A man accused of having sex with his ex-girlfriend's 10-year-old daughter over a period of three years has been found fit to stand trial.
Waipahu man declared
fit for child-abuse trial
Circuit Judge Reynaldo Graulty yesterday found Shane Fernandez, 23, fit to proceed based on the findings of two of three doctors who examined him. Trial for Fernandez was set for March 25, 2002.
Fernandez apparently had videotaped his acts. The girl's mother discovered the videotapes in July at the Pupunohe Apartment she and her daughter shared with Fernandez in Waipahu, authorities said.
He remains in custody in lieu of $250,000 bail charged with 12 counts of first-degree sexual assault, 18 counts of third-degree sexual assault and three counts of promoting child abuse.
According to an indictment, Fernandez began sexually assaulting the girl in August 1998 and continued until his arrest in July.
The girl was 7 when the alleged assaults began.
A student pilot said there was no mechanical malfunction in the small airplane that crashed at Honolulu Airport last year, according to a federal report on the accident released yesterday.
ruled out in plane crash
No one was hurt in the crash on Feb. 5, 2000.
The Piper PA-28-161, owned and operated by the University of North Dakota, was substantially damaged when it went off the pavement shortly after landing, and its left wing hit runway signs.
A student pilot who was the sole occupant said she felt "rushed by the short approach request" made by the local air traffic controller, according to an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The pilot, who was on a student solo cross-country flight, said the airplane suddenly turned right and ran off the side of the runway near the intersection with a taxiway and she was afraid to apply the left brake because the airplane might tip over.
The operator's maintenance department also found that there was no mechanical failure, the NTSB said.
Big Isle sting catches underage cigarette salesA sting operation during October and November resulted in 20 retail outlets being cited for selling cigarettes to minors, Hawaii County police said.
The sting was conducted with the help of personnel from the University of Hawaii's Cancer Research Center and the Juvenile Aid Sections of East Hawaii at 56 retail stores in South Hilo, Puna, Kau and Kona.
As part of the operation, minors were instructed to try and buy cigarettes at the stores. The young people were told that if they were asked to do so, they should present valid identification and to tell the truth about their age, police said.
Store clerks who sold cigarettes to a minor received citations for a mandatory court appearance, police said.
Mililani librarian takes top award for her effortsArlene Ching, children's librarian for the Mililani Public Library, was honored yesterday as the public librarian of the year by the Hawaii Library Foundation.
Ching received her master's degree of library and information science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1984. She has worked as the Oahu program coordinator and as the children's librarian for the Pearl City, Salt Lake/Moana-lua and Aiea public libraries. Ching also was the children's librarian for the Hawaii State Library and has worked at the Mililani Public Library.
Recently, she received a $3,000 grant from the Hawaii Library Foundation to launch the first Talespinner's Festival of the Pacific, which featured professional storytellers presenting free programs at four libraries statewide.
Ginger Enomoto, school librarian for the Mililani Uka Elementary School, said Ching nurtures the love of reading in children by motivating them and working with their parents.
Ching received $500 in cash from the Hawaii Library Foundation and $1,000 in cash and a store certificate from Border's Books Music & Cafe. The award ceremony was held last night at the Hawaii State Library.
>> Maile Galacgac and Elizabeth Carreon have been selected to participate in the Take the Lead Program at Mt. Holyoke College (Mass.). Galacgac and Carreon, both juniors at Sacred Hearts Academy, were selected to join 38 other young women from around the country and participate in a number of workshops, activities and speeches from Oct. 11 to 14.
>> Goodwill Industries of Hawaii has been awarded a $110,000 grant by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce Technology Opportunities Program. The money will be used to provide online access to retention and life skills curricula, crisis situation resources and job skills tools to 20 Goodwill participants who have recently been placed into new jobs. The grant was awarded through Goodwill Industries International to the local organization.
>> Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana has been awarded a $10,000 grant by the Richard Smart Fund and administered by the Hawaii Community Foundation. The money will be used to establish a planning process to create a self-sustaining Hawaiian community learning center in Waimea.
>> Frito-Lay of Hawaii has named Aliamanu Middle School, Central Middle School and Waimea High School as Outstanding Public Schools for 2001-2002. Each school was honored for school improvement efforts and presented with $2,000 each during an awards recognition luncheon held Oct. 30.
>> Star Markets recently donated 247 scooters and related accessories to the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii through its "PowerHour" homework assistance/literacy program. Students who participated in the program and accumulated enough points were presented with a variety of prizes, including the scooters.
>> David Lohmann has been designated a master certified flight instructor by the National Association of Flight Instructors. Lohmann, a professor of management at Hawaii Pacific University, also flies with the Civil Air Patrol and serves as an aviation safety counselor at the Honolulu Flight Standards District Office. There are currently less than 300 master instructors in the United States.
>> The Hawaii Alliance for Arts Education has been awarded $200,000 by the National Endowment for the Arts. The money was awarded through the NEA Resources for Change Arts Endowment Program. The HAAE, one of only five arts organizations in the nation to receive the maximum grant amount, plans to use the money to support the creation and testing of a kindergarten through grade five standards-based arts curriculum for use with an interactive WWW-DVD Internet component.
>> Eddie Flores Jr. has been named chairman of the board for 2002 at The Filipino Community Center Inc. Flores, president of L&L Drive-Inn and L&L Hawaiian Barbeque, has also been instrumental in fundraising for the FilCom Center scheduled to open in 2002.
>> Hawaii resident and Penn State University alumnus John K. Tsui has established a scholarship in his name with a $130,000 gift to the university. The John Tsui Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic accomplishments and financial need, with first preference for the awards going to Asian Americans. This year, four mainland students benefited from Tsui's endowment to Penn State.
>> The ACLU recently held a Lincoln Douglas Debate with teams from Hawaii and the mainland. Each of the first, second, third and fourth-place winners received U.S. Savings Bonds ranging from $50 to $200. Championship division winners were: Sarah Damerville, Iolani School, first place; Amanda Chew, Kahuku High School, second place; Chad Shomura, Roosevelt High, third place; and Nicole Wilson, Iolani, fourth place. Novice winners included: Daniel Lee, Kamehameha Schools, first place; Mark Alexander, Iolani School, second place; Natalie Kamauoha, Kahuku High, third place; and Lara Malins, Iolani, fourth place.
>> The Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union recently presented the American Red Cross with a $5,000 donation to assist in ongoing relief efforts following the events of Sept. 11. In addition, the credit union presented $6,000 to the Hawaii Island United Way. The money was collected through fundraising and member donations collected at HCFCU branches.
>> The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Waikiki Health Center. The money, given in conjunction with the HIV Planning and Capacity-Building Grant Program, will be used to provide health care for Oahu residents living with HIV/AIDS.
>> Seagull Schools has been awarded $75,000 by the McInerny Foundation. The money will be used to help fund a $1.25 million dollar capital building project that Seagull Schools has undertaken. Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in January.
>> Anyone interested in volunteering for the humpback whale count in January and February can call the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary at 1-888-559-4253 from the Big Island and Oahu, 246-2860 from Kauai. Oahu residents can also call 397-2656. An A5 report Monday had incorrect information.
Corrections and clarifications
>> The first name of Dr. Tsuneichi Shinkawa was misspelled in an article on A8 Friday on the history of Kuakini Health System.
>> An editorial Sunday included the wrong date for the marriage of former City Councilman Andy Mirikitani and Sharron Bynum. They married Nov. 30.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Managing Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers
4 arrested in Waianae kidnap, robbery attemptA 21-year-old man escaped from kidnappers who drove him around the island for several hours, police said.
The incident began at about 3:30 a.m. in Waianae when four men approached the man, punched him in the face and took his jewelry, police said.
The men allegedly drove the victim around the island until the victim was able to call a friend when he told his captors he had to use the restroom at Foodland in Hawaii Kai. The friend then called police.
Officers stopped and arrested the suspects on Kalanianaole Highway and Ainakoa Avenue at about 2:30 p.m.
Police seek Waikiki robbery, stabbing suspectPolice were looking for a man who allegedly stabbed and robbed another man in Waikiki after asking for cigarettes.
Police said the victim was walking on Ala Wai Boulevard near Namahana Street at 4:15 a.m. Monday when a man at a bus stop demanded money.
Police said the suspect stabbed the victim in the stomach as he was trying to hand over his fanny pack.
The suspect fled on Ala Wai Boulevard. The victim, who is in his late 30s, called police from a telephone booth on Namahana Street. He was treated for a superficial wound and released yesterday by Queen's Medical Center, police said.
There was no description of the suspect.
Man sought in stabbing and robbery at bus stopPolice are looking for a man who robbed Central Pacific Bank in Aiea yesterday.
Witnesses said the suspect was riding on a mountain bike near the bank at 98-150 Kaonohi Street around 2:15 p.m.
Police said the suspect entered the bank and demanded money from two tellers. He was armed with a small black revolver, fled on foot and was last seen near Moanalua Loop, police said.
He is described as in his late 20s to early 30s, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds. Police further described the suspect as having short brown or blond hair with a fair complexion and an athletic build.
The suspect was wearing a black bicycle helmet, dark T-shirt, dark jeans and biker gloves. He also wore tinted glasses and had a piece of white tape on his right cheek. Police said he was carrying a yellow back pack.
Anyone with information on the robbery can call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.
Man, 34, charged in knife, hammer attacks on 3Robert Flubacher, 34, has been charged with first-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of driving a stolen vehicle in connection with an attack on three people with a knife and hammer in a Waikele home on Dec. 4.
His bail was set at $100,000.Flubacher was arrested Monday for a traffic violation while driving an allegedly stolen car. He had been wanted for allegedly hitting a woman in the face with a hammer, stabbing a man in the leg and also hitting another man with a hammer, while a guest in the woman's house. He allegedly stole the woman's car.
Flubacher also goes by the names David Kaufman, Noel Tucker and Roger Flubacher, police said.
Woman allegedly rams van into husband's carA Waipahu woman was arrested after allegedly ramming her husband's car with her van and injuring their daughter in the process.
The 36-year-old woman rammed the car into a concrete wall and wooden shelving, which broke and struck the girl, causing a minor injury, police said. The woman had gone to the home of her husband and daughter Monday afternoon and was asked to leave after getting into an argument, police said.
Firefighters contain chlorine leak on LanaiWAILUKU >> Firefighters contained a 150-pound leaking chlorine cylinder on Lanai about a half-mile mauka of the Manele Bay Hotel.
Acting Assistant Fire Chief Frank Tam said no one was hurt and no evacuation was necessary.
Tam said the leak in the cylinder serving a wastewater treatment facility was reported at 5:20 p.m. yesterday.
Four firefighters from Maui assisted Lanai firefighters in containing the chlorine by putting the leaking cylinder in another container. Tam said the container was taken to a remote location on Lanai, where wastewater treatment officials will decide what to do next.