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State briefs for January 20

Honolulu seeks to drop case against US surgeon general

HONOLULU — Honolulu prosecutors submitted a motion Tuesday to dismiss charges against U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams after he was cited for being in a closed park during the state’s summertime spike in coronavirus cases.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said in a statement that a motion was submitted to the court to dismiss charges against Adams and his aide, Dennis Anderson-Villaluz, for allegedly violating an emergency COVID-19 order in August.

A judge will review the motion and make a determination on whether the charges should be dropped. Adams was in Hawaii to help with surge testing amid an alarming surge in cases.

“After a careful review of the facts and law in this case, I have determined that further prosecution of this matter would not achieve that goal,” said Alm in the statement.

2 men plead not guilty in 2014 hate crime case

HONOLULU — Two men each indicted with one federal count of a hate crime in the alleged beating of a white man on Maui in 2014 pleaded not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Kaulana Alo Kaonohi and Levi Aki Jr. entered their pleas during a telephone conference from the Federal Detention Center jail in Honolulu. A trial date is set for March. A judge will hear arguments later this week on whether they should be released pending trial.

A U.S. grand jury indictment unsealed Friday charged Kaonohi and Aki with a hate crime after they allegedly attacked a white man who was attempting to move into their neighborhood in Kahakuloa village. They face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Kaonohi pleaded no contest to felony assault in state court in July 2019 in the case and was sentenced to probation.

Virus prompts fishing boom

HONOLULU — An increase in the number of anglers plying Hawaii’s shores has provided much needed food and recreation while helping keep supply shops afloat during the pandemic.

Fishing supply store personnel said noncommercial fishing has boomed since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Avery Berido, an employee at J Hara Store in Kurtistown, said the business has a mix of recreational and subsistence customers.

“We get a lot of both,” Berido said. “People who do like to fish have more time to fish, and other people (fish) especially because they have to supplement their food supply.”

A recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration survey found 66% of noncommercial anglers said they fished for food, while 36% said the catch was “extremely or very important to their regular diet.”

Data from NOAA’s Marine Recreational Information Program indicated noncommercial fishing trips by individuals doubled between March and August and fishing trips almost tripled for boats and private charters.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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