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Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Tuesday, April 18, 2000

Fireworks bill making legislative headway

While a coalition of law enforcement and community agencies is making a last-minute push for a new bill to increase enforcement of fireworks regulations, the Legislature is near agreement on a bill that would allow fireworks by permit.

The bill, which has been under negotiation for one year, is expected to be discussed tomorrow afternoon, said Sen. Cal Kawamoto, who has been negotiating with the state House on the bill.

Meanwhile, a coalition of the police, firefighters, the Hawaiian Humane Society and fireworks dealers want a bill that will stop black market sellers, increase penalties for illegally importing fireworks and stop the sale of aerial fireworks.

Teacher's car accident may cost taxpayers

A special education teacher's traffic accident in Makaha two years ago may end up costing Hawaii taxpayers $1.5 million.

That settlement amount -- resulting from a Kamaile Elementary School teacher's striking and seriously injuring a pedestrian on Farrington Highway-- has been submitted to state lawmakers for approval.

That settlement is joined in the "claims against the state" bill by a $65,000 appropriation for a Texas woman, who sued after being kidnapped, assaulted and raped by a Hawaii escapee from a Texas prison.

Inmate Larry Pagan escaped in 1995 from the Fillyaw Prison, housing 300 Hawaii inmates. Pagan kidnapped Wilma Parnell, 52, from her nearby home and forced her to drive him to Mexico, where he was arrested two days later.

Unitek cited by state in waste, oil violations

The state Department of Health has cited Unitek Solvent Services and Unitek Environmental Services for violations of state hazardous waste and used oil rules, the state announced yesterday.

Unitek on Oahu was cited for storage of hazardous waste without a permit and for failing to test its used oil for hazardous waste prior to transporting it. The state cited the Unitek Kauai facility for failing to test its used oil prior to transporting it.

Unitek, which faces a penalty of $37,100, has permits to process and transport used oil and hazardous waste. Processed oil is sent to burners around the state to supplement energy needs of military, agricultural and other organizations . By not testing hazardous wastes before transporting the oil, the state says Unitek risked the burning of a contaminated product with resulting pollution.

Sugar worker missing; a machinery victim?

LIHUE -- Even though they have been unable to find any remains, Kauai police believe David Cortez Jr., 27, a worker at the Amfac/JMB Lihue Plantation sugar factory, fell into the cane-crushing machinery early Saturday morning and his body was processed.

Amfac and state occupational safety officials aren't willing to go that far yet.

They haven't see any evidence that Cortez is dead and they are not treating his disappearance as an industrial accident.

Cortez was last seen near a cane shredder at 1 a.m. Saturday. A fellow worker found a rubber boot and a T shirt believed to belong to Cortez near the machine.

His car was found in the employee parking lot and his car keys, street clothes and coffee mug were found in the factory break room, police said.

His family reported him missing Saturday afternoon.

Amfac officials expressed surprise the police have concluded Cortez is dead.

"All we know is that he's flat out disappeared," said Amfac spokesman Jim Boersema."



Bullet The deadline for filing Hawaii tax forms is Thursday. An item Friday had an incorrect deadline.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Waimalu man arrested in death of infant

A 21-year-old Waimalu man was arrested yesterday in connection with the death of his 3-week-old daughter.

Police classified the death as a homicide after autopsy results revealed the infant died from trauma to her head.

On Saturday, the infant was taken by ambulance from her Moanalua Loop home near Pearlridge Center to Pali Momi Hospital, said Homicide Lt. William Kato. The parents reported they discovered the baby lifeless that morning.

Doctors found no visible injuries on the girl, but it was later discovered she had a skull fracture. The girl was in her father's care when she died, police said. The mother is not considered a suspect at this time.

Police also are investigating the infant's hospitalization April 9-12 at Kapiolani Medical Center.

Fire leaves woman, grandson homeless

A $125,000 fire gutted a home near Maluhia Hospital yesterday, leaving a 71-year-old woman and her 21-year-old grandson homeless.

Six fire companies responded to the 9:43 a.m. alarm at 1910 Kealakai St. The home was fully engulfed in flames when the first units arrived.

The fire was brought under control at 9:57. No one was home at the time. Firefighters rescued the residents' small poi dog.

The fire caused an estimated $125,000 worth of damage, said fire Capt. Richard Soo. Fire investigators determined the fire started in a bedroom but had not yet determined the cause.

Theft suspect turns pit bull on homeowner

Police arrested a man yesterday in Sunset Beach for allegedly stealing avocados and attacking the owner with a pit bull.

The suspect was stealing avocados from a Makana Road home when he was caught by the owner at 2:20 p.m , police said. The suspect reportedly ordered his pit bull to attack. The home owner suffered injuries to his neck and arms.

The suspect was arrested about almost two hours later at a nearby home on Alapio Road.

Car crash leads to gunfire in Kahaluu; man arrested

Police arrested a 38-year-old man yesterday in an apparent case of road rage.

The suspect and another man, 28, were involved in a traffic incident on the Windward side, police said.

The suspect, driving a 1988 Nissan Sentra, reportedly rear-ended the other man's car and followed him to his Okana Road home near Kahaluu at 7:40 p.m. The suspect rammed the side of the other man's car several times and drove off, police said. While police were investigating the case at the home, the suspect returned and fired several gunshots in an unknown direction, police said.

The suspect was arrested when he returned to the victim's home again.

Classic surfboards destroyed in N.Shore fire

Fire crews battled a blaze in Pupukea this morning which destroyed several surfboards.

A large storage shed was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived at 59-505 Akanoho Place, said Fire Capt. Richard Soo. The 7:45 a.m. fire call was under control by 8 a.m.

The shed housed 14 classic surfboards, Soo said. Damage was estimated at $30,000 to the structure and an additional $30,000 for the contents. The cause of the fire was not determined as of mid-morning.

Boy allegedly put bomb in school's girls restroom

Police arrested a 16-year-old boy for allegedly making and detonating a homemade bomb at Stevenson Intermediate School.

A device exploded in the girl's restroom of the school on April 6, police said. An investigation led to the suspect, who was arrested yesterday.

Detectives believe the boy also made a bomb that was discovered the day before the blast.

No injuries were reported.

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