By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, May 12, 1999

Slight tax-revenue gain
predicted for fiscal year

Tax revenues for the first 10 months of the current fiscal year were 0.5 percent, or $12 million, ahead of the same period last year, state Tax Director Ray Kamikawa announced yesterday.

The state Council on Revenues has forecast that when the current fiscal year ends June 30, the revenue gain will be only 0.5 percent over the previous fiscal year.

Last month, tax collections were down 0.2 percent, a loss of $0.4 million, when compared with April 1998.

The figures for last month showed a 3.7 percent growth in general excise and use tax revenues, a category that represents about half of the state's general fund income and usually reflects business activity.

But for the first 10 months of the fiscal year, those revenues have increased only 0.8 percent.

In the other major category, personal income taxes, revenues were up 1.0 percent last month, 0.2 percent ahead of 1998.


Kalihi fair to
commemorate waterways

A Community Watershed Fair takes place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Dole District Park on Kamehameha IV Road.

The Kalihi Valley Watershed Project event will bring community members and various agencies together to commemorate Kalihi Stream and its tributary Kamanaiki Stream, waterways recognized as an intact and beautiful urban stream system.

A 6-foot aquarium with live stream animals and plants and a slide show on urban stream restoration will be featured.

Also, Hawaiian books on native Hawaiian species and cultural practices related to water will be displayed, along with more than 20 projects of Dole Middle School students.

The state Clean Water Program and the city Adopt-a-Stream Program will explain opportunities to volunteer for stream enhancement.

Entertainment will include dancers and musicians.

The watershed project is sponsored by Hawaii's Thousand Friends and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through the state Department of Health.


Hawaii Guard gets armored vehicle

The Hawaii National Guard has acquired a 21-foot long, 12-ton light armored vehicle which will be made available to local law enforcement agencies during crises.

"It's exclusively for transport," National Guard spokesman Capt. Charles Anthony said. "It will be used for protective cover."

The National Guard acquired the $900,000 LAV-25 all-terrain, all-weather vehicle with night-vision capabilities from the New Mexico National Guard.

Maj. Gen. Edward V. Richardson, state adjutant general, said the light armored vehicle could be used in hostage situations.

The vehicle, which is being dedicated today at the Honolulu Police Department, can be transported by a C-130 airplane to the neighbor islands if needed there.



Bullet Art Freedman, mentioned in "The Search for Signs of Hawaiian Life in the Universe" in the Today section Monday, is a Honolulu lyricist. An incorrect occupation was mentioned.

Bullet AT&T is sponsoring a free Armed Forces Day Concert at the Hawaii Theatre on June 15. A special section on Military Appreciation Week in Monday's Star-Bulletin, prepared by the Hawaii Newspaper Agency, incorrectly identified another company as a co-sponsor.

See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
See our [Search] [Info] section for subscription information.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff


Water heater triggers fire near Fort Shafter

A water heater malfunction started a fire that caused $35,000 damage to a Fort Shafter area home yesterday.

Four people were home when the blaze started in a shed behind the 1309 Arsenal Road home at 11:45 a.m., police said. No one was injured.

'Sideburn bandit' robs Territorial branch

Territorial Savings & Loan's Nuuanu branch was robbed yesterday by a male suspect the FBI is calling the "sideburn bandit."

The robbery at 1613 Nuuanu Ave. was reported at 2:10 p.m., and no weapon was seen.

The suspect is also believed to be responsible for the April 14 robbery of International Savings and Loan's Waipahu branch, the FBI said.

The man is in his mid-30s, about 5 feet 8 and 140 pounds with long sideburns.

Kalihi man charged in assault on girl, 16

Police yesterday charged a Kalihi man with allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

Dexter Kealohapauole, 39, was charged with second-degree sexual assault, police said. He is being held on $20,000 bail.

The girl reported that she was sexually assaulted by the man last summer.

Kauai Fire Dept. ends search for missing hiker

ANAHOLA, Kauai -- The Kauai Fire Department quit searching Anahola Mountain yesterday for an Oahu hiker missing since Thursday. A flyover yesterday by a military helicopter carrying thermal imaging equipment failed to detect any sign of the missing man.

Department of Land and Natural Resources personnel continue to comb the area. The man, an experienced hiker, went up the mountain to celebrate his 59th birthday and did not return.

Brush fire near Anahola burns unused cane land

ANAHOLA, Kauai -- Firefighters returned to fallow cane land mauka of Anahola yesterday for the second day of fighting a persistent brush fire that has consumed about 100 acres of guinea grass. They were hopeful rains last night ended the threat of new flare-ups.

The Air 2 Rescue Helicopter and a Navy helicopter were called in both days to drop water on the fire.

No structures were damaged, but fire officials said hundreds of junked cars were in the field and that some were burned.


The Courts

'Buddhist priest' denies sexually assaulting girl

LIHUE -- A 51-year-old self-described Buddhist priest who conducted services in a Kilauea barn has pleaded not guilty to 551 sexual assault charges, all involving the same young girl.

Trial for Thich An Than was set for July 26 by Circuit Judge George Masuoka. He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

An Than was extradited from Woodland Hills, Calif., last week and arraigned yesterday. He had been indicted by a Kauai County grand jury March 15.

The charges allege An Than had sex with a girl who was 12 to 14 years old from Feb. 1, 1996, through Sept. 30, 1998. The alleged assaults all were dated exactly one week apart and apparently were in conjunction with regularly scheduled religious services.

He left Kauai shortly after Kauai police began investigating him. He is not affiliated with any established Buddhist temples on Kauai.

Drug traffickers given stiff prison sentences

LIHUE -- Three men involved in a heroin ring believed to have ties to Mexico have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms by Circuit Judge George Masuoka.

Jeffrey Steven Kay of Kauai was given 20 years in prison for possession of dangerous drugs and a concurrent five years for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Antonio Carlos Hernandez Ramos, a Mexican citizen, received concurrent eight-year and four-year terms.

The men were convicted by a jury in March on charges stemming from the distribution of Mexican black tar heroin on Kauai.

They were arrested in September by a joint Kauai Police, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Naturalization Service task force and are allegedly part of a distribution ring operating in Hawaii and headquartered in Mexico, said Kauai County Prosecutor Michael Soong.

A third man, Antonio Hernandez Escobido, Ramos' uncle, earlier entered into a plea bargain and received concurrent 20-year and five-year sentences.

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