Ex-care home owners convicted
A Hawaii couple who kept a former care home patient as a client after closing their business have been ordered to pay more than $8,000 and perform community service after being charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor tax violations.
Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto sentenced Anita Gabriel April 9 to 100 hours of community service and ordered her to pay a $2,500 fine and court fees, according to the state Department of Taxation.
Her husband, Avelino, was ordered to pay $1,000 in fines and perform 100 hours of community service.
They also need to pay $5,353 in restitution.
The couple closed their care home in 2003 but continued to see a former patient without a valid license, the Tax Department said in a news release. They also failed to report the additional income on their tax returns for 2004 and 2005 and did not file general excise tax returns for the same years, it said.
They pleaded no contest to two felony counts of false and fraudulent statements, two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file their annual general excise returns and one count of willful failure to secure a license.
City to spruce up housing for sale
The city will spend about $1.4 million to replace the roofing of a Kaneohe affordable-housing complex to beautify the aging buildings before selling them.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann said the city has not properly invested in the Kulana Nani Apartments, a 160-unit housing complex, located at 46-229 Kahuhipa St. in Kaneohe.
"That's why we're committing money to bring the aging buildings up to snuff and make them attractive should we succeed in finding a buyer who will not only maintain this property but keep the housing affordable," Hannemann said Tuesday in a news release.
Construction will be done in two phases. The first phase, which is scheduled to start in mid-June and will take about two months to complete, includes replacing the roofs for three buildings -- D, F and G -- and the laundry rooms at a cost of $568,000 by Allied Pacific Builders.
The second phase involves similar work for the remaining buildings at an estimated cost of $900,000 with bidding to begin in May. The city expects the construction to start in December.
The city reached an agreement earlier this year with Kamehameha Schools that will allow them to own the property of Kulana Nani. This will allow the city to follow its plans to sell or lease the first of its dozen affordable-housing properties.
STAR-BULLETIN / APRIL 2007
Stuffed animals are collected annually by Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii for their Teddy Bear Roundup. This year's collection will be held April 26 at the Ward Warehouse stage.
Toys wanted for abused children
Bring a new or gently used teddy bear to help prevent child abuse from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 at the 11th Annual Teddy Bear Roundup and Family Resource Fair.
Costume characters Winnie the Pooh, Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird and Sylvester will collect teddy bears and other stuffed animals at the Ward Warehouse stage area.
In observation of Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, the fair is being sponsored by Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii and the Child Abuse Prevention Planning Council.
"Our goal this year is to collect 4,300 teddy bears -- the same number of reports of child abuse in our islands last year," said Elsie Foster, event chairwoman. "We will distribute the bears on all islands to family shelters, children's hospitals and other organizations that help families and children in crisis."
The first 500 families that make a donation will receive a gift and child safety information.
Providing entertainment will be Ukulele Essence with Bruce Shimabukuro, the Kauwe Boys and Maggie Silva-Purcell's Tahitian Review.
The annual fair is the highlight of the monthlong series of events funded by the state Department of Health. According to a release, 40,000 to 50,000 children might be abused or neglected each year in the state, with only 10 percent reported to the state Child Welfare Services.
For more information call Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii at 951-0200.
Police, Fire, Courts
Body discovered in torched van
Kauai firefighters and police from the Waimea station discovered a badly burned body in a van yesterday while responding to call about a brush fire at the Russian Fort.
Upon arrival they discovered the van engulfed by flames. After the fire was extinguished at 7:10 a.m., firefighters and police checked the van and saw the remains of a person.
Due to the burn severity, police were not immediately able to determine the victim's gender.
Based on the initial investigation, police said there is no reason to believe that foul play was involved.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.
Police are continuing their investigation of the incident.
Puna man faces robbery charges
An 18-year-old Puna man was charged in the Nov. 24 home invasion robbery at a Hawaiian Acres home in which three men were abducted and a girl was sexually assaulted.
Hilo detectives charged Ama H. Salas late Monday afternoon with first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, unauthorized control of a vehicle, four counts of unlawful imprisonment and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Bail was set at $100,000.
Salas is scheduled to appear in court today.
The victims reported three to five male suspects brandishing firearms entered the Puna home the evening of Nov. 24 and demanded specific property from them, police said. When they did not produce the property, the suspects allegedly forced them outside and into a victim's car, police said.
A suspect drove them around the neighborhood for a short time, then the girl reported being taken out of the car and sexually assaulted by one of the other suspects, police said. Meanwhile, the three victims continued to be driven around and were eventually released.
Woman says suspect had gun
Police are looking for an unknown suspect who entered a Honolulu business with a handgun.
The suspect fled before police arrived.
The woman who owns the business told police that the suspect, armed with a handgun, entered her business at about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday and demanded money.
No one was injured.