Sunday | December 17, 2017
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In Brief | Big Island & State

Hilo woman facing burglary, theft charges

Big Island police have charged a 24-year-old Hilo woman with eight property crimes stemming from reported burglaries during the first week of May.

Suzy Chun was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant late Wednesday afternoon, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

Police said she was involved in three home break-ins in Panaewa Farm Lots, Upper Waiakea and Laupahoehoe. Items allegedly removed included jewelry, laptops and gaming systems with a combined value of more than $10,000. The burglaries occurred during the first week of May.

At 6:05 p.m. Thursday, Chun was charged with three counts of first-degree burglary, four counts of second-degree theft and one count of third-degree theft. Her bail was set at $116,000.

Explosions are from ordnance removal

Explosions heard the past few days in the Waikoloa Village area are the result of crews detonating unexploded ordnance.

The detonations are occurring north of the village, directly mauka of Puako, said Kimo Santos, Waikoloa Village Association environmental control manager. He said the Army Corps of Engineers hired contractor Environet Hawaii to complete the work.

West Hawaii Today’s attempts to reach Environet offices on the Big Island, Oahu and mainland were unsuccessful as of press time Friday.

County doesn’t charge parking fees

at beaches, parks

Parking fees are not assessed at Hawaii County beach and park facilities, Department of Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Bob Fitzgerald said Friday.

Fitzgerald also said that any person assessing fees at a county park or beach facility may be in violation of county code by conducting business at a county facility without permission and/or a permit. He said the department would check with police on the issue.

Anyone who witnesses such activities at county beach and park facilities should report it to the police at 935-3311. They should also inform the county at 961-8311 of the activities, Fitzgerald said.

West Hawaii Today contacted the county after being reached by a resident who said a man was assessing parking fees of $5 to nonresidents at the county’s Spencer Beach Park in South Kohala.

The resident also expressed concern about parking fees for nonresidents at Hapuna Beach State Park in South Kohala. Parking fees are assessed on nonresidents at Hapuna through a company contracted by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. The nonresident vehicle $5 parking fee went into effect April 1.

County seeks new Civil Defense head

Hawaii County is seeking a Civil Defense administrator. The county will open recruitment for the position at midnight Sunday. Electronic applications will be accepted at the county jobs website at

The Civil Defense administrator is responsible for county civil defense programs under the direction of the mayor, including the development and maintenance of plans for the operation of government and related agencies in times of emergencies. The administrator also coordinates programs with agencies of federal and state governments.

Retired Hawaii County Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira has been serving as acting Civil Defense administrator since Jan. 9, and he will remain in that role until a permanent administrator is selected.

Guilty verdict in classified Cambodia papers case

HONOLULU — A military jury on Friday convicted a Hawaii-based Army officer of unauthorized possession of classified documents and giving a document with classified assessments of Cambodia to a person not entitled to have it.

A panel of seven Army officers returned the verdict against Maj. Seivirak Inson after a four-day court martial at Wheeler Army Airfield.

The jurors convicted Inson, who was born in Cambodia, of possessing a U.S. Pacific Command maritime strategy document and other military intelligence documents that he wasn’t authorized to have.

They found him guilty of failing to report to his chain of command contacts he had with Cambodian military and government officials.

His other convictions were for adultery and fraudulently signing a bank document.

Dead monk seal found on Kauai

LIHUE, Kauai — Federal officials say an endangered Hawaiian monk seal found on the west side of Kauai apparently died of natural causes.

The Garden Island reports the carcass was found Monday along the Kaumakani coastline near Pakala Village.

The Kauai Marine Mammal Response coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a necropsy detected no broken bones or foreign objects in the carcass.

Jamie Thomton says the seal was an apparently healthy adult male but that tissue sampling was limited because the carcass had decomposed after a couple of days on the beach.

The seal is the third discovered dead in the last eight months.

US appeals court rules in favor of Maui student

HONOLULU — The state Department of Education violated the law by holding a meeting to change an autistic Maui student’s educational plan without involving his parents, a federal appeals court panel ruled.

Hawaii education officials violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by altering Spencer Clark’s individualized education program during a meeting that his father couldn’t attend and had tried to reschedule, according to Thursday’s 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opinion.

Clark, of Kihei, was diagnosed with autism at age 2 and is now 18. Since fifth grade, the state placed him at Horizons Academy, a private special education school. The law allows special-needs students to receive a free education at a private school.

During a 2010 meeting, Clark’s placement was changed to Maui High School. Clark’s father “vigorously objected” to holding the meeting without him and tried repeatedly to reschedule, but the department, “over his repeated objections, and, at that meeting, decided to change Spencer’s educational placement for the first time in six years,” the opinion states.

Clark’s parents kept him at the private school and paid the monthly $12,800 tuition themselves, said the family’s Honolulu attorney, Keith Peck.

The case goes back to U.S. District Court to determine whether the parents can be reimbursed for the tuition.

By local and wire sources

Rabbi speaking Sunday

Rabbi Shlomo Zarchi from Congregation Chevra Thilim in San Francisco will speak Sunday. An article in Friday’s paper was in error because of erroneous information supplied to West Hawaii Today.

Company is a supplier, not contractor

An article in Friday’s newspaper incorrectly characterized Pacific Air Supply Inc. The company is a supplier to contractors and not an HVAC contractor.