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Adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua were under financial stress before child’s death
SA: … Court records show that on Sept. 10, three days before the couple reported Isabella missing from their home, Lehua Kalua told a Kaneohe District Court judge she was working on filing for bankruptcy. And she previously told the courts she was filing for bankruptcy in two other cases initiated by banks against her for a total of over $12,000 in nonpayment of loans, court records show.
Isaac “Sonny” Kalua III, doing business as Sonny K. Enterprises, filed July 17, 2020, for Chapter 13 bankruptcy because of debts totaling $476,738. A mortgage adjustment that started Nov. 1 was meant to save their two-story house on Puha Street, where authorities say the child died after suffering repeated abuse…
Lehua Kalua’s company, Rubysonrise LLC, was registered in 2016 and terminated Dec. 6, 2019, state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs records show. Buzzfile, a business information database, says the company was operating a jewelry and family clothing business that earned an estimated $70,000 annually.
A Facebook page called LulaRoe Lehua Kalua with 2,900 followers indicates the sale of clothing by LulaRoe, the Utah-based, multilevel- marketing company known for its colorful leggings….
Isabella and her sisters first became involved with the Kaluas in 2018, when the girls’ biological mother, Melanie Joseph, who suffered from drug addiction and was homeless, asked a friend whether his sister, Lehua Kalua, would be willing to care for her baby. Kalua agreed and took in the infant, now 3, as a foster child.
At the time, Isabella and her older sister were living with Joseph’s mother, Barbara Kumai. Sometime in late 2018 or early 2019, Kumai told the Star-Advertiser, a CWS social worker “pressured” her to give up the two girls after Kumai’s boyfriend was hospitalized following a serious accident.
The social worker, Kumai said, abruptly called one evening and told Kumai to pack their things and have them ready to go by morning….
read … Adoptive parents of Isabella Kalua were under financial stress before child’s death
Hawaii deputy sheriff uncovers cocaine scheme
SA: … On Dec. 12, state Deputy Sheriff Dexter Kauahi conveyed information to a Drug Enforcement Administration agent that Marco Antonio Zamora, 46, had been traveling to Honolulu from San Francisco several times a month to smuggle drugs and sell them in Hawaii, where prices are significantly higher than on the mainland.
Zamora is a known member of a Northern California gang and has “multiple arrests for murder” but was never convicted, according to federal prosecutors. He has a 1999 conviction for selling methamphetamine and served 87 months in prison.
The case started with the tip from Kauahi, a 15-year veteran of the Department of Public Safety’s Law Enforcement Division, who learned that Zamora allegedly had traveled from California with about 22 to 33 pounds of cocaine and then flew back to San Francisco with $400,000 to $500,000 to buy more drugs.
Zamora was known to stay at the Hawaiian Monarch apartments in Waikiki when in Honolulu and allegedly was using the money he earned selling drugs to retrofit a bar that was a known hangout for drug dealers into an illegal game room, according to court documents.
On Jan. 13 at about 6:13 p.m., a white Porsche pulled into the pickup area of the Hawaiian Monarch on Niu Street and met Zamora and his cousin Javier Chavez, 45, who often traveled with him. Chavez allegedly got into the Porsche with a dark-blue duffel bag and then quickly got out. The Porsche, driven by Ping Hong Lee, sped off, and at about 6:16 p.m. a task force officer turned on his siren and lights to get the sports car to pull over.
(Ping Hong Lee was the husband of Athena Lee who in 2012 was the girlfriend of HPD officer Michael Steven Chu. Ping Hong Lee went into the Federal system in 2011 and his wife joined forces with the HPD officer to grow weed. See 2012: Police officer’s girlfriend pleads guilty to marijuana growing)
The Porsche then accelerated through heavy traffic, executing unsafe turns and other reckless maneuvers, the documents said. Because of the danger to other motorists, the officer stopped his pursuit. The Porsche was later found at the Hawaiian Monarch with Chavez and Zamora.
Chavez, of Redwood City, Calif., was arrested in February on cocaine distribution charges, according to the Bay Area News Group. Officials said Lee is also facing charges….
Feb 2021: Feds link Bay Area man to California/Hawaii coke smuggling ring, illegal gambling hall
SJMN: Feds: Alleged Bay Area drug trafficker made $500,000 coke deals, lived in $3 million home
read … Hawaii deputy sheriff uncovers cocaine scheme
Deadly, costly crashes lead HPD to consider pursuit policy changes
KHON: … HPD’s pursuit policy allows officers to decide when the need to apprehend a suspect outweighs the risk of harm to people and property. If they start a chase, lights and sirens have to be on the whole time, and a pursuit must be declared by a call-in to dispatch, along with a slew of details. At that point, supervisors take over direction of the chase.
Always Investigating reviewed eight years of pursuit data and found more than 1 in 4 chases dating back to 2013 had violations by the officers at the wheel or their supervisors; the most frequent being failures to declare a chase, assess the risk or terminate it — and not switching on the lights and sirens.
As many as 1 in 4 chases ended in a crash or collision by the fleeing suspect in the worst recent year on record. In fact, suspects crash about as often as they stop in a chase: Around 13% end in an accident, while 14% in eventual compliance. For about one-third of the time, the officer calls it off; another third of the time, a supervisor terminates the chase.
The data showed that most of the time, pursuits are sparked by a stolen vehicle report or a traffic offense. Only 5% of the time are police chasing suspicious or wanted people. A chase in Waianae started with a warning to youth to leave a beach. A lawsuit alleges police chased and forced a car off the road then fled the scene. The crash ejected five people, paralyzed a 14-year-old boy and left another young man on life support. Three officers are under criminal and administrative investigations, and civil lawsuits are pending.
HPD recently started cracking down on compliance with their own rules within the last month, putting out an in-house video that is mandatory viewing.
“It provides details on what our policy says,” HPD Interim Chief Rade Vanic told the police commission last week. “It also provides information on what expectations are, some of the comments, some common misconceptions, and also what officers have been or haven’t been doing and ways to make sure that they are doing what they’re supposed to do.”
According to the model pursuit policy of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, departments should follow one of four approaches: (1) Allow pursuits at the officer’s discretion or (2) permit them only with supervisor approval (Vanic said HPD’s policy falls between those two). In other jurisdictions, (3) restrict chases only to specific situations while others (4) never allow them….
read … Deadly, costly crashes lead HPD to consider pursuit policy changes
Maui Charter Commission Proposals to go on Ballot
MN: … The commission is in the process of reviewing the Maui County Charter, the guiding document for local government, and is proposing changes that voters will have the chance to decide on in the upcoming election. Last week, the commission discussed several proposals related to police and to the executive branch.
Besides a series of “technical” revisions to the charter submitted by Corporation Counsel, the commission adopted proposals that would:
• Impose a three-year residency requirement for mayoral candidates.
• Broaden the requirements for Department of Liquor Control director.
• Prohibit back-dating of director written resignations, instead requiring a notarized resignation letter signed by department heads no more than 30 days prior to their intended resignation date.
• Divide the Department of Housing and Human Concerns into two distinct departments.
• Recommend the appointment of Corporation Counsel and the Prosecuting Attorney from a short list of nominees selected by an independent selection commission.
Seven proposals were deferred to the next meeting due to time limitations.
“Miscellaneous and new provisions” is the final topic scheduled for discussion before the commission on Dec. 2. Public testimony will be taken on 14 amendment proposals…
read … Proposed charter change would raise threshold for police chief
Proposed airport hotel on Maui awaiting word on moratorium
SA: … The proposed Kanaha Hotel would be built by R.D. Olson Development on 5.2 acres of vacant land in the Maui Business Park II, according to a draft environmental impact statement published Tuesday by the state Office of Planning and Sustainable Development, triggering a 45-day public comment period. The Newport Beach, Calif., developer also built the Courtyard by Marriott Kahului, which opened in 2012 down the street from where the new project would be located, if approved….
read … Proposed airport hotel on Maui awaiting word on moratorium
Lawsuit challenges Meadow Gold’s ‘Made With Aloha’ claims
SA: … Meadow Gold Dairies writes on its website that it has been providing Hawaii with milk for the past 120 years, but a federal lawsuit is challenging that claim, alleging the company’s milk is actually being produced in California.
The lawsuit filed against Meadow Gold Dairies on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii by food distributor Hawaii Foodservice Alliance stems from when the brand and its assets were sold in April 2020 to Bahman Sadeghi, a Big Island dairy farmer. The complaint alleges that after the sale, milk from California- based Hollandia Dairy and Heritage Distributing Co. was being sold under the Meadow Gold Dairies brand with labels that proclaim “Hawaii’s Dairy” and “Made With Aloha.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Meadow Gold Dairies does not own any cows in Hawaii….
read … Lawsuit challenges Meadow Gold’s ‘Made With Aloha’ claims
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