Hawaii Kai turn signal activated
The city activated a new left-turn signal on Keahole Street into Hawaii Kai Shopping Center on Friday afternoon.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann said Hawaii Kai residents have long asked for this signal because of the potential danger to pedestrians crossing the street.
Councilman Charles Djou, who represents the area, said he was pleased the turn signal had been installed. However, he criticized the city administration for taking too long. Djou said he had made several requests for the signal since January 2005 but was rejected because of a lack of funds.
"This process took far too long," Djou said. "The people of Oahu should understand the city wants to have the first segment of the rail system up and running in the same amount of time it took to install this one traffic turn signal light."
Hannemann said Djou repeatedly voted against the city budget, which had included projects for Djou's district.
"You cannot take credit on what you don't do," Hannemann said after the activation Friday afternoon. "He's relying on his colleagues and the administration to pass the budget. It's not good enough to put a good idea forward. You have to vote for it."
The city installed the light for $50,000, which was part of a $1.5 million federal grant.
2 indicted on tax evasion charges
Two former Hawaii psychologists have been indicted on tax evasion charges for allegedly failing to declare income of $794,000 and pay more than $182,000 in federal income tax.
A federal grand jury indicted David Opolio Ross and Lei Lavarias Ross on Thursday on five counts each of tax evasion for the tax years 1998 through 2002. Each was also indicted on a conspiracy charge and two counts of failing to file tax returns for 2001 and 2002.
The pair now live in Nevada, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo said the Rosses used business entities that they established or controlled to hide the income from the Internal Revenue Service. Those entities provided services through contracts with state and city agencies and for-profit and nonprofit organizations, according to the release.
Historic division gets new leaders
A new leadership team has been named for the troubled state Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Puaalaokalani Aiu is the division's new administrator, and Nancy McMahon is the archaeology and historic preservation manager.
McMahon has served as acting administrator since Melanie Chinen left in December.
Chinen's departure came after the number of vacancies at the division had some worried about the future of Hawaii's historic sites.
Also last year, the lead state archaeologist for Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe and the Big Island resigned. Melissa Kirkendall said problems within the division were so severe they prevented the professional staff from meeting their "ethical obligations."
Police, Fire, Courts
Man held in burglary and assault
KALAHEO, Kauai » A homeless Kauai man is being held in lieu of $1 million bail after leading police on a chase last week and nearly running over two Kauai officers, county officials said yesterday.
Manuel Andrade Jr. has been charged with burglary, attempted murder, drug possession and other charges after police tried to apprehend him after he allegedly broke into the Kauai Coffee Co. headquarters in Kalaheo.
According to police, officers responded to a burglary call at 8:26 p.m. Wednesday, and one officer, police said, tried to arrest the man, later identified as Andrade, as he left the building.
Andrade, county officials said, allegedly resisted arrest, stole a Kauai Coffee pickup truck and nearly ran over two other police officers as he fled.
He crashed a few minutes later on Kaumualii Highway in Eleele, into a guardrail near Eleele Shopping Center.
Police said he then assaulted two officers while resisting arrest at the accident scene, but a number of officers responded and were able to handcuff him.
Andrade remains in police cellblock unable to post bail and will remain there until a preliminary hearing is scheduled, county officials added.
Officers were right to fire, report finds
A preliminary report into the fatal shooting of a 38-year-old man by Maui police Friday says the actions of the officers were justifiable.
A preliminary toxicology report showed that the dead man had methamphetamine in his system.
George Brittain was inside a car in a metal warehouse in Makawao when officers tried to execute a narcotics search warrant, Maui police said in a written news release.
Brittain started the car and reversed toward the warehouse door, police said. Officers verbally commanded him to get out of the vehicle, police said.
"Police in an attempt to stop the oncoming vehicle shot at the vehicle. However, Brittain continued on as the vehicle he was driving struck the metal door, causing the door to come off its hinges and fly up into the air," the news release said.
Three officers, who were behind the door and did not see the vehicle, were hit and flew backward, police said.
Officers fired at the vehicle again as it went toward one of the officers, police said.
The officers were treated for injuries and released, police said.
Police said the vehicle was stolen March 12 from the Kahului Airport parking lot.
Police did not charge a 17-year-old girl who also was in the car.
The case remains under investigation, and findings of the shooting will be presented to the police Administrative Review Board and the Prosecutor's Office for review.
The police are seeking assistance in finding this man, who robbed American Savings Bank at 1600 Kapiolani Blvd. on Friday.
Robber at large after bank heist
Police are looking for a man who robbed the American Savings Bank at 1600 Kapiolani Blvd. on Friday.
Police said the man entered the bank at about 3:50 p.m. and handed the teller a demand note.
The man then handed the teller a second note for a withdrawal, and when she asked the man for identification, he fled on foot toward Kapiolani Boulevard.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cell phone.
2-car crash fatal for male driver, 37
The city Medical Examiner's Office identified a 37-year-old Honolulu man who died after a two-car accident yesterday morning in downtown Honolulu as Kevin James Neeson.
Police said Neeson was found unconscious and unresponsive, but with no apparent injuries, after the accident.
Neeson was driving a four-door sedan south on Aala Street at 7:57 a.m., and his car rear-ended another car, driven by a 36-year-old Honolulu woman.
Neeson's car continued south on Aala, crossed the northbound lanes onto the east curb and sidewalk, and came to a stop after hitting a parking meter and a tree.
Neeson was taken to the Queen's Medical Center in critical condition and was pronounced dead at 8:51 a.m.
Police said neither speed, alcohol nor drugs appear to have been factors in the accident.
The Medical Examiner's Office has not yet released a cause of death.
Masked gunman robs Hawaii Kai store
Police are looking for a man who robbed a Hawaii Kai store at gunpoint Sunday night while he wore a mask.
Police said the man pointed a gun at the 32-year-old female store clerk and demanded money and cigarettes.
Police said the clerk handed over all the money in the register as well as cigarettes.
The robbery occurred at 11:45 p.m. Sunday.
The man fled on foot and the clerk called police.