State roundup for March 25
Corrections officer indicted on sex assault charge
HONOLULU (AP) — A male corrections officer at a women’s prison in Honolulu has been indicted on four counts of alleged sex assault on an inmate.
KHON-TV (http://is.gd/3nHVfM) reports that the grand jury on Thursday indicted Irwin Ah Hoy, a corrections officer who worked at the Women’s Community Correctional Center in Oahu. Prosecutors say Hoy forced the woman into a private bathroom and that the assaults happened on two separate dates last March. They say they have DNA evidence in the case.
Prosecutors say the woman reported what occurred to her parole attorney. The woman also has alleged that Hoy assaulted at least two other inmates. She has since been moved to a federal facility for her protection.
The Department of Public Safety said in a statement that the allegations are under investigation.
Boulder smashes cars in Honolulu
HONOLULU (AP) — No injuries are reported after a car-sized boulder slammed into a Honolulu carport Saturday morning.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/14fmf8T) reports the boulder slid down the side of a mountain and split in two after crashing into two vehicles and damaging part of the structure.
Fire Capt. Carlton Yamada says firefighters helped shore up the posts to stabilize the carport. Damage is estimated at roughly $30,000.
Yamada says there were no mandatory evacuations.
Coast Guard flies cruise passenger to San Diego
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Coast Guard has flown a woman to San Diego after she fell seriously ill on a cruise ship headed to Ensenada, Mexico, from Hawaii.
The agency said the 71-year-old woman was rescued Friday about 200 miles southwest of San Diego.
The Holland America Zaandam cruise ship crew contacted the Coast Guard Thursday for help and changed course to reduce the distance to San Diego.
The Coast Guard says the woman suffered a “serious internal medical condition,” without elaborating.
UH chancellor to ask deficit forgiveness
HONOLULU (AP) — Chancellor Tom Apple at the University of Hawaii at Manoa intends to ask the university’s board of regents to forgive an $11.3 million deficit incurred by the athletics department.
Apple hopes to have the deficit forgiven as part of a major restructuring effort, according to Friday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
An independent auditor’s report issued in January found that the athletics department’s deficit had been mounting since 2002 and stood at $11.3 million. It is expected to hit $13 million by the end of the current fiscal year June 30.
At a meeting Thursday of UH’s Task Group on Intercollegiate Athletics, Chairman John Holzman requested that Apple provide a plan at the May meeting to balance the books and deal with the deficit.
The regents created the group in November, in the wake of a botched Stevie Wonder fundraiser, to look into athletics oversight and make recommendations. Soon thereafter, an independent auditor’s report described UH athletics as “technically insolvent,” saying, “the condition of the athletic department is a concern.”
Apple said after the meeting that the plan he is proposing includes retiring “the deficit that exists there.”
Apple said he and athletic director Ben Jay will present a plan that “works toward” ending deficits. He declined to go into specifics except to say, “I think we have a pretty good, solid plan going forward.”
The athletics department has finished in the black just twice in the past 10 years. One of those years was in 2008 and was because of the football team’s appearance in the Bowl Championship Series Sugar Bowl, which carried a $4 million payout.
Apple has told the regents that UH athletics, which receives 32 percent of its funds from the state and students, is undersubsidized.
Hawaii tower once on FAA cut list to stay open
HONOLULU (AP) — An Oahu air traffic control tower once slated for closure under automatic budget cuts for the Federal Aviation Administration will now remain open.
Kalaeloa Airport in Kapolei was not among the 149 slated for closure in lists released Friday by the FAA.
U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono in Hawaii urged FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a letter this month to keep air traffic operations open at Kalaeloa to help the U.S. Coast Guard, Hawaii Air National Guard and commercial flights.
Hirono told Huerta that the airport supports Hawaii as a key hub for military and travel between other U.S. states and Asia.
Student orchestra headed to Carnegie Hall
HONOLULU (AP) — A Honolulu high school orchestra is headed to New York City’s Carnegie Hall.
KITV-TV (http://is.gd/qLkUZD) says the Moanalua High School is scheduled to play at the prestigious concert hall on Easter concert.
Moanalua High School senior Margaret Lee says she’s overjoyed by the opportunity. She says it has been a lot of work to get to Carnegie Hall, but it’s worth it.
Orchestra leader Elden Seta says it’s a privilege to get to play at Carnegie Hall. Seta has taken two other Moanalua orchestras to New York. The first was in 1998 and the second in 2005.
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