Newswatch

Newswatch

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Thursday, September 3, 1998

Ex-president, 2 others to quit palace board

Former Friends of Iolani Palace President Abigail Kawananakoa and two supporters are planning to resign from the board as a result of her removal as president last week.

Their departures would follow that of Director Dudley Pratt Jr., who resigned at the board's Aug. 27 meeting.

"We have not received a resignation letter from Abigail, nor have we received resignation letters from Marjorie Parker and Betty Lou Stroup," acting Friends President Elia Long Sr. said today.

"However, we have verbal indications that they will be sending letters in, especially from Maggie Parker and Betty Lou Stroup," he said.

Kawananakoa and the other women could not be reached for comment this morning.

The next board meeting will be Sept. 24. The 30-member board of directors is governed by its six-member Executive Committee, comprised of a president, three vice presidents, a treasurer and executive secretary.

After last month's meeting, board spokesman Ronald Larsen said most directors wanted to move past the controversy that erupted after Kawananakoa sat on the palace throne in April for a picture in Life magazine. Her actions upset Jim Bartels, then-palace managing director and longtime palace curator, who resigned in June because of differences with board leadership.

His departure created a rift between the board and its large volunteer staff, many of whom felt his experience invaluable to the palace.

Larsen said the board hopes Kawananakoa, 72, a Campbell Estate heiress who is a descendant of Hawaiian royalty, stays on as a director. She had served as president since 1971.

State's tobacco suit gets judge's go-ahead

The state is free to continue its lawsuit after Federal Judge Helen Gillmor recently dismissed a request from the tobacco industry for an injunction.

State Attorney General Margery Bronster said the intent of the state's lawsuit, expected to go to trial September 1999, is to protect children from the diseases associated with tobacco products and to obtain reimbursement of the money the state pays for Medicaid medical services for the poor who suffer from tobacco-related illnesses.

Rain helped prevent spread of Molokai fire

WAILUKU -- Light rains helped state firefighters to keep a blaze from spreading in a forest area that includes the Kamakou Preserve on Molokai.

"All day yesterday, we were working the boundary of the fire, just making sure nothing close to the edge was going to jump on us," said state forester Robert Hobdy this morning.

Hobdy said firefighters will be monitoring the fire again today.

He said the fire burned an estimated 643 acres, including 184 acres in the Kamakou Preserve.

Investigators have been unable to determine the fire's cause.

Truck of missing diver found in south Maui

WAILUKU -- Maui fire rescue officials have been searching for a 43-year-old diver whose truck was found yesterday along a rocky coastline in south Maui.

The Kahului resident was reported missing at 1:30 a.m. yesterday by his wife after he failed to return home from a Tuesday trip.

The truck was found near the lighthouse in Makena, and a sea-and-land search was called off at 4 p.m. yesterday because of the weather.

Coast Guard assigns marine safety teams

The Coast Guard has announced the formation of two marine safety team units to serve Maui and the Big Island.

The teams will supervise Coast Guard reservists and auxiliary members on those islands and provide services such as pollution response, small passenger vessel inspections, fishing vessel safety exams and public education.

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Police, Fire, Courts

Police/Fire

By Star-Bulletin staff

Woman kidnapped, her car is torched

A 23-year-old woman last night told police she was carjacked at gunpoint and then kidnapped in Haleiwa while three men burned her car.

Police said the woman was waiting to make a left turn southbound at a traffic signal at Kamehameha Highway and Helemano Road at 10 p.m. when she was approached by two men on foot and a third man following in a pickup.

Police said the suspects allegedly pointed a gun to the woman's head and drove her to a nearby road. The men then torched the car while the victim stood by, causing her to receive second-degree burns, police said.

The woman was taken to Straub Hospital for treatment and kept overnight for observation. An investigation continues. Police said the suspects face kidnapping and first-degree robbery charges.

In other news...

Bullet Police are investigating a complaint that a 52-year-old Pauoa man sexually assaulted a 28-year-old man yesterday in Waikiki. Police said around 7 p.m. the suspect, who lives on Kanealii Avenue, allegedly had sex with the younger man, whom police describe as mentally disabled, at an Ohua Avenue address. The police were notified and later arrested the suspect after he was positively identified by the victim.

Bullet A 17-year-old boy faces charges of sexual assault after he alleged assaulted a 16-year-old girl last month at her Kalihi Home. The victim reported the incident to police on Aug. 18, a day after she said the male acquaintance entered her Kalihi home at 3 a.m. and assaulted her.

Bullet Police said a juvenile female was sexually assaulted by a juvenile male neighbor between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. yesterday in Makiki. Police said the girl was playing outside her Pensacola Street home when the suspect allegedly assaulted her.

Bullet Maui police arrested a 19-year-old Kula man Tuesday for the Aug. 25 robbery of Bank of Hawaii's Maui Marketplace branch. Gabriel Rio Ignacio was turned over yesterday to FBI agents in Honolulu.

Bullet Police and the Missing Child Center-Hawaii are trying to find Jamie Bolanos, 7, who was taken out of Mokapu Elementary yesterday. He is believed to be with his non-custodial mother. Call Detective Bert Dement, 529-3099, or Missing Child Center-Hawaii, 586-1449.


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