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State roundup for February 14

Man gets 10 years for arson

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — A 26-year-old Hanamaulu man convicted of arson and terroristic threatening was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.

Andrew Dencio Sarita was arrested in June 2012. He has spent 19 months in jail.

Prosecutors say Sarita threatened a friend with a knife and set a bedroom on fire, causing more than $100,000 damage.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe says Sarita’s acts of violence put the community at risk and the court would be remiss in sentencing him to less than the maximum term.

Sarita at age 16 was sentenced to five years in prison for an attempted assault on a Kauai High School teacher who had to take refuge in a vehicle.

Sarita was arrested in the arson case less than three years after his release.

Public comment sought on hawk

HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking for the public’s input on a proposal to remove the Hawaiian hawk or io from the endangered species list.

The agency said Wednesday comments previously submitted on the proposal don’t need to be sent again.

The hawk was originally listed as endangered in 1967. At the time, the hawk population was believed to number in the low hundreds.

Due to various conservation efforts, there are now an estimated 3,000 of the birds in existence and the population has been stable for at least two decades.

The species is found throughout the Big Island. The hawk lives in native forest, pasture land, and other habitats.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act would protect the bird even if it’s taken off the endangered species list.

Man dies after accident at park

HONOLULU (AP) — The driver of a pickup has died after striking a parked car, a cement barrier and a coconut tree at a Maui park.

Harlan Masuda, 46, of Wailuku died after the crash at Baldwin Beach Park in Paia.

A cause of death has not been determined and an autopsy was planned.

A witness tells Maui police that the pickup at 4:20 p.m. Tuesday struck the parked car and then the cement barrier, which broke.

The truck appeared to accelerate and drove onto a soccer field before hitting the coconut tree inside the park.

The driver died at the scene.


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