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State briefs for July 10

Judge dismisses petition to impeach Honolulu prosecutor

HONOLULU — A circuit court judge on Monday dismissed a petition for the impeachment of Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro.

The petition was filed by Oahu businessman Tracy Yoshimura.

The judge cited procedural issues regarding electronic signatures to meet a Honolulu provision requiring 500 registered voters to sign a petition.

Yoshimura’s attorney says he will file a new petition with hand-written signatures rather than pursue an appeal.

Kaneshiro’s attorney says his client is happy with the decision.

Yoshimura says Kaneshiro should be impeached because he is a target of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into government corruption and cases prosecuted under his authority could be compromised.

Kaneshiro has been on voluntary paid leave since March.

Council to hear concerns about rundown condo

HONOLULU — The Honolulu City Council this week will talk about the condition of a vacant condominium, which neighbors have spent more than a decade complaining about.

The unoccupied building in a five-unit complex has been empty for 20 years and has a history of complaints about break-ins, drug use and graffiti with the city.

The condominium is in Waikiki and has drawn further attention because nearby buildings have been newly renovated.

The council will address those concerns.

Owner Norman Nip says the 9,500-square-foot property is for sale, but an agreement will only be made under the right conditions. Nip previously turned down two multimillion-dollar offers.

“After you paint it, someone puts graffiti on it, and we have homeless people all around the place,” Nip said. “Why do I have to bend down and cater to their likes and needs because it doesn’t look up to their standards?”

The city Department of Planning and Permitting has issued eight violation notices since 2008, which all were corrected. Recently, the department investigated the property in June but found no reason to cite the owner.

Watermark Association of Apartment Owners president Kim Hadden says the building is a fire hazard.

Neighbors hope a new law that created a five-year pilot program to spur redevelopment will help conditions at the complex.

Soldier killed in Korean War returned home

CINCINNATI — An Ohio soldier reported missing in action in the Korean War and later identified through DNA is returning home.

Eighteen-year-old Roger Woods was reported missing in action after fighting in the vicinity of Kochang, Republic of Korea, on July 29, 1950. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said the U.S. Army later issued a “presumptive finding of death” for Pfc. Woods.

Remains found in a grave in South Korea and sent to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii in 1955 were identified last year as Woods.

Woods’ coffin arrived Tuesday morning at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and traveled by procession to Evans Funeral Home in Goshen in Clermont County.

The funeral is set for Thursday, followed by burial at Goshen Cemetery.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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