State roundup for March 3
500-ft. debris field from crash
HONOLULU (AP) — Federal investigators say the wreckage of a plane that crashed and burned on Lanai left a 500-foot debris field.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived at the crash site Friday to begin determining what went wrong. The twin-engine Piper Navajo Chieftain crashed in former pineapple land of central Lanai Wednesday night, killing the pilot and two Maui County Planning Department Employees. Three others were injured.
NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said the plane crashed at a low angle. He says the plane’s fuselage was at the far end of the debris field. Knudson says the NTSB has no record of transmissions between the pilot and air traffic controllers.
NTSB expects to have a preliminary report on the crash in the next 10 days.
Two guilty of clam smuggling
HONOLULU (AP) — A father and daughter from the Federated States of Micronesia have pleaded guilty to smuggling giant clam meat into Hawaii.
Leo John, 52, and 22-year-old Flyona Lynn John pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act on Friday.
The daughter admitted she didn’t declare the clam meat and did not have permission to export it when she and her father entered Honolulu Airport in February 2013. They each face up to a year in jail when they are sentenced in June.
Pastor running for lt. governor
HONOLULU (AP) — A New Hope pastor has announced he will seek the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.
Elwin Ahu said he’s motivated by what he sees as the erosion of respect for the state Constitution. He said government leaders are no longer grateful for divine guidance or mindful of Hawaiian heritage.
The 59-year-old is disappointed with how the state Legislature handled gay marriage during the special session last fall. Ahu was among the pastors who helped organize opposition to the gay marriage bill.
“I look at the Constitution as something that is foundational for our state. The heart and spirit behind it has kind of been lost by our leaders today, mainly the fairness and the honesty,” Ahu said.
“I’ve waited on the sidelines for a long time just watching all of this stuff unfold. And I thought, you know, I think it’s time that I step into this.”
Ahu served as an attorney and state judge before becoming executive pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in 1999. He’s now senior pastor of New Hope Metro, a central Honolulu location of the New Hope church.
Ahu has never held political office. His sister, Lei Ahu Isa, is a former state lawmaker and school board member.
The Nuuanu resident graduated from Kamehameha Schools, Graceland University in Iowa and the University of Hawaii at Manoa law school.
Ahu is friends with former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, the likely Republican candidate for governor.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie and state Sen. David Ige are contending in the Democratic primary for governor. Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui is running in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.
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