“Big Island man free after decades imprisoned for murder, rape he didn’t commit.”
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Accessed on 25 January 2023, 2324 UTC.
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Good morning Big Island,
This morning, a man from the Big Island is free after spending more than 20 years in prison for a rape and murder he didn’t commit on Christmas Eve in 1991.
The first female Secretary of the Army paid a visit to Pōhakuloa Training Area, and Big Island Now was the only news organization there. She wanted to understand “what’s at stake” at the U.S. Army Garrison whose lease with the State of Hawai’i is set to expire in 2029.
We also have stories about a missing 27-year-old woman from Kea’au, the Hawaiʻi Land Trust’s new steward and educator for Māhukona, a man charges with robbing a fast food joint with a screwdriver and large wrench, a man charged with stealing a rental Jeep and assaulting people, nēnē getting killed and community meeting information at Puna Geothermal Venture. And, the surf is up. Be careful on north- and west-facing shores.
Mahalo for reading.
Albert “Ian” Schweitzer from the Big Island has spent more than two decades imprisoned nearly 3,000 miles from Hawai‘i for a horrific crime he did not commit.
Hilo-based Judge Peter Kubota ruled Schweitzer should be freed immediately on Tuesday, following new DNA evidence that excludes Schweitzer from the scene of a rape and murder committed on Christmas Eve 1991, according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. Secretary of the Army, with an entourage of military personnel and a U.S. Congressman in tow, on Monday toured the rugged terrain at the Pōhakuloa Training Area to “understand whatʻs at stake.” The military base is working on a plan to renew its lease of 23,000 acres with the State of Hawai’i, which expires in 2029.
Hawaii Island police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating 27-year-old Evelyn Higgins of Kea’au, who was reported missing. She was last seen on Jan. 24 at 8 a.m. in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision in Kea’au.
Keone Emeliano has joined the Hawaiʻi Land Trust as the Māhukona steward and educator. Māhukona on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island is the center for traditional navigation for the entire Pacific Ocean. It served as the hub for voyages between the Indigenous people of Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia and North America long before the Europeans arrived on Hawaiʻi’s shores.
Hawai‘i Island police have arrested and charged 35-year-old Rancey Sonny Kawika Lee, of Pāhoa, with various offenses following an armed robbery of a fast food restaurant in a shopping center in Pāhoa. He was armed with a screwdriver and large wrench, according to witness statements to Puna patrol officers.
Benjamin Kawika Jerin-Kealoha, 46 of Ocean View, was charged with stealing a Jeep rental car, resisting an order to stop and methamphetamine possession following his arrest on Jan. 21 in Kona. Jerin-Kealoha also was arrested for two unrelated outstanding warrants.
A female nēnē, the Hawaiʻi State bird, was struck and killed by a passenger truck last week on Haleakalā Highway on Maui. These type of deaths have become too familiar in recent years, prompting the state Division of Forestry and Wildlife to remind residents and bring awareness to visitors that these geese are federally protected and listed as an endangered species in Hawaiʻi.
Puna Geothermal Venture will host its first community meeting in 2023 on Jan. 31 at 4 p.m. at the Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility, 15-2906 Pāhoa Village Road in Pāhoa. It the first of the utility’s four public meetings, with others to be held in April, July and October.
An extra large northwest swell (300 to 320 degrees) will build across the Hawaiian Islands today and hold through Thursday, producing extremely dangerous surf and overwash conditions along many north- and west-facing shorelines.
The National Weather Service has issued a high surf warning for the west-facing shores of the Big Island from noon today to 6 p.m. on Jan. 25. The forecast is for dangerously breaking waves building to 12 to 16 feet on shores of Kona and Kohala.
A structure fire reported on Monday night in Makawao caused an estimated $1,000,000 in damage to a commercial building and $200,000 in damage to its contents.
Two people were charged with trespassing while others rallied holding signs Tuesday outside Waiehu land at the center of an ownership dispute between Native Hawaiians and nonprofit Maui Economic Opportunity Inc.
A Hilo judge ordered the immediate release of Albert “Ian” Schweitzer on Tuesday, ending Schweitzer’s 130-year sentence more than 20 years after it began.
Christine E. Wormuth, the U.S. Secretary of the Army, toured Pōhakuloa Training Area, which wants to extend its lease that expires in 2029 with the State of Hawaiʻi.