Nonprofit's embezzler eludes jail
WAILUKU » The former executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui could have his felony theft record cleared if he abides by the terms of court requirements for five years.
Maui Circuit Judge Joel August decided to impose 300 hours of community service but no prison time on Jeffrey R. Arnold for embezzling more than $46,000 from his former nonprofit group.
August, noting Arnold had no prior convictions, went with the recommendation of the county prosecutor's office based on a plea agreement with Arnold.
Arnold pleaded no contest to second-degree theft in exchange for the prosecutor making the recommendation and also reducing an initial first-degree theft charge.
Arnold, 45, who lives in California, repaid the agency $46,769.
Arnold was lent the repayment money by relatives and will have to repay the loan to them.
Aerosmith suit is now class action
WAILUKU » Maui Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza granted class-action status for Hawaii fans who sued Aerosmith over last year's canceled concert on Maui.
This increases the potential damages Aerosmith would have to pay if it loses the lawsuit.
Would-be concertgoers sued in October after alleging the rock group canceled a sold-out Maui show on Sept. 29 in favor of "a lucrative private concert for Toyota car dealers."
The lawsuit says the cancellation cost ticket buyers as a group between $500,000 and $3 million in travel costs, fees and other costs.
The suit says fans were refunded only the price of tickets.
Aerosmith attorney Jay Handlin calls the claims "meritless" and asked Cardoza earlier this year to dismiss the case.
Calendar blamed for revenue dip
The state collected $367 million in general fund revenue in July, a decrease of about $31 million, or 7.8 percent, from the same month last year.
The Department of Taxation said yesterday that the decrease primarily resulted from a $39 million drop in general excise and use taxes. Officials explained that June 30, 2007, fell on a Sunday, and taxes normally due that day were paid instead on July 1, 2007.
Transit accommodations tax collections decreased by $500,000, for the same reason.
Officials say general fund deposits from corporate income tax dropped by $1 million while net individual income tax increased close to $13 million, or 11.7 percent, mainly due to a 13 percent increase in withholding on wages.
Pro-pot measure gets on ballot
Hawaii County residents will vote on whether to make private, adult use of marijuana on one's own property the lowest priority for police enforcement.
Project Peaceful Sky Director Adam Lehman has received approval from councilmembers to certify his petition for the ballot, even though it failed to get enough signatures.
Councilman Bob Jacobson, who introduced the resolution to certify the petition, said he had heard of many others who supported the initiative but did not sign it in fear of getting into trouble at work.
Councilmembers were split 5-4 to certify the petition. They unanimously voted against making the petition's proposed ordinance into law.
Police, Fire, Courts
Murder charge filed in Kona
Authorities charged a 60-year-old Kona man last night with Tuesday's killing of 57-year-old Victoria Vickers.
James Abernethy is being held in lieu of $120,000 bail on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree assault.
Abernethy allegedly fatally stabbed Vickers and injured a 61-year-old woman who lived in the same household in South Kona.
Police hunt armed robber
Police were looking for a man who robbed another man at gunpoint in Waikiki early today.
Police said that at about 1 a.m., the suspect approached the victim as he was walking along the street, displayed a handgun and demanded money.
The victim gave the suspect money and the suspect fled on foot, police said.
Police did not provide further details, including a description of the suspect.
Electrical outlet sparks blaze
A Waipio Acres apartment fire was ruled as accidental by a fire investigator.
The fire at Waipiolani Apartments at 95-023 Waihau St. Monday was caused by a malfunction in an electrical receptacle in the living room wall, fire officials said.
Damage was estimated at $90,000 to the structure and contents.
One resident who was at home made it out safely, fire officials said.
Man accused of stealing chain
Police arrested a 21-year-old man Tuesday who allegedly robbed another man of his chain.
Police said the suspect assaulted the other man, 25, in Kailua at about 2:25 p.m., stole his chain and fled.
Teasing leads to gun threat
Police arrested an 18-year- old man who allegedly threatened to shoot a teenage girl Wednesday.
At about 8:30 p.m. the suspect became irate with a group of girls when they began to tease him at a Kalihi home, police said.
The suspect left and returned armed with a handgun, and threatened to kill a 16-year-old girl, police said.
The suspect was found at his home later and arrested.