Sailor killed in 1941 at Pearl Harbor to be buried in Dallas

DALLAS (AP) — A 26-year-old Texas sailor killed during the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor will be buried in Dallas on the 77th anniversary of the attack.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on Thursday announced services for Navy Fireman 1st Class Albert U. Kane of Fort Worth will be held Dec. 7. Burial is planned at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

Kane, on Dec. 7, 1941, was assigned to the USS Oklahoma when the battleship was attacked. His unidentified remains were among those buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. A number of remains, associated with the USS Oklahoma, were ordered disinterred in 2015 for DNA testing.

Kane’s remains were accounted for Aug. 9.

The federal agency says Kane’s family has asked not to be contacted by the media.

 

Audit: State agency failed to inspect adult care homes

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii agency tasked with regulating adult care homes issued licenses to many without completing inspections, according to a state audit.

The Office of the Auditor examined 214 of the 493 care homes licensed by the state Office of Health Care Assurance last year, finding about half were allowed to operate with either an expired license or a license “hastily issued before all required steps” were completed.

“We found that OHCA’s primary objective is to support the continued operations of those care homes, not to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the facilities’ residents as mandated by statute,” State Auditor Les Kondo said in the report.

At least eight care home had 20 or more deficiencies, but they were granted license renewals before the issues were resolved, according to the report.

Over the last decade, the state Department of Health has not cited any care home operators or terminated a license even when substantial or repeat deficiencies were found, according to the report. The agency also does not have written enforcement guidelines for operators that do not comply with care standards.

The department has corrected the deficiencies, and the report does not reflect current conditions, said Bruce Anderson, director of the health department. “Our first and foremost obligation as a regulatory agency is to ensure residential care homes comply with all applicable laws and provide quality care in a safe environment,” Anderson said. The department noted that it has reported 277 cases of possible abuse or neglect of care home residents over the past five years.

“Any risks to the safety, health and wellbeing of older adults in an adult residential care home are immediately investigated and appropriate action taken,” Anderson said.

Ex-death row inmate who beat sex trafficking case arrested at airport

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — A day after Isaiah McCoy, a former death row inmate from Delaware, walked out of a U.S. courthouse in Hawaii a free man when prosecutors dropped sex trafficking charges against him, he found himself again in handcuffs.

A judge ordered McCoy’s release Tuesday after prosecutors moved to dismiss a 10-count indictment against him. Allegations included that he forced, threatened and coerced women into prostitution in Hawaii. McCoy had been held without bail in the Honolulu Federal Detention Center since January.

On Wednesday, he tried to travel to Philadelphia to attend an event organized by Witness to Innocence, an anti-death penalty nonprofit. Authorities didn’t return his ID when he was released, but he planned to be able to prove his identity to airport security workers, he said. While verifying his identity, they found a warrant, he said.

Sheriffs arrested McCoy on an outstanding traffic warrant, state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said. He posted $200 bail and was released.

“They put me in handcuffs and marched me through the airport,” McCoy said.

McCoy said authorities gave him back a duffel bag of his clothes after his release Tuesday, but not his ID and other belongings including cash and phones. He said he and a lawyer tried to ask the U.S. attorney’s office to help verify his identity so he could travel.

A spokeswoman for the office wouldn’t confirm or deny information about McCoy’s ID or attempts to help verify his identity.

McCoy said he went to Honolulu police headquarters Thursday to see if they had his ID because it was officers from the department who arrested him in January. Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said his ID was among the items officers took into evidence, but the department turned it over to federal authorities.

Less than a year before his Hawaii arrest, McCoy was released from death row in Delaware. A jury found him guilty of murder in Delaware, and he was sentenced to death. Five years later, he was released after a judge found him not guilty of murder during a retrial.

Hawaii neighbors want justice for boy killed on Halloween

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — Residents of a Kailua-Kona apartment complex want justice for a 6-year-old boy killed on Halloween.

Julian Nedlic has lived at Lailani Apartments for 12 years. He told West Hawaii Today this was the first time anything like this happened on the property.

He says his children knew the boy. He remembers helping him take out some rubbish when it was too heavy for him.

Nedlic says he wants justice.

Family members took an unconscious 6-year-old boy to a fire station on Halloween. He was later taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead an hour later.

The boy’s death is being investigated as a homicide.

Hawaii County Police Maj. Robert Wagner says investigators have received a few tips but he wouldn’t elaborate because the case is under investigation.

Sex trafficking case dropped against ex-death row inmate

JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — Sex trafficking charges in Hawaii were dismissed Tuesday against a former death row inmate from Delaware, allowing him to walk out of court a free man again.

U.S. prosecutors dropped a 10-count indictment against Isaiah McCoy, who represented himself in the case. A judge approved the dismissal, and McCoy walked out of court after being held without bail in Honolulu Federal Detention Center since January.

Prosecutors moved to dismiss the case because of information they “became aware of in the past several days,” said a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Hawaii.

The release didn’t elaborate on why the office dropped the indictment.

After Tuesday’s hearing, McCoy spoke to The Associated Press from the downtown Honolulu office of his court-appointed standby attorney, Gary Singh.

“I’m free,” McCoy said. “It was unjustified and unwarranted in the first place,” he said of the indictment.

McCoy said he plans to relax and continue being an activist against wrongful convictions. He’s also planning to write a book, he said.

McCoy was sentenced to death after a jury found him guilty of murder in Delaware. A judge found him not guilty at a retrial.

Less than a year after his release from death row, he was arrested and charged with sex trafficking. Prosecutors say he forced, threatened and coerced young women into prostitution in Hawaii.

While awaiting trial, McCoy told the AP earlier this year at the detention center that he moved to Hawaii after he was invited to speak at a criminal justice reform rally.

He said he worked as a security guard for a Waikiki hotel in an area of the tourist mecca known for prostitution and started dating a woman who he says worked as a stripper and prostitute. He could relate to her, and she wasn’t judgmental about his time behind bars. They eventually had a falling out, he said.

The woman was one of the alleged victims in the indictment against him, he said.

“All of these females were prostitutes before I met them,” McCoy said. “Why would I have to force someone to do what they’re already doing?”

McCoy’s Army soldier wife, Tawana Roberts, was a co-defendant in the case. They wed six days after meeting at a Honolulu nightclub, he said. The count in the indictment against her was previously dismissed.

“Despite today’s dismissal, this office will continue the important work of investigating and prosecuting human trafficking crimes in Hawaii,” Kenji Price, the U.S. attorney for Hawaii, said in a statement.

Hawaii patient is first in state to get new treatment

Care for woman’s slow-growing cancer used to be to check symptoms and not curative – until now

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii resident who has been living with a slow-growing yet incurable cancer since 2006 became the first person in the state to receive a new specialized radiation treatment.

The cancer in Mary Bona’s abdomen grew over the summer despite several rounds of chemotherapy and other treatments.

That’s when her doctor found out about a treatment approved earlier this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to target hard-to-reach neuroendocrine tumors.

Neuroendocrine tumors are a group of rare cancers that originate primarily from the pancreas or intestines, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The new procedure allows doctors to intravenously inject radiation into a chemical that “acts as vehicle” to carry the cancer-killing drug directly to the tumors. The novel medication developed in the Netherlands was flown to Oahu from Italy with a tight expiration date.

“I was excited and I feel great,” Bona said in September, following the hourlong procedure.

Bona was the first patient in Hawaii to undergo the procedure at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu.

Following the treatment, she was “radioactive” and placed in isolation for about six hours while taking a special formula of amino acids to protect other areas of her body from the radiation. She remained isolated at home for three days until her radiation levels decreased.

“There has been no really good treatment to kill the cancer up until this point,” said Dr. Marc Coel, the center’s medical director of nuclear medicine, who oversaw the procedure. “This will go to different parts of the body without exposing normal tissues to radiation. This is the first treatment that is actually targeting this cancer to kill it.”

Bona’s doctor, Clayton Chong, chief of oncology at Queen’s, said most of the cancer treatments have not been curative, but palliative to control symptoms. However, current clinical trials have found the new procedure can significantly affect survival rates, with up to four times higher chance of controlling the disease.

The standard treatments control the cancer for an average eight months, while the new treatment has been shown to control it for 28 months and counting in studies, he said.

However, most insurance companies don’t pay for experimental investigative treatments. Bona’s carrier had agreed to pay for hers.

Each treatment runs about to $20,000 to $30,000, and patients need four doses in an eight-month period.

Preservationists applaud plan for memorial

Waikiki Natatorium was built to honor Hawaii soldiers who served in World War I

HONOLULU (AP) — Preservationists are applauding Honolulu’s proposal to restore a World War I memorial on Waikiki beach.

The Natatorium is a saltwater pool built in 1927 as a memorial to 10,000 Hawaii soldiers who served in World War I. Olympic swimmer and surf icon Duke Kahanamoku swam there, but it’s been closed due to disrepair since 1979.

The city on Thursday proposed to demolish less visible sea walls, rebuild the pool deck and rehabilitate bleachers, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. The plan would allow for the free flow of water between the ocean and the pool.

The proposal comes just as Hawaii marks Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I on Sunday.

The city will accept comments on the idea through Dec. 24. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell estimates it will take six to nine months for the city to finish a final environmental impact statement for the project.

Kiersten Faulkner, executive director of the Historic Hawaii Foundation, said she’s still reviewing details in the draft proposal but she likes what she sees so far.

“It appears to be a wonderful solution with an elegant balance between preservation and practicality,” Faulkner said.

Faulkner said the proposed action “retains the major character of this very important war memorial” and “opens up public access to a part of Waikiki that has been closed off for 40 years.”

Caldwell and then-Gov. Neil Abercrombie in 2013 proposed demolishing the pool and bleachers and develop a beach at the site. The Kaimana Beach Coalition supported the plan but it proved unpopular with preservationists.

Caldwell said selection of the perimeter deck plan was partly about money and partly about reaching compromise on a very controversial decision. Cost for the perimeter deck plan has been estimated at about $25.6 million, while estimates put the beach plan at $28.8 million and full restoration at $42.7 million. Not acting was expected to cost up to $1.4 million for emergency repairs.

“We listened to everyone and added additional alternatives to avoid a lawsuit,” Caldwell said. “I’ll go with the proposed action, but the beach guys may be upset and the preservationists may be upset. If I had my own way, I’d make a beach. But I’m respecting the process.”

Donna L. Ching, vice president of the Friends of the Natatorium, said the proposal retains most of the Natatorium’s physical and historic integrity.

“We commend Mayor Kirk Caldwell for looking at the evidence carefully and coming to the right conclusion about preservation,” Ching said.

Honolulu WWI memorial plan lauded

HONOLULU (AP) — Preservationists are applauding Honolulu’s proposal to restore a World War I memorial on Waikiki beach.

The Natatorium is a salt water pool built in 1927 as a memorial to 10,000 Hawaii soldiers who served in World War I. Olympic swimmer and surf icon Duke Kahanamoku swam in the pool, but it’s been closed due to disrepair since 1979.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the city is proposing to demolish less visible sea walls, rebuild the pool deck and rehabilitate bleachers. The plan would allow for the free flow of water between the ocean and the pool.

Historic Hawaii Foundation Kiersten Faulkner says it appears to be a wonderful solution with an elegant balance between preservation and practicality.

The city will accept comments on the plan through Dec. 24.

Hawaii expects pilot shortage to worsen

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s shortage of pilots could lead to fewer flights and higher prices if the problem is left unchecked, aviation officials said.

Three flight schools on Oahu have closed over the last 18 months, citing high operating costs and diminishing student enrollment numbers, Hawaii News Now reported this week.

The closings could worsen the shortage, which became more pronounced when the University of Hawaii closed its flight program in 2015.

“We just cannot generate the number of pilots we need,” said Pat McNamee, president of the General Aviation Council of Hawaii.

The state needs about 100 new pilots each year to replace the pilots who have reached the mandatory retirement age of 65, McNamee said.

Charter flight companies are already seeing the effects of the pilot shortage, and it could eventually reach the big airlines, officials said.

The shortage has the potential to cause more harm in Hawaii than in other states, said Peter Forman, a Hawaii aviation expert.

“I think it will be in a worse situation both because there is fewer pilots being trained here than other places, and because we depend so heavily on air travel,” Forman said.

It could also affect air safety, McNamee said.

“We’ve really lowered the minimum qualifications to get into the airlines because we’re running out of pilots,” McNamee said.

Big Island cooperative aims to grow specialty tea

HILO (AP) — A Big Island cooperative is hoping to establish a specialty tea industry in Hawaii.

The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative is seeking up to $500,000 in investments for a 5-acre tea plot in Mountain View. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the cooperative hopes to cultivate 100 acres of tea in 10 years.

The cooperative on Thursday showed investors tea growing at Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. Tea industry consultant Nigel Melican says a 3.5-acre field planted in July is maturing faster than he could believe.

Melican is confident the price of Hawaii-grown tea will easily top $100 per pound.

Visiting New York tea producer Jeni Dodd says some of her most preferred teas are those raised on rocky soils, so she’s confident Hawaii-grown tea will have a flavor worth tasting.