Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Friday, January 25, 2002

Bail allowed in airport gun case

A married couple accused of trying to pass through a security checkpoint at Honolulu International Airport with an unloaded handgun is free on bail.

Rodger and Althea Sears, ages 23 and 25, respectively, were released on $11,000 bail each on Tuesday. Their scheduled preliminary hearing in Honolulu District Court yesterday was continued to Feb. 19.

The couple was arrested Saturday after security screeners at a checkpoint recovered a stainless steel, .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol from their carry-on luggage, according to a deputy sheriff's affidavit that was submitted to court.

The gun was in a duffel bag with Althea Sears' name tag on it but surveillance video showed that Rodger Sears carried the bag and placed it on the conveyor belt to the X-ray machine, according to the affidavit.

The Sears had arrived in Honolulu from Maui aboard an Aloha Airlines flight and had planned to take another flight to the mainland.

Wellness and health fair is set for weekend

A variety of health-related activities and information will be presented during a Health and Wellness Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday at Kahala Mall.

Q Laser Center and KITV-4 are sponsoring the event, featuring exercise and movement demonstrations, flu shots, blood pressure checks, computerized spinal exams and cooking demonstrations.

Strength training, power cycling, stability ball training and performances by Hot Salsa Dancing Hawaii with audience participation are among other activities scheduled.

Nonprofit and health-related organizations will be available to answer questions and provide information.

For more information, call 732-7736 or see Kahala Mall's Web site,

Research center adds Hawaiian studies prof

HILO >> Creation of a new Mauna Kea Astronomy Education Center has moved a step forward with the appointment of Hawaiian studies professor Larry Kimura as a research planner for the facility.

Appointed this month, Kimura will be on loan to the facility from the University of Hawaii-Hilo for about a year, specializing in the Hawaiian Heritage portion of the center, the university said.

The $28 million exhibition and planetarium project will be on 9.1 acres at the university's Research and Technology Park attached to the Hilo campus.

A team of researchers and interpretive planners began work on the contents of the center in November.

Referring to the reverence that many people hold for Mauna Kea, Kimura said: "We need to know more about the Hawaiian sanctity and the sanctity of astronomy. Those two have to come together so that they can be complimentary. The Center should be the starting point."

Completion date for the 42,000-square-foot project, being developed by Project Director George Jacob, is 2004.

Bill would restrict driving while using a cell phone

Oahu motorists would be barred from using their cellular telephones while driving their vehicles under a bill introduced at the City Council.

The measure, introduced by Councilman John Henry Felix, would not restrict those who use their telephones in a stationary cradle or some other mount that allows for hands-free operation.

Those using their phones for 911 emergency calls also would not be penalized.

"Cell phone use while driving has been proven to reduce drivers' concentration and reaction time significantly," Felix said in a release. He noted that the bill is similar to laws enacted in other municipalities.

City resolves dispute over billionaire's roadway

City attorneys have found a quick way to resolve a dispute between Japanese billionaire Gensiro Kawamoto and two Kahaluu families.

Kawamoto has told the families to remove their driveways, which encroach on his private roadway to a new vacation home he is building on a 130-acre property.

Under a resolution introduced yesterday, the City Council would declare the roadway public property.

Mayor Jeremy Harris said the resolution is based on state law, which allows for the action if a private landowner has allowed a roadway to be used as public property for five years or more without objection.

"It is essential that we make sure that these residents, who have built their homes and lives around the assumption that these were their legal rights of way to their property, are not inconvenienced further by the uncaring whim of Gensiro Kawamoto," Harris said.

"While we respect private-property rights as the basis of our free society, this is clearly a case where government must intervene to quickly protect the 'little folks' against a millionaire landowner who uses force and intimidation to cut them off from their homes," he said.

Kawamoto's attorney, Carol Asai-Sato, did not immediately return a call seeking comment last night.

Asai-Sato has said the two families have other access to their homes.

"It's nice to resolve this at no expense to the taxpayers," Councilman Steve Holmes said.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers


Waikiki pedestrian, 88, dies after trolley hits him

An 88-year-old Waikiki man died this morning from injuries he suffered after being hit by a trolley in Waikiki last night.

Police said the trolley was stopped at a red light on Hobron Lane at the Ala Moana Boulevard intersection about 7:10 p.m. After waiting for pedestrians to cross Ala Moana, the driver of the trolley, a 33-year-old Honolulu man, tried to make a right turn onto Ala Moana Boulevard, when he struck the man who was crossing the street, police said.

The man was taken to Queen's Medical Center in critical condition. He died about midnight. Police are looking for witnesses to the accident.


Victim in traffic accident ID'd as Waialua man 48

The Honolulu Medical Examiner has identified the man who died in a traffic collision in Waialua Wednesday as Elvin M. Nicely, 48, of Waialua.

Police said Nicely was riding his motorcycle west on Waialua Beach Road about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday when a pickup truck entered the roadway from Haleiwa Road and struck him. Nicely was taken to Wahiawa General Hospital where he later died. The driver of the truck, a 31-year-old Wahiawa man, was arrested for DUI but later released after a breathalyzer test showed he had no alcohol in his system.


Police arrest youth, 12, in alleged sexual assault

Police arrested a 12-year-old boy in the Pacific Heights area for allegedly sexually assaulting a female classmate from Jan. 14 to Jan. 17. The boy was released yesterday at 4:10 p.m. pending investigation.

Woman IDs acquaintance in burglaries at her home

Police arrested a 40-year-old Kalihi man who allegedly threatened a woman at knifepoint in her Kalihi apartment yesterday and burglarized her home on Jan. 10.

The woman told police she awoke at 2:30 a.m. yesterday to sounds coming from her back door. She confronted the suspect, who had his face covered, police said.

The woman tried to flee. Holding a long-bladed kitchen knife, the suspect grabbed her and threatened to kill her if she made any noise, police said.

He then released her and took off his face covering, and the woman recognized him as a friend of a co-worker and as the same man who burglarized her home on Jan. 10.

The woman called police, took them to the suspect's home and identified him.

Police arrested him on charges of first-degree burglary, kidnapping and first-degree terroristic threatening in yesterday's incident and first-degree burglary in the Jan. 10 incident.


State Hospital escapee found at Kaneohe bank

Hawaii State Hospital personnel found an escapee yesterday morning at a Kaneohe bank.

The 25-year-old man was being held at the hospital on criminal charges when he escaped, police said.

Hospital personnel checked the Kaneohe area and found the man at a bank.

They called police, who arrested him on second-degree escape charges.

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