Bail maintained in assault on teen
WAILUKU - Bail was kept at $150,000 for a Wailuku man indicted on a charge of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl last year.
Michael Dela Cruz, 34, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree sexual assault. A Sept. 3 trial is set for him in 2nd Circuit Court.
He was arrested after police investigated a report that Dela Cruz, who is a family friend, was having consensual sex with the girl, according to police.
Dela Cruz was arrested Monday on the grand jury warrant.
During a bail hearing Friday, Deputy Public Defender Jared Brickey asked the judge to consider reducing bail for Dela Cruz, who has no prior criminal record.
Deputy Prosecutor Tracy Jones said the $150,000 bail was appropriate "given the serious nature of this case."
Judge Rhonda Loo said she was following a bail study recommendation in maintaining the $150,000 bail.
442 tickets so far in Operation SPEED
Police issued 442 speeding citations through Thursday as part of Operation SPEED, which is continuing today and targeting speeding on state highways throughout the island.
Officers also cited six drivers for using cellphones and 21 drivers for seat-belt violations. Another 70 citations were given out for other traffic violations.
The stepped-up speeding enforcement began Sunday, with police traffic officers and patrol officers from Wailuku, Kihei and Lahaina on the lookout for speeding drivers on Honoapiilani, Haleakala, Kuihelani, Hana, Piilani and Mokulele highways.
The fine for speeding is $5 per mile over the speed limit plus $67 in court fees.
Drivers cited for excessive speeding by going at least 30 mph above the speed limit or at least 81 mph must appear in court.
The weeklong enforcement concludes today.
Workday planned for building trail
Another volunteer workday to build a new mountain biking trail in the Makawao Forest Reserve is planned for this morning.
The event is being organized by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program. Work will consist of digging, raking and putting finishing touches on sections of the new trail. Workdays already have been held on July 6 and 13.
The mountain biking trail is being designed and built by the Na Ala Hele Trail Crew in cooperation with the International Mountain Biking Association and the Maui Mountain Biking Coalition.
The new trail is a flow trail that will generally parallel the existing multiuse trail for about 2 miles along the eastern leg of the Kahakapao Loop Trail.
Those interested in assisting with this workday should meet in the gravel parking lot of the Kahakapao Loop Trail at 8:30 a.m.
Volunteers must wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes and be prepared for the changing conditions ranging from hot and dry to windy and rainy. They also should bring lots of water and lunch.
For more information, call Kevin Cooney at 873-3509.
Author of book on bullying to appear
Author Adam Cafege and award-winning San Francisco lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender artist Marconi Calindas will host a reading and signing of their new children's book on bullying titled "Of Petals and Hope: Sonny Sunflower Triumphs Over Bullying" tonight at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
The event is set for 6 to 8:30 in the Alexa Higashi Meeting Room.
The book tells the tale of a sunflower named Sonny who is bullied by the flowers around him because he is different. However, through the friendship and support of a few friends and his innate strength of character, he overcomes his dilemma and learns to love and accept himself for who he is, a news release about the event said.
A representative of Mayor Alan Arakawa will be appearing to receive a copy of the book and speak on the harmful effects of bullying.
Blook Bank plans summertime drive
The Blood Bank of Hawaii is initiating a "Save-Our-Summer-Challenge" for Maui donors to donate blood during the summer months when donations usually are down.
Four drives will be held in August, all at the Cameron Center's Auditorium at 95 Mahalani St. in Wailuku.
Two drives will be held Aug. 19 and 21 from 9:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. The other two drives will be held on Aug. 20 and Aug. 22 both from 7 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
To give blood, a donor must be in good health, at least 18 years of age or 17 with a parent/guardian signed form and weigh at least 110 pounds and bring a valid photo identification with date of birth.
To schedule an appointment, call (800) 372-9966 or visit www.bbh.org and click "Give Blood."