County/In Brief

Australia wants to extradite suspect

WAILUKU — A man arrested last week in an investigation into financial and identity crimes is facing extradition to his native Australia, attorneys said Thursday.

Adam Nettlefold, 33, was arrested after police executed search warrants May 22 at his residence in Wailea.

He is charged with five counts of theft of a credit card, second-degree forgery, unauthorized possession of confidential personal information and three counts of sale or manufacture of a deceptive identification document.

The felony charges allege Nettlefold had credit cards and driver’s licenses in other people’s names.

Bail was set at $250,000 for Nettlefold, who is being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

During a hearing Thursday, Deputy Public Defender Zach Raidmae said that a bail study wasn’t prepared for Nettlefold because he is facing extradition.

Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas said there was an immigration hold on Nettlefold.

A June 22 pretrial is set for Nettlefold in 2nd Circuit Court.

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Tip led police to banyan drug arrest

Police had received information that a man was selling large amounts of marijuana to high school students at Banyan Tree Park in Lahaina before arresting a man there Tuesday night, police said.

Francisco Gomes, 59, was arrested at 6:05 p.m. during an undercover drug operation conducted by officers from the Juvenile Crime Prevention Division, Crime Reduction Unit and Community Relations Section, police said.

More than 4 grams of marijuana were seized from Gomes, who was charged with second-degree promotion of a detrimental drug, third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and promoting a controlled substance near schools or public parks.

Gomes was being held in lieu of $12,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

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Blaze scorches old pineapple fields

A 2-acre brush fire was declared extinguished Thursday morning after firefighters couldn’t find any hotspots in the area of former pineapple fields near the Pauwela Lighthouse, a fire official said.

The fire was reported at 3:48 p.m. Wednesday, with a Paia fire crew arriving six minutes later to find a half-acre of heavy brush burning nearly a mile makai of Hana Highway, said Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto.

“Strong trade winds and the thick brush made it difficult for crews to get a handle on the blaze,” Taomoto said.

He said that the Fire Department’s Air One helicopter made water drops on the fire before firefighters brought it under control at 5:05 p.m. Wednesday.

Although the fire was extinguished when firefighters left the scene at 8 p.m. Wednesday, fire crews decided to wait until Thursday morning to call the fire officially extinguished, Taomoto said.

He said the fire was declared extinguished at 6 a.m. Thursday after Paia firefighters patrolled the area and didn’t find any hotspots.

The cause of the fire was undetermined.

A Makawao engine company and water tankers from Kahului and Wailea also helped fight the fire.

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Crews quickly douse Wailuku brush fire

Firefighters extinguished a fire that burned a 50-by-50-foot area of brush Wednesday afternoon near the Wailuku Post Office, a fire official said.

Wailuku firefighters responded to the 4:06 p.m. alarm and arrived on the scene at 4:13 p.m.

The brush was burning in a vacant lot between Piihana Road and the Wailuku River, near the Wailuku Post Office, said Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto.

He said firefighters brought the fire under control five minutes later and extinguished it at 4:40 p.m.

The cause of the fire wasn’t determined.

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Launiupoko housing discussion resumes

The Maui County Council’s Land Use Committee will reconvene its Wednesday recessed meeting today at 1:30 p.m. to continue to discuss the proposed 49-unit Makila Kai project on 271 acres in Launiupoko.

The meeting will be in the Council Chambers on the eighth floor of the Kalana O Maui building in Wailuku. Oral testimony is closed, although written testimony may be submitted to Lu.committee@mauicounty.us.

The project is seeking approvals through the state’s 201H fast-track housing provisions that exempt affordable housing developments from certain land use and other governmental regulations.

There are 25 proposed residential workforce housing units on half-acre lots and 24-market rate agricultural lots on 1.5 acres to nearly 2 acres.

Proponents say more affordable homes are needed in the area, while critics are worried about more traffic in West Maui as well as other inadequate infrastructure.

The council has a 45-day window, or until June 22, to make a decision on the project or it will be approved.

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Meetings set to talk of Wailuku facility

Several community outreach events beginning today will be held to discuss the proposed parking and events facility in Wailuku town.

The county is proposing the facility to be located along Vineyard Street near the corner of Church Street on a portion of the Wailuku Municipal Parking Lot. The facility will increase parking in the area and incorporate other public uses.

All of the community outreach events will be at the corner space of Market and Main streets, next to Maui Thing store in Wailuku town.

The first public outreach event will be at today’s First Friday town party, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. People can visit with planners and architects and view the three potential site layouts for the project.

There also will be an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

From Monday through June 9, there will be a “lunch hour” series from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. People can talk to project team members, including traffic engineers, an archaeologist, cultural specialist and civil and structural engineers.

Participants also may share their thoughts about the project at the gatherings.

For more information, see rewailuku.org.

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