Police, Fire, Courts

Star-Bulletin staff and wire


Tracy Ching and Jeff Finney prepared to kick off the 2004 Foodbank Drive yesterday at Restaurant Row, where a collection point for cans of tuna has been set up in a storefront next to Phillip Paulo's. Cash is also accepted for the islands' needy.

Nature interferes with several concrete pours

Heavy rains canceled several concrete pours yesterday as Hawaiian Cement concrete workers returned to work after a 42-day strike.

Michael Coad, Hawaiian Cement vice president, said the only problem the 67 workers encountered came because "we could not deliver as much as we thought because of the rain, which canceled several jobs."

Hawaiian Cement workers in Halawa were back at work, but the more than 140 laborers at Ameron Hawaii, which provides more than 60 percent of the island's concrete, were back on the picket lines at Sand Island. Ameron workers have been on strike since Feb. 6, while Hawaiian Cement employees hit the picket line Feb. 7.

No new talks between Ameron and Teamsters Local 996 have been scheduled since the union rejected the company's "best and final" offer Thursday night.

Health officials worry about tough TB strains

State health officials are watching an increase in the number of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis cases in Hawaii.

Although the number of drug-resistant tuberculosis cases are on the decline, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis cases increased to four in 2003 from one in 2002. Drug-resistant TB decreased to 11 cases in 2003 from 22 in 2002.

Officials said multidrug-resistant TB cases are the most challenging and expensive TB infections to treat and cure.

Visiting hours halted after outbreak of flu

Visiting hours at the Waiawa Correctional Facility were canceled last weekend because more than 50 inmates have come down with the flu in an outbreak that started nearly two weeks ago.

However, prison officials hope to reinstate visiting hours this week. The move was done to protect visiting family members, prison officials said.

To prevent the spread of the illness, all work, treatment and educational programs have been suspended, but they are expected to resume later this week.

Inmates at the minimum-security prison started complaining of flu symptoms on March 11. Initially, more than 90 inmates complained of flu symptoms, but not all were diagnosed with the virus.

Stuffed animal drive to combat child abuse

Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii is asking the community to bring a teddy bear or stuffed animal for the Seventh Annual Teddy Bear Roundup April 3 at Pearlridge Center Uptown.

Co-sponsored by Partners for Prevention, the event will feature entertainers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the former J.C. Penney's side of the center. The annual event is the highlight of a month-long series of activities observing Child Abuse Prevention Month.

"Our goal this year is to collect 3,566 teddy bears -- the same number of confirmed reports of child abuse in our islands last year," said Elsie Foster, event chairwoman. "If we collect enough bears this year with the help of the community, we will distribute the bears on all islands to family shelters, children's hospitals and other organizations that help families and children in crisis."

For more information, call 951-0200.

Farms get $12 million for conservation

Hawaii has received more than $12 million to help farmers and ranchers with conservation programs.

The allocation is part of U.S. Department of Agriculture efforts to help states and territories with traditionally smaller federal allocations.

"The (agriculture) secretary and our national leadership wanted to make sure that states like Hawaii receive additional Farm Bill funding to address their own specific conservation needs," said state conservationist Lawrence Yamamoto.

JACL invites essays for $1,000 scholarship

The Honolulu chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League is offering one-time $1,000 scholarships, open to all high school seniors in the state.

To qualify, students must write in 500 words or less their opinions about a current local topic and answering the question, "Do you think the rights of the minority should be left to the will of the majority?"

Applicants must be graduating high school seniors planning to further their education. To obtain an application, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the JACL Scholarship Committee, 2116 Palolo Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816; or e-mail The deadline for submitting applications is March 31.


[Taking Notice]

Iolani senior is named presidential scholar

Iolani student David R. Kobayashi has been named a 2004 Presidential Scholar, one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors.

>> Nicholas D'Amico, a freshman at the West Hawaii Explorations Academy, a public charter school in Kailua-Kona, won first prize in the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Poster Contest, co-sponsored by Teen People magazine. He received a $1,500 cash prize, and his poster will be featured in the April edition of the magazine.

>> University of Hawaii-Manoa architecture students Arnulfo J. Castillo and Heidi Newton placed second in the annual International Student Design Competition, sponsored by the Metal Construction Association. They were among more than 85 entries from students throughout North America.

>> Winners of the Leeward District Science and Engineering Fair include Megan A.G. Soriano, of Waipahu High School, who won the grand prize in botany; Chelsey Villanueva, of Kapolei High School, second-place grand prize in physics; and Eduardo Duquez, of Campbell High School, third-place grand prize in botany. Stephanie Nix, of Waipahu High School, won fourth place in environmental science.

Best-of-category winners were Johanna Dela Cruz, Michelle Ferrer and Jenna Soderman, of Kapolei High in behavioral and social sciences; Andrea K.L. Kelekolio, of Waipahu High, in biochemistry; Megan Soriano, in botany; Ronald Viernes, of Kapolei High, in chemistry; Gibbson Tumaneng, of Waipahu High, in computer science; Jarryd Julian, of Kapolei High, in earth/space science; Nicholas Cavaretta, Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada, and E.B. Fernandez, of Kapolei High, in engineering; Janice Duldulao, of Campbell High, in medicine/health; Shauna-Leigh Baxa, of Waipahu High, in microbiology; Chelsey Villanueva, of Kapolei High, in physics; and Daisy Ramos and Brandon Farnington Valdez, of Campbell High, in zoology.

Johanna Dela Cruz, Michelle Ferrer and Jenna Soderman, of Kapolei, won the American Psychological Association and Teachers of Psychology Award in behavioral and social sciences.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff


Honolulu firefighters rescued the trapped driver of a pickup truck that flipped into a gulch off Kamehameha Highway near Kahana Bay yesterday evening. Fire officials said there were three adults and four children, including an infant, who were in the truck at the time of the crash. Three victims, including the driver, were airlifted to the Queen's Medical Center, although police officials said none were in critical condition.


Police hunt for 'Lip Ring' bank robber


Honolulu police and FBI investigators are asking the assistance of all banks and financial institutions to identify and capture the "Lip Ring" bank bandit.

Police said the suspect was responsible for five bank robberies between December 2002 and last May from Manoa to the Kapiolani area. Investigators believe the suspect, who wears a ring in his bottom lip, is or was a college student living in the area of the robberies.

The banks include the Manoa branch of First Hawaiian Bank, robbed Dec. 19, 2002; the Kapiolani branch of American Savings Bank, Jan. 3, 2003; the University branch of Bank of Hawaii, Jan. 22, 2003, and then again on March 26, 2003; and the Kapahulu branch of American Savings Bank on May 6.

The suspect is described as in his 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds, with a slim build; dark, short, curly hair; a fair complexion; and lip ring jewelry.

Anyone with information may call Detective Brian Johnson directly at 692-4602, the FBI at 566-4300 or CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, *CRIME on a cellular phone.


Kona college student is still missing at sea

HILO >> Rescue workers are continuing a search for a Korean national who was reported missing and is presumed drowned off the beach at Waipio Valley on the Big Island.

The Hawaii County Fire Department responded to the call of a missing swimmer at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses reported Min-Koo Kang, 24, was standing in three feet of water when a wave pulled him under, and he did not surface.

A Fire Department rescue boat and helicopter searched the two miles of coastline between Polulu Valley and Paauilo until dark. The search continued all day Sunday and resumed at first light yesterday morning. A fire official said this "would probably be the last day."

Kang was a student at the University of the Nations in Kona.

Man and woman held in church burglary

Big Island police have arrested and charged a man and a woman for allegedly burglarizing a church in Papaikou, South Hilo, last week.

The suspects were identified as Tyson Kenji Butts, 19, of Hilo, and Courtney Lee Uchima, 23, of Honomu. Both suspects were charged on Sunday with three counts of second-degree burglary and held overnight on $3,000 bail.

Police said the burglary took place sometime prior to 4 a.m. Friday at several buildings at the Immaculate Heart of Mercy Church, where a computer monitor and other church property was discovered missing.

Officers found a truck belonging to Uchima in the church parking lot and had it towed to Hilo.

While still at the scene about 5:30 a.m., officers noticed a male walking down the driveway of a nearby residence. When the male, Butts, told officers that he did not know who the owners of the residence were, officers arrested him.

A bystander also saw a female walking toward a vacant residence. Checking the residence, officers found Uchima hiding in a bedroom closet and arrested her.

Police said most of the missing church property was recovered.


Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers

E-mail to City Desk


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