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Hawaii Headline News



Witness: Agent threatened to shoot man in the face


HONOLULU (AP) — A former Marine who witnessed a 2011 altercation in a Waikiki McDonald's says the agent on trial for murder threatened to shoot the victim in the face.


Alexander Byrd testified over two days in the ongoing murder trial against State Department Special Agent Christopher Deedy. The agent is accused of shooting Kollin Elderts.


Byrd says he tried to diffuse the situation between Deedy and Elderts. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports he figured he got away with his life when he ran from the restaurant after realizing he couldn't stop what turned into a fatal fight.


The defense cross-examined Byrd about inconsistences in his recollection of what happened. According to KHON-TV, Byrd says his memory has improved over time.


Deedy claims he acted in self-defense.


The trial resumes Wednesday.




Man dies after being run over on street


HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police say a 33-year-old man who reportedly was lying on a Pearl City street has died after a car ran over him.


Hawaii News Now says the incident occurred shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday.


Police say a woman who lives in a nearby house called police to say the man was lying in the middle of the street. While the woman was on the phone with police, a car came around the corner and struck the man.


Police say the driver pulled over immediately and was not believed to have been speeding or drinking


According to police, the man who had been lying in the street appeared to have been drinking. He was wearing black clothing, which could have made it more difficult to see him.




Police investigate why man was on Pearl City road


PEARL CITY, Hawaii (AP) — Police say a man who was run over while lying on a Pearl City road has died.


The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports police are trying to determine if the 33-year-old man was drunk while lying on the street early Wednesday.


He was taken to the Queen's Medical Center, where he died.


Traffic Division Lt. Bobby Towne tells KITV a neighbor saw the man lying in the middle of the road and called 911. While the woman was on the phone with 911, a vehicle ran him over.


Hawaii News Now reports police have opened a misdemeanor negligent homicide investigation.


The driver pulled over after the crash and isn't believed to have been speeding or drinking.




Big Island conducts follow-up emergency siren test


HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii County Civil Defense says all of the island's 71 emergency sirens worked during a follow-up test.


Tuesday's test was necessary after 18 sirens failed during the regularly scheduled test earlier this month.


The civil defense agency says crews will be sent to look into reports of softer than normal siren volume in Paukaa and a shorter than usual siren length in Laupahoehoe.


The state is working to modernize the aging system across the islands. A new activation system will rely on cellular and satellite networks, instead of radio transmissions.


The sirens are used during emergencies such as a tsunami. The system is tested monthly.




Big Island council members skip furloughs


HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Six county council members on the Big Island opted against taking furloughs as they started their jobs in December, in contrast to other county officials who faced similar cuts.


The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Wednesday that the previous council had implemented furloughs, along with Mayor Billy Kenoi, clerical staff and other workers. The furloughs lasted for four years, with two years of twice monthly and two years of monthly unpaid days off.


The nine-member council volunteered for the furloughs, and three members who continued to a new term continued to take the pay cuts.


But three of the new council members say they don't remember being asked to take furloughs, though two say the requests may have been lost in a shuffle of paperwork as they started their new jobs.




Hawaii groups rally to protest condo conversions


HONOLULU (AP) — Union and community members are protesting the conversion of hotel rooms into condominiums.


Unite Here Local 5 spokeswoman Paola Rodelas told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser condo conversions are popular with developers, who can profit quickly from the sale of the converted units.


But conversions lead to job losses because people typically don't have the same expectations for service at residential condominiums, condotels and time shares that they do for hotels.


But Waikiki Improvement Association President Rick Egged says the conversions help Hawaii remain competitive by providing the capital to upgrade aging hotel units.


Local 5 and AiKea members plan to rally in front of the Ilikai Hotel on Wednesday.


The union has been battling a New York company's plan to sell off the Ilikai's remaining hotel rooms as condominiums




Hawaii to update public school bus system


HONOLULU (AP) — The state Department of Education will start using routing software and GPS tracking for public school buses next month.


The department said Tuesday it will also update its contracting and procurement process as it reforms the bus system.


The department is restoring routes to students in the Oahu neighborhoods of Aiea Heights, Halawa Heights and Waikele as part of the first phase of reforms.


It plans to expand the reforms to all Oahu schools by the 2014-2015 school year and the rest of the state the following school year.


The department eliminated more than 100 school bus routes last year because of rising costs and declining funding.


It says it's since streamlined services and restored some routes.


It also hired a consultant to study the bus system.




$10 million settlement filed in Honolulu over Marcos art


(Information in the following story is from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser,


HONOLULU (AP) — A $10 million settlement has been filed in federal court in Honolulu over valuable artwork that disappeared from Imelda Marcos' Manhattan townhome during the collapse of her husband's regime in the Philippines.


The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports a foreign art collector who purchased the piece by Claude Monet has agreed to pay $10 million to more than 9,000 Filipinos who successfully sued for human rights abuses they suffered under Ferdinand Marcos' rule.


The settlement was filed under seal last week. Names of the buyer and the art gallery that sold the painting, the purchase price and other details are confidential.


Imelda Marcos' former secretary was charged with conspiracy to sell the artwork. Prosecutors say she used false paperwork to sell a work from Monet's "Water Lilies" series for $32 million.




Company plans to bring wave park to Hawaii


HONOLULU (AP) — A local company is looking at bringing surf parks to Hawaii.


Wave Garden Hawaii LLC says it has secured rights to a Spanish company's technology that produces waves engineered to roll through natural or artificial lakes or lagoons.


The Honolulu Star-Advertiser says the Spanish company — Instant Sport S. L. — claims its trademarked Wavegarden creates the world's longest artificial surfing waves.


The Wavegarden equipment and installation start at about $4 million.


Wave Garden Hawaii is looking at developing wave parks that offer high-performance waves for experienced surfers, as well as smaller ways for surfing lessons.


Wave Garden Hawaii is co-founded by big-wave surfer Brian Keaulana and Kenan J. Knieriem Jr.


The two are doing business under the trade name Honokea Surf Parks and they are exploring location opportunities.




Pearl Harbor-based frigate to be decommissioned


JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii's last guided-missile frigate is being decommissioned after nearly 30 years of naval service.


The Navy is holding a ceremony on Thursday to retire the USS Reuben James. Among those expected to attend the Pearl Harbor ceremony are five crew members assigned to the ship when it was commissioned.


Guided-missile frigates are multi-mission surface combatants capable of undersea warfare and surface warfare missions. The USS Reuben James returned from deployment in early May after participating in a series of maritime exercises.


The Navy says that with the departure of the last frigate, all of the surface ships based at Pearl Harbor will be guided-missile destroyers and cruisers.