In Brief | State 10-29-13


Honolulu police to conduct DUI checkpoints

HONOLULU — The Honolulu police department will be setting up impaired driving checkpoints during the upcoming holiday season.

The department says checkpoints will be at unannounced times and locations from Friday through Dec. 31. The checkpoints will include holiday weekends such as Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As of Monday, 49 people have been killed in traffic collisions on Oahu. Speed, alcohol and/or drugs were factors in 15 of those crashes. Fifty-one people were killed in traffic collisions during the same period last year.

Maui County facing food inspector shortage

WAILUKU, Maui — Maui doesn’t have enough food safety inspectors.

Maui District Health Office program chief Patti Kitkowski told The Maui News in an article published Sunday that the county only has three inspectors. They’re responsible for looking after more than 1,700 registered food establishments, as well as temporary vendors that sell food on weekends or at special events.

The county hired two more inspectors from the mainland in recent years, but Kitkowski said they left because of the high cost of living and low pay.

The FDA recommends that high-risk establishments be checked every four to six months, but Kitkowski said two years may pass between inspections on Maui.

Most inspections are “spot checks,” or unscheduled visits to restaurants, food trucks, grocery stores and other eateries, she said.

“We are also dealing with a lot of illegal vendors, and we cannot be there 24 hours a day,” Kitkowski said. “Lots of things happen at night or over the weekend.”

The most common violations are lack of hand-washing, poor temperature controls, cross-contamination by raw or uncooked foods, and vermin, she said.

She said the office hopes the public will help by calling in. She recommends asking people who sell food door to door for their permits.

The state Legislature granted 13 additional full-time inspector positions, with three positions on Maui, to be filled over the next three years. The funding to hire has not yet been released.

Maui furlough program burglary inmate missing

WAILUKU, Maui — A Maui inmate serving time for burglary is missing after he walked away from a work line in the Waikapu area.

The state Department of Public Safety said Monday Reid Kauhaahaa is in a work furlough program.

Kauhaahaa is serving a five-year term at Maui Community Correctional Center for burglary and theft. His next parole hearing was scheduled for February.

He walked away from the work line around noon Monday.

Authorities are asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to call police.

Kauhaahaa is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. He has hazel eyes and brown hair.

California man pleads guilty in Hawaii drug case

HONOLULU — A Southern California man faces 10 years to life in prison after pleading guilty in a federal case involving about six pounds of crystal meth sent to Hawaii.

Christopher Woolem pleaded guilty Monday in Honolulu. Defense attorney Richard Hamar said Woolem pleaded guilty to conspiracy with intent to possess and distribute methamphetamine.

Co-defendant Vyra Kaopua pleaded guilty last week, saying Woolem paid her several thousand dollars to accept drug shipments at her West Oahu home.

FedEx security in April intercepted a package containing six pounds of crystal meth that Kaopua signed for. She then helped agents arrest Woolem, of Santa Ana, Calif.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Beverly Sameshima said the street value of the crystal meth involved is between $108,000 and $138,000.

Woolem’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 10.

By wire sources