Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff

Condition of dolphin worsens to critical

Despite intensive efforts to save it, a 4-month-old spotted dolphin that was rescued on Christmas Day lapsed into critical condition early this morning.

The female dolphin appears to be battling a severe case of pneumonia, and is being cared for at the Marine Mammal Research rehabilitation facility at Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, officials said.

"Everyone's been giving it their best," said Margaret Akamine, protected species program coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"She's had veterinary care from the time she left the ocean."

The dolphin, stranded at Pokai Bay in Waianae, was spotted by divers on Christmas Day.

Officials do not know whether the pneumonia was the cause of her stranding. Few baby dolphins survive in such cases, Akamine said.

"I do believe that this animal has been given the best chance at recovery that she could have gotten," Akamine said.

"Everyone cooperated, from a really quick notification to a strong and coordinated response."

Veterinarians are giving the animal emergency care, including injectable antibiotics. Volunteers have been working around the clock.

Lower court judges get high marks in report

The state's 33 lower court judges received relatively high marks for their courtroom performance, according to a new study.

The eighth Judicial Performance Program report, which is based on evaluations by hundreds of local attorneys, found that the state's Circuit Court, Family Court and per diem judges rated well for legal ability, judicial management talents and for their skills in handling settlements and pleas.

Based on a scale of one to five, the state's 10 Circuit Court judges received a mean score of 4.0 for legal ability, 4.1 for judicial management, 4.3 for comportment and 4.1 for settlements and pleas. The state's eight Family Court judges received scores of 4.0 for legal ability, judicial management and behavior.

The 15 per diem judges that were included in the survey received an average score of 4.0 for judicial management, 3.9 for legal ability and 3.8 for settlement or pleas ability.

The Judicial Performance Program was established by state Chief Justice Ronald Moon in 1993 to enhance judges' performances and improve the efficiency of the judiciary. Copies of the latest report have been sent to the state Judicial Selection Commission, which selects nominees for the lower and appellate courts in Hawaii.

Big Isle mayor seeks landmark for fire HQ

HILO >> Big Island Mayor Harry Kim wants to acquire the former Sun Sun Lau restaurant and convert the Hilo landmark into a headquarters for the Hawaii County Fire Department.

Moving the department's administrative and dispatch operations to the Kinoole Street building would place them outside the tsunami inundation zone, Kim said.

The department's top administrators now work in the County Building on Aupuni Street, and emergency dispatchers are housed behind the Central Station at Kinoole and Ponahawai streets.

Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira says both operations must be evacuated to higher ground each time a tsunami warning is issued.

Although the county has space in the Aupuni Center, the former J.C. Penney building, that complex also is in the tsunami inundation zone, Oliveira said.

The more than four-acre Sun Sun Lau property would be an ideal location, he said, and would allow the department of bring all its operations under one roof.

He also said the building has enough extra space to double the size of recruit classes, now limited to 12 people because of cramped facilities.

Kim said the county has received indications from the owner that it could buy the property for $1.5 million and renovate it for another $1 million.

He said it would cost nearly that much just to design a facility.


Corrections and clarifications

>> Barbara Marumoto, Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, is a state representative. A story on Page A22 yesterday incorrectly stated that she is a state senator.

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

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers


Search continues for man lost in Nuuanu

Rescuers resumed their search this morning for a 78-year-old Aiea man who disappeared while picking bamboo shoots in Nuuanu yesterday.

George Morishima's family reported that he left home about 2 p.m. and failed to return. His wife told firefighters that he likes to look for bamboo shoots on the Judd Trail in upper Nuuanu.

Police said the man's son found his car parked off Nuuanu Pali Drive and called police about 6:30 p.m.

Firefighters searched the trail until about 10:30 p.m. and then resumed the search at 6:15 a.m. today. Police and state workers joined the search today.

Morishima was described as 5 feet 6, 145 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes. He was wearing gray shorts with a white belt, blue T-shirt, blue baseball cap and shoes.

Man held in shooting outside Nimitz club

Police arrested a 21-year-old man yesterday after a 22-year-old man was shot and wounded seriously in the parking lot of World Cafe at 1130 Nimitz Highway.

The victim was taken to Queen's Medical Center in guarded condition.

Police said the victim and another man, 21, were driving out of the club's parking lot about 4 a.m. when a man with a handgun approached them. Police said the gunman fired several shots through the driver's window before running away.

Witnesses and a special-duty police officers gave chase, and the suspect was arrested as he was getting into a car, police said.

Police said the suspect and the victim are in the military but they have not determined the motive for the shooting. A .357-caliber gun was recovered.

Man with gun holds up pawn shop in Kalihi

Police are looking for a man who robbed a Kalihi pawn shop with a gun. Police said the suspect entered the shop on North King Street about 12:20 p.m. Saturday and brandished a small black handgun. The suspect demanded money and jewelry from the clerk and fled in a red Toyota two-door sedan, police said. The car was later recovered at Kam Bowl at 1520 N. School Street, police said.

Police described the suspect as a man in his 30s, between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 8 inches tall, and between 160 and 180 pounds.


Fatal Ala Wai shooting leads to man's arrest

Police are holding a 26-year-old man for investigation of second-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a homeless man at Ala Wai Community Park on Saturday.

Police said the victim, 37, was shot in the left eye about 1:47 a.m. after he argued with the suspect over their belongings. The suspect was arrested yesterday morning.

8-car accident injures 3 motorists on H-1

Three people were taken to Queen's Medical Center and Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi after they were injured in an eight-car accident on the H-1 Freeway yesterday morning.

The accident occurred about 8:23 a.m. in the town-bound lanes near the Waimalu off-ramp.

An Emergency Medical Services official said two women were taken to Queen's in serious condition with head injuries. Another motorist was taken to Pali Momi with minor injuries, officials said.

Police arrest woman in alleged knife attack

Police arrested a 43-year-old woman after she allegedly cut a man with a knife in Makaha.

A 52-year-old man told police that the suspect threatened and then cut him on his wrist around 2 p.m. Saturday. Police arrested the woman on suspicion of second-degree assault.

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