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Former submariner gets 2 to 4 years

BRENTWOOD, N.H. » A former Pearl Harbor submariner has been sentenced to two to four years in prison for beating a man on a Portsmouth, N.H., street last year.

Sandy Portobanco apologized to the victim and his family in court yesterday for what he called the biggest mistake of his life.

Stephen Huntress of Kittery, Maine, suffered serious brain injuries.

Portobanco and Gerald Smith of Honolulu were crew members of the Pearl Harbor-based USS Greeneville nuclear submarine, which was being repaired at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. They have both been discharged from the Navy.

In addition to the sentence, the Portsmouth Herald says the judge ordered Portobanco to split the $17,175 in restitution with Smith and undergo a substance abuse and anger management evaluation.



County raises water rates

HILO » The Hawaii County Water Board has approved a temporary rate increase.

Except for commercial farmers and ranchers, water rates will go up by as much as 8 percent starting next month.

Board Chairman Dwayne Mukai said Tuesday that without the increase, the Department of Water Supply would be in dire financial straits.

Additional money is needed, or the department’s upcoming $41 million operating budget will run a deficit. The budget that represents a 1 percent increase over the current fiscal year goes into effect July 1.

A department consultant has said Big Island residents pay on average $38.69 a month for water, compared with $28.60 on Oahu, $29.80 on Maui and $41.40 on Kauai.


Woman freed in assault case

Big Island police released a 35-year-old Honokaa woman Tuesday night who allegedly kidnapped and assaulted a 21-year-old Honaunau woman.

Police said the younger woman was visiting the older woman’s ex-boyfriend at his Captain Cook house Sunday.

The older woman threatened her, assaulted her with a knife, cut some of her hair and told her to get into a car with two other women, police said. They then drove her to a Kaloko industrial area and Waimea, where she escaped.

She suffered superficial cuts on her neck and chest.

The older woman had been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, terroristic threatening and assault.


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