State 5/24


Hawaii woman sues Salvation Army, claims sex abuse

HONOLULU — A woman is suing the Salvation Army, claiming the organization moved a minister from Oahu to Maui after she reported he sexually abused her in the 1950s.

Nancy Spencer’s lawsuit filed on Maui this week claims she was 11 when Richard Taba molested her. She said her mother told the Salvation Army what happened and believed he had been terminated. But Spencer read in Taba’s obituary last year that he continued to serve as the Salvation Army’s chaplain on Maui for 40 years.

A spokesman for the Salvation Army in Hawaii didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The lawsuit is possible because of a 2012 state law that suspends the statute of limitations for sex abuse cases until April 2014.

Motorcyclist dies of injuries

WAILUKU, Maui — A motorcyclist has died of injuries sustained in a crash last month on Maui.

Police say 70-year-old Pukalani resident Allen Vierra Sr. had been at Maui Memorial Medical Center since April 27.

The Maui News reports that he died early Tuesday.

Vierra, who was not wearing a helmet, was injured when he lost control of his motorcycle on Baldwin Avenue. Police believe that speed was not a factor.

Inmate caught who failed to return from furlough

HONOLULU — A state prison inmate who failed to return from a work furlough program has been apprehended.

KITV-TV reports that 42-year-old Moronai Ufiufi was reported missing from the Oahu Community Correctional Center on May 3. Police arrested him in Chinatown Tuesday.

Ufiufi had been in prison since January 2010 for drug violations and was up for parole next month.

KITV says he now faces a second-degree escape charge.

Pacific Army head calls for Stryker Brigade review

HONOLULU — The head of the U.S. Army in the Pacific says Hawaii’s Stryker Brigade needs review amid military budget cuts.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Lt. Gen. Frank Wiercinski said Hawaii is expected to keep its 22,500-active duty soldiers as the Army downsizes. But he said it is time to re-evaluate whether it makes sense to keep Hawaii’s Stryker Brigade, given three additional brigades at Fort Lewis in Washington.

Schofield’s Stryker Brigade has about 4,200 soldiers. A light infantry unit in a different brigade has about 3,500 soldiers. The general says it is time to look at whether Hawaii’s Stryker Brigade should keep its 320 armored vehicles or revert to a light infantry unit without Strykers.

State agency approves shellfish permit

HONOLULU — For the first time in more than two decades, a Hawaii company has been granted a permit to grow and sell shellfish locally.

Hawaii News Now reports that the state Department of Health granted the permit to Sunrise Capital, which is doing business under the name Kauai Clams in Kekaha on Kauai.

The last time a permit was granted was 26 years ago. Hawaiian Seafood Gardens closed in 1997 because of financial reasons, and the Department of Health allowed its federal laboratory certification to lapse in 2000.

The state now has re-activated its shellfish permit program because of increased interest in shellfish production, including an outfit on windward Oahu that plans to grow oysters in the Heeia Fishpond.