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Newswatch

For Friday, June 3, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:53 a.m. HST, Jun 03, 2011



Jury convicts meth distributor

An Oahu man is expected to spend at least 30 years in prison after being found guilty Thursday by a federal jury of two counts of intentionally distributing methamphetamine.

Ashford Kaipo Spencer, 57, was found guilty of distributing “ounce quantities” of methamphetamine to a confidential source in April 2009 and again in June 2009 in the area of Waimanalo Shopping Center.

Cliff Hunt, Spencer’s attorney, said his client was set up by a confidential informant seeking to win favor with authorities.

Because Spencer has two prior state felony convictions involving crimes of violence, he faces a potential prison sentence of 360 months to life without parole, U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni said in a statement.

Hunt, however, said he believes Spencer could get as little as 10 years on one count, five on the other, and that the terms could run simultaneously.

Upon conviction, Spencer was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Office.

Spencer is not the same Kaipo Spencer who was a star multisport athlete at Saint Louis High School in the early 1970s, an assistant U.S. attorney said.

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Council OKs $1 bus fare

As of next month, most passengers will have to pay $1 for a one-way trip on the Hawaii County Hele-On bus.

The County Council voted Wednesday to end more than six years of free islandwide transportation, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

Bus fares will be waived for children younger than 5, students, the disabled and those older than 55.

The Council voted to reverse its earlier rejection of Mayor Billy Kenoi’s fee proposal.

Tom Brown of the Mass Transit Agency says the fares are expected to raise $560,000.

Riders can get a discount by buying a book of 10 tickets for $7.50 or monthly pass for $30.

Park-and-ride lot now open

Kauai County officials opened a new park-and-ride facility last week in Kilauea.

North Shore residents and visitors can park their cars at Anaina Hou and ride to town on The Kaua‘i Bus.

Those heading south can catch the Route 400 bus that runs once an hour Monday to Friday from 6:25 a.m. to 8:25 p.m. Weekend and holiday service is offered at 7:25, 8:25 and 10:25 a.m. and at 12:25, 2:25 and 4:25 p.m.

Northbound riders can take the Route 500 bus that runs once an hour Monday to Friday from 7:34 a.m. to 10:34 p.m. Weekend and holiday hours are 7:34, 9:34 and 11:34 a.m. and 1:34, 3:34 and 5:34 p.m.

Those using the new service will have to call The Kaua‘i Bus at 241-6410 to arrange a pickup or drop-off, or passengers can tell the bus driver to drop them off at Anaina Hou. That is because the facility is not on the bus routes.

For more information about the bus operation, go to the county website, www.kauai.gov.

Kahoolawe waters open

Waters within two miles of Kahoolawe will be open to trolling on the first and fourth weekends of June, the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission announced. Vessels must be registered with the commission and file a catch report. A $25 permit fee applies. To register, contact Dean Tokishi at 243-5889 or dtokishi@kirc.hawaii.gov, or visit kahoolawe.hawaii.gov.






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