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State briefs for July 7

Honolulu gets Micronesian and Pacific islander youth center

HONOLULU — A nonprofit organization that serves and advocates for the Micronesian and Pacific islander communities in Hawaii plans to open a youth center in Honolulu this month.

The center will offer college and career prep, cultural exhibitions, mentorship programs and study areas, We Are Oceania CEO Josie Howard told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. It will have resources for homeless youth and families, she said.

“Just like a home means everything to a family, this center will be the same,” Howard said. “It’s a place where they can come and seek help. Somebody is there to help, and somebody is there who understands them.”

The Youth Empowerment Center is the first of its kind for We Are Oceania. It’s located inside a former American Savings Bank branch in Liliha. The bank offered the space to the nonprofit rent-free.

University of Hawaii at Manoa undergraduate K-nard Narruhn, who is Chuukese, is recruiting youth mentors for the center and is excited to continue working as one himself.

The 22-year-old from Pearl City helps organize and run We Are Oceania’s food drives, vaccination clinics, translation services and unemployment and housing support.

He remembers getting help from We Are Oceania himself after he dropped out of high school and was going from job to job feeling unfulfilled.

Thanks to college fairs, campus visits, mentorship and financial aid help, Narruhn earned his high school equivalency diploma and enrolled in the University of Hawaii at Hilo. There he went from being a high school dropout to making the dean’s list. He later transferred to Manoa.

“It’s a surreal experience. It’s crazy how I was on the other end getting counseling and help, and now I’m on this end giving back,” he said. “It feels right to me.”

Ex-Yankee arrested for DUI on Oahu

HONOLULU — Former New York Yankees player Bronson Sardinha was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Hawaii over the Fourth of July weekend.

Sardinha was arrested shortly after midnight Sunday, according to Honolulu police records.

Sardinha posted bail and was released.

The Yankees drafted the Kamehameha-Kapalama graduate as the 34th overall pick in 2001, according to MLB.com. The outfielder mostly played for the Yankees’ minor league teams from 2001 to 2007, and for other teams in the minor leagues until 2011.

Sardinha and an attorney who has represented him previously didn’t immediately return messages from The Associated Press on Tuesday.

In 2015, he was arrested on charges he collided with a car, fled the scene and assaulted a Honolulu police officer, according to court records.

He entered a no-contest plea to fleeing the scene on the day he was indicted for the assault. A judge granted his motion to dismiss the assault case, but an appeals court vacated the order. The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case next week.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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