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State / In Brief

June 8, 2013
The Associated Press

High surf keeps rescuers busy at Waikiki

HONOLULU - Honolulu's Ocean Safety Division said more than 120 people were rescued Wednesday in ocean waters at Waikiki.

Division officials tell the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that continued high surf and high numbers of people contributed to safety problems.

The summer school break meant students were joining tourists on the beach.

Surf along the south shore ranged from 4 to 6 feet and sometimes reached 12 feet.

Ocean Safety operations chief Jim Howe said rescue workers aided people who slipped off the edge of a sandbar in Waikiki.

He said lifeguards gave out more than 700 warnings about water hazards.

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Plea deal in toddler death on Big Island

KAILUA-KONA - A Big Island man accused of running over his 3-year-old son has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kim Taniyama says in exchange for the dropping a manslaughter charge, Pedro Johanes Peter will plead guilty on June 18 to third-degree negligent homicide, a misdemeanor.

Peter was driving when his toddler fell out of the cab of a truck and was run over in January.

West Hawaii Today reports that according to a motion by Peter's public defender, the state did not present sufficient evidence to the grand jury that Peter "consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustified risk that his son would open the door of the car and fall out, resulting in his death."

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Draft supplemental study on rail ready

HONOLULU - Honolulu has completed a supplemental environmental study in response to a federal judge's ruling on the city's rail project.

The study says a Beretania Street tunnel is feasible but not prudent because of its "extraordinary costs" and long-term construction impacts. It also says the project won't "substantially impair" any of Mother Waldron Park's recreational uses.

The judge said Honolulu failed to adequately consider building a Beretania tunnel as part of an alternative route. He also said the city didn't properly evaluate whether the rail project would constructively use the park in Kakaako.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation said Thursday that the authority and the Federal Transit Administration prepared the draft environmental impact statement to address those issues.

A public hearing on the draft will be held July 9.

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Safety rules not followed in Hickam death

HONOLULU - An Air Force accident report concludes inadequate safety measures played a part in the death of an airman at Hickam Air Force Base.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that 20-year-old Airman 1st Class Rickey Wagoner of Linden, Texas, died Jan. 8 from injuries suffered in a fall.

Wagoner and another airman were fixing a fiberglass skylight panel and covering it with plastic sheeting.

Wagoner fell 18 feet and his head hit a concrete floor. He suffered traumatic brain damage.

The report said the Air Force maintenance shop did not understand fall protection requirements.

Neither airman wore protection devices required for working more than 6 feet off the ground.

The report said no guardrails were installed and the airmen didn't wear hard hats.

Wagoner was part of the 647th Civil Engineer Squadron.

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Child advocate charged with sex assault

HONOLULU - The former head of a now shuttered agency that sought foster parents for children has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Louis A. Martinez, 37, pleaded not guilty to two counts of felony sexual assault, one felony count of attempted sexual assault and two misdemeanor counts of sexual assault, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

An Oahu grand jury indicted Martinez last week. Deputy Prosecutor Chastity Imamura said in court that Martinez gave five shots of liquor to a 16-year-old girl in October 2011 and sexually assaulted her when she fell asleep.

In 2005, under the name "David Louis," Martinez founded Heart Gallery Hawaii, a chapter of a national group that seeks homes for foster children who have had difficulty being placed. The organization uses publically displayed photographs of the children to recruit foster parents.

 
 
 

 

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