Coast Guardsman Convicted of Lewd Act on Minor

A Coast Guardsman was convicted of committing a lewd act on a minor and other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice during a general court-martial at the United States District Court – District of Hawaii Thursday.

Petty Officer 1st Class Shane E. Reese was found guilty of Article 120b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for committing a lewd act on a minor on the Island of Oahu between January and May 2013.

Reese was also found guilty of Article 134 for threats to the victim, Article 107 for making false official statements during the course of the investigation, and Article 112a for wrongful possession, distribution and use of marijuana.

He was sentenced to five years confinement in a military brig, a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a reduction to paygrade E-1, the military’s lowest enlisted grade.

While awaiting court-martial, Reese served at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point as an aviation maintenance technician and was assigned to the unit at the time of the offenses.

According the the Coast Guard Facebook page:

Petty Officer 1st Class Shane E. Reese was found guilty of Article 120b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for committing a lewd act on a minor on the Island of Oahu between January and May 2013.
Reese was also found guilty of Article 134 for threats to the victim, Article 107 for making false official statements during the course of the investigation, and Article 112a for wrongful possession, distribution and use of marijuana.

He was sentenced to five years confinement in a military brig, a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a reduction to paygrade E-1, the military’s lowest enlisted grade.
While awaiting court-martial, Reese served at Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point as an aviation maintenance technician and was assigned to the unit at the time of the offenses.

Big Island Police Still Searching for Jeff Meek

Hawaiʻi Island police are continuing their search for a missing 44-year-old Keaʻau man.

Jeff Meek

Jeff Meek

Thursday (November 13), detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section, Vice Section and Juvenile Aid Section continued their search for Jeffrey Everett Meek, who was last seen in the Pepeʻekeo area last Saturday (November 8). The efforts included both ground and aerial searches, which were aided by use of a Hawaiʻi Fire Department helicopter.

Search efforts continued along the shoreline Friday morning (November 14), again aided by the Fire Department’s chopper.

Detectives have recovered items that are believed to belong to Meek but his whereabouts remain unknown. News reports about “pinging” the location of his cell phone were based on the family’s use of a website that has a disclaimer stating that the information may not be accurate. Police are using more reliable methods to track the location of the phone.

Meek is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-8, 185 pounds with blue eyes and balding brown hair. He usually wears a white cowboy hat and blue jeans. He was last seen operating a 1986 faded blue Ford pickup truck, which police have since recovered.

Police ask anyone who may have seen Meek and his truck on November 8 or who may have information or know his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378 or wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaii House Leadership and Committee Assignments Announced

House Speaker Joseph M. Souki today announced the appointments of the House of Representatives Majority leadership lineup for the 28th Legislature which convenes on January 21, 2015.

capital

“The team that we have formed represents the kind of talents and abilities that will best serve our residents and will address the issues facing our state,” said Speaker Souki. “We look forward to engaging in meaningful discussions with Governor-elect David Ige and his administration to continue to identify ideas and solutions to help Hawaii move forward.”

Members of the House Leadership are as follows:

  • Speaker of the House              Joseph M. Souki
  • Vice Speaker                           John M. Mizuno
  • Majority Leader                      Scott K. Saiki
  • Majority Floor Leader             Cindy Evans
  • Majority Whip                         Ken Ito
  • Asst. Majority Leader             Chris Lee
  • Asst. Majority Leader             Roy M. Takumi
  • Speaker Emeritus                    Calvin K.Y. Say

2015 House Committee Chairpersons:

  • Agriculture (AGR)

Clift Tsuji, Chair

Richard H.K. Onishi, Vice Chair

  • Economic Development & Business (EDB)

Derek S.K. Kawakami, Chair

Sam Kong, Vice Chair

  • Veterans, Military & International Affairs (VMI)

Romy M. Cachola, Chair

Ken Ito, Vice Chair

  • Tourism & Culture and the Arts (TCA)

Tom Brower, Chair

Takashi Ohno, Vice Chair

 

  • Labor & Public Employment (LAB)

Mark M. Nakashima, Chair

Jarrett Keohokalole, Vice Chair

 

  • Public Safety (PBS)

Gregg Takayama, Chair

Kyle T. Yamashita, Vice Chair

 

  • Transportation, (TRN)

Henry J.C. Aquino, Chair

Matthew LoPresti, Vice Chair

 

  • Health (HLT)

Della Au Belatti, Chair

Dee Morikawa, Vice Chair

 

  • Housing (HSG)

Mark J. Hashem, Chair

Richard Creagan, Vice Chair

 

  • Human Services (HUS)

Mele Carroll, Chair

Bertrand Kobayashi, Vice Chair

 

  • Energy & Environmental Protection (EEP)

Chris Lee, Chair

Nicole E. Lowen, Vice Chair

 

  • Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs (OMH)

Kaniela Ing, Chair

Nicole E. Lowen, Vice Chair

 

  • Water & Land (WAL)

Ryan I. Yamane, Chair

Ty J.K. Cullen, Vice Chair

 

  • Education (EDN)

Roy M. Takumi, Chair

Takashi Ohno, Vice Chair

 

  • Higher Education, (HED)

Isaac W. Choy, Chair

Linda Ichiyama, Vice Chair

 

  • Finance (FIN)

Sylvia Luke, Chair

Scott Y. Nishimoto, Vice Chair

 

  • Legislative Management (LMG)

Scott Y. Nishimoto, Chair

John M. Mizuno, Vice Chair

 

  • Consumer Protection & Commerce (CPC)

Angus L.K. McKelvey, Chair

Justin H. Woodson, Vice Chair

 

  • Judiciary (JUD)

Karl Rhoads, Chair

Joy San Buenaventura, Vice Chair

Visitors Not Allowed to Use Chain of Craters Road – Puna Residents to Receive Window Decals

Significant progress has been made on the Chain of Craters Kalapana Road since work began in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on October 24. Today the contractors, working from each end, met in the middle.

Photos courtesy of the National Park Service.

Photos courtesy of the National Park Service.

This completes the rough grade of the road.
ripping 2Work will now begin on crushing excavated material for the road bed. The finished road will be a gravel surfaced 22-foot-wide two-lane road. The road is scheduled to be completed in the next 30-45 days, weather and construction conditions permitting.

Chain of Craters CrewLower Puna residents will be able to access the route after the lava has crossed Highway 130 and Railroad Avenue and the National Park Service has determined that the road is safe for vehicles. The emergency access route will not be open to the public or park visitors.  Residents will receive a free window decal for access through the park.

11/6/14 UPDATE: Volcanoes National Park Clarification on Chain of Craters Emergency Access Route

 

Pahoa Village Road Closed Near Post Office Because of Impending Lava Flow

This is a lava flow and evacuation Information Update for Sunday October 26th at 9:30pm.

Civildefense

The flow continues to remain active and has increased in its advancement rate and speed.  The flow is currently moving at a rate of approximately 15 to 20 yards an hour.  The flow has advanced approximately 170 yards since 9:00 this morning and presently located approximately 600 yards from the Pahoa Village Road.

Based on the current flow location, direction, and advancement rate, residents in the immediate downslope area of the flow path have been advised to prepare for possible evacuation tonight. Other area residents will be kept informed of flow status and any need for evacuation. Civil Defense personnel and community emergency response teams will be going door to door through the immediate area and informing residents of the current flow conditions and possible evacuation. Due to the unpredictability and inconsistency in the flow rate of advancement precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of all residents. Please monitor local radio broadcast for additional information and updates.

As the flow approaches the community, smoke conditions may increase in some areas and residents down wind that may be sensitive or have respiratory problems are advised to take necessary precautions and to remain indoors.

Effective 9:30 PM tonight, Pāhoa Village road will be closed from  Apaʻa Street to Post Office Road and limited to area residents only. In addition, Civil Defense and public safety personnel will be operating in the area round the clock to maintain close observations of flow activity.

Additional updates will be broadcasted as conditions change.

We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your cooperation and assistacne is greatly appreciated.

Federal Aid Programs Announced for Hawaii Residents Affected By Iselle

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s disaster declaration issued for the State of Hawaii.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to Apply for Assistance:

  • Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

TONIGHT – Hawaii County Civil Defense Meeting on Eruption and Lava Flow

Civildefense
Hawai’i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will hold additional community meetings TONIGHT and Thursday, Sept. 11 to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area.

The briefings will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.

Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force Announces Updated Report on Policies and Procdures

UDATE: The meeting will not be open for public testimony.

The Hawaii Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force has announced the release of a newly updated report on the policies and procedures for access, distribution, security, and other relevant issues related to the medical use of marijuana in Hawaii. The report was produced by the Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) and updates findings released in an earlier report first published in August 2009.

Medical Marijuana

In 2000, the Hawaii State Legislature passed a law enabling the use of medical marijuana by qualified individuals. However, the law did not provide these individuals with a legal method of obtaining marijuana—making it illegal for patients and caregivers to get medical marijuana for legitimate use.

This year the Legislature passed HCR48, establishing under the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Public Policy Center, the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Task Force to develop recommendations to establish a regulated statewide dispensary system for medical marijuana.

The updated LRB report highlights glaring uncertainties within Hawaii’s medical marijuana program in regards to the access and transportation of medical marijuana. The program currently only allows qualifying patients to use medical marijuana, but does not provide them with any method to obtain it other than for them to grow a limited amount on their own. However, the sale of marijuana—including seeds for cultivation—remains illegal under state law.  As a result qualifying patients who suffer from cancer or other debilitating diseases are unable to legally acquire medical marijuana to find relief and improve the quality of their lives.

Additionally, it is uncertain whether or to what extent a qualifying patient or caregiver may transport medical marijuana anywhere outside the home on the same island, or island to island, without violating state drug enforcement laws.

“It has been over a decade since Hawaii took the historic step of legalizing medical marijuana to better the lives our residents. But as we have learned throughout the years and once again validated by the report, issues still exist with the program that need to be addressed,” said House Health Chair Della Au Belatti. “The task force is working towards improving our medical cannabis system with the goal of facilitating access for patients through a legal dispensary system or other means.”

The Dispensary System Task Force will submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation to the 2015 Legislature.

On Tuesday, September 9, from 9:00 – 11:00 am at the Hawaii State Capitol, Room 325, the Dispensary Task Force will be briefed by the Legislative Reference Bureau on its 2014 report.

Public hearings on Hawaii Island and Oahu have been scheduled by the Task Force to obtain public testimony on issues and concerns regarding dispensaries in Hawaii and any input on the updated Legislative Reference Bureau report.  These public hearings are scheduled as follows:

  • Hawaii Island (Hilo): Wednesday, September 10th at 5:00 pm. Aupuni Center.
  • Oahu: Wednesday, September 24th at 5:00 pm. Hawaii State Capitol Auditorium.

The updated report and more information on the Dispensary Task Force is available online at http://www.publicpolicycenter.hawaii.edu/projects-programs/hcr48.html

Man Arrested After Neighbor Confronts Burglar at Neighbor’s House

A 21-year-old man is in police custody after a concerned citizen reported a burglary at a neighbor’s house in Pepeʻekeo.

Scott Taira

Scott Taira

In response to a 10:30 a.m. call Thursday (September 4), police learned that a man had walked onto a property on Maukaloa Street. When the neighbor went to the property to confront the suspect, the suspect was inside the house. He reportedly threw a case out a window and then climbed out the window and fled on foot, leaving the case behind.

Police recovered the case, which contained a rifle belonging to the victims. They also recovered a backpack inside the house packed with jewelry belonging to the victims.

Investigation led to the arrest of Scott Taira of Pepeʻekeo at 11:51 a.m. Thursday.

He was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 1:30 p.m. Friday (September 5), detectives charged him with first-degree burglary and first-degree theft. His bail was set at $10,000. He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (September 8).

Kaʻū Man Arrested on Suspicion of Attempted Murder and Other Offenses

A 62-year-old Kaʻū man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and other offenses in connection with a domestic dispute in May.

Rayner Kinney Jr.

Rayner Kinney Jr.

On May 23, an 85-year-old Ocean View man reported that he had been assaulted the day before and again that day by Rayner Kinney Jr. during arguments at the victim’s home in the Kona Gardens subdivision. Kinney reportedly struck the victim with his fists on May 22. On May 23, he reportedly struck the victim with a metal object, a wooden object, his fists and his feet and then removed a handgun from the victim’s car and fired it multiple times, before driving away in the victim’s car. None of the rounds hit the victim but he received injuries to his head, arms and body. He was taken to his physician by private vehicle.

On Wednesday (September 3), detectives from the Juvenile Aid Section, which investigates domestic incidents, arrested Kinney at a home in Ocean View and charged him with violating a protective order and promoting a detrimental drug. He was also arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, terroristic threatening, assault, robbery, reckless endangering, unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and two counts of abuse of a family/household member.

Kinney was held at the Kona police cellblock in lieu of $1,250 bail for the drug and protective order charges until his court appearance Thursday (September 4) on those offenses.

The other offenses remain under investigation.

Mayor Kenoi Declares Emergency Related To Lava Flow

Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi today signed an emergency proclamation for the advancing lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area after the flow extended to less than a mile from the edge of the Ka‘ohe Homesteads subdivision.

Click to read proclamation

Click to read proclamation

“We are taking this step to ensure our residents have time to prepare their families, their pets, and their livestock for a safe and orderly evacuation from Ka‘ohe in the event the flow continues to advance,” Mayor Kenoi said.

Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said the proclamation allows county authorities to restrict access to Ka‘ohe Homestead roadways so that residents can move safely if an evacuation becomes necessary.

Oliveira stressed that no evacuation has been ordered at this time. He urged residents to finalize their evacuation plans and monitor county Civil Defense updates closely in the days ahead.

Civil Defense employees will continue today to conduct door-to-door visits to each home in Ka‘ohe to explain the situation to residents, and to help them to prepare.

“Only residents will be allowed on the subdivision roads starting today, and we ask that non-residents stay away from the area,” Oliveira said. “The lava cannot be seen from the subdivision, and there is no reason for non-residents to be in the Ka‘ohe subdivision at this time. This is a difficult and stressful time for Ka‘ohe residents, and we ask that everyone show respect and understanding for our Ka‘ohe neighbors.”

Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are holding a series of public meetings to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area, and the next update will be at 6:30 p.m. on today, Sept. 4 at the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.

Click to read Mayor Kenoi's Letter to the Governor

Click to read Mayor Kenoi’s Letter to the Governor

Senator Schatz Announces USDA Designation of Hawaii County as Natural Disaster Area

Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Hawai‘i County as a primary natural disaster area due to damages and losses caused by wind, rain, and flooding from Tropical Storm Iselle. After a review of the Hawai‘i County Loss Assessment Reports, the USDA determined that there were sufficient agricultural production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation.

People waited for hours just for basic supplies during Iselle.

People waited for hours just for basic supplies during Iselle.

“Many farmers in Puna are still recovering after suffering devastating crop loss due to Tropical Storm Iselle and they need our help,” Senator Schatz said. “I thank USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack for reviewing the Loss Assessment Reports and for issuing a Secretarial natural disaster designation for Hawai‘i County. Support from the USDA will help ensure that our farmers in Hawai‘i County will receive the assistance they need.”

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm, and the security and repayment ability of the operator.  So far, FSA has received over 100 inquiries for assistance from producers in Hawai‘i County.

Hawaiian Telcom Progress Hindered by Vandalism – Fiber Cables Deliberately Cut

Hawaiian Telcom Progress Hindered by Vandalism, Less than 200 Out of Service Hawaiian Telcom continues to make progress in restoring services to Big Island customers.

telcom1Less than 200 customers are out of service, primarily in Nanawale where crews have now begun to repair damaged cables.

Hawaiian Telcom crews worked over the Labor Day weekend but their progress was hindered by vandalism in Kapoho. Hawaiian Telcom crews discovered fiber cables that had been deliberately cut in several places. Copper theft is suspected and a police report has been filed. Theft of copper is a Class C felony in Hawaii punishable by five years in prison. Hawaiian Telcom urges the public to report suspicious activity to police at 911 or by calling Hawaiian Telcom security at 643-7111.

Hawaiian Telcom is continuing to provide free Wi-Fi service at the Hawaiian Paradise Park Activity Center and the Pahoa Community Center. Hours of operation at both locations are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To take advantage of the free Wi-Fi, consumers should bring their own wireless devices, such as laptop computers, tablets and smartphones.

Hawaiian Telcom thanks customers for their patience and understanding as crews continue to work hard on restoring all services as quickly as possible.

Hilo Man Charged With Three Offenses in Connection With an Assault

A Hilo man has been charged with three offenses in connection with an assault Saturday evening (August 30) in Hilo.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, a 23-year-old Hilo man reported that while he was in a parked vehicle off Piopio Street, an acquaintance struck him in the arm with a metal object and threatened additional physical harm.

Joshua Resun

Joshua Resun

At 9:20 p.m., police arrested 31-year-old Joshua Resun of Hilo. He was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

At 12:45 p.m. Sunday, he was charged with unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, third-degree assault and second-degree terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $3,000. He was to remain in the cellblock until his initial court appearance on Tuesday (September 2).

Big Island Police Investigating Puna Home Invasion Burglary

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating a home invasion burglary early Sunday (August 31) in Puna.

HPDBadgeIn response to a 3 a.m. report, Puna Patrol officers responded to a home on the 15-1700 block of 25th Avenue in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision. A 66-year-old man reportedly woke up to find two unidentified men in his bedroom. He was punched and threatened with a knife and with additional physical harm.

The victim reported that numerous items were missing from the house, including guitars and electronic equipment. Estimated value of the stolen goods is $2,495.

The suspects were described only as local males with one wearing a mask.

Police ask anyone with any information about this case to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378 or wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Maui Felon Arrested for Refusing to Provide DNA Sample – State Looking for Others

Attorney General David M. Louie announced that on August 22, 2014, John P. Dunbar Jr. (60) of Haiku, Maui, was arrested by patrol officers and officers assigned to the Maui Police Department’s Crime Reduction Unit for refusing to provide a DNA sample. Mr. Dunbar, had been convicted of Escape in the Second Degree, which is a felony, in June 2005 and was provided notice of the legal requirement that he provide a DNA sample.

Pursuant to section 844D-31, Hawaii Revised Statutes, any person convicted of a felony is required to provide a buccal swab sample containing DNA. This law applies to all convicted felons, even if their conviction occurred before the passage of the law in 2005. Refusal to submit a DNA sample is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year imprisonment or a maximum fine of $2,000.

This case is the result of the Attorney General’s on-going law enforcement effort to obtain DNA samples from thousands of unsupervised convicted felons in the State of Hawaii and was a joint effort between the Attorney General Investigations Division’s DNA Swabbing Unit, the United States Marshals Service, the Maui Police Department, and the Maui Prosecutor’s Office.

“I thank the various law enforcement agencies that have assisted our office in ensuring that state law is followed and that convicted felons who refuse to provide DNA samples are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Attorney General Louie. “The DNA collection program has already assisted law enforcement in closing unsolved crimes. I encourage anyone that has been convicted of a felony that has not yet provided a DNA sample to voluntarily comply with the law and provide a sample to our DNA Swabbing Unit.” The DNA Swabbing Unit can be contacted at 808-586-1240.

An arrest does not constitute a conviction and Mr. Dunbar is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the criminal offense charged.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

 

Hawaii Supreme Court Dismisses Three Primary Election Lawsuits

Attorney General David M. Louie announced yesterday that the Hawaii Supreme Court dismissed three separate challenges to the primary election that was held on August 9, 2014 and August 15, 2014.

Elections 2014

“The Hawaii Supreme Court reached the right result in all three challenges to Hawaii’s primary election,” said Attorney General Louie. “These decisions bring closure and finality to our primary election. The candidates and Hawaii’s voters can now look forward to the general election knowing that the results of the primary election are sound and not subject to any further challenge.”

In Lathers, et al v. Abercrombie, et al, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued among other things that the actions of the State and County of Hawaii defendants following Hurricane/Tropical Storm Iselle infringed upon the plaintiffs’ right to vote. The ACLU asked the court to re-open the primary election to people who claimed to have been unable to vote. The Hawaii Supreme Court concluded that it does not have the power or authority under the Hawaii Constitution or by Hawaii Revised Statutes to grant the relief the ACLU sought on behalf of the plaintiffs and dismissed the complaint.

In Waikiki v. Nago, the plaintiff, one of seven candidates in the Maui County Mayoral race, who received a total of 818 votes, contested the results of the election, and sought an order compelling a re-count or re-vote. In dismissing the complaint, the Hawaii Supreme Court concluded that the plaintiff “can prove no set of facts that would entitle him to relief” because he failed to present any “actual information of mistakes or errors sufficient to change the results of the election.”

In Cermelj, et al v. Nago, et al, the plaintiffs filed an “Election Contest Complaint”. The court dismissed the complaint concluding that plaintiffs could not bring an election contest because such challenges may only be brought by a candidate, political party or “thirty voters of any election district.”

Puna Officer Named East Hawaii “Officer of the Month”

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Officer Dwight Walker on Thursday (August 28) as East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for August.

Hilo Exchange Club President Andy Iwashita presents an 'Officer of the Month' award to Officer Dwight Walker.

Hilo Exchange Club President Andy Iwashita presents an ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Officer Dwight Walker.

Walker, a Puna Patrol officer, was honored for a theft investigation that led to the arrest of a man suspected of multiple crimes.

In July, Walker responded to a report of a theft of fishing items from a garage in the Ainaloa subdivision. Early in the investigation, he canvassed businesses until he was able to identify a suspect and a vehicle description, including a license plate.

A few days later, police received a tip that the suspect’s car was near the scene of the initial theft. When Officer Walker arrived at the scene, the suspect fled into the bushes. The victim’s items were visible in his car, so Walker began the process of obtaining a search warrant for the vehicle.

Other officers conducted a lengthy search in the heavy brush and located the suspect, who was in the possession of hydrocodone pills and marijuana. He was arrested on two outstanding warrants and charged with theft and drug offenses as well as burglary for another break-in earlier that day and for an unrelated case involving a stolen car. His bail was set at $38,000.

Lieutenant Reed Mahuna credited Walker’s early work on the case with the successful outcome. “Although the apprehension of this suspect was the result of teamwork and persistence of many patrol officers, it was Officer Walker’s timely and thorough initial investigation that put the pieces together to build a solid case,” Mahuna said in nomination papers. “The defendant in this case is likely responsible for a rash of unsolved crimes occurring in the district and his arrest likewise reduced future crimes he would commit in the foreseeable future to support his drug habit.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Walker is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

FEMA Aid Denied to Hawaii and Iselle Victims

The State of Hawaii’s request for a major disaster declaration due to Tropical Storm Iselle was denied today by Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator W. Craig Fugate. The request sought Individual Assistance for individuals and households affected by the tropical storm in early August and Hazard Mitigation funds for use in statewide projects.

Various types of trees, including the invasive Allbizia were knocked down by the winds of hurricane Iselle as it landed on the eastern coast of Hawaii island on August 8, 2014.    Photo by Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Various types of trees, including the invasive Allbizia were knocked down by the winds of hurricane Iselle as it landed on the eastern coast of Hawaii island on August 8, 2014. Photo by Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Administrator Fugate’s denial letter states: “it has been determined that the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies.”

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA), formerly known as State Civil Defense, continues to work with federal and county officials on an application for assistance to rebuild public infrastructure.

People still in need of assistance following Iselle should call Hawaii County at (808) 935-0031 or the volunteer request line at (808) 464-3175.

The American Red Cross and the Hawaii State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters continues to take donations to help those affected by Iselle. Donations can be made through the following channels:

American Red Cross (Hawaii Chapter), Phone: (808) 734-2101 http://www.redcross.org/hi/honolulu

Hawaii State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters

Hurricane Iselle Long-Term Relief and Recovery Fund

Iselle donations may be dropped off at any American Savings Bank.

https://hivoad.communityos.org/cms/contact_hi

 

Big Island Police Searching for 16-Year-Old Kona Girl Missing Since July

8/28/14 UPDATE – Hawaiʻi Island police have located 16-year-old Shania Akiona of Kailua-Kona, who was reported missing.

She was found unharmed in Kailua-Kona on Wednesday evening (August 27).

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for 16-year-old Kailua-Kona girl who was reported missing.

Shania Akiona

Shania Akiona

Shania Akiona was last seen in Kailua-Kona on July 8.

She is described as Hawaiian, 5-foot-2, 105 pounds with long black hair and brown eyes.

Police ask anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.