Neighbor Island briefs
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Former officer gets probation
HILO, Hawai'i A Big Island judge yesterday sentenced a former police officer to five years probation for making threatening phone calls to Hawai'i County Police Department officials.
Corey Yamanouchi, 43, who resigned in 1999 after 19 years with the Honolulu and the Big Island police departments, escaped jail time under a plea agreement.
"I'll kill 'em, kill 'em," is what Deputy Prosecutor Darien Ching said Yamanouchi told two police department secretaries, Police Chief Wayne Carvalho and Deputy Chief Jimmy Correa on the phone last year. Since the incident, the women now work behind locked doors. Carvalho retired last fall and was succeeded by Correa.
According to prior court proceedings, Yamanouchi also allegedly threatened former Mayor Steve Yamashiro. The mayor declined to press charges.
Yamanouchi reportedly was angry about a civil court trial over rigged police promotions that led to judgments against Carvalho and others. The trial had nothing to do with either Correa or Yamashiro.
Judge Greg Nakamura attached several conditions to Yamanouchi's probation. He must submit to random drug testing on two hours' notice, undergo a drug abuse assessment and submit to a mental health evaluation.
Cockfight triggers police raid in Ka'u
WAI'OHINU, Hawai'i Kona vice squad officers arrested five people and dispersed a crowd of 200 that had gathered for a cockfight Sunday afternoon in Kawela, Ka'u.
The five men arrested on animal cruelty and gambling charges, including one O'ahu resident, were not charged pending further investigation.
Police seized two injured and 17 dead fighting cocks and $2,018 in cash.
Lt. Robert Hickcox said the raid was triggered by complaints from residents of the Discovery Harbour area.
Big Island engineer named to new post
HILO, Hawai'i Hawai'i County Deputy Engineer Jiro Sumada has been hired as development manager for W.H. Shipman Ltd., the largest private landowner in Puna.
His appointment, effective April 25, was announced by W.H. Shipman President Bob Saunders.
"The community of Kea'au is undergoing tremendous changes," Saunders said. "With the increased population of Puna and the growth of Kea'au as an education center, we need to provide more shopping, residential and employment opportunities for residents."
Sumada, who was born on Kaua'i but reared on the Big Island, has worked in his county post for six years. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, he holds a master's of business administration from the University of Hawai'i-Manoa and served as an Air Force facility engineer in the Far East and at Hickam Air Force Base before returning to the Big Island in 1982.
Big Island DUI statistics released
HILO, Hawai'i Big Island traffic statistics show that 454 of the 1,081 drunken driving arrests made last year, or 42 percent, occurred on a weekend.
A total of 229 DUI arrests were made on a Saturday, with 225 arrests on a Sunday, according to the Hawai'i County Police Department. Friday was the third-busiest DUI day, with 161 arrests.
Thirty-four percent of DUI arrests in the year 2000, 372 in all, took place between midnight and 3 a.m., and 27 percent, or 289 arrests, took place between 9 p.m. and midnight.
The police department statistics also show Friday as the most hazardous day to drive, with 363 of the 2,120 major accidents on the Big Island last year, or 17 percent, occurring on that final day of the work week.
The largest number of major accidents 387, or 18 percent occurred during from noon-to-3 p.m.
Major accidents are defined as those involving death, injury, or property loss in excess of $3,000.
Maui fisherman remains missing
KAUPO, Maui Maui Fire Department and Coast Guard helicopters searched without success yesterday for a fisherman swept out to sea off the remote Kaupo coastline Sunday morning.
The 47-year-old Wailuku man was casting a throw net near Nu'anu'aloa Gulch when he was hit by a wave, said Assistant Fire Chief Alan Cordeiro. Two people who were with him said the man tried to stay afloat for about an hour and then disappeared beneath the swells, Cordeiro said. They called for help from Kaupo Store around 8 a.m.
Cordeiro said wind and sea conditions were treacherous Sunday and yesterday, when a Coast Guard helicopter was called in to assist.
Divers from a local scuba diving company whose owners know the missing fisherman also joined the search. The missing man's name has not been released.
East Maui again has power failure
KO'AU, Maui High winds once again knocked out power to East Maui yesterday.
Just before 3 p.m., a 23-kilovolt line fell to the ground by Ku'au Mart on Hana Highway, causing a short circuit, said Herb Glassen, Maui Electric Co. Operations Superintendent.
The failure affected MECO customers from Spreckelsville, near Kahului Airport, to Hana. Power was restored to all but a few customers within 40 minutes, Glassen said.
Last Wednesday, winds brought down a line in remote Kailua near Ha'iku, causing a power failure affecting roughly the same area for several hours.
Degrees in social work available
KAHULUI, Maui An informational meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. April 24 for those interested in earning a master's degree in social work from the University of Hawai'i.
Classes will start in May 2002. The program is designed so that students will take an average of three classes each semester over three years. Faculty from UH-Manoa will commute to teach Friday night and Saturday morning classes at Maui Community College.
The informational meeting will be in MCC Science Lecture Hall 12A. To reserve space, call the UH-Manoa Outreach Office on Maui at (808) 984-3597
Ventilation blamed for building closure
WAILUKU, Maui A state inspection of the county building that was closed because of foul odors points to duct painting and the disturbance of particulates in the air-conditioning system as the likely cause.
County officials said yesterday they plan to hire a private contractor to clean the Kalana Pakui building offices of dust and other matter, and hire an air-balancing contractor to make sure there's fresh air in the building as required by law.
The building has been closed since March 2, forcing about 40 employees to move to interim offices at several locations, including the county building's Civil Defense offices.
A state Department of Health indoor air quality expert inspected the building March 31, and the county is awaiting the results of air samples taken by a consultant before considering reoccupying the offices, said county spokeswoman Karlynn Kawahara.