In brief | Big Island & State | 2-26-14


Police seeking Kona man wanted for abuse

Hawaii Island police are renewing their request for information about the whereabouts of 21-year-old Moala Kuahuia Kaupu of Kailua-Kona, who is wanted for abuse of a family or household member.

Kaupu is 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 185 pounds with brown eyes and short curly black hair. His ears are pierced and he has a scripture tattoo on an inner forearm, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the police department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311. Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park announces flight schedule

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park announces the following upcoming flight plans:8 to 10 a.m. Thursday over the Great Crack in the southwest rift zone of Kilauea to the coast near Keauhou within the national park. Park biologists will survey and control invasive fountain grass populations below the 2,000-foot elevation within 0.5 mile of Hilina Pali Road.

Between 8 a.m. and noon March 3, 7, 17, 21, 24 and 28. Park staff will transport fencing material from the summit of Kilauea to an area near the top of Mauna Loa Road.

Park officials apologize for any noise impact to residents and park visitors. Dates and times are subject to change based on aircraft availability and weather.

Mauna Kea access road closes briefly for emergency

An emergency situation on Mauna Kea caused the access road to be closed for about 10 minutes Tuesday.

“Emergency medical services were activated for the incident. It was later determined not to be serious,” said Stewart Hunter, general manager at Mauna Kea Observatory Support Services.

No further details were immediately available.

Hawaiian monk seal hospital to open this summer

The Marine Mammal Center says its new hospital for critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals will open to patients this summer.

The California-based nonprofit veterinary hospital broke ground on the $3.2 million Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kailua-Kona in 2012.

The facility includes rehabilitation pens and pools, quarantine areas and a medical lab.

The Marine Mammal Center is working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to operate the hospital.

Matson reports $7.3M net income in 4th quarter

HONOLULU — The biggest shipping company serving Hawaii is reporting net income of more than $7 million for the quarter ended December.

Matson Navigation Co. said Tuesday the earnings include a charge of nearly $10 million to settle a lawsuit.

Matson CEO Matt Cox said in a conference call the case is related to allegations that certain Matson freight forwarder customers had improperly billed the Defense Department for shipping military household goods.

Cox said the allegations lack merit, but the time and costs of litigation and the risks of a jury trial convinced the company to settle.

Matson said it’s not clear how much last September’s molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor will affect future earnings. It said it’s unable to estimate the future costs, penalties, damages or expenses related to the incident.

Motion: Guam jurors posted trial details online

HAGATNA, Guam — Two men and a woman convicted of running a meth ring in Guam are asking for a new trial because of allegations jurors ignored instructions not to discuss the case.

In the motion unsealed this month, a defense attorney alleges several jurors spoke about the case, including posting details about the trial on Facebook.

After a four-month trial, jurors found Rudy Sablan, Maria Edrosa and Mateo Sardoma guilty in October of running a ring that smuggled crystal meth into Guam.

The court filing includes screenshots of a juror’s Facebook page and transcripts of phone calls another juror made with a woman in the same detention center as Edrosa, the Pacific Daily News reported.

Attorney Louie Yanza filed the motion for a new trial on behalf of Sablan in November. It alleges jurors “blatantly ignored” instructions not to discuss the case.

The filing said a juror posted on Facebook comments such as, “Your guilty son LMAO,” and “Why in the world would the District Court of Guam choose me to be a part of jury duty.”

That juror is also accused of not disclosing she had a friend in the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The motion references “extraneous prejudicial information,” saying another juror spoke with the woman in the detention center about the trial and the evidence. The motion quotes the juror as saying, “I don’t think (the) government has (expletive) on them even though I think they’re guilty.” He called the case “shoddy police work.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Guam didn’t immediately respond to an after-hours phone message seeking comment by The Associated Press.

By local and wire sources