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State roundup for October 23

Plane lands on Maui highway

WAILEA, Maui (AP) — Federal authorities are investigating a commercial airplane’s emergency landing on a Maui highway.

None of the 10 people on board Flight 1770 was injured Monday night and there was no damage to the Mokulele Express single-engine plane, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said Tuesday. The Cessna Caravan lost engine power after departing from Maui, bound for Waimea on the Big Island, Gregor said.

“Nobody on the ground was injured and nothing on the ground was damaged,” Gregor said in a statement.

Dispatch received a call at about 7 p.m. saying the plane needed to make an emergency landing, said Lt. William Juan, Maui police spokesman. “The pilot conducted a safe landing onto Piilani Highway between Kilohana Drive and Okolani Drive in Wailea,” he said in a statement.

The plane carried eight passengers and two pilots, said Maui County Fire department spokesman Lee Mainaga.

Adam Burke, who lives in a condominium off Piilani Highway, said the highway is usually busy with cars: “By the grace of God, there were no cars on the road at that time.”

The state Department of Transportation is also investigating.

Former principal arrested in L.A.

HONOLULU (AP) — A former principal of a Hawaii public charter school is being held in Los Angeles on charges of stealing and laundering more than $100,000 in school funds.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force says Jeffrey Piontek was arrested Monday at a residence in Santa Monica, Calif. The 47-year-old Honolulu resident is the former principal of Hawaii Technology Academy, a charter school that combines classroom and online instruction.

The Marshals Service says Piontek allegedly fled Hawaii after he was fired and the criminal allegations were turned over to the Hawaii attorney general’s office.

Verdicts conflict in officer death

HONOLULU (AP) — A jury returned conflicting verdicts against a 22-year-old for his role in a 2011 crash that killed a Honolulu police officer.

A jury found James Dorsey guilty of misdemeanor third-degree negligent homicide and felony first-degree negligent injury.

Circuit Judge Glenn Kim didn’t schedule a sentencing date because one verdict requires a finding of simple negligence while the other requires a finding of a higher standard of negligence.

Kim scheduled a hearing in two weeks for lawyers to argue whether Dorsey should be sentenced for a felony or misdemeanor.

Dorsey was driving home when he hit and killed Fontes, who was conducting a traffic stop near Ko Olina.

Dorsey’s attorney says he fell asleep while driving and shouldn’t be held criminally liable.


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