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Diver drowns in Kaneohe Bay
Walter T. Taira of Kaneohe apparently drowned Sunday while diving in Kaneohe Bay, police said.
Taira, 64, and two other men had paddled kayaks into the bay that morning to go skindiving.
At about 1:25 p.m., his companions found Taira lifeless in the water and brought him to the Heeia Kea Boat Harbor, where he was pronounced dead.
Dangerous felon at large
A 55-year-old man who escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital on Sunday has 18 prior convictions, including a felony drug offense in 1969 and misdemeanor weapons offense in 1965, according to the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center.
Thomas Lono Keawe Kapoi was last seen at the Kaneohe hospital around 1 p.m. Sunday, police said.
Authorities consider him dangerous. Kapoi has been convicted of offenses dating back to 1965, including theft, escape, burglary, vagrancy and trespassing, according to the data center.
He was arrested on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening in 1997 and acquitted due to mental incapacity in 1999.
Poland honors local expert
The Republic of Poland awarded Mililani resident Paul R. Stankiewicz its highest national decoration, the Order of Merit, at a ceremony at the Honorary Polish Consul for Honolulu this month.
Stankiewicz, a retired Air Force colonel, helped form the Polish Cultural Society of Hawaii, which brings to the Islands folk dancers, singers, pianists and artists from the Mainland and Poland to perform.
Rights march ends with rally
A seven-day, 110-mile civil rights march to educate the public about hate crimes and discrimination based on sexual orientation ended yesterday in downtown Honolulu.
The march was organized by the Civil Unions-Civil Rights Movement, which seeks legislation to increase penalties for hate crimes, legalize marriage for same-sex couples and ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The march began Jan. 16 in Waikiki and featured a coffin that symbolized people murdered because of their sexual orientation.
After the march, supporters held a rally at Mililani Mall and demanded equality and justice for Hawaiis homosexual and transgender citizens.
Marine charged in stabbing
Police have charged a 20-year-old Kaneohe Marine in connection with a stabbing in Waikiki on Jan. 14.
Police charged Justin Garule with attempted murder and set his bail at $50,000. He is accused of stabbing a man during a fight on Dudoit Lane, fronting 478 Ena Road, on Jan. 14.
Garule himself was stabbed in the upper left chest with an unknown object, possibly a knife, and transported to the Queens Medical Center in critical condition, police said.
Another 20-year-old man initially was arrested in the case but was released after he told police that it was Garule, and not he, who had stabbed the victim.
Accused lawyer to resign
The Hawaii Supreme Court has granted Honolulu attorney George K. Noguchis request to resign from practicing law in lieu of facing disciplinary action, according to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
Such a resignation is akin to disbarment for all purposes under Supreme Court rules, the office said. Noguchi could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Noguchi, 65, was admitted to the Hawaii bar in 1969, according to the Disciplinary Counsel. The resignation is effective Feb. 15.
Tow-in rules on board agenda
State boating regulation planner Carol She will go over rules being drafted to regulate tow-in surfing at tonights meeting of the North Shore Neighborhood Board.
The board meets at 7 p.m. in the John Kalili Surf Center in Haleiwas Alii Beach Park. The rules are being developed to relieve conflicts between surfers using jet-powered personal water craft to be towed into waves.
Other surfers and ocean users have complained that the fast, powerful craft are extremely dangerous when nearby.
Most North Shore tow-in surfers support efforts to improve safety and have been regulating their activities voluntarily this surfing season.
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