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Air passenger pleads guilty

An Illinois man who was facing federal charges that he made unwanted sexual contact on a plane bound for Honolulu has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

Spokesman Elliot Enoki of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Honolulu said Benjamin David Beyer of Winnebago, Ill., appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren yesterday and was sentenced to two days in jail and six months of probation.

According to the FBI, the 30-year-old Beyer was arrested Wednesday on the Big Island for allegedly touching an unidentified woman sitting next to him during a Jan. 11 flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

According to the complaint, he repeatedly touched the passenger even after she told him to stop.

Teachers lose appeal effort

The state appeals court has turned down a bid by public school substitute teachers seeking a 4 percent raise based on a 2006 law.

The Intermediate Court of Appeals upheld yesterday a decision by Circuit Judge Victoria Marks rejecting the substitute teachers’ claim that they were entitled to the 4 percent increase starting Aug. 1, 2007.

The appeals court ruled that the law that increased pay for full-time teachers did not extend raises to substitute teachers.

The decision is unrelated to another case involving an appeals court ruling last year that public school substitute teachers are entitled to a higher rate of pay between 2000 and 2005.


Trust adds Maui wetlands

The newly formed Hawaiian Islands Land Trust is adding more than 80 acres of rare Maui wetlands and dunes to the land it manages.

Trust outreach director Sara Smith told The Maui News the organization expects to close escrow on Feb. 1 on 82 acres of land at Nuu Landing on the southern flank of Haleakala.

The trust is using federal, state, county and private grants to buy the land from Kaupo Ranch for $4 million.

The area is home to Hawaiian stilts, coots, ducks, nene and native vegetation and archaeological sites.

The land trust was formed Jan. 1 by the merger of the Kauai Public Land Trust, Oahu Land Trust, Maui Coastal Land Trust and Hawaii Island Land Trust.

Road to close for pump fix

The northbound lane of Aleka Loop in Waipouli near the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai will be closed from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday for a pump replacement.

Contact the Wastewater Division at 241-4084.

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