POSTED: Friday, November 06, 2009

School games accepting money for relief aid

At tonight's high school championship games, the Oahu Interscholastic Association will be taking donations for Asia-Pacific disaster relief efforts.

The OIA will be setting up donation stations at the South Gate of Aloha Stadium, according to Charles Naumu of the OIA. The money collected tonight will be delivered to the Aloha Tower Marketplace on Nov. 17 to be donated to the “;Kokua for the Pacific”; campaign.

“;Kokua for the Pacific”; is a festival, radio-thon and telethon with proceeds going to the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts in American Samoa, the Philippines and Indonesia. The Star-Bulletin and MidWeek are among the event's sponsors.

Bad check scam draws Big Isle investigation

A Big Island woman was scammed for more than $2,000 after posting an item for sale on Craigslist.org, police said yesterday.

A 29-year-old Kealakekua woman posted furniture for sale on the Internet classified advertising site. She told police that she received an offer from someone claiming to be a disabled woman from the mainland who agreed to purchase the furniture for $230. The purported purchaser said she would send a check for $2,452 and asked the seller to deposit the check in the bank, deduct $230, then send back the balance via Western Union, according to police.

The seller agreed, and after sending a check through Western Union, she learned that the original check was bogus, said police, who are investigating the case as a theft.

Police advise the public to be suspicious of anyone who offers a similar arrangement for payment.

Driver who allegedly hit officer is charged

Prosecutors charged with first-degree assault yesterday the 23-year-old driver of a stolen Dodge Durango who allegedly struck a police officer Tuesday in the drive-through of the Waikele KFC.

Jeremiah I. Lopez III was arrested on suspicion of first-degree attempted murder but was not charged with that offense. Lopez was also charged with two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, auto theft, first-degree terroristic threatening, use of a dangerous instrument, drug charges and criminal property damage. His bail was set at $200,000.

Three officers fired five rounds and hit Lopez three times in the abdomen and arm. Lopez was initially in critical condition but was later downgraded to serious. He tried to flee by allegedly ramming police vehicles in front of and behind him.

Two officers, who were trying to arrest Lopez, were standing behind the Durango, and one was pinned against a wall, police said. The two suffered injuries and were taken to a hospital where they were treated and released.

Two passengers were also charged.

Dogs blamed for killing Maui animals

WAILUKU » Officials of the Maui Coastal Land Trust's Waihee Refuge are blaming dogs for the deaths of four sheep and a 280-pound goat.

They were killed this week within a fenced area of the refuge.

Sheep owner Jay Carpio said 26 other sheep were injured in Monday's attack, and three of those animals had to be euthanized because they were badly injured.

Carpio is concerned about nearby residents, noting that if the dogs can kill a 280-pound goat, they can easily harm a child.

Scott Fisher is Maui Coastal Land Trust project manager at Waihee Refuge. He said the attack and the deaths of five to seven uau kani birds at the refuge around two weeks ago could be related.

Fisher said this is the fifth consecutive year the refuge's entire population of uau kani has been killed off.

Ex-top cop on 9/11 admits tax fraud

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. » Bernard Kerik, a former detective who rose to lead the New York Police Department through the Sept. 11, 2001, attack before his career crumbled in scandal, pleaded guilty to tax fraud and lying to White House officials in U.S. District Court here yesterday.

Under his plea bargain, which short-circuited as many as three federal trials, he was not required to plead guilty to the main corruption charges against him. Those charges will be dismissed.

The prosecution and the defense recommended that the judge sentence Kerik, who faced up to 30 years in prison on the most serious charge, to 27 to 33 months. Judge Stephen C. Robinson set sentencing for Feb. 18. Kerik was also ordered to pay restitution of $188,000.

Census worker death may be suicide

WASHINGTON » Investigators probing the death of a Kentucky census worker found hanging from a tree with the word “;fed”; scrawled on his chest increasingly doubt he was killed because of his government job and are pursuing the possibility he committed suicide, law enforcement officials said.

Two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case, said no final conclusions have been made in the case. In recent weeks, however, investigators have grown more skeptical that 51-year-old Bill Sparkman died at the hands of someone angry at the federal government.