POSTED: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Man sentenced for drug trafficking

HILO » A 28-year-old Big Island man has been sentenced to 46 years in prison for trafficking crystal methamphetamine.

In sentencing Darren Ching on Monday, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Strance said he must serve a minimum of six years behind bars.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dale Yamada Ross had asked for an eight-year minimum, while defense attorney John Olson had asked for two years.

Ching pleaded guilty Feb. 1 to reduced charges of first-degree methamphetamine trafficking, first-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, second-degree theft and second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

Ching and his wife, Cherlynne, were initially indicted on two dozen felony and misdemeanor charges. She was sentenced March 22 to two years in prison and 16 years' probation.


Marine found dead in barracks room

Marine Corps Base Hawaii says investigators are looking into the death of a Marine on base.

The Marine Corps said in a news release that military police responded to a call for help at a barracks room early yesterday morning.

Two Marines were checking the man's vital signs and said he wasn't breathing when the police arrived.

The police gave the Marine cardiopulmonary resuscitation but weren't able to revive him. The Marine was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is probing the circumstances of the death.

The Marines didn't release any information about the man, including his age. Calls to Marine Corps Base Hawaii public affairs weren't immediately returned.


Family Festival draws record crowd

Organizers of the fifth annual Honolulu Family Festival at Magic Island say the event drew a record 70,000 people over four days.

The attendance at the inaugural festival in 2006 was more than 65,000.

The festival that opened Thursday and closed Sunday featured rides, food booths, live entertainment and games.

Some of the proceeds from the festival go toward the refurbishment of Ala Moana Beach Park.



Molokai man dies after truck crashes

A 24-year-old Molokai man died of injuries from a pickup truck crash off Kamehameha V Highway near the Molokai Shores condominium.

Scott K. Furtado Jr. of Kualapuu was heading west when the pickup truck he was driving went off the roadway onto the right shoulder and struck a signpost, police said.

Police said the pickup returned to the westbound lane, crossed over the road onto the left shoulder and struck another signpost, a fire hydrant, a fence post, overturned, and struck a maintenance shed at Molokai Shores.

Furtado, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and then pinned under it, police said. Police said alcohol might have been a contributing factor in the crash.

His death was Maui County's fourth fatality this year, compared to six last year.