- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 9, 2005

Despite good economy, Honolulu sinks in debt

HONOLULU — Waikiki is flush with tourists. New high-rise condominiums are changing Honolulu’s skyline, and jobs are plentiful. Property values have skyrocketed, with even modest homes now costing $550,000, and property taxes are at record levels.

But amid all that wealth, Honolulu is strapped for cash and making significant budget cuts.

“We’re in a serious situation here. We’re facing a major debt problem,” said Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

The city’s debt has surged to an estimated $3 billion, up from $1.89 billion owed in fiscal year 2000. Most of the debt was accumulated in the previous administration to pay for beautification projects installing new trees, signs, landscaping and parks. At the same time, sewer lines, roads and other infrastructure were neglected, and now major overhauls are required.

Students suspended for counterfeiting

WEST SEATTLE, Wash. — A sixth-grader and two of his friends were suspended for using phony dollar bills made on a home computer to buy food in the school cafeteria.

On Monday, a cafeteria worker at James Madison Middle School found a dollar bill that didn’t look or feel like the real thing. Seattle School District spokeswoman Patti Spencer said people in the lunchroom were told to watch for more counterfeit bills.

An assistant principal called Seattle police the next day after a sixth-grader tried to use one of the fake bills to buy beef jerky from the cafeteria.

Seattle Police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said the boy made 20 fake dollar bills on his aunt’s computer, brought them to school and shared them with his friends.

The King County Prosecutors’ Office is reviewing the case and deciding whether to file charges. School officials suspended the three boys for several days.

Police chief indicted on two meth charges

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A western Kentucky police chief who had been credited by his mayor with helping combat the scourge of methamphetamine in their small town has been indicted on two meth-related charges.

Bobby Sauls, police chief of Sebree, a town of 1,700 about 100 miles southwest of Louisville, was indicted Wednesday and faces five to 10 years in prison if convicted. A hearing is set for May 6.

The charges stem from an investigation by a Kentucky State Police special drug-enforcement unit.

“It underscores the seriousness of the meth problem that’s spreading throughout Kentucky,” state police Capt. Lisa Rudzinski said Friday. She said Chief Sauls was not suspected of making meth.

Chief Sauls, 65, was not arrested but was served Friday with a criminal summons to appear in court, she said.

Suspect in slaying of deputy surrenders

NEWTON, Kan. — A man suspected of fatally shooting a Kansas sheriff’s deputy and critically injuring another officer barricaded himself inside his home for hours before surrendering to authorities yesterday.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation spokesman Kyle Smith said Gregory Moore, 46, is suspected of shooting the officers when they barged into his house after hearing a woman being struck.

Harvey County sheriff’s deputy Kurt Ford, 38, was killed, and Hesston police Detective Chris Eilert, 33, was shot four times but survived and was in stable condition at a hospital.

Mr. Smith said the officers went to the home after a 14-year-old girl called police at 12:50 a.m. yesterday to say her mother was being beaten by a man who lived with them.

Detective fired after charges of falsifying

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A sheriff’s detective was fired after being charged with falsifying documents in police reports.

He is the third official charged in the state attorney’s 17-month probe into accusations that Broward County sheriff’s deputies closed cases by attributing them to people who could not have committed the crimes.

Joe Isabella, 34, was fired Thursday after he told investigators he had improperly cleared cases and falsified reports. He was charged with a misdemeanor count of falsifying documents and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow.

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