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Youth program earns FBI award

The FBI honored Friday a Kapolei-based program dedicated to putting the lives of high school dropouts back on track.

The Hawaii Youth Challenge Academy, the local chapter of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, was awarded the 2010 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. The award recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations who make extraordinary contributions to crime and violence prevention, as well as education, in our communities.

The Hawaii academy works to intervene and reclaim the lives of high school dropouts, providing graduates skills they need to succeed. Since it began in 1994, more than 2,578 cadets have graduated from the program. More than 2,200 have earned their high school degrees.

On average the program reaches about 400 teens a year, through two sessions of 200 graduates.

Each of the FBI’s 56 field offices selects one award winner each year.

Local lab identifies WWI remains

Scientists with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii have identified the remains of a soldier who died in World War I in France, the Pentagon said.

Army Pvt. Henry A. Weikel, 28, of Mount Carmel, Pa., was buried last week in Annville, Pa.

Weikel was part of the 60th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division.

On Sept. 16, 1918, his unit encountered a heavy enemy artillery barrage and machine-gun fire near Jaulny, France, in a wooded area known as Bois de Bonvaux, officials said.

Weikel was killed.

French nationals hunting for metal in the area found human remains and World War I artifacts in September 2006. A JPAC team, operating near the location, was notified of the discovery and recovered the remains.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC laboratory used dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.

Appeals court denies bail for pot guru

The founder of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry in Hilo has been denied bail again by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported it is the fifth time that bail has been denied to 61-year-old Roger Christie, who is accused of operating a marijuana distribution ring. He and 13 co- defendants, together the self-described Green 14, are scheduled for trial in U.S. District Court in Honolulu on April 26.

Christie and the others, all Big Island residents, were arrested July 8 in raids by federal agents assisted by local police. All but Christie have been released on bail.

Christie was denied bail by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang, who called him "a danger to the community," and he remains incarcerated at the Federal Detention Center.

An indictment handed down in June charged Christie with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 100 marijuana plants; manufacturing marijuana; and possession with the intent to distribute 240 marijuana plants.

Christie’s Hilo ministry and Wainaku apartment were raided March 10.

Hapa Trail ruled state’s, not county’s

Kauai Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano has ruled that the state owns the historic Hapa Trail on the South Shore.

The county has claimed ownership for years, even to the point of approving a controversial breach of the trail to allow access to a residential subdivision in Poipu, the Garden Island newspaper reported.

But David Kimo Frankel, staff attorney of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp., said he will be seeking further clarification of the ruling, issued Tuesday.


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