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For Thursday, July 14, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff


Ex-liquor panel worker faces bribery counts

An Oahu grand jury has indicted a former Honolulu Liquor Commission employee on bribery charges.

Tuesday's indictment charges training specialist Loreto R. Raquel Jr., 39, of Wahiawa, with two counts of bribery. Each charge is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Honolulu police said one of the charges alleges Raquel sold a liquor card at the Salt Lake Shopping Center on Feb. 16 to a person who had not taken the test to qualify for the card. The card allows the recipient to sell or serve alcohol.

Police arrested Raquel at a Salt Lake Boulevard home an hour later. He resigned from the Liquor Commission office after the arrest, said Administrator Greg Nishioka.

The other charge alleges that Raquel solicited, accepted or agreed to accept money for performing official actions within his discretion as a Liquor Commission employee on Feb. 7.

Cause of sirens’ malfunctioning under investigation

Maui County officials are trying to determine what caused emergency sirens to malfunction, setting off false alarms early Wednesday morning and Tuesday night.

Maui County officials say the false alarms went off at 12:37 a.m. Wednesday and 8:37 p.m. Tuesday in a Wailuku neighborhood.

Police spokesman Lt. Wayne Ibarra said many concerned residents have called 911, but a Civil Defense notification says there were no emergencies when the alarms went off.

Officials say they are trying to determine what caused the sirens to malfunction.

Tsunami waves last struck Hawaii in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake across the Pacific in Japan earlier this year.

Waimea man identified as driver in fatal car crash

An 18-year-old Hawaii island man who died Wednesday from injuries suffered in a crash Saturday has been identified as Grayson E.K.W. Andaya of Waimea.

Hawaii County police said Andaya was driving a 2002 Toyota sedan east on Mamalahoa Highway when it ran off the right side of the road and hit a utility pole and wire fence near the 55-mile marker in Waimea at 4:32 a.m. Saturday.

He was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital and later flown to the Queen’s Medical Center in critical condition.

He was wearing a seat belt, police said.

The death is the 12th traffic fatality on Hawaii island compared with 18 at this time a year ago.

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