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State briefs for November 27

Hawaii man arrested in Utah ‘extreme stalking’

SALT LAKE CITY — U.S. prosecutors arrested a Hawaii man they accuse of sending hundreds of unwanted service providers to a Utah home, including plumbers and prostitutes.

Loren Okamura was arrested Friday in Hawaii following his indictment last month on charges of cyberstalking, interstate threats and transporting people for prostitution, court documents show.

Okamura, 44, targeted a father and his adult daughter in a Salt Lake City suburb, sending the woman threatening messages and posting her picture and address online, authorities said.

Investigators were focused on Okamura as the suspect since January in a case that Utah authorities called “extreme stalking.” The Gilmore family was granted a court-ordered protective injunction at that time against Okamura.

It’s unknown why the Gilmores were targeted or what if any relationship exists between Okamura and the family.

A sealed indictment was issued Oct. 2, but Okamura wasn’t arrested until Friday as police struggled to find him. Okamura is scheduled to be in court today in Hawaii for a detention hearing.

Prosecutors say Okamura’s online stalking began sometime in 2018 and led as many as 500 unwanted people to go to the house, according to Gilmore. Okamura sent food deliveries, repair services, tow trucks, locksmiths, plumbers and prostitutes to “harass and intimidate” the family, costing the service providers thousands of dollars in lost business, according to the charging documents.

DOE to offer
staff free Hawaiian language classes

HONOLULU — The state Department of Education plans to offer free Hawaiian language courses to its employees.

The department’s 22,000 salaried employees, including 13,000 teachers, will be able to take courses beginning in January 2020.

The program is a partnership between the Education Department’s Office of Hawaiian Education and the University of Hawaii’s community colleges, officials said.

Employees can enroll in scheduled courses at seven community colleges beginning in the spring semester or join custom courses for DOE staff groups.

Teachers completing courses will receive professional development credits, while other employees will be given college credit.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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