POSTED: Friday, March 26, 2010

State posts transit letters

The state Department of Transportation is posting online its correspondence to Honolulu officials regarding the city's proposed rail transit project.

DOT Director Brennon Morioka said yesterday that there is much misinformation about the $5.4 billion project and that the public deserves to know all the facts.

He says the correspondence dates to 2006 and exemplifies the state's support and collaboration with the city.

The DOT says its primary role in the rail transit project is to support and assist the city in its efforts to bring alternative modes of transportation to Oahu.

It says because most of the project would run within DOT's highway and airport properties, partnership and sharing of information is vital to the project's success.


Hotel, guards absolved in suicide

A Waikiki hotel and private security guards are not responsible for the injuries caused by a suicidal man who jumped from the roof of a 44-story hotel and landed on a woman in her van, the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals has ruled.

The decision earlier this month upheld a summary judgment in Circuit Court.

The family of Sogi Schwenke sued Outrigger Hotels and Wackenhut Services, arguing that the Ohana Maile Sky Court hotel and security guards should have prevented Cameron Tuupoina from reaching the roof and jumping.

But appellate Judge Daniel Foley wrote in an opinion that “;it would be unreasonable to require a party to be responsible for the suicide of another absent a custodial relationship.”;

On Feb. 4, 2003, Tuupoina, who was not staying at the hotel, went around a locked access door and climbed up to the roof through a ventilation grate and jumped 44 stories to his death.

Schwenke was in her van, stopped in traffic on Kuhio Avenue, when Tuupoina landed on her roof. She was not breathing and had no pulse when paramedics arrived, but was resuscitated en route to the Queen's Medical Center.


Woman indicted in mom's stabbing

An Oahu grand jury indicted a 61-year-old woman on murder charges yesterday in the fatal stabbing of her 88-year-old mother.

Claudia Warner-Gonzales remains in custody, unable to post $500,000 bail.

Police said Warner-Gonzales stabbed Dorothy Y.K. Stribling on Monday at Stribling's Nuuanu home.



Big Isle man pleads guilty to shooting

HILO » A Big Island man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the fatal shooting of his sister's common-law husband.

Thirty-three-year-old Desmond Lewi had initially been charged with murder for the 2008 shooting death of 33-year-old Cameron Mauga.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, Lewi also pleaded guilty Wednesday to carrying or possessing a loaded firearm on a public highway and prohibited possession of a firearm.

Lewi faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced May 19. Murder carries a life sentence.

Family members have said a disagreement over a children's game at a family beach outing escalated into the deadly confrontation between Lewi and Mauga.