The mysterious disappearances on Hawaii’s Napali Coast and the Kalalau Trail on Kauai

The Kalalau Trail is considered a dangerous trail, located in the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park of Kauai. Most people know this trail for the first 2 miles to Hanakapiai Beach, but permitted backpackers can go the full 11 miles to Kalalau Beach at the end, where camping is allowed.

Set among a coastline of steep cliffs, valleys and streams, the Kalalau Trail requires the most rescues on Kauai. Aside from the usual risks that come with hiking, rain on this coastline can cause the many streams in the area to flash flood. Kauai’s red clay dirt can crumble when dry and be extremely slippery when wet. Strong ocean currents can pull swimmers out to sea.

Deaths on the trail happen often enough that a sign posted at Hanakapiai Stream tallies its victims — close to 100 the last time I visited. This doesn’t include deaths at other streams and beaches, those from falling rocks or falls from great heights.

Still, the trail’s wild and remote beauty attracts day hikers, backpackers, free spirits and illegal campers, who stay for extended periods. About 500,000 visitors and residents ventured out on the trail in 2015, according to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

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Ex-Nevada deputy attorney general arrested in 1972 murder of teen girl in Hawaii

A former Nevada deputy attorney general who was tied to the infamous Mustang Ranch brothel has been arrested in the brutal murder of a teenage girl 50 years ago in Hawaii.

Tudor Chirila Jr., 77, was arrested in Reno and has been charged with second-degree murder after DNA evidence linked him to the fatal stabbing of 19-year-old Nancy Anderson in 1972.

Anderson — who had moved to the island state after graduating high school in Michigan a year earlier — was stabbed more than 60 times inside her Waikiki apartment on Jan. 7, 1972, police said.

Local police never gave up on finding her killer — even a half-century later.

Investigators reopened the cold case multiple times and investigated several suspects over the years. They questioned door-to-door knife salesmen who knocked on Anderson’s door just hours before her killing as well as her former boyfriends and the property manager of her apartment building.

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Two Former Hawaii Lawmakers Who ‘Defrauded Citizens’ When They Accepted Bribes Plead Guilty

Two former Hawaii lawmakers who allegedly “defrauded citizens of the state” when they took part in a bribery scheme to benefit a company pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony charges, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) announced.

Jamie Kalani English, 54, and Ty Cullen, 41, were charged with one count each of honest services wire fraud. They are scheduled to be sentenced on July 5 and face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if found guilty.

However, the sentences they receive will depend on various factors, including reductions for taking responsibility by pleading guilty early.

English, a Democratic state senator and Senate Majority Leader, represented Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe from 2000 until 2021 while Cullen was a Democratic state representative for communities including Village Park, Waipahu, Royal Kunia, West Loch, and Makakilo since 2013.

According to the DOJ, the defendants “defrauded the citizens of the State of Hawaii of their right to honest and faithful services as elected legislators through bribery and concealment of material information.”

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State using COVID robot dog to take temperatures of homeless

The Honolulu Police Department in Hawaii is using a $150,000 robot named “Spot” to take the temperatures of homeless people in its effort to combat COVID-19.

Lt. Joseph O’Neal, acting lieutenant of HPD’s community outreach unit, justified the cost, which was borne by pandemic relief funds. He argued a tool that “takes transmission out of the equation” is not “a waste” from a long-term perspective.

KHON-TV in Honolulu reported Spot, a product of Boston Dynamics, is capable of taking a person’s temperature from a distance of seven feet in a fraction of a second.

“It also has two-way communication and can deliver PPE (personal protective equipment), food and water to someone who does test positive for COVID,” the news anchor said.

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Father and son arrested, face a year in prison for allegedly using fake vaccination cards to travel to Hawaii

A father and son traveling from the mainland United States to Hawaii have been arrested for allegedly falsifying vaccination cards and now are facing up to a year in prison and fines.

Norbert Chung, 57, and his son Trevor Chung, 19, were both arrested on Sunday at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye Airport. The attorney for the Chungs told KHON-TV that after being arrested the duo flew back to California, where they were tested for COVID-19 and the results came back negative. The father and son then flew back to Oahu, where they are now going through the court system.

The Chungs were accused of falsifying their coronavirus vaccination cards. Investigators from the Department of the Attorney General made the arrests after receiving a tip before the tourists arrived in Hawaii, according to USA Today.

The Chungs were arraigned on Thursday morning.

Gary Yamashiroya, a spokesperson for Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors (D), said the father and son face up to one year in prison, as well as a maximum of $5,000 in fines.

In order to travel to Hawaii, visitors must self-quarantine for 10 days. Travelers may obtain an exemption from the quarantine by being fully vaccinated, then uploading their vaccination record document to the Safe Travels website or providing a hard copy of their COVID-19 vaccination card when arriving in Hawaii.

Since the quarantine and “Safe Travels” rules were instituted in 2020, the attorney general’s office created a task force to catch anyone who violates the order.

“Part of that task force, our job is to investigate community complaints that come in about what’s going on with visitors that may or may not be cooperating,” said Arthur Logan, special agent of criminal investigations for the Department of Attorney General.

“Prior to Sunday, there were many, many hours put into the investigation that culminated on Sunday and where we are even today,” Logan told KHON-TV.

“There are multiple investigations that we have and are continuing to do,” Logan warned. “This is the first one that culminated in the arrests such as we have, but that’s not to say there are more to follow.”

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Hawaii Unveils COVID Passports For Inter-Island Travel

Vaccination passports are being pitched as the new “golden ticket” in a dystopic post-COVID world if you want to travel – now that the recovery is on its way. 

Countries in Europe are already requiring travelers to use vaccine passports – usually taking the form of certificates or digital cards of past COVID tests and vaccination history – an idea catching on in tourist nations like Thailand and the Caribbean. But also, much closer to home, Hawaii state officials are considering steps to implement vaccine passports for inter-island travel and likely one day require, to some degree, out of state travelers to have a health passport to revive the local economy that has sustained severe economic damage in its tourism and travel industry. 

Local news KHON2 said state officials could soon roll out a health passport app that details vaccination history. Lt. Gov. Josh Green confirmed an app is in development called “First Vitals.” Officials have discouraged inter-island travel as the U.S.’s only archipelago state composed of eight islands in the North Pacific Ocean was forced to deal with a massive influx of travelers from outside the state during the pandemic. Many folks who flocked to Hawaii were escaping the pandemic or took advantage of cheap flights. 

Like existing COVID passes issued by other countries, Hawaii’s vaccine passport will provide officials with a QR code to authenticate the users’ vaccination history. 

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Cops Forced to Create Crime in Quota Scheme of 4 Tickets Per Hour or Face Discipline

Most people reading this article know what it is like to have the blue and red lights pop up in your rear view mirror. The last thing going through your mind at this point is the feeling of ‘being protected.’ This feeling comes from the fact that the overwhelming majority of the time a driver sees police lights in their mirror is because they have been targeted for revenue collection—often the result of a quota system—and they are about to be given a ticket, or worse.

Police, we are told, are here to keep us safe and protect us from the bad guys. However, public safety all too often takes a back seat to revenue collection. Time and time again, the Free Thought Project has exposed quota schemes in which officers were punished for not writing enough tickets or making enough arrests.

The most recent ticket writing scheme to be exposed comes out of Hawaii and it implicates the Federal Government in the driving force behind it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) holds “traffic safety” grants throughout the year, which essentially require departments to meet certain numbers or they get no grant.

Though quotas are illegal in many states, they are just fine in Hawaii and the department has no problem implementing them to receive their federal handout.

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Study Finds Nearly Half of Child and Adult Sex Trafficking Victims Were Abused by Police

A shocking new report from the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women paints a disturbing picture of law enforcement and their role in sex trafficking. The report found that instead of preventing child and adult sex trafficking, many police officers are participating in it.

The report is titled “Sex Trafficking in Hawaii: The Stories of Survivors,” which detailed the testimonials from multiple victims. One particularly disturbing part of the report was the fact that almost half of all the victims interviewed reported that police officers participated in their abuse and victimization.

“The corruption of members of the criminal justice system reported by the participants in the study was pervasive in their stories of being prostituted,” the report noted.

The report found that the average age of those being trafficked is just 14-years-old, showing how early the abuse began.

One of the victims interviewed, who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons explained that “the same people that are charging you for prostitution are the people turning around and buying it from you.”

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FAA notified after large blue UFO seen above Oahu appeared to drop into ocean

An unidentified flying object spotted in the evening sky over Leeward Oahu prompted witnesses to call 911 on Tuesday.

The sighting happened about 8:30 p.m.

There are multiple videos of what appears to be a glowing‚ oblong mass — both in the sky and in the water.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration say there were no aircraft incidents or accidents in this area at the time. But multiple witnesses reported seeing a large blue object fall out of the sky and into the ocean.

In a one video a woman can be heard saying, “Something is in the sky. What is that?”

Misitina Sape told Hawaii News Now she captured the image at 8:26 p.m. near Haleakala Avenue in Nanakuli.

Not long after, a woman named Moriah spotted what looked like the same object passing over Princess Kahanu Estates.

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In “Staggering” Conspiracy, Former Police Chief, Prosecutor, and Police Officers Sentenced for Framing an Innocent Man with a Crime

 Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, former Honolulu prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, were sentenced in federal court this week to 84 months and 156 months in prison, respectively, for a range of criminal conduct, including framing their relative with a crime to conceal their own fraud. Additionally, the Kealohas’ co-conspirators, former Honolulu police officers Derek Wayne Hahn and Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen, received 42 months and 54 months, respectively, for their involvement in the conspiracy.

Chief U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright of the District of Hawaii handed down the sentences, remarking that the conspiracy was “staggering in its breadth, its scope, and its audacity.” He stated further that “the impact on the community is clear: The conduct of the defendants has shaken the community and its trust in the Honolulu Police Department.”

The sentences mark the end of one of the largest public corruption cases in Hawaii history. In June 2019, after six weeks of trial and one day of deliberation, a federal jury in Honolulu convicted the Kealohas, Hahn, and Nguyen of conspiracy and attempted obstruction of justice pertaining to the false arrest and prosecution of Katherine’s uncle, Gerard Puana. The evidence at trial established that the conspirators used their considerable power, including commandeering the Honolulu Police Department’s elite Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU), to frame Gerard with stealing the Kealohas’ mailbox. Hahn and Nguyen were both members of CIU, which acted directly at the behest of Louis Kealoha. The Kealohas’ motive for framing Gerard was to discredit and intimidate him after he accused Katherine of stealing money from him and his elderly mother—Katherine’s grandmother. The evidence at trial demonstrated that the Kealohas took and spent over $148,000 of the grandmother’s money in just a six-month period, with payments going towards expenses such as mortgage payments, Elton John concert tickets, Mercedes and Maserati car payments, a trip to Disneyland, and a $23,976 brunch tab at the Sheraton Waikiki to celebrate Louis Kealoha’s induction as Honolulu Police Chief in 2009.

Once Gerard started voicing claims of fraud, the Kealohas moved to silence him by falsely accusing him of a felony offense. To frame Gerard, the conspirators prepped the Kealohas’ mailbox to be “stolen,” selectively edited grainy surveillance video to conceal their preparatory acts, falsely identified Gerard as the culprit captured by the video, falsified police reports, withheld and destroyed evidence, and repeatedly lied about their activity to investigators, the federal grand jury, and the District Court for the District of Hawaii. This all occurred while Louis Kealoha was Honolulu’s Police Chief and while Katherine Kealoha was a high-ranking Honolulu prosecutor.

“This was a flagrant and stunning abuse of power that victimized an entire community by undermining public confidence in its leaders and the rule of law,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “After years of manipulating the levers of justice to shroud their own crimes, justice has been delivered to these defendants.” Brewer praised FBI agents and Special Attorneys Michael Wheat, Joseph Orabona, Janaki Chopra, and Colin McDonald for achieving justice in this case after many years of tenacious investigation and skillful litigation.

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