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POSTED: Tuesday, October 14, 2008

10-year term for drunken attacker

HILO » A man who threw a rock through a car window while drunk, injuring a 3-year-old boy, was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison.

Patrick Luk, 28, had drunk at least 20 beers when he threw rocks at eight cars at Kilauea Avenue and Puainako Street on Dec. 9, police said.

One rock smashed a passenger window and hit the child in the face. The boy had to be taken to Oahu for treatment.

Luk told the court he was so drunk he did not know what he was doing. He asked for probation as a first offender, but Circuit Judge Glenn Hara sentenced him to 10 years for first-degree assault, eight counts of criminal property damage and resisting arrest.

Captured fugitive gets 39 years

A former fugitive on the Honolulu Police Department's 10-most-wanted list will spend the next 39 years in federal prison for drug trafficking and firearm violations.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra sentenced Silver Jose Galindo Jr., 40, to 470 months in prison last week after a jury found him guilty of two drug trafficking charges, four firearm violations and two counts of possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Galindo was one of 10 fugitives featured on the cover of MidWeek in 2004. He was arrested when he fell through the ceiling of an Ewa Beach home being searched by Honolulu police and federal law enforcement officers.

Galindo has 56 prior arrests and 13 state convictions. He was on state parole when he committed the federal crimes.

Senators discuss contract report

A special Senate investigative committee meets today to discuss a final report on a state agency's handling of a contract to manage an $8.7 million high-tech investment fund.

The report is the work of a committee formed by the Senate to investigate Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Director Ted Liu and his unilateral decision in the awarding of the contract last year.

The committee may call for a special independent counsel to conduct an investigation, based on recommendations in the report.

Liu's agency was in charge of awarding the contract to manage the fund to invest in research, development and testing of renewable-energy programs using hydrogen. The contract initially was awarded to H2 Energy LLC, even though its proposal scored the lowest on the agency's rating system of the bids.

The investigative committee was formed during the 2008 legislative session to determine whether any wrongdoing occurred in the awarding of the contract.

Liu said he erred in single-handedly selecting H2, and rescinded the award after learning of the mistake. He said decisions were made based on the agency's understanding of the state's procurement, or purchasing, law.

“;I will state definitively, neither I nor my senior staff who have been accused, knowingly or intentionally violated the procurement code,”; Liu said. “;We acted on our best-faith understanding (of the code) at that time.”;

 

Average gas prices drop below $4

The statewide average for gasoline is less than $4 for the first time in almost five months.

Today's statewide average for regular, self-serve unleaded was $3.966 a gallon, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report.

A gallon of gas in Hawaii has not been that inexpensive since May 21, when it was the same price per gallon.

Hawaii's prices have been on a slow, steady decline since reaching a record high of $4.507 on July 31. The Honolulu average dipped below $4 on Wednesday and fell to $3.870 a gallon today.

The state's average still is second highest in the country, behind Alaska's average of $4.071 a gallon. The national average was $3.163 a gallon today.