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State briefs for January 19

Judge: Corruption trial to go on, despite shutdown

HONOLULU — A federal judge says a trial on corruption-related charges must go on against a now-retired Honolulu police chief and his former deputy prosecutor wife, despite the government shutdown.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi on Friday denied a request by Katherine Kealoha’s attorney to postpone the March trial on allegations she and her husband, Louis Kealoha, orchestrated the framing of her uncle for stealing their home mailbox.

Another judge previously appointed taxpayer-funded lawyers to represent the Kealohas after determining their debts exceed their assets. Katherine Kealoha’s attorney, Cynthia Kagiwada, says she’s not being paid during the government shutdown, which deprives her client of adequate trial preparation.

Puglisi says he guarantees the court-appointed attorneys and defense experts on the case will be paid eventually.

USPS will keep open historic Kauai post office

LIHUE, Kauai — A historic post office on Kauai will remain open after the U.S. Postal Service reversed a decision to shut it down.

The service announced its decision to close the Lihue Post Office in December 2017, prompting hundreds of letters and coconuts to be sent to the service in support of keeping the post office open.

The agency planned to close the Rice Street office to consolidate operations at its carrier annex facility next to the Lihue Airport. The consolidation also aimed to solve ongoing parking problems and access issues at the historic building.

“After a thorough review of our options, we decided it would be in the best interest of our customers and the Postal Service not to relocate our retail services from our Rice Street facility,” said spokesman Duke Gonzales.

The Lihue Post Office built in 1939 is listed in the national and state registers of historic places.

4 arrests after men occupy Office of Hawaiian Affairs

HONOLULU — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs says 12 people forced their way into the state agency’s lobby and assaulted two staff members.

A statement from the agency says the 12 forcibly removed staff members from the lobby of their Honolulu office and occupied the lobby.

Honolulu police say four men ranging in age from 27-62 were arrested and booked for third-degree assault.

Trustee Kelii Akina says he received messages from his staff to stay away from the building and that other trustees there at the time were evacuated.

The incident came on the anniversary of the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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