Big Island Video News for Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Big Island Video News for Monday, July 23, 2012:

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Big Island Police Crack Down on Three Gambling Operations in Hilo

*Editors note* I previously blogged about the 777 operation in 2009 and wondered how it could possibly be legal.

Big Island police disrupted suspected gambling operations at three locations in Hilo.

Shortly before 2 p.m. Friday (July 20), Vice Section officers from Area I and Area II, Criminal Investigation Section Officers, Community Policing officers and South Hilo Patrol officers executed search warrants at Tilt Amusement Center, located at 111 E. Puainako Street, Da Little Game Shack, located at 165 E. Kawili Street, and 777 Arcade, located at 500 Manono Street. The execution of the search warrants was the result of an investigation using undercover officers and tips from the public, which helped corroborate suspected gambling activities at the above locations.

While executing the search warrants, officers seized 33 suspected illegal gambling machines, suspected gambling records, and large sums of cash.

Police arrested three employees on suspicion of promoting gambling. They were 47-year-old Paul Lagat of Keaʻau (from Tilt Amusement Center), 50-year-old Lance Yamada of Hilo (from 777 Arcade) and 39-year-old Serena Valenzuela of Pāhoa (from Da Little Game Shack). All three were later released pending further investigation.


“The Hawaiʻi Police Department thanks the public for providing tips and information that assisted police with the disruption of these suspected illegal gambling operations,” said Lieutenant Burt Shimabukuro from the Area I Vice Section.

Vice detectives are continuing the investigation.

Phuket Outrigger – Outrigger Hotel and Resorts Acquires Laguna Beach Resort

Hawaii-based Outrigger Hotels and Resorts announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the 254-key Laguna Beach Resort located in the renowned Laguna Phuket integrated resort on Bang Tao Bay on the northwest coast of Phuket, Thailand. The transaction is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2013.

“The Outrigger name is already synonymous with tropical, beachfront, leisure resort destinations; this acquisition of Laguna Beach Resort further solidifies our brand positioning as we continue to build our presence in the Asia-Pacific resort market,” said David Carey, president and chief executive officer at Outrigger Enterprises Group. “With three years of resort management experience in the Laguna Phuket destination, we are confident that this new asset is a perfect fit for our first major investment in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Originally opened in 1991, the Laguna Beach Resort is nestled between a tropical lagoon and the Andaman Sea.  The resort features amenities that include a spa, tennis courts, meeting and conference rooms, a wedding chapel, extensive water features and a resort pool.  Each of the 254 rooms features a private balcony.  A fully-equipped kids club makes the resort a perfect spot for families. The resort is just 20-minutes from the airport and Patong Beach, and 25-minutes from Phuket town. The property is currently undergoing a major renovation of all of its rooms and public areas and is expected to reopen early in the second quarter of 2013.

The Laguna Beach Resort will be the second property for Outrigger in Laguna Phuket, joining the Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas, which it has managed since August 2009. Since starting its Asian expansion a few years ago, Outrigger has grown its presence to include properties currently open or under development in Bali and Phuket, the two most popular resort destinations in Asia, as well as in Phi Phi island, Thailand; Sanya, Hainan Island, China; and Quy Nhon, Vietnam.

“The Laguna Beach Resort will be one of the brightest jewels in the Outrigger portfolio, and we look forward to completing the renovations and opening this resort early next year,” said Darren Edmonstone, managing director, Asia-Pacific, of Outrigger. “The addition of this iconic resort positions Outrigger extremely well in the growing Asia-Pacific region. The combination of the Laguna Beach Resort, with our existing management of the Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas and the idyllic Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa, creates exciting opportunities for guests who desire a luxury experience in premier leisure destinations in Asia.”

The Laguna Beach Resort is one of six deluxe resort hotels within the 1,000 acre Laguna Phuket integrated resort, widely recognized as one of Asia’s finest destination resorts, with five miles of pristine sandy beaches, the Laguna Phuket Golf Club, spas, restaurants and a retail shopping center.  Laguna Resorts & Hotels Public Company Limited, a public company listed on the Thai stock exchange, developed the Laguna Phuket integrated resort starting in the mid-1980s from the remains of an abandoned tin mine once thought to be too polluted to develop.  Laguna Phuket has since won numerous environmental awards as a result of that successful effort.

From Across the U.S., Hawaii Horse Expo Brings Together Best in Their Fields

The 5th annual Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Hawaii Horse Expo is coming up August 11 and 12. The event will be co-hosted by Paniolo Preservation Society at the Paniolo Heritage Center at Pukalani Stables in Waimea. Proceeds from the annual event will benefit the HIHS Horse Rescue and Paniolo Preservation Society.

Pukalani Stables allows for three Expo programs to occur simultaneously in three different settings for ongoing action. The Paniolo Preservation Society Museum will be open to Expo attendees and there will be a wide array of vendors offering services, medical and nutritional information and programs, saddle making and more as well as a benefit silent auction.

August 11 clinics, demonstrations and presentations include topics such as Round Pen Logic, Colt Starting, The Ten Qualities of the Horse’s Mind, ABC’s of Horse Breeding and Yoga and the Rider.

Sunday, August 12 topics include Taking Your Horse to the Next Level, Horse Behavior 101, A Horse of a Different Color, and Introduction to Wellness Hoof Trimming. Sunday also includes a Hawaiian blessing of horses and presentation of the 3rd annual Mana Award by HIHS and Veterinary Associates to Dick Solmssen who founded and has been director of HPS’s horse program for the past 50 years.

Hawaii Horse Expo Clinicians and presenters are Janice Baxter, Dr. Brady Bergin, Linda Tellington-Jones, Dr. Daniel King, Rick Lamb, Dr. Robert Miller, Susanella Nobel, Charles Wilhelm, Richard Winters, Sarah Winters and Dr. Lisa Wood.

Gates open both days from 9am until 6pm. Tickets, $30 per day, are available now at HIHS shelters in Waimea, Kona and Keaau and at the Parker Ranch Store. Tickets will also be available at the gate. Call 808-887-2301 or visit www. HawaiiHorseExpo.com for more information.

The mission of the Hawaii Island Humane Society is to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the bond between humans and animals. HIHS holds a contract with the County of Hawaii to enforce certain animal-related laws and it offers 24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, microchipping and more. Learn more at HIHS.org or call 808-329-1175.

Big Island Police Looking for Man Who Escaped Correctional Facility in Hilo

Big Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating an inmate who allegedly escaped from a correctional facility in Hilo on Saturday.

Dallas Wesley Runyon

At 10:58 Saturday, police responded to the Hale Nani Correctional Facility off Route 11 in Hilo after receiving a report that Dallas Wesley Runyon, 32, of Kaʻū had left the facility without authorization.

Runyon is described as Caucasian, about 5-foot-10, 175 pounds with blue eyes and shoulder-length brown or blond hair. He was last seen wearing a white shirt with “Inmate” printed on the back, grey sweat pants, and shoes. He may have a goatee and mustache. He also has several tattoos, with the most prominent ones being a gargoyle on his right forearm, a dragon on his inner left forearm, and others on his right arm and both legs.

Runyon is not considered dangerous. However, police advise the public to avoid contacting him and instead, if they see him or know his whereabouts, to call Detective Joel Field at 961-2381 or email him at jfield@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona 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.