By Star-Bulletin Staff

Monday, November 17, 1997

Woman, 33, dies in Makiki apartment fire

Richard T. Murota was watching television in his second-floor Makiki apartment Saturday night when he heard a loud explosion outside.

Peeking through his window, he saw sparks and ashes falling from near the top of his building at 1545 Nehoa St.

"I realized our building was on fire," he said. "Then somebody yelled to get out."

Fire officials today are still investigating the cause of a blaze that killed a 33-year-old woman, who was renting a ninth-floor unit at the Agna Roa condominium on Nehoa Street.

Officials said earlier reports that a 65-year-old woman had died were wrong.

The fire, reported around 8:20 p.m. and extinguished about 40 minutes later, occurred exactly one month after a house fire in Palolo killed seven people.

USS Missouri museum opens in January '99

The proposed USS Missouri Memorial Museum at Pearl Harbor will cover the U.S. entry into World War II to the signing of the documents on the decks of the historic battleship that ended the war with Japan.

Under the preliminary master plan unveiled by the USS Missouri Memorial Association today, the grand opening is slated for January 1999.

The battleship is expected to arrive in Pearl Harbor in May from Bremerton, Wash.

It will be temporarily docked at Ford Island at pier F-5 for three years before moving to a permanent site.

The association is expected to launch a nationwide $25 million fund-raising campaign to develop the battleship's permanent memorial.

Mother pleads not guilty in 3-month-old's death

Renee Beth Smith, a 20-year-old military wife, pleaded not guilty this morning in federal court to a first-degree murder charge that makes her eligible for the death penalty.

U.S. Magistrate Francis Yamashita set Jan. 6 for Smith's trial, in which prosecutors will try to prove that she acted with premeditation on Sept. 22 when she allegedly smothered her 3-month-old girl, Shiann.

But Yamashita denied a government motion to obtain a sample of Smith's handwriting today to allow time for a mainland attorney to argue her case. He reset the hearing to Dec. 1.

Federal Public Defender Peter Wolff said Kevin McNally, a death-penalty expert from Kentucky, would serve as lead attorney.

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
See our [Info] section for subscription information.


By Star-Bulletin staff

Driver held in tire-iron attack

Police arrested a Waipahu man for allegedly hitting an Ewa Beach man with a tire iron yesterday.

An argument broke out between the suspect, 38, and victim, 47, while driving in separate cars on the H-1 freeway at 5 p.m., police said. The drivers pulled to the side of the freeway near the Moanalua Road overpass and confronted each other.

The suspect then allegedly struck the victim in the head with a tire iron.

Moving company owner latest nab in ewa inquiry

A 55-year-old man who owns a moving company was arrested Friday in connection with the Ewa Villages investigation into the theft of city funds.

The man, an Ewa Beach resident, was later released pending further investigation.

A total of 12 people have been arrested in connection with the investigation, which focuses on allegations that the city was charged highly inflated fees for relocating businesses. In some cases, the businesses were not moved, although fees were charged to the city.

"We expect more arrests; this is just the beginning," said Lt. Daniel Hanagami of the police white collar crime detail.

"Further documents need to be reviewed before for more enforcement action is initiated."

Two men, woman await charge in hotel burglary

Charges are pending against two men and a woman arrested yesterday at a Kuhio Avenue hotel in Waikiki after police recovered stolen property in their rented seventh-floor room.

A 31-year-old man allegedly used a master key to enter an eighth-floor room where property belonging to visiting couple was stolen from a safe.

The suspect later returned to the same room but was confronted by one of the guests. He excused himself, but hotel security tracked him to a seventh-floor room.

Police obtained consent to search the suspect's room and recovered property. A 35-year-old woman and man, 32, who were in the room with the suspect were also arrested for first-degree burglary.

In other news ...

Man, 26, held in alleged extortion for dance hall

Search for German visitor ends on good note

Alleged assault case of teen girl investigated

Honolulu police officers hail five colleagues

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
See our [Info] section for subscription information.

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Community]
[Info] [Letter to Editor] [Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1997 Honolulu Star-Bulletin