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In Brief | Big Island & State | 3-20-14

Updated: 
March 20, 2014 - 12:05am

Police seek missing Hilo teen

Big Island police are searching for a 16-year-old Hilo boy who was reported missing.

Delvionte Cooper, also known as “Devy,” was last seen in Hilo on the morning of March 14. He is described as African-American, 5 feet 7 inches, weighing 114 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the police department’s nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Woman charged with meth trafficking

A 26-year-old Hilo woman is facing meth trafficking and other charges following a search warrant on her residence Monday.

Rebecca Mosmanking was arrested at her Hilinai Street home after Vice Section officers served a narcotics search warrant there. They found 26.1 grams of crystal methamphetamine along with paraphernalia associated with the consumption and distribution of meth.

Monday night, Mosmanking was charged with first-degree meth trafficking, two counts of promoting a dangerous drug and two counts of possessing drug paraphernalia. Her bail was set at $305,000.

She remained at the cellblock pending her initial court appearance Wednesday.

PTA open for turkey hunting Saturday, Sunday

Army officials are opening the Keamuku training area for shotgun or bow bearded turkey, or gobbler, hunting, and training areas 1 to 4 for bow mammal hunting from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

No shotgun slugs are permitted.

Hunters enter and exit the Keamuku training area through gates 2 and 7 on old Saddle Road and through gates 11 and 14 on Highway 190. Parking is accessible in the designated area by mile marker 49 and 50. No parking is allowed on the shoulders of the highways. Hunting areas will be monitored by federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Hunters enter and exit training areas 1 to 4 through gates 1 to 10 on east Saddle Road, Highway 200, and must secure all gates upon entering and exiting.

Hunting passes will be provided at the check-in stations after 5 p.m. Friday. 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.

All 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, Puu Huluhulu, located at the intersection of Mauna Kea Access and Saddle roads near mile marker 28, or Puu Anahulu check-in station located in the vicinity of mile marker 14 on Highway 190. Check-out time is no later than 7:30 p.m. each day.

For more information, call the PTA Hunter’s Hotline at 969-3474; visit garrison.hawaii.army.mil/pta, and click on the “Hunting” tab; or refer to instructions on the hunting pass. Hunters can also call 969-2411 or 656-3154 during business hours.

Honokaa playground to be dedicated Tuesday

A blessing and dedication ceremony for Hawaii Island’s newest public playground will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Honokaa Park.

The public is invited to join Mayor Billy Kenoi, Hamakua Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter and other dignitaries in opening the playground. Refreshments will be served.

Located next to the park’s gymnasium, the playground features a play area designed for children 2 to 5 years old and another for bigger keiki between the ages of 5 and 12. Multiple slides, climbing rings, covered decks and a grass-like safety surface comprise the playground’s modular design.

Man charged in deadly Waikiki purse snatching

HONOLULU — A Waianae man is charged with robbery and manslaughter in a violent Waikiki purse snatching.

Police say 24-year-old Josiah Figueroa was charged Tuesday.

Fifty-two-year-old Jullie Stephenson was walking to her Waikiki apartment on Feb. 2 when a man shoved her down from behind and grabbed her purse.

The grandmother of four broke her hip in the fall and started bleeding internally. Doctors placed her in a coma to protect her organs from further damage. She died Feb. 26.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Figueroa is being held on $500,000 bail. It’s not clear if he has an attorney.

Hawaii News Now reported photos from surveillance video taken at an ABC store near Stephenson’s apartment building helped police identify Figueroa.

Ex-Halawa guard pleads guilty in meth smuggling

HONOLULU — A former prison guard has pleaded guilty to charges related to smuggling methamphetamine into Halawa Correctional Facility.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported James Sanders III said Tuesday in federal court that he distributed meth to a confidential informant and took $5,000 to smuggle items into the prison.

He pleaded guilty to a meth distribution charge and bribery.

He was one of two guards arrested in January for allegedly smuggling drugs into prison.

Sanders faces up to 50 years in prison and more than $5 million in fines when he’s sentenced June 26.

The 31-year-old from Kailua, Oahu, was hired as an adult corrections officer in January 2012 and resigned Feb. 5.

Maui County reduces number of take-home vehicles

WAILUKU, Maui — Maui has reduced the number of employees who take home county-owned vehicles.

The number of employees taking home county-owned vehicles dropped 52 percent to 80, Managing Director Keith Regan told the Maui County Council’s budget and finance committee Tuesday. He said that before a new policy went into effect in July 2012, employees were taking home 165 county-owned vehicles.

The policy stems from a 2010 report that cited concerns about the high number of vehicles and poor inventory record-keeping, the Maui News reported. The county could save nearly $33 million by improving management of its fleet, the report said.

“That’s a very impressive level of reduction,” said committee chairman Mike White.

While county departments have fully complied with the policy, some employees of the Department of Water Supply are challenging the loss of take-home vehicles based on a 1993 union arbitration decision.

The water department has the most take-home vehicles with 52, down from 61 previously.

Regan said water employees often need to respond to water main breaks in the middle of the night. The administration is working with the water department to “come up with a realistic way to address take-home vehicles,” he said.

Other departments have seen a drop in take-home vehicles. They include: the Department of Environmental Management, which went down to six vehicles from 42, and the Department of Parks and Recreation, which went down to seven vehicles from 36.

County employees who use their private vehicles for county business can be reimbursed for mileage at a rate of 56.5 cents per mile.

The county installed Global Positioning System devices on 504 vehicles, which provide information such as how fast a vehicle is driven and its gas mileage.

By local and wire sources