Monday | September 26, 2016
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In Brief | Big Island

F/A-18 crews training on Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island residents may catch a glimpse of F/A-18 Hornet aircraft this month.

The jets will be temporarily based at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay and will provide predeployment training on Hawaii Island, Marine officials said Tuesday.

The aircraft, pilots and crewmen, assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 in Fort Worth, Texas, will support Marines of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment and 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment during Exercise Lava Viper at Pohakuloa Training Area.

Foster care extended to age 21 in Hawaii

Foster youths will no longer have to be on their own once they turn 18.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a bill into law last week that allows children in foster care to continue to receive help from social services into young adulthood.

The new program, available until the age of 21, is intended to help youth transition to being independent adults.

Participants in the voluntary program will be eligible for the state’s independent living services, which include job skills development, educational support services, emergency housing, as well as other services, a state Department of Human Services spokeswoman said in an email.

During the last fiscal year, 93 youths “aged out” of foster care, according to DHS. Twenty-four of them were from Hawaii County.

The department is expecting between 135 and 175 youths to participate in the program.

A fiscal analysis projected the extension will cost the state $1,088,790, according to DHS.

The group’s board includes current and former foster children between the ages of 14 and 26.

Young adults who have already aged out of foster care will be eligible for the program.

On average, there are about 1,076 children in foster care each month.

In Hawaii County, 514 children went in and out of foster care during the last fiscal year, according to DHS.

Eighteen other states have a similar program.

Federal drug offenses net Kona man 25 years in prison

U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright sentenced Kona resident Uiki Teaupa, 42, to 25 years in federal prison Monday for committing two federal drug offenses.

A federal jury in March convicted Teaupa on a drug conspiracy charge and a distribution charge, both of which involved more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney’s Office officials said.

According to court testimony, Teaupa made at least eight trips to the mainland between 2009 and 2012, during which he obtained more than 20 pounds of methamphetamine. Teaupa smuggled the methamphetamine to Hawaii Island, where another person distributed it.

The indictment of Teaupa was the result of a two-year joint investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hawaii County Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Nammar.

By local sources