Newswatch


By Star-Bulletin Staff

Saturday, August 30, 1997



Marines may yet use Makua Beach
for training in the future

The debate over military amphibious landings at Makua Beach may be renewed in six months when another group of Marines stops in Oahu for training.

Adm. Joseph W. Prueher, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, Friday moved a planned Sept. 4 amphibious landing at Makua Beach to Bellows Air Force Station, saying the move would balance community concerns with military training requirements.

“This decision does not rule out future use of Makua Beach for amphibious operations,” said Air Force Col. Thomas J. Boyd, spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command.

“We will, for consideration of future operations, work with community leaders and state officials in assessing the cultural, religious and environmental concerns that the community has brought up.”

Boyd said Marine Expeditionary Units deployed to locations such as the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf are switched every six months, with Marines routinely stopping in Hawaii for refresher training. Brig. Gen. “Chip” Parker of Marine Forces Pacific said these units are key to ensuring peace worldwide and have saved lives.

Prueher said his meeting Wednesday with Waianae residents and Gov. Ben Cayetano convinced him further study is needed before any large-scale amphibious operation at Makua.

Health exec admits
to laundering

Former health care executive and consultant Henry “Hank” Blakley has admitted being part of a conspiracy between 1993 and 1995 to launder drug proceeds into a company he headed along with former state House Speaker Daniel Kihano.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marshall Silverberg said Blakley took the drug funds while desperately trying to salvage the bid by Hale Nani Partners to build a proposed $5 million outpatient surgery center on Maui.

Kihano has not been charged with any role in the conspiracy but was indicted last year on unrelated federal charges of mail and wire fraud, money laundering, filing a false tax return and obstruction of justice, stemming from an alleged misuse of campaign funds while serving in the Legislature.

Silverberg told the court most of the drug funds came from John “Hollywood John” Bowley, who was later convicted of supplying drugs to a network headed by Frank Moon.

Blakley had been scheduled to begin trial on the charges in less than two weeks and decided to plead guilty just a few days ago, Silverberg said.

Blakley entered guilty pleas before U.S. District Judge David Ezra Friday to one count of conspiracy and four counts of money laundering. Blakley agreed to forfeit his interest in the project, including all stock in the company, any outstanding compensation, and any remaining portion of the $410,000 in drug proceeds that he received.

One dead, three hurt
in crash on H-1

One person was killed and three others injured Friday night when the sports utility vehicle they were in struck a guardrail, flipped over and skidded about 800 feet on the H-1 freeway near the Waikele offramp.

Three of the four people, including a young woman who was pronounced dead at the scene, were ejected from the vehicle at different locations as it skidded along the roadway on its roof.

An 18-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy were taken to Queen’s Hospital where the girl was in critical condition. The boy was in fair condition.

Another boy, 17, was treated for injuries at St. Francis-West Hospital and released.

Speed appears to be a contributing factor, says police vehicular homicide investigator Sgt. James Addison.

The accident was reported at 6:27 p.m. and closed a section of the H-1 freeway to eastbound traffic from the Kunia on-ramp for several hours.



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