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Jellyfish stings spur posting of sign

Box jellyfish warning signs were posted at Waikiki beaches yesterday after 10 beachgoers suffered stings.

There were no reported sightings of the jellyfish, according to the Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division.

Officials reported no sightings or stings at Ala Moana Beach.

Census worker case is transferred

A federal judge has agreed to transfer the state trespass case against a Big Island U.S. Census worker to federal court on Oahu where the U.S. attorney will defend the worker and seek to have the case dismissed.

Russell J. Haas is facing second-degree criminal trespass for his March 10 arrest at a home in the Hawaiian Acres subdivision in Puna. The charge is a petty misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The state opposed the transfer because the U.S. attorney filed its request too late, said Roland Talon, deputy Hawaii County prosecutor.

Federal law requires the filing of requests for transfers of criminal prosecutions no later than 30 days after arraignment in state court.

Haas made his first court appearance on the trespass charge March 13. He returned to court April 8, at which time he was given a copy of the criminal complaint against him and arraigned, Talon said. That gave the U.S. attorney until May 7 to request the transfer, he said.

The U.S. attorney filed the request May 27.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry L. Butrick said the 30 days have not even started because Haas’ arraignment in state court is scheduled for next Thursday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang ruled that the 30 days have not expired because the state did not provide evidence that the court publicly read the charge to Haas on April 8 or that he waived public reading of it.


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