In brief | Big Island 091713


Motion may give Naniloa Volcanoes Resort more time

The Naniloa Volcanoes Resort may have just bought itself some time.

David Farmer, the bankruptcy trustee for the hotel on Hilo’s Banyan Drive, said Monday he was filing a motion in federal bankruptcy court seeking an extension for meeting that day’s crucial deadline for accepting the existing lease with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Filing the motion itself gives the bankruptcy estate at least another 21 days, he said.

Failure to have done so would have eliminated the lease as an asset for the estate. That would have ended the bankruptcy process and sent the matter back to foreclosure, Farmer said.

Accepting the lease by the deadline would have required someone to promptly cover the $250,000 semi-annual lease payment that was due Aug. 1, as well as other financial obligations, Farmer said.

He said the hotel doesn’t have the money and the mortgage holder, First Citizens Bank & Trust Co., hasn’t been interested in contributing anymore cash to the failing operation.

A call to the bank’s attorney wasn’t returned Monday afternoon.

Volcano woman pleads no contest in fatal accident

A 41-year-old Volcano woman pleaded no contest on Monday to charges stemming from an April 2012 hit-and-run traffic collision in Hilo that killed a 20-year-old bicyclist.

In a deal with prosecutors, Alison Taylor pleaded no contest to first-degree negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident involving death and DUI. She was originally also charged with manslaughter, reckless driving and driving while her license was suspended. Those charges were dropped in exchange for her no contest plea.

She faces a possible 10-year prison term on both the negligent homicide and leaving the scene charges when she’s sentenced on Nov. 15 at 9 a.m. before Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura. She could have faced a 20-year prison sentence if convicted on the manslaughter charge.

Taylor is also eligible for probation, although she would likely face up to 18 months in jail if given a probation sentence.

Accused arsonist hospitalized with head injury

A 26-year-old Kurtistown man accused of torching a vacant Hawaiian Acres home in April missed a Monday court date because he was hospitalized in Honolulu after being assaulted and suffering a skull fracture.

Justin James Clark, who is charged with first-degree arson, plus unrelated charges of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia, was scheduled to change his pleas in both the arson and drug cases on Monday.

“It is my understanding that Mr. Clark is in (The) Queen’s (Medical Center). He was taken there last week; I believe he was assaulted and medevaced to Queen’s,” Deputy Public Defender Jeff Ng, who’s representing Clark in the drug case, told Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara.

Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Malate told the court he confirmed with the Honolulu hospital “that a Justin Clark is currently admitted.”

Frenz told the judge that she had talked to Clark’s case manager on Monday and “she was advised that his release date is unknown because of his head injury.” She said that he had sustained a fractured skull and would be released “as soon as he can walk without fainting or getting dizzy.

“We do have an agreement in his case and he will change his plea when he is well enough to go through that and sentencing,” Frenz said.

Hara scheduled a hearing for Oct. 15 at 9 a.m.

By local sources

New restaurant unaffiliated with Teshima’s

He‘e, a new restaurant featured in Monday’s Island Inc. section, and its co-owner and chef Manual Velasquez are not affiliated with Teshima’s Restaurant in Honalo, Trudy Teshima said.