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Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Big Island mayor
will appeal fine imposed for
irradiation donation

An attorney for Big Island Mayor Stephen Yamashiro's political campaign says Yamashiro will appeal a $1,000 fine imposed yesterday by the state Campaign Spending Commission.

The commission yesterday formally adopted its position that Yamashiro was not allowed to donate money from his campaign to supporters of a 1998 ballot issue allowing irradiation of local produce.

Bob Crudele, attorney for the Committee to Elect Steve Yamashiro, said yesterday the mayor feels the commission is wrong.

"It doesn't matter if it was a one-dollar fine, we feel they are wrong and the whole process was riddled with errors," he said.

The charge was brought by irradiation opponent Lanny Sinkin in October 1998. Sinkin complained that Yamashiro transferred $17,000 from his campaign to Friends of Agriculture, which supported the irradiation project.

The commission yesterday, however, said Yamashiro was not a candidate in the 1998 election and therefore could not donate money from his campaign.

Robert Watada, Campaign Spending Commission executive director, said that because the commission felt the violation was not intentional, no criminal prosecution was requested.


State in line for oil conservation funds

$32.5 million a year from federal oil-drilling funds
could be earmarked for Hawaii conservation efforts

A bill that could give Hawaii $32.5 million a year for the next 15 years is moving through Congress.

The measure, called the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, is up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives today.

The measure would give the 50 states a total $45 billion over 15 years to spend on conservation measures. The money comes from the $4 billion to $5 billion collected annually from oil drilling on government leases, mostly offshore in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska.

Supporters in the U.S. House say the money could be used for myriad programs, from restoring coastal wetlands and buying islands of private land within national parks to building soccer fields and baseball parks in suburbia.

In Honolulu, Paul Conry, manager for the wildlife program with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, said the money will go to further conservation work, establish nature training centers, increase protection for endangered and threatened birds and other species.

The measure also calls for a community planning process as part of the financial awards.

While a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie's office this week said passage was likely for the House, the Senate was still working on the bill and passage this year was not assured.


Hanauma Bay reopens following maintenance

The city is reopening Hanauma Bay Beach Park today.

City crews resolved a utility problem that closed the park Monday. It was closed yesterday for normal maintenance.

The park is open every day except Tuesdays from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on an extended summer schedule. There is no charge for residents. Visitors 13 and older must pay an admission fee of $1.

Alleged drug ringleader to be held without bail

The alleged ringleader of one of two major drug rings arrested on Maui last week in one of the county's biggest drug sweeps was ordered held without bail until trial.

U.S. Magistrate Francis Yamashita yesterday denied Felipe Ruiz-Castro's request to be released.

Ruiz' court-appointed attorney, Sam King Jr., argued that Ruiz, 31, has no criminal record except for a minor drug possession charge in California for which he received a deferred plea. Ruiz, an eight-year Hawaii resident with a wife and children, also runs a Lahaina restaurant, King said.

The government contends that La Fogata Mexican Restaurant, owned by Ruiz and Francisco Mora-Garcia, was a front for the Ruiz-Mora drug organization.

Trial for Ruiz and more than 30 others arrested last week on Maui was set for July 5.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

Shaken baby in critical condition

By Jaymes K. Song


A 4-month-old Makakilo boy was in critical condition on life support this morning at Tripler Hospital while his father remained in police custody awaiting possible attempted-murder charges.

The father, 28, was arrested yesterday afternoon after doctors determined the infant had injuries consistent with shaken-baby syndrome, said Lt. William Kato of the homicide detail.

On Monday evening, the father called 911 and reported his son was not breathing at their home on Nohopaa Street, police said. He reported that he was in the bathroom when he heard a "thud," and found his son had fallen off the bed at about 6:30 p.m.

But the infant's injuries, which were not visible, were not consistent with a fall of two to three feet onto a carpeted floor, Kato said.

Emergency personnel, who found the baby not breathing and without a pulse, attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but were unable to revive the infant. He was transported to St. Francis-West Hospital and then airlifted to Queen's Hospital before being taken to Tripler.

The mother, in the military, is not a suspect and was at work during the incident, Kato said.


Man stabbed in legs with fishing gaff

Police are investigating an apparent stabbing this morning in Kakaako.

A man was stabbed on the legs with a fishing gaff at United Fishing Agency Ltd., 117 Ahui St., at 5 a.m., police said. He was taken to Straub Hospital. His condition was not disclosed.

The suspect ran away and was not immediately apprehended.

Suspect arrested after man is threatened

A 50-year-old man is in custody for allegedly threatening a pedestrian with a hatchet last night.

The intoxicated suspect was arguing with a woman in the middle of the sidewalk at Punahou and Beretania streets at 10:05 p.m., police said. The pedestrian asked to pass through, but the suspect told him to go into the street.

They argued, and the suspect reportedly swung a hatchet at the pedestrian, police said. He was arrested for first-degree terroristic threatening.

No injuries were reported.

Big Isle man arrested in bar fight, shooting

KAILUA-KONA -- Police arrested a 29-year-old Kealakekua man and are searching for a second man in connection with a shooting incident at the Other Side Bar last night.

Police said no one was injured, but the suspect is being held for attempted murder. The incident began shortly after 10 p.m. when seven men were involved in a fight which included the firing of a gun.

Police chased a car through Kailua-Kona streets and highways but lost sight of it, but the alleged shooter returned to the bar 15 minutes later and was arrested. The second suspect is being sought.

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