelligence Agency agent Valerie Plame Wilson and her husband, Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador, will be on Kauai this weekend and will attend a Democratic fundraiser.
From 4 to 6 p.m. tomorrow at Gaylord's at Kilohana, Plame Wilson will be answering questions, taking photos and signing her book, "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House."
Plame Wilson, a former undercover CIA agent, was publicly identified in July 2003 after her husband wrote an editorial criticizing the decision to invade Iraq.
Tickets are $100 and available by calling Steven Nishimura at (808) 652-1939, Bernie Sakoda at (808) 635-2714, or Tassie Agena at (808) 652-3600.
"There was so much information that we can learn from these people," said Sakoda. "We're really excited."
Funds raised at the event will be used to support the Kauai Democratic Party candidates in the upcoming election.
Hawaii Tribune-Herald settles
HILO » A settlement has been reached in a case brought by the National Labor Relations Board against the Hawaii Tribune-Herald for alleged failure to bargain in good faith on a new employee contract.
The old contract was set to expire in February 2002 but has been extended several times. The last employee pay raise was 1 percent in January 2002, said Hawaii Newspaper Guild head Wayne Cahill.
Under the settlement approved Monday, Stephens Media LLC, which owns the Tribune-Herald, agreed to post a statement saying, "We will not refuse to bargain collectively and in good faith. ... "
In a letter to employees, publisher Ted Dixon said the company wants to devote its time toward reaching a new collective-bargaining agreement.
The next round of negotiations is set for April 15-17.
In a separate National Labor Relations Board case, a federal judge ruled earlier this month that the Tribune-Herald acted illegally when it fired two employees and disciplined two others. The company said it would appeal.
Maui MIT student will go to trial
BOSTON » A judge refused yesterday to dismiss a charge against an MIT student from Maui who created a bomb scare at Logan International Airport by wearing a blinking circuit board attached to her shirt.
Star Simpson, a 19-year-old electrical engineering and computer science student, was held at gunpoint and arrested by state troopers in September after airport security personnel became alarmed by the battery-powered device on her shirt.
Simpson's lawyer, Thomas Dwyer Jr., asked a judge last month to throw out a charge of possessing a hoax device, arguing that state law does not clearly define what a hoax device is. Dwyer also said Simpson had a First Amendment right to express herself by wearing the shirt.
But East Boston District Court Judge Paul Mahoney refused to dismiss the charge and set a May 23 trial date. The judge also merged the constitutional question with the criminal issue, Dwyer said.
Simpson, of Lahaina, will likely testify in her own defense, Dwyer said.
"There is no evidence of criminal intent," he said. "We're fairly confident of what the outcome will be."
Simpson did not talk in court or to reporters after the hearing.
Police, Fire, Courts
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Honolulu Fire Department hazardous materials crew members prepared yesterday to investigate a suspicious powder found in a letter delivered to the federal courthouse.
Powder in mail empties court
About 100 employees were evacuated from the federal courthouse yesterday after a clerk opened an envelope containing a white powdery substance about 2:30 p.m. on the third floor, a fire official said.
The envelope also contained a letter with threatening remarks, said Honolulu Fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
Firefighters conducted a preliminary field test and found the substance to be a sugar-based product. Employees were then allowed back into the building.
Sue Beitia, U.S. District Court Clerk, said the envelope came from a prisoner in Pennsylvania.
An FBI spokesman said the agency will open a case to investigate the incident.
Teen slightly hurt in fall during hike
Firefighters rescued a 15-year-old visitor from the mainland yesterday after he fell about 15 feet at Bamboo Ridge near the Halona Blowhole.
Shortly after noon, the boy was hiking with his mother when he fell, sustaining scrapes and scratches, but never losing consciousness, said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig.
A Hawaii Kai fire rescue crew walked down to the boy and carried him out, Seelig said. He was transferred to paramedics about 12:25 p.m.
Man's arrest leads to hepatitis testing
A 37-year-old man was arrested Thursday for claiming to have hepatitis and allegedly spitting on a woman and a police officer.
About 10 p.m. Thursday, the suspect was arguing with other tenants at a Waianae housing project on 87-205 Helelua St. A 38-year-old woman and a 51-year-old man attempted to quell the argument.
Police said the suspect allegedly head-butted and punched the older man in the face. The suspect also allegedly spit on the woman, saying that he had hepatitis.
Responding officers initially arrested him on suspicion of third-degree assault. While being transported, the suspect allegedly spat in the driving officer's face, again saying he had hepatitis.
All complainants sought medical treatment and were released from a nearby medical facility. It is not yet certain whether the officer or woman contracted hepatitis. The suspect was also booked on two counts of attempted first-degree assault.
Traffic stop yields robbery suspects
Police arrested three people and are seeking another in connection with the robbery of a 51-year-old woman sitting at a Waianae bus stop.
At about 11:52 p.m. Wednesday, the woman was sitting at a bus stop with her purse beside her. Four males in a red Honda car pulled up.
Police said a 24-year-old man got out and allegedly punched the woman in the back of a head and took her purse before fleeing in the vehicle.
A patrol officer stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation, and the 24-year-old fled on foot. The woman's purse was found inside the car, and the remaining three suspects -- a 23-year-old man and two boys aged 17 -- were arrested on suspicion of second-degree robbery.
Man sought in brutal attack
He is wanted in connection with an attack on a 79-year-old woman
Police are looking for a 29-year-old man who is wanted for questioning in connection with a brazen burglary and car theft in Mililani earlier this month.
Keo Aiwohi, known to frequent west Oahu areas, is also wanted for four felony contempt warrants totaling $44,000, police said.
Aiwohi is 6 feet tall, 220 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes.
Police said two men ransacked the home of 79-year-old Yaeko Matsumoto on March 7, held her in her bathroom and stole several items, including a portable safe and her 2003 Cadillac.
Matsumoto sustained broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the attack. Her husband, former City Councilman Toraki Matsumoto, 78, was not home when the robbery happened.
Police found the Cadillac abandoned on Loaa Street.
An Oahu grand jury indicted one of the men in connection with the incident on Wednesday. Matthew Ako III faces charges of first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary and unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME from a cellular phone.
Officers seek women's assailant
Police are looking for a man who allegedly assaulted a 41-year-old woman.
About 5:15 p.m. Thursday, the woman was walking alone in the Nuuanu area when she was accosted by an unknown man who allegedly pinned her down and struck her.
Nearby witnesses intervened and the man escaped. The woman suffered only minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene. Police are still searching for the suspect.
Police investigate fatality in car
A 60-year-old man might have died from a medical condition after crashing his vehicle in Moanalua Valley yesterday, police said.
At 2:58 a.m., the Moanalua Valley man was driving a 2000 Honda CRV south on Ala Aolani Street near Ala Aoloa Loop when he crossed the center line and hit a resident's driveway wall on the opposite side of the street, police said.
The man, who was wearing his seat belt, died at the scene. Police said the man might have had a medical condition at the time of the crash. Police are investigating the case as an unattended death and not as a traffic fatality.