State roundup for February 11
US, Japanese officials remember Ehime Maru dead
HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. and Japanese officials have gathered in Honolulu to remember nine crewmembers who died when a Navy submarine rammed into a Japanese fishing school ship off Oahu 12 years ago.
Ehime Vice Gov. Keiji Joko and Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie joined Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and others at Kakaako Waterfront Park for a memorial on Saturday.
Nine boys and men were killed when the USS Greeneville struck the Ehime Maru, slicing its hull. Twenty-six people were rescued from the Ehime Maru. No injuries were reported on the 360-foot nuclear-powered sub.
Hawaii News Now reports after an official wreath laying, family members of the crew draped the memorial with lei.
A Navy investigation concluded the Greenville’s captain rushed through mandatory safety procedures while demonstrating an emergency surfacing drill for the benefit of civilians touring the submarine.
Hawaii House holds weekend hearing on PLDC issues
HONOLULU (AP) — Two Hawaii House committees held a weekend hearing to consider several bills that would change the Public Land Development Corp., including a measure to repeal the agency.
The joint hearing by the water and land, education and finance committees was held Saturday to encourage people from neighbor islands to Oahu testify.
The agency established in 2011 has come under heavy scrutiny from those who believe its powers are too broad. The Hawaii State Association of Counties — a group made up of all county councils and mayors — voted to get rid of the agency in October.
Committee officials plan to decide on six bills related to the agency on Monday.
Rep. Cindy Evans, water and land committee chairwoman, says an overwhelming number of people called for repeal.
2 charged in credit card scam on Oahu arrested
HONOLULU (AP) — The last two of five New York residents indicted for allegedly using fake credit cards on Oahu last April have been arrested.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser says deputy U.S. marshals arrested 24-year-olds Sean Khani and Tamel Vaughn in Brooklyn early Friday.
The other suspects in the case — 19-year-old Falyshia Pierre-Lys — was arrested in New York last month and extradited to Honolulu this week. Two others — 24-year-old Shawnese Adams and 19-year-old Isatta Bassie — were arrested in Aruba in December on unrelated charges. When their criminal cases in Aruba ends, they will be returned to the United States and extradited to Hawaii.
A grand jury indicted them in November with multiple counts of identity theft and other crimes for allegedly charging nearly $330,000 at high-end stores.
Honolulu man killed in fall from scaffolding
HONOLULU (AP) — An autopsy will be performed on a 55-year-old man who died after falling from scaffolding in Makiki.
Hawaii News Now reports Can Yang of Honolulu was rushed to a hospital in critical condition Friday and was pronounced dead Saturday morning.
According to emergency responders, the victim fell approximately 30 feet Friday morning.
Honolulu Zoo director resigning post on March 1
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Zoo Director Manuel Mollinedo is resigning his post effective March 1.
Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s office on Friday released Mollinedo’s resignation letter.
Mollinedo said in the letter dated Tuesday says he’s proud the Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited the zoo. He says he’s proud of the Honolulu Zoo’s new entrance and elephant exhibit.
But Mollinedo wrote he hopes the city focuses on giving the zoo more autonomy and authority over the Honolulu Zoo Society.
He says this would bring zoo governance into compliance with Association of Zoos and Aquariums guidelines. He says this is critical to maintaining the zoo’s accreditation.
Mollinedo was head of the San Francisco Zoo before coming to Honolulu. He became Honolulu Zoo director in December 2010.
Police cite Haiku Stairs hikers for trespassing
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police are citing for trespassing a man and a woman who got lost while hiking the Haiku Stairs trail.
Honolulu police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said Friday the 32-year-old man and 25-year-old woman are visiting Oahu from the mainland.
The two spent the night in the mountains after they got lost and called for help at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Honolulu Fire Department sent a team to rescue them.
But they had to suspend their operation because darkness and the presence of power lines wouldn’t allow them to send in a helicopter.
The hikers walked down the “Stairway to Heaven” trail themselves Friday.
The Navy built the stairs during World War II to access radio equipment at the mountain summit.
The trail isn’t maintained and is closed to the public.
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