POSTED: Friday, May 15, 2009

Lowered flags honor officers

Gov. Linda Lingle ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff today in honor of Hawaii's law enforcement officers who have lost their lives protecting people in Hawaii.

The governor's order is in conjunction with President Barack Obama's order that all U.S. flags be flown at half-staff today to honor the nation's law enforcement officers.

This day will also be observed as “;Peace Officers Memorial Day”; across the nation. This week has been declared “;Police Week”; in Hawaii.

FBI probes prison attack that killed Hawaii man, 30

The FBI is looking into the death of a Hawaii man who was incarcerated at a federal penitentiary in Victorville, Calif.

Gregory Francis Ritter, 30, died yesterday at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, Calif., prison executive assistant Charles Ringwood said.

Ritter was sent to the prison on Oct. 6 and was serving a 33-month sentence after he was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, Ringwood said.

He was due to be released on Sept. 15, 2010.

Ringwood said Ritter suffered injuries inflicted by another inmate or inmates at about 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Since the attack, the prison has been in lockdown, limiting the movement of some 1,500 inmates.

Ritter was among felons imprisoned under Project Safe Neighborhoods, which removes hardened “;predators”; from the streets, federal officials said.

He had 60 prior arrests and 17 convictions.

He was arrested March 9, 2008, for alleged auto theft and was found with a .45-caliber revolver, 25 rounds of ammunition and suspected crystal methamphetamine, federal officials said.

Retired sergeant accused in bribe case is grounded

A retired Schofield Barracks master sergeant accused of taking $11,000 in bribes to direct Army supply contracts to a Turkish businessman will not head back to Afghanistan for work.

Ronald Joseph Radcliffe had planned to return to his job with defense contractor KBR before his trial on charges of mail and wire fraud, bribery and money laundering.

The federal government appealed yesterday a magistrate judge's order allowing Radcliffe to travel overseas because it would be hard to bring him back.

Defense attorney Myles Breiner told U.S. District Judge David Ezra that KBR fired his client because it did not want any negative publicity. Ezra limited Radcliffe's travel to Hawaii and his home state of Tennessee.

Neighbor island watch

KOKEE » The state will begin work Monday to improve a three-quarter-mile stretch of Kokee Road in Kokee State Park from near the 17-mile marker to the Hawaii Air National Guard station. The state says there will be inconveniences such as noise and lane closures. Work is scheduled for completion in November. The cost of the project is $2.6 million.

HILO » Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang will be the keynote speaker at the University of Hawaii-Hilo commencement exercises at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Edith Kanakaole Multipurpose Stadium. Among the 487 receiving diplomas is student speaker Patricia Michaels-Hausman-Walters.

WAILUKU » Individuals 60 and up whose income is $23,051 or less are eligible to receive $50 coupons from Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. beginning Monday. The coupons are to buy unprocessed fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey from MEO-certified local farmers. Residents on Maui, Lanai and Molokai can get the coupons at MEO offices but need to bring their 2008 federal tax return or appropriate income statements. For more information, call 249-2990.