State/In Brief

The Associated Press

More wind farm protesters arrested

KAHUKU, Hawaii — More protesters opposed to a wind farm on Oahu’s North Shore have been arrested.

Dozens of protesters trying to block equipment from getting to the construction site were arrested Sunday night and Monday morning.

Honolulu police say 27 people were arrested Sunday night in west Oahu where the equipment convoy departed from. Police say another 13 people were arrested Monday in Kahuku, where the project is located.

They were arrested for disobeying an officer.

Last week, 55 protesters were arrested during another equipment convoy.

Opponents say the turbines pose health risks and are noisy. The energy company building the project says wind turbines are safe and the noise is comparable to light traffic.

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Oahu plans temp homeless project

HONOLULU — A pilot project aimed at reducing problems related to Oahu’s homeless population is scheduled to begin offering a temporary hub for homeless services, officials said.

The two-pronged approach to reducing homelessness and related crime will include a crackdown on violations and the opening of a “navigation center,” The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday.

Waipahu Cultural Garden Park northeast of Honolulu will host the center offering a range of social services called the Homeless Outreach and Navigation for Unsheltered Persons.

The temporary center located at Hawaii’s Plantation Village will be made of inflatable, wind-resistant structures. The center that will remain no longer than 90 days before the project is relocated to a different city park.

Researchers find 2nd warship from WWII Battle of Midway

Vessel is sitting in a pile of debris

By CALEB JONES

The Associated Press

MIDWAY ATOLL, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands — A crew of deep-sea explorers and historians looking for lost World War II warships have found a second Japanese aircraft carrier that went down in the historic Battle of Midway.

Vulcan Inc.’s director of undersea operations Rob Kraft and Naval History and Heritage Command historian Frank Thompson reviewed high frequency sonar images of the warship Sunday and said that its dimensions and location mean it must be the carrier Akagi.

The Akagi was found in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument resting in nearly 18,000 feet of water more than 1,300 miles northwest of Pearl Harbor.

The researchers used an autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV, equipped with sonar to find the ship. The vehicle had been out overnight collecting data, and the image of a warship appeared in the first set of readings Sunday morning.

The first scan used low-resolution sonar, so the crew sent their AUV back to get higher-quality images.

“I’m sure of what we’re seeing here, the dimensions that we’re able to derive from this image (are) conclusive,” Kraft said. “It can be none other than Akagi.”

The vessel is sitting among a pile of debris and the ground around the warship was clearly disturbed by the impact of it hitting the seafloor.

“She’s sitting upright on her keel, we can see the bow, we can see the stern clearly, you can see some of the gun emplacements on there, you can see that some of the flight deck is also torn up and missing so you can actually look right into where the flight deck would be,” Kraft said.

The find comes after the discovery of another Japanese carrier, the Kaga, last week.

“We read about the battles, we know what happened. But when you see these wrecks on the bottom of the ocean and everything, you kind of get a feel for what the real price is for war,” said Frank Thompson, a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C., who is onboard the Petrel. “You see the damage these things took, and it’s humbling to watch some of the video of these vessels because they’re war graves.”

Until now, only one of the seven ships that went down in the June 1942 air and sea battle — five Japanese vessels and two American — had been located.

The crew of the research vessel Petrel is hoping to find and survey all lost ships from the 1942 Battle of Midway, which historians consider a pivotal victory for the U.S. in the Pacific during WWII.

The battle was fought between American and Japanese aircraft carriers and warplanes about 200 miles (320 kilometers) off Midway Atoll, a former military installation that the Japanese hoped to capture in a surprise attack.

U.S. military forces, however, intercepted Japanese communications about the strike and were waiting when they arrived. More than 2,000 Japanese and 300 Americans died.

The expedition is an effort started by the late Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft. For years, the crew of the 250-foot (76-meter) Petrel has worked with the U.S. Navy and other officials around the world to locate and document sunken ships. It has found more than 30 vessels so far.

Kraft said the crew’s mission started with Allen’s desire to honor his father’s military service. Allen died last year.

“It really extends beyond that at this time,” Kraft said. “We’re honoring today’s service members, it’s about education and, you know, bringing history back to life for future generations.”

Tide top Vols after Tagovailoa injury

Saint Louis grad has surgery on ankle, to miss at least 1 game

By JOHN ZENOR

The Associated Press

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama leaned on the old formula once quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went down with an ankle injury: big defensive plays and running the ball.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide turned to the defense and tailback Najee Harris once the high-flying passing game was grounded, pulling out a 35-13 victory over Tennessee on Saturday.

The Tide (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) faced its first test of the season without last season’s Heisman Trophy runner-up against the five-touchdown underdogs. Both starting quarterbacks left the game before halftime, and the Volunteers (2-5, 1-3) put up a fight much of the way.

Tagovailoa exited with a high ankle sprain in the second quarter. On Sunday, Alabama coach Nick Saban said Tagovailoa had what’s known as a “tightrope” procedure on his right ankle. He says it’s the same injury the Saint Louis School graduate suffered in the Southeastern Conference championship game last season, just to the other ankle — he played in the playoff semifinal game against Oklahoma 28 days after the injury last season.

Saban predicted “a full and speedy recovery” for Tagovailoa, but the QB will miss next week’s game against Arkansas.

Tagovailoa told teammates he’d be “back for LSU” on Nov. 9, linebacker Terrell Lewis said after Saturday’s game.

By the time Tagovailoa was injured, Tennessee freshman Brian Maurer had already left with a concussion for the second straight week, replaced by former starter Jarrett Guarantano.

The end result was familiar: Alabama’s 13th consecutive win over the rival Vols.

“This is the first time we really had to grind one out and we really had to make plays,” Saban said.

The biggest came when Trevon Diggs recovered Guarantano’s fumble on fourth-and-goal from the 1 and raced 100 yards for a touchdown to end the threat. Tennessee could have cut the deficit to a touchdown, down 28-13.

Diggs said he knew he was going to score.

“There was a lot of green grass,” he said. “It was probably my favorite play since I’ve been here.”

Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt had some angry words for Guarantano as the quarterback walked toward the sideline, pointing his finger toward him and briefly grabbing at his facemask.

“We’ve run two quarterback sneaks earlier in the game by pushing the pile,” Pruitt said. “We could either go back with it or run a sneak, and we elected to run a sneak and he shouldn’t have jumped over the top.

“He should have pushed it there over the middle.”

Harris was already delivering before Tagovailoa’s injury. He wound up running for 105 yards and two touchdowns, and adding 48 yards on four catches. It was the second straight 100-yard game for a playmaker often overshadowed by Tagovailoa and the passing game.

Alabama got a cushion when reserve wide receiver Slade Bolden threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Miller Forristall in the end zone with 4:55 left in the third. Bolden did a celebratory dance toward the sideline, where he was swarmed by teammates.

It was a needed pick-me-up with the Vols riding momentum and having cut it to 21-13 with a field goal. The defense then made a stop with Lewis sacking Guarantano on third down.

Tagovailoa finished 11-of-12 passing for 155 yards but also threw an interception on first-and-goal from the 2 when he scrambled around and forced the ball. Backup Mac Jones passed for 72 yards.

Gabbard fires back at Clinton suggestion she’s Russia’s pawn

By HUNTER WOODALL

The Associated Press

MANCHESTER, N.H. — It’s Hillary Clinton vs. Tulsi Gabbard on the sidelines of the 2020 presidential race.

The Hawaii congresswoman fought back unsparingly after Clinton appeared to call her “the favorite of the Russians” in a recent interview and said she believes the Russians have “got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.” Clinton, the former senator, U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, did not name Gabbard directly.

In a series of tweets Friday, Gabbard called Clinton the “personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.” Gabbard also alleged there has been a “concerted campaign” to destroy her reputation since she announced her presidential run in January.

“It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me,” Gabbard tweeted about Clinton. “Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.”

There is lingering trepidation in the Democratic Party of a repeat of the 2016 presidential race, when Russia interfered in the U.S. election in an effort to help Donald Trump defeat Clinton. U.S intelligence agencies have warned that Russia intends to meddle in the 2020 presidential election, as well. Russian President Vladimir Putin has mocked that possibility, joking earlier this month that Moscow would “definitely intervene” again.

During a Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, Gabbard criticized a TV commentator who she said had called her “an asset of Russia.” She called the comments “completely despicable.”

Without naming Gabbard, Clinton seemed to echo the commentator’s remark during a podcast appearance this week on “Campaign HQ with David Plouffe.” Plouffe was campaign manager for President Barack Obama in 2008 and served as served as a senior adviser to the president.

“She’s the favorite of the Russians,” Clinton said, referring to the person she had earlier identified as a woman “who’s currently in the Democratic primary.”

“They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

Clinton also called Trump “Vladimir Putin’s dream” in the interview. She went on to say that Trump’s inauguration speech was “like a declaration of war on half of America.” Clinton also describes 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein as “a Russian asset.”

The Russians know they can’t win without a third-party candidate, Clinton added.

Gabbard said later Friday on CBSN that she “will not be leaving the Democratic Party. I will not be running as an independent or a third-party candidate.”

In a tweet Friday, Stein accused Clinton of “peddling conspiracy theories to justify her failure instead of reflecting on real reasons Dems lost in 2016.”

Hawaii’s lack of pro bono lawyers is affecting immigrant asylum

HONOLULU (AP) — A shortage of Hawaii attorneys who can handle cases on a pro bono basis is hampering the progress of immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S., officials said.

As many as 150 Central American migrants seeking asylum who have found their way to Hawaii from the southern U.S. border with Mexico need the free legal services, Hawaii Public Radio reported Thursday.

About 40 migrant families from countries including Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador were sent to Hawaii, officials said. Many have fled violence.

“We have been seeing people arriving here in Hawaii quite often with no English skills whatsoever. They’re coming from pretty poor environments and they’re given a plane ticket and a notice to show up in court,” said John Egan of the Refugee and Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Hawaii Law School.

Egan and his law students have taken a dozen pro bono cases of asylum-seekers, he said.

“Honestly, I have to say that some of these cases, we’re just taking them because no one else can. What we have started now is a new project to recruit volunteer lawyers who are not immigration attorneys and bring in additional legal help,” he said.

Even though it is more likely migrants would win their cases if they have lawyers, there is no guarantee asylum would be granted, Egan said.

Egan said he hopes immigrants would make their court appearances in the coming months with lawyers by their side.

Convicted ex-police chief files for divorce

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — A retired Honolulu police chief convicted of conspiracy in Hawaii’s biggest corruption case wants a divorce from his wife and co-defendant, a former deputy city prosecutor.

Louis Kealoha filed for divorce Tuesday, according to court records.

A jury in June convicted him and Katherine Kealoha of conspiracy in a plot to frame her uncle to keep him from revealing fraud that financed their lavish lifestyle.

Prosecutors said during the trial that the Kealohas framed the uncle for stealing their home mailbox because they wanted to maintain their power and prestige.

Katherine Kealoha’s uncle Gerard Puana and her grandmother had sued her, alleging she stole money from them in a reverse mortgage scheme. She then conspired to frame Puana for stealing the mailbox so no one would believe him, prosecutors said.

Jurors watched a deposition of Kealoha’s grandmother, Florence Puana, describing the reverse mortgage scheme that forced her to sell the family home her husband built. The now-100-year-old grandmother wasn’t able to testify in person because of her failing health.

After the Kealohas were convicted, a judge ordered Katherine Kealoha detained. Her husband was allowed to remain free on bond.

The Kealohas are facing another trial for bank fraud and identity theft.

Prosecutors say Katherine Kealoha bilked banks, relatives and children whose trusts she controlled.

The Kealohas have pleaded not guilty, and a trial is scheduled for January. An attorney for Katherine Kealoha has said they are negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors.

Katherine Kealoha faces a third trial on drug-dealing charges with her pain physician brother. She and her brother, Dr. Rudolph Puana, have pleaded not guilty.

The Kealohas have often arrived at court together holding hands and wearing color-coordinated outfits.

The two met while getting their master’s degrees in criminal justice administration at Chaminade University, a small Catholic school in Honolulu, according to a 2010 Mid-Week newspaper article about how the new chief was instilling Native Hawaiian values while leading the police force.

Court hearings have aired evidence of Katherine Kealoha allegedly lavishing bilked money on a firefighter lover.

According to his divorce complaint, Louis Kealoha is representing himself. Under the section “grounds,” Kealoha checked the box for “The marriage is irretrievably broken.”

The Kealohas have a college-aged daughter.

Defense attorneys for the Kealohas couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

State / In Brief

The Associated Press

Oahu lawmaker urges visitor pledge

HONOLULU — A Honolulu city councilor says she wants visitors to take a pledge to respect and help protect the island’s natural resources.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Councilwoman Kymberly Pine wants tourists to Oahu to sign a form with a pledge to be environmentally responsible and culturally sensitive during visits.

Pine has proposed a bill to enlist the Office of Economic Development or another city agency to help establish the Keep Hawaii Hawaii program.

A city council committee is expected to discuss the proposal at an Oct. 22 meeting.

Pine says the program could work with the visitor industry to promote its environmental goals.

Similar pledge programs have been established in Hawaii and Kauai counties, but Pine’s program would be the first in state to coordinate with a local government agency.

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Power company plans to drill well

HILO — Puna Geothermal Venture says it plans to begin drilling a new geothermal production well on Hawaii Island as part of its recovery from the Kilauea volcano eruption.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday that the energy company expects to begin drilling its Kapoho State 18 well Wednesday.

The company alerted community members in a letter earlier this month that the work is expected to be completed by mid-January.

Officials say the work is part of a resumption of operations after wells were isolated by lava during the eruption that began in May 2018.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources in August approved permits for two new company wells, including the Kapoho State 18 well with an expected depth of about 5,000 feet.

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Report: Most debris is from elsewhere

HONOLULU — Hawaii researchers have found that majority of plastic marine debris washing up on its shores is from abroad.

The Star-Advertiser reports that the study conducted at Hawaii Pacific University revealed that pollution from north and east island beaches is washing ashore where there are fewer residents and tourists.

Researchers say it is possible the debris swept in from as far as 3,000 miles away from the coasts of Asia, as well as the Americas.

Researchers say more than 4,600 pieces of plastic debris were collected for the study from three sea surface areas, three seafloor dive sites and 11 shorelines.

Researchers say based on weathering and chemical composition the debris could tell experts where it came from and how it got to island shores.

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Honolulu weighs B&B property tax

HONOLULU — A bill being considered in Honolulu would create a new property tax category for homeowners operating bed-and-breakfast establishments.

The Honolulu City Council approved the first reading of the bill last week, The Star-Advertiser reported. If passed, the bill could be in effect by July 1.

The Budget Committee could take up the bill this month, but would not establish a rate for the new category.

Tax rates for each category are determined by the City Council each June, officials said. The proposed category could fall somewhere between the standard residential category and the hotel-resort category.

The standard residential category is currently $3.50 for every $1,000 of assessed value, city officials said. The hotel-resort category just increased by $1 this year to $13.90 for every $1,000 of assessed value.

Currently, those with nonconforming use certificates and operating in residential districts must pay the standard residential rates.

Under the proposal, those operating under nonconforming use permits would be required to pay the hotel-resort rate, officials said.

People operating transient or whole-home vacation rentals without a host would also be taxed at the hotel-resort rate under the bill.

“It’s the underlying zoning that determines how it gets classified,” said Gary Kurokawa, Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s chief of staff.

Hawaii STD increase is linked to online dating

HONOLULU (AP) — An increase in sexually transmitted diseases to the highest numbers reported in decades can be linked to the prevalence of online dating, officials said.

Cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have increased significantly in the state, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday.

All three infections were at or near their highest rates in about 30 years, according to the state Department of Health’s Harm Reduction Services Branch.

State health officials recorded 7,732 cases of chlamydia in 2018, up from 5,972 cases in 2008. Gonorrhea more than doubled over the past 10 years from 611 to 1,496 cases. Syphilis infections increased to 180 cases from 38 a decade ago, officials said.

More connections with many more people are made rapidly through online dating services, officials said.

“As people rely on digital means of making connections, it can lead to circumstances where they might be more exposed to infection without them knowing it,” said Gerald Hasty, program coordinator for the state harm reduction branch. “More partners, more chances to get infections.”

There has also been decreasing reliance on condoms or prophylactics for protection against STDs, officials said.

State figures correspond with the national rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infections, which have risen for the fifth year in a row, officials said.

Auction results sealed for seized NKorea ship

HONOLULU (AP) — A U.S.-seized North Korean cargo ship suspected in international sanction violations was sold in a sealed auction.

The Wise Honest was seized in May and towed it to American Samoa. Indonesia detained the ship in 2018 while it was transporting coal.

The U.S. Marshals Service says they don’t disclose winning amounts or buyers in sealed-bid auctions.

The Justice Department didn’t immediately say Wednesday where sale proceeds will go.

Otto Warmbier’s parents filed a claim to the ship, seeking to collect on a multimillion-dollar judgment in the American college student’s death. They say he was tortured in North Korea after being convicted of trying to steal a propaganda poster.

Relatives of South Korea-born Rev. Dong Shik Kim filed a similar claim. They say he was taken hostage, tortured then killed in North Korea.

State prosecutor is ordered to stay away from lawyer he shoved

HONOLULU (AP) — A state prosecutor must spend the next three years avoiding an attorney he shoved in the hallway of a courthouse, according to a judge’s order.

The injunction prohibits Deputy Prosecutor Emlyn Higa from approaching or interacting with defense lawyer Myles Breiner, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.

Higa must avoid contacting, threatening or harassing Breiner for the three-year term of the injunction because of an altercation between the men.

Higa did not deny shoving Breiner in Honolulu’s First Circuit Court building following a contentious hearing Sept. 18.

The order prohibits Higa from visiting Breiner’s home or office, but it does not prevent Higa from handling criminal cases involving Breiner’s clients.

“You could agree with me that it’s totally unacceptable, particularly for a prosecutor, to be physically assaulting opposing counsel in the hallway at court. That is just not acceptable,” said Honolulu District Judge Hilary Benson Gangnes.

Breiner also requested a ban on Higa appearing in the same courtroom. Gangnes said she could not fulfill the request because the courtroom is the judicial branch’s workplace, not Breiner’s place of business.

Gangnes ordered Higa to remain 5 feet from Breiner in court, following Higa’s request to make the distance 2 feet.

Higa was previously assigned to prosecute three cases involving Breiner’s clients, but after pushing Breiner he transferred two cases to another deputy. The judge was puzzled why Higa remained on the case that led to him shoving Breiner.

“Honestly, I don’t know why your boss isn’t automatically yanking you off the case,” she said.

Honolulu Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto is not willing to bar Higa from the attempted murder case due to his experience in the area, Higa said.