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Pair of men arrested on east side

October 21, 2017 - 9:21pm

Arrest made in Keaau burglary

Hawaii Island police have charged a 33-year-old Hilo man in connection with a burglary from a self-storage unit in Keaau.

Tuesday morning, officers responded to a self-storage facility in the Shipman Industrial Park after employees observed a man moving items from a storage unit that did not belong to him and place the items into a second unit. The suspect, who was recognized and confronted by employees, fled the area as officers responded.

Police determined that the lock had been cut from the storage unit where the items were removed. The victim reported miscellaneous household items and tools were stolen, with a value of more than $9,000. Police secured the scene while detectives with the criminal investigation section continued the investigation.

On Wednesday, detectives executed a search warrant on the suspect storage locker and recovered some of the stolen items.

On Thursday, police arrested Marco Castro at a Punawai Street residence in Hilo in connection with this investigation. Castro was charged with second-degree burglary and fourth-degree theft. He was later released from police custody after posting $11,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in South Hilo District Court on Nov. 30.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have any other information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Jesse Kerr of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2377 or

Man arrested for concealed gun

Hawaii Island police charged a 20-year-old Puna man who was caught with a concealed firearm.

At 12:52 a.m. Wednesday while on routine patrol, an officer encountered a group of people at the Wailoa Boat Ramp on Manono Street. The officer recognized one of the men in the group who was acting suspiciously. He was aware that this individual had been known to carry firearms. During his encounter with the male party, the officer recovered a revolver tucked in the man’s waistband.

At 12:53 a.m., the suspect, Eric Wilson Jr., was arrested for having a firearm on him and taken to the Hilo cellblock while detectives with the criminal investigation section continued the investigation.

On Thursday, police charged Wilson with the firearm offenses classified as place to keep a pistol, ownership prohibited, permit to acquire and registration mandatory. Wilson remains at the Hilo cell block in lieu of $85,000 bail pending his initial appearance in South Hilo District Court.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Kayne Kelii of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2378 or

OHA gives $3M to charter schools

HONOLULU – The OHA Board of Trustees this week approved distributing $3 million directly to Hawaiian-focused charter schools over the next two years, changing the way OHA provides its longstanding support to the schools to maximize the amount of funds that go to the students.

“More than a decade ago, the leaders of the charter school community first came to OHA to ask for our kokua because of the substantial financial challenges they faced,” said OHA Chair Colette Y. Machado. “Today’s board action represents the continuation of our longstanding commitment to these schools, and most importantly to their keiki.”

Since 2006, OHA has provided $18.6 million to support 17 Hawaiian-focused charter schools located throughout the state. These schools provide innovative culture-based education to more than 4,200 students, nearly three quarters of whom are Native Hawaiian.

The six Big Island Hawaiian-focused charter schools are: Ka ‘Umeke Ka’eo, Hilo; Kanu o ka ‘Aina, Waimea; Ke Ana La’ahana, Hilo; Ke Kula ‘o Nawahiokalaniopu’u, Kea’au; Kua o Ka La, Pahoa and Waimea Middle School, Waimea.

Officials unsure why whales beached themselves on Kauai

LIHUE — Wildlife officials are still unsure what caused seven pilot whales to beach themselves along a Kauai beach.

The whales showed up at Kalapaki Beach last Friday. Of the seven, two died before they could be pushed back into the ocean. The other five went back into the water, but three more whale bodies later washed ashore.

Personnel from the University of Hawaii, NOAA Fisheries, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and volunteers worked together to conduct a necropsy, or post-mortem exam, on the five dead whales.

Preliminary results showed no obvious cause of death. Samples were taken and sent to labs for further analysis.

One thing they’re checking is to see if any of the rat poison dropped last month on Lehua Island made it into their systems. Results from those tests are not expected to be in for a while.

The Navy confirmed that there was no mid-frequency active sonar in the area at the time of the stranding. The Navy also confirmed there were no in-water explosives used in the area.

Officials ruled out the possibility of a ship spurring the whales to beach themselves. NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer was underway off Honolulu the day before the whales showed up. The ship’s seafloor imaging systems, however, including its multi-beam echosounder, were not in use during the ship’s safety inspection exercises.

No other NOAA ships were underway off Hawaii at the time.

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