In brief | Big Island & State | 2-19-14
Man charged with contempt of court, abuse
Big Island police have located 34-year-old Nathan AhLoo, who was wanted for abuse and contempt of court.
AhLoo was arrested Friday and charged with contempt of court and three counts of abuse of a family or household member, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. His bail was set at $12,000.
Missing Hilo teen found
Big Island police have located 16-year-old Desiree Tolentino-Awai of Hilo, who was reported missing.
She was found unharmed Friday afternoon in Hilo, according to the Hawaii County Police Department.
Puna man facing assault charge
A Puna man is facing a felony assault charge after his neighbor was reportedly hospitalized with “substantial injuries” to his face and body early Monday.
Kiel Brende, 28, of Waa Waa, was charged Monday afternoon with second-degree assault, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. Second-degree assault is a class C felony, according to Hawaii Revised Statutes.
At 2:49 a.m. Monday, Puna patrol officers responded to Hilo Medical Center where a 47-year-old man was being treated for injuries reportedly inflicted upon him by his neighbor at the victim’s home on Pakala Road shortly before midnight, according to police.
Brende was arrested at 8:50 a.m. that day and charged with second-degree assault at 3:30 p.m., according to police. His bail was set at $10,000.
Civil Defense to test Hapuna warning siren
The Hawaii County Civil Defense will conduct a test of the emergency warning siren located at Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area on Thursday. The testing will be conducted between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m.
The test will be limited to the Hapuna siren only, which can be heard as far south as Waialea Bay, as far north as the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, and as far inland as the Hapuna Golf Course, according to Civil Defense.
The test will evaluate and measure the siren sound level for the particular unit. Residents, visitors and beachgoers in the area will hear the siren activation as part of the test.
The test, conducted by Hawaii County Civil Defense and the Hawaii State Civil Defense, is essential to determining the operational status of the siren system.
The next monthly islandwide siren test will be conducted as planned at 11:45 a.m. March 3.
Police arrest 20 for suspected DUI
Hawaii Island police arrested 20 drivers for suspected drunken driving between Feb. 10 and Sunday; three were involved in traffic accidents; two were younger than 21.
Police have made 168 suspected DUI arrests this year compared with 146 during the same period in 2013, according to the Hawaii County Police Department.
Kona and South Kohala officers arrested six motorists in each district while South Hilo officers arrested five, according to police. Puna officers arrested two motorists and Ka‘u officers one.
There have been 194 major accidents this year compared with 176 during the same period in 2013.
To date, there have been three traffic fatalities on Big Island public roadways compared with eight at this time in 2013. To date, one of the fatalities was attributed to a combination of drugs and alcohol, according to police.
Man pleads not guilty in fatal crash
A tentative plea deal is in the works for a Mountain View man accused of running over and killing an elderly bicyclist with a pickup truck late last year.
Michael Green, the Honolulu attorney representing Siaiku Lucky Aholelei, told Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura on Tuesday that he had made a plea offer to prosecutors and he believed that an agreement would be reached in the near future. Aholelei, who has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and first-degree negligent homicide for the Sept. 27 crash that killed 66-year-old Cenon Visaya of Keaau, had been scheduled to start trial Tuesday. The trial was certain to be postponed as Nakamura’s court is in jury selection for the trial of Keaka Martin, accused of two counts of attempted first-degree murder for the nonfatal shooting of two police officers Jan. 2, 2013, in Hilo. Opening arguments are expected next week.
“I know you’re busy, and I have trials. Perhaps at the end of your trial, we can meet with you … to help us resolve the case,” Green told the judge, who scheduled further proceedings for 8:30 a.m. April 21.
Both Green and Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Hashizaki confirmed afterward that negotiations are ongoing.
Gov. nominates Wilson to state Supreme Court
HONOLULU — The governor is appointing a circuit court judge and former chairman of the state Board of Land and Natural Resources to the Hawaii Supreme Court.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Tuesday his nomination to the high court is Michael Wilson.
Abercrombie selected Wilson from the Hawaii Judicial Selection Commission’s list of six nominees.
If confirmed by the state Senate, Wilson will replace retiring Associate Justice Simeon Acoba Jr.
Acoba is retiring in March, when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Wilson is Abercrombie’s third appointment to the five-member court.
The 60-year-old judge graduated from Kailua High School, University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Antioch School of Law.
Abercrombie said Wilson’s resume also includes commissioner for the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission and executive director of the state Division of Consumer Advocacy.
Honolulu wins victory in quest for rail transit
HONOLULU — A federal appeals court is upholding the dismissal of a lawsuit seeking to stop Honolulu’s high-speed rail transit project.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued Tuesday said the project complies with environmental and transportation requirements. The ruling says Honolulu officials made a “good faith and reasonable” effort to identify archaeological sites along the proposed route and developed an appropriate plan for sites discovered during construction.
The ruling affirms a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit by opponents of the more than $5 billion project.
Rail opponent Honolulutraffic.com said there’s little likelihood of prevailing in any further legal action, so it is ending the legal fight.
The project is scheduled for significant construction work this year. Work resumed last fall in west Oahu after a yearlong court-ordered hiatus.
By local and wire sources