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Longtime aide to Hawaii senator to retire

Patrick DeLeon, chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye in Washington, D.C., is retiring.

DeLeon has been an aide to the Hawaii Democrat since Inouye served on the committee investigating the Watergate scandal in 1973. A clinical psychologist, DeLeon also served as president of the American Psychological Association. Marie Blanco, the deputy chief of staff, will replace DeLeon.

Inouye, in a statement Tuesday, recognized DeLeon for his service and friendship.

“Under his service, the importance of nurses, psychologists and other health professionals was properly recognized,” Inouye said. “He has been at the forefront of shepherding legislation related to Native Hawaiians, immigrant children, the people of the Pacific and higher education.

“He has been very active in helping our community college system become full-fledged, four-year colleges. For example, he played a major role in the establishment of the school of pharmacy and the school of nursing at the University of Hawaii’s Hilo campus.”


Police dog retires after noted career sniffing out crime

Diesel, an 8-year-old Hawaii County police dog, is at the tail end of a career that has detected thousands of dollars in illegal drugs.

The yellow Labrador retriever began his career with a certified narcotics detection team in February 2007 and retires from Kona at the end of the week to live in Waimea.

Diesel’s recoveries include about eight pounds of methamphetamine, 20 pounds of marijuana, two ounces of heroin, three pounds of cocaine, $250,000 in cash seizures and 20 vehicle seizures.

Diesel has “an extremely passive disposition,” which allowed him to participate in the DARE program, local parades, educational demonstrations at Hawaii island schools and community events, the Hawaii County police said in a news release.

One of Diesel’s notable recoveries came after police and federal agents received information about a large quantity of methamphetamine being sent from the mainland to Kona. Diesel was deployed to screen luggage at Kona Airport and alerted authorities to a bag that had more than 2 1/2 pounds of meth.

Another time, Hawaii County police investigators used Diesel to check a vehicle driven by a known meth distributor. Diesel found an area where five ounces of methamphetamine were hidden behind the engine and firewall, police said.

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