Star-Bulletin staff and wire

Stryker go-ahead rulings appealed

Three native Hawaiian organizations have filed an appeal to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging federal rulings allowing the Army to proceed with its plans to transform the 2nd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division (Light) into a Stryker brigade.

Earthjustice, which represents 'Ilio'ulaokalani Coalition, Na 'Imi Pono and Kipuka, had filed suit in U.S. District Court in August seeking to compel the Army to comply fully with the requirements of federal environmental laws.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra ruled recently that the Army had followed all requirements of existing federal environmental laws. He also rejected Earthjustice's request to set aside an agreement in which the Army would pay Campbell Estate $15.9 million to purchase 1,402 acres of land in Kunia to expand training areas at Schofield Barracks and construct a motor pool and rifle and pistol range for its new Stryker combat team.

Grant to help state with unsolved crimes

Hawaii will receive $790,276 over two years to help solve "cold" cases, assist in missing-persons cases and help identify the unidentified dead using DNA evidence.

The Department of Justice awarded $14.2 million to 38 jurisdictions nationwide.

The grant is part of the president's initiative "Advancing Justice Through DNA Technology."

The $1 billion-plus initiative is intended to eliminate casework and the convicted-offender backlog.

The funds will be used for improving crime lab capacity, providing DNA training and DNA testing after conviction.

State Attorney General Mark Bennett said his office has a program dedicated to resolving violent crime "cold" and missing-person cases.

More than 100,000 missing persons are listed in the National Crime Information System, of which 50 have DNA listed. Only 33 of the 5,800 unidentified dead have their DNA in a nationwide database.

HPU names recipient of its highest award

Hawaii Pacific University's Nancy Ellis will receive the university's Fellow of the Pacific Award, HPU's highest accolade, at its commencement ceremony Wednesday.

Ellis joined HPU, then Hawaii Pacific College, in 1982 as registrar. She became vice president of student support services in 1990.

She is retiring from her position at the end of the month but will return in the fall as vice president of community relations.


Taking notice

» St. Andrew's Priory School has received $10,000 from First Hawaiian Bank Foundation to be used for the refurbishment of its Ylang Ylang courtyard, named after a historic ylang ylang tree that is believed to have been planted by Queen Liliuokalani.

» The Verizon Foundation has given $10,000 to Winners at Work Inc. for its "Support the Support Team" program. This program provides resources and opportunities for families and other supporters of people with disabilities.

» Saint Louis School has received 60 computers from First Hawaiian Bank that were refurbished by Gordon and Lynne Horiuchi.

» The Mary D. and Walter F. Frear Eleemosynary Trust has awarded $250,000 to Chaminade University of Honolulu for the construction of science laboratories.

» St. Patrick School's 500-plus students have donated $1,180 toward the South Asia tsunami relief efforts of Catholic Relief Services. Each students was asked to contribute at least 75 cents, to be matched by the faculty and staff.

» The Honolulu Marathon has given $10,000 to the University of Hawaii Foundation. The money has been designated for the UH men's basketball team.

» The Arc in Hawaii, which provides services to people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities, has received $15,000 from the First Hawaiian Bank Foundation to be paid over three years.

» Gavin H. Park, a senior at Iolani School, has been named one of more than 2,500 high school students in the 2005 Presidential Scholars Program. He will attend an awards conference in Washington next month.

"Taking Notice" also runs on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Isle top-10 fugitive caught in California

Law enforcement officers captured one of Hawaii's top 10 most wanted fugitives Tuesday night in Tracy, Calif., about 60 miles east of San Francisco.

Rodney Asuega, 36, was captured after three years on the run by deputies from the Hawaii Fugitive Task Force, the U.S. Marshals Northern California, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Task force officers, acting on leads from Hawaii to San Francisco, spent two days in the Bay area closing in on Asuega, a U.S. Marshals Service press release stated.

Asuega, originally from San Francisco, had been using a false identity and was collecting welfare under an alias.

Asuega was wanted for possession with intent to distribute cocaine, aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine, and conspiracy with the intent to distribute cocaine.


Ex-boyfriend accused of robbery and threats

Honolulu police arrested a 29-year-old man who allegedly abused, threatened and robbed his ex-girlfriend twice in the past week.

Police said that last Thursday, the victim, 27, was approached by her ex-boyfriend at 6 p.m. while she was in her vehicle at Ala Moana Center and that he asked her to follow him home. The victim refused and the suspect allegedly punched her.

Then, on Tuesday the victim was again in her vehicle at Ala Moana when approached by the suspect, who allegedly threatened to harm her. This time, she ran away and saw the suspect grab her purse from the driver's seat. Police arrested the suspect yesterday morning for investigation of two counts of unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and second-degree terroristic threatening.

Man and girl arrested in crash of stolen car

Police arrested two people who allegedly crashed a stolen car early yesterday as they were trying to evade officers.

An officer spotted a car speeding along the Waianae-bound lanes of the H-1 freeway in Kaimuki about 2:08 a.m., police said. A check of the car's license plate number revealed that the car had been reported stolen. When the officer tried to pull the vehicle over, it left the freeway via the Kapiolani Boulevard offramp and crashed into another vehicle near Kapiolani and Kaaha Street, police said.

The male driver, 29, fled but was later located and arrested along with his 17-year-old female passenger. Police also found an "ice" pipe inside the stolen vehicle. The man was arrested for investigation of auto theft, and the girl was arrested for investigation of drug offenses.


Male suspect sought in woman's assault


Suspect: The heavily built man has black neck-length hair, brown eyes and a tan complexion

Police are looking for a man who assaulted a 29-year-old woman and took her purse Saturday in the parking lot of 2421 Ala Wai Blvd.

About 9:30 p.m. a man punched her numerous times in the head, police said. After the victim fell, the suspect kicked her several times before taking her purse.

The suspect then began to run away but returned to further assault the victim as she screamed.

The suspect was last seen fleeing northbound toward the Ala Wai.

He was described as being in his 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, with a heavy build, tan complexion, black neck-length hair and brown eyes.

The suspect was wearing a white T-shirt, red knee-length basketball shorts and a white bandanna-type cloth on his head.

Anyone with information are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300 or Detective Taro Nakamura at 529-3382.


Hilo teen missing since last week


Shanell McGuire: She is described as part Hawaiian, 5 foot 3, with black hair and brown eyes

Big Island police are looking for a 15-year-old Hilo girl who was reported missing last Thursday.

Shanell Pilialoha McGuire is described as being part Hawaiian, 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing about 120 pounds, with a medium build, brown eyes, shoulder-length black hair and a tan complexion.

Anyone with information is asked to call officer Rio Amon-Wilkins of the South Hilo Patrol at 961-2213 or the police non-emergency number at 935-3311.

Those who wish to remain anonymous may call CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.

E-mail to City Desk


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