Thursday, November 16, 2017

State reacts to killer's escape from mental institution, 7 employees on unpaid leave, hospital history examined; Honolulu rejects polystyrene ban; neighbor islands tackle homelessness, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii State Hospital courtesy photo
The California capture of an escaped killer from the Hawaii State Hospital resulted in seven hospital employees being suspended without pay on Wednesday as Gov. David Ige ordered an investigation of how Randall Saito was able to get the money and means to escape after 38 years in confinement. Star-Advertiser.

A dangerous psychiatric patient who escaped from the Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe and flew to California before being captured Wednesday has prompted an investigation into why employees appeared to fail to do their jobs. Associated Press.

Saito
'Fault on our side': State officials take blame for killer's escape. Seven Hawaii State Hospital employees have been put on leave without pay — and others could follow — as authorities investigate why it took 10 hours for personnel to alert authorities of a psychopathic killer's escape Sunday. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige on state hospital escapee: "His escape should never have happened" KITV.

Atty Gen: Saito’s Escape was “Premeditated, Intentional and Planned”. The escape of a mental health patient from the Hawaii State Hospital and the lengthy time it took to report the incident is being called “unacceptable,” according to comments made by state authorities this afternoon. Maui Now.

Hawaii State Hospital Wasn’t Built For The Type Of Patients It Serves. Some lawmakers want tighter security at the psychiatric hospital, where seven patients have escaped since 2014, until new facilities are built. Civil Beat.

More than a dozen escapes have occurred over the past eight years at a Hawaii psychiatric hospital where a patient described as dangerous walked off the grounds and made it to California before he was captured this week. Associated Press.

Kaneohe lawmakers: State hospital escape is unacceptable. They want answers, and they want improvements. KITV.

Saito captured, San Joaquin County Sheriffs Dept
Killer's escape shines spotlight on the controversial judge who acquitted him. The Circuit Court judge who deemed Randall Saito mentally unfit to stand trial and committed him to the State Hospital in 1981 was a controversial figure, and one of his decisions even prompted hundreds of people to protest at the state Capitol. Hawaii News Now.

What will happen to state hospital escapee when he returns to Hawaii? Once Hawaii State Hospital escapee Randall Saito is back in Hawaii, he won’t go directly back to the hospital. KHON2.

An alert taxi company employee on Wednesday helped deputy sheriffs in California nab a dangerous Hawaii murderer who had escaped by walking out of the Hawaii State Hospital Sunday — chartering a flight to Maui, and taking a commercial airliner to the mainland before ever being reported missing. Star-Advertiser.

Randall Saito's escape started in a cab and three days later, it ended in one too. A tip from the Yellow Cab Company in Stockton California led to Saito's arrest Wednesday morning near a local gas station. Sheriffs swarmed the cab the 59-year-old was riding in. KITV.

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There have been 90 traffic deaths in Hawaii this year through Monday — 10 fewer than reported at the same time last year, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Transportation. Star-Advertiser.

HMSA’s third-quarter profit drops; Kaiser posts loss. The gains of the state’s largest health insurer were down from $17.8 million in the year-earlier quarter. HMSA’s main competitor, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, lost $300,000 in the quarter, reversing a year-earlier profit of $7.7 million. Star-Advertiser.

The Building Industry Association of Hawaii sponsored its 3rd Summit titled, “Still Houseless in Hawaii.” Hawaii Public Radio.

Oahu

A Honolulu City Council committee on Wednesday deferred a bill that would bar food vendors from using polystyrene foam food containers and require them to instead use compostable ones. Star-Advertiser.

Will Rail Go To Manoa and Waikiki After All? The HART board may be resurrecting a route plan far more ambitious than the one submitted to federal transit officials. Civil Beat.

Council Panel Votes To Prohibit Lying Down At Honolulu Bus Stops. But the committee postponed action on a measure to extend the sit-lie ban to areas around schools and libraries. Civil Beat.

New HPD Chief Shares Her Goals For A Department In Turmoil. Susan Ballard outlined what she wants to accomplish in the coming years in her first regular meeting with the Honolulu Police Commission. Civil Beat.

Starting fresh: Chief Ballard outlines plans to revitalize HPD. Chief Sue Ballard had her first chance to share her new ideas with police commissioners and the public Wednesday afternoon. Hawaii News Now.

Restoring community trust among new police chief’s goals for HPD. KHON2.

The state Senate voted Wednesday to confirm four judges to fill vacancies in Oahu’s circuit and district courts. Star-Advertiser.

Former band director indicted in sex assault. The sexual assault charges against fired Damien Memorial School band director Peter Rucci stem from a three-month relationship the 62-year-old Rucci had with a 15-year-old girl, Deputy Prosecutor Ayla Weiss told a state judge Wednesday. Star-Advertiser.

Parents claim students reprimanded for speaking up after bleach attack. KHON2.

Ward Warehouse demolition begins; luxury condos slated for site. Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaiian Humane Society has appointed Lisa Fowler as its new president and chief executive officer. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Scientist says chemicals create ‘zombie’ coral, add to reef decimation. Craig Downs, a Ph.D. and executive director of Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, gave a presentation on the topic Tuesday night at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority Gateway Center at the request of Rep. Nicole Lowen, D — Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa and Honokohau. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii Community College is looking to either renovate its current campus on Manono Street or move to a larger site elsewhere in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

32 Die on Hawaii Island Roadways So Far This Year. Big Island Now.

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel under renovation. The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel will be renamed the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort in February after Mauna Kea Resort LLC signed a franchise agreement with Westin Hotels and Resorts in August. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Housing First is making a dent in homelessness. Program’s aim is to get people off the streets first, then provide the needed social and medical services. Maui News.

Maui Seminar Explores How to Increase Exports. The State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism announced the launch of a program designed to help local small businesses increase their exports. Maui Now.

Kauai

The County of Kauai may establish a safe zone to help the homeless population. Garden Island.

Hawaiian Airlines held an open house Wednesday for former Island Air employees who lost their jobs after the airline’s recent shutdown. Garden Island.