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In Brief | Big Island & State | 1-3-14

January 2, 2014 - 9:49pm

Kona man charged in shoplifting incident

A Kailua-Kona man has been charged with several offenses following a shoplifting incident Monday.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Monday, Kona patrol officers responded to a report of shoplifting at a store in the 74-5000 block of Kamakaeha Avenue in Kailua-Kona, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. Two men who appeared to be together had reportedly stolen items from the store. One exited through a rear door with the stolen items and fled on foot into the brush. Another exited through a front door and got into a black Honda Civic.

Responding officers attempted to stop the car in the parking lot but the driver refused to stop. Police followed the car to the intersection of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Kealakehe Parkway, where the driver exited the Honda and ran away. Following a short foot pursuit, officers arrested 23-year-old Jesse Travis Ralston of Kailua-Kona.

Police later determined that the car had fraudulent license plates and had been reported stolen from a home in Kailua View Estates between Dec. 10 and 11. In addition, Ralston was allegedly in possession of crystal methamphetamine, according to police.

Ralston was taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section and Area II Vice Section continued the investigation. Detectives executed a search warrant on bags inside the car and reportedly found additional crystal methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Tuesday, Ralston was charged with unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, failure to obey a police officer, reckless driving, resisting arrest, fraudulent use of a license plate, possessing drug paraphernalia, two counts of promoting a dangerous drug and three counts of violating terms of probation. His bail was set at $119,000.

The other suspect was not located, according to police.

Police release woman arrested in Puna lab blast

Big Island police have released the 28-year-old Keaau woman who was arrested in connection with a drug-related explosion Saturday in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision of Puna.

The woman was released Tuesday pending further investigation of possible drug charges, according to the Hawaii County Police Department.

Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Keaau man injured in the butane honey oil lab explosion remains hospitalized with second-degree burns in critical condition at Straub Medical Center on Oahu, according to police.

At the scene, police reportedly found evidence of a lab used to manufacture butane honey oil, a marijuana byproduct, according to police.

Area I Vice Lieutenant Mark Farias said butane honey oil labs are becoming more prevalent on Hawaii Island, as they are across the country.

“If you know about any butane honey oil labs on our island, we urge you to notify police immediately,” Farias said. “These labs are extremely volatile and can have tragic consequences for knowing participants as well as innocent victims.”

Anyone with information about any butane honey oil lab is asked to call the department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311. Those who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at 329-8181 in Kona or 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hilo man facing burglary, theft charges

Hawaii Island police arrested and charged a Hilo man for several property crimes in the Panaewa House and Farm Lots area.

On Monday, 22-year-old Kody Ono was initially arrested for the theft of a cellphone that was taken during a Dec. 5 burglary on Makalika Street, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. Following investigation, South Hilo patrol officers determined that Ono had also sold several pieces of silverware reportedly taken from an Awapuhi Street home Dec. 8. The total value of the stolen property was estimated to be $455.

Police charged Ono on Tuesday with burglary and two counts of theft. His bail was set at $36,000, according to the department.

Hilo convoy heads to PTA

A military unit will convoy from Keaukaha Military Reserve in Hilo to Pohakuloa Training Area from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday.

The convoy will travel via Hilo Airport Road, Kanoelehua Avenue, West Puainako Street, Komohana Avenue, Puainako Extension and the Daniel K. Inouye Highway.

The PTA Department of Army police are working closely with local authorities and military units to coordinate this activity in support of unit training.

PTA areas open to bird hunters this weekend

Army officials are opening several training areas within the Pohakuloa Training Area for bird hunting on Saturday and Sunday, according to the U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii.

The Keamuku Training Area at Pohakuloa Training Area will open for bird hunting from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The area will be open to shotgun bird hunting only, according to PTA. The use of shotgun slugs is not permitted. Hunting is subject to state hunting rules and bag limits.

All bird hunters must check in and out at one of the following hunter’s check-in stations: Kilohana, located on Saddle Road between mile markers 43 and 44, or Puuanahulu, located on Mamalahoa Highway, near mile marker 15. Check-out is no later than 7:30 p.m. each day.

The Keamuku Training Area is accessible via old Saddle Road at gate 2, near mile marker 45, and gate 7, near mile marker 51; and via Mamalahoa Highway at gate 11, located near mile marker 7, and gate 14, located near mile marker 12.

Hunting passes will be provided at the check-in stations starting at 5 p.m. today. These passes must be signed and placed on the vehicle’s dashboard. Hunters who do not have a signed hunting pass on their dashboard will be barred from hunting for 30 days.

PTA areas open for hunting Saturday and Sunday

Army officials are opening several training areas for bow hunting within the Pohakuloa Training Area from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Training areas 12 through 16, will be open for bow hunting of mammals only. Hunters are allowed one pig, one goat and one sheep, per day, in keeping with state bag limits. Shooting sheep with blue collars is not permitted.

All hunters must check in and check out at either Kilohana, on Saddle Road between mile markers 43 and 44, or Puu Huluhulu, at the intersection of Mauna Kea Access Road and Saddle Road, hunter’s check-in stations. Check out is no later than 7:30 p.m. each day.

Hunting passes will be provided at the check-in stations beginning at 5 p.m. today. These passes must be signed and placed on the vehicle’s dashboard. Hunters who do not have a signed hunting pass on their dashboard will be barred from hunting for 30 days.

Hunter access to training areas 12 through 16 is through the gate near mile marker 38.5 on Saddle Road.

Firearms, alcoholic beverages, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and recreational vehicles are not allowed in the training and hunting areas.

For more information, call the PTA Hunter’s Hotline at 969-3474, visit and click on the “Hunting” tab, or refer to instructions on the hunting pass.

Newborn loses fingertip at Guam hospital

HAGATNA, Guam — A newborn had one of her fingertips cut off at a Guam hospital while being treated for a high fever.

Pacific Daily News reported Thursday that the baby’s mother, Johanna Borja of Tamuning, said the cut came as nurses were changing bandages on the baby. But Borja said nurses didn’t give her a clear explanation of what happened.

Guam Memorial Hospital Administrator Joseph Verga confirmed the incident but told the newspaper he couldn’t provide details because it’s an open investigation. Verga said the hospital will take strong, appropriate action based on what it finds.

Borja says she brought her 2-week-old daughter to the hospital Dec. 17 with a fever of 100.1 degrees Fahrenheit. The cut to the baby’s right pinkie apparently happened Dec. 19.

Waianae man mangles hand in fireworks incident

HONOLULU — A fireworks explosion has cost a Waianae man part of his hand.

KITV said Shadrach Ramos-Diaz underwent surgery on his right hand to reattach his thumb after the New Year’s Eve incident that also led to the loss of his pinkie.

The man’s grandmother, Luka Ramos, said she saw a white flash and then the firework was gone out of his hand.

Ramos said she saw her grandson holding the aerial firework and tried to warn him, but it was too late.

The Honolulu Fire Department received 284 calls on New Year’s Eve, compared with more than 300 the previous New Year’s Eve.

Firecrackers are legal on certain holidays for people who buy permits, but aerial fireworks are illegal unless they’re part of a professional show.

Kauai meetings to discuss county council districts

LIHUE, Kauai — A Kauai panel plans to hold public meetings this month on a proposal to establish seven geographic districts on Kauai for the county council.

The proposal would allow voters to elect council members based on the district in which they live. The council would be comprised of representatives from each of the new districts.

The Kauai County Council’s seven members are currently elected at-large to represent the entire island, rather than a specific district or area.

By local and wire sources