Couple Accused of Lying about Sinkhole…

Florida sinkerFlorida Couple Accused of Allegedly Lying about Sinkhole to Homebuyer by Susanna Kim via Good Morning America – A couple in Florida is accused of lying about a sinkhole on their property to a homebuyer after cashing an insurance check without fixing it.

Glenn Jasen, 64, and his wife Kathryn, 63, of Spring Hill, Tennessee, were arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and appeared in federal district court in Tampa yesterday for their bond hearing. The couple, who own an air conditioning installation business, are accused of wire fraud, which is a federal felony, according to an indictment filed this week. They face a maximum of 20 years in prison each if convicted, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III.

After the Jasens detected a sinkhole on their property, they made a claim to their insurer, the indictment states. But instead of repairing the sinkhole, they deposited the unspecified insurance check into a bank account, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The couple allegedly failed to disclose the sinkhole in real estate documents and later sold the home to another family, according to the indictment.

Victor Martinez, a lawyer for the Jasens, told ABC News that omissions or errors in home sale disclosures are typically prosecuted civilly through lawsuits. “This case is brought by federal indictment through wire fraud because money was transferred in the sale,” Martinez told ABC News. “To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time this kind of case has been brought federally. We’ll file motions suggesting this maybe isn’t the best way to deal with that.”

The indictment says the Jasens received $64,900 for the sale of the home, which authorities say was a wire fraud scheme that took place between February 2014 and March 2014. The Jasens allegedly sold the home “while falsely and fraudulently representing to the family buying the home that there was no sinkhole and no prior existing sinkhole claim,” the indictment said.

The couple was released yesterday after pledging their property to secure a bail bond, according to documents filed with the court. They did not enter a plea at the hearing. “The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is committed to investigating financial crimes that personally impact the citizens of the State of Florida. We will continue to work with the prosecutorial team to bring these criminals to justice,” said special agent Rick Ramirez of Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center in a statement.

Kelly Magbee, who lived in the home after the Jasens sold it, told WFLA last month her family was forced to move out after it cracked down the middle of their living room. “We couldn’t stay in the house,” Magbee told the station. “We couldn’t even keep the animals in the house.” Magbee could not be reached for comment by ABC News.

Couple Accused of Lying about Sinkhole.

Kapahulu road work fire raises concerns…

Kapahulu road work fire raises concerns with other city projects

khon gas fire kapahulu-avenueBrent Remadna – KHON2 Honolulu Hawaii. A fire that burned for hours and left two workers injured has lead the city to take a closer look at how they check for utilities. In February re-surfacing work began on Kapahulu Avenue. The project was supposed to take a little more than a year, but after crews struck a gas line, which resulted in a blazing fire, work has been halted.

“This was a freak accident where two lines from the two utilities crossed and so to get over the one the gas line went up and over,” said Robert Kroning, director of the Dept. of Design and Construction. The city does have plans to show where utilities are and even marks them on the road, but they said the plans are old and sometimes not accurate.

“It should have been annotated on the plans and somehow that got missed,” said Kroning.”That’s why we are going to make sure we go through more thoroughly.” Since the fire the city says that they are now taking a closer look at the Kapahulu roadwork and other projects as well.

“There are crews that are now concerned about other roads in downtown,” said Kroning. “So we are working to do this analysis for all the roads we have concerns where this may happen.” Now instead of just going off old plans the city is taking a closer look.

“We are going to get ground penetrating radar to help find the locations to find utilities a little better and not just go off the plans,” said Kroning. As far as when roadwork will continue, that is still up in the air.

“Exact timeline I can’t give you because we don’t know what we are going to run into,” said Kroning. “So as we go through the process of searching for the lines that are shallow and maybe have to lower some that we run into and that will determine how much longer it will be.”

Kapahulu road work fire raises concerns.

Sinkhole swallows pickup truck in Palolo Valley…

palolo sinkholeSinkhole swallows pickup truck while crews respond to water main break in Palolo Valley.

By Ramsay Wharton – HawaiiNewsNow Honolulu, Hawaii. BWS- Board of Water Supply crews are responding to a 16-inch water main break and sinkhole located on 10th Avenue and Hinahina Street. The water main break, which was reported Thursday at around 6:05 a.m., ripped up the sidewalk and buckled the road near the sinkhole. Neighbors were urged by police to move their vehicles, but a Ford pickup truck was located right over the gushing main break, and in a matter of minutes, the truck collapsed into the roadway, uprooting the adjacent sidewalk. Honolulu police said they tried to get the truck out of the way before the road collapsed, but were unsuccessful.

As of 8:30 a.m., the truck was still submerged in the sinkhole. However, no injuries have been reported. The truck owner’s wife, Sala Costa, said she believes the truck and its collapse ultimately saved more water from causing damage to the couple’s home on the corner of 10th Avenue and Hinahina Street. She said the sound of rushing waters woke her up. They couldn’t escape their front yard gate because of the water coming into their yard.

Costa said she managed to climb over the fence with the help of police and firefighters. Water has not entered the home, but their garage is flooded and damaged some of their property and a shed in the back, she said. A similar water main break occurred about eight months ago and caused about $100,000 of damage to their home. They also just finished relaying new grass in their front yard, Costa added.

“Our whole yard was flooded and in fact, they just got through putting in new grass in the yard a week ago,” she said. BWS crews managed to shut off the water at 8:20 a.m. Approximately 23 customers have been impacted by the water main break. All lanes on 10th Avenue, between Hinahina Street and Hardesty Street, will remain closed. Repairs are expected to continue throughout the day and into the evening, BWS said.

Sinkhole swallows pickup truck in Palolo Valley – 2015 Hawaii News Now.

100+ traffic cameras restored after construction damage…

city camBy Kristine Uyeno – KHON 2-News. All traffic cameras damaged in a construction mishap Wednesday night were back up and running Friday. Crews worked day and night Thursday to restore 101 of the city’s 265 traffic cameras in Leeward, West and Windward Oahu. A contractor for the Honolulu rail transit project accidentally damaged a fiber optics line Wednesday night near Aloha Stadium, according to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

No one was hurt, but the damage temporarily affected nearly half of the city’s traffic camera coverage, including some of the island’s most congested roads in Aiea, Pearl City, Ewa, Kapolei and Kaneohe. “It’s uncommon to have half out, but you know it’s a construction project, accidents do happen,” said Ty Fukumitsu, Honolulu Transportation Services. Cameras in other areas, like town and East Oahu, were not affected.

As crews worked to restore the cameras, the city used the state’s GoAkamai.org website to monitor traffic along with Google maps. If those website showed congestion, “I would actually have to send personnel out there to do some timing adjustments because we need to see what’s going on. We don’t want to guess and guess wrong, so we do have personnel on standby, actually this afternoon, to… physically go to a site and if need to adjust the signal timing,” Fukumitsu said.

City officials said they had other eyes on the road, including the Honolulu Police Department, HART and other drivers who will call them with updates. Contractor Kiewit was conducting utility relocation work along Kamehameha Highway shortly before midnight when the cable was damaged, and will pick up the tab for repairs. HART and Kiewit apologize to drivers for any inconvenience.

100+ traffic cameras restored after construction damage…


Honolulu: Crews complete repairs to water main break…

bwsCrews complete repairs to water main break in Waikiki…

By KHON-2 Web Staff.

Board of Water Supply crews have completed repairs to an 8-inch water main break in Waikiki. The incident was first reported at around 7:20 a.m. on Helumoa Road off Lewers Street.

The road was closed while crews isolated the break and installed a bypass that has restored water service to businesses in the area. All roads reopened just after 9 a.m. Thursday. The 8-inch water main was originally installed in 1971.

Honolulu: Crews complete repairs to water main break…




Efforts to stop spills in underground fuel tanks…

Efforts to stop spills in underground fuel tanks… 

 

Leaks, spills still happening in Hawaii – KITV-4 Honolulu Paul Drewes.

Many are concerned about gas prices going up, but there is another concern in Hawaii: fuel going down from leaks in underground storage tanks. The recent Red Hill leaks drew a lot of attention to underground fuel storage in the islands. The massive tanks are the biggest in the state, but not the only ones around. The Department of Health monitors many more.

“We have about 1,000 facilities with underground storage tanks like gas stations, emergency generators for hospitals, and for hotels,” said Steven Chang, with the Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch of the Dept. Of Health.

A typical gas station may have three 10,000-gallon tanks underground. The location under paved lots makes it hard to spot a leak. So, along with monthly tank monitoring – some sites have weekly, even daily, leak detection tools. New tanks are also required to be double-walled, which can contain many leaks.

But a number of sites still have old storage containers. “Unfortunately about a third of our inventory are single-walled tanks, fiberglass or steel. That is a problem because these older tanks aren’t used to the new types of fuels we’re trying to put in,” said Chang.

Ethanol and even biofuels can harm some of those tanks and lead to leaks. Fuel can also be spilled into the ground when tanks are over filled or when pipes crack or break. Over the past three decades, the state has dealt with thousands of spills and even now with leak detection devices roughly 13 percent of the state’s underground storage tanks have problems.

“We’re down to about 130 sites we are actively monitoring and working with owners and operators to clean up those sites,” said Chang. Why is monitoring underground fuel tanks so important? Because of what is deeper underground. “When you have underground tanks sitting over aquifers used for drinking water, if those contaminants get in the ground they can move and get into our drinking water,” said Chang.

The state requires spills near groundwater to be cleaned up but other leaks may be left alone if they are in certain types of soil, like clay, that can contain the fuel. Bacteria and other factors will eventually help break down those spills, but that can take years and leave communities with contaminated sites.




Ige talks with EPA about Hawaii Cesspool Regulations…

igeGovenor Ige talks with EPA about cesspool regulations…

click

KITV Honolulu, Hawaii —Hawaii is the only state that still allows homes to be built with cesspools. An estimated 90,000 homes across the islands from Diamond Head to Puna are not hooked up to city and county sewer systems. Last year, Gov. Neil Abercrombie left office without signing new rules into law that would have ended the practice. The law could have forced property owners with cesspools to upgrade the next time the home went up for sale.

This week when Gov. David Ige sat down with the Environmental Protection Agency, he had some explaining to do. “The EPA definitely has an end in sight for cesspools,” said Ige. Homeowners and realtors on several of the neighbor islands balked at the proposed changes. They maintain forcing them to get off cesspools would be a financial hardship. Ige says the EPA is not unsympathetic, but:

“They are committed to providing flexibility if there is a specific reason, but they are not willing to allow for a change in policy,” said Ige. To the EPA, it’s all about water quality. While some homes with cesspools are on the hillside, others are along the shoreline. Last year state health officials sent out the alarm about unusually high levels of bacterial counts in Kahaluu. At the time it was not clear if the E.coli was coming from wild animals or untreated human sewage.

Lawmakers will take up two bills: one to allow homeowners to tap low-interest loan to upgrade their systems and another to ban any new cesspool construction. Hawaii will have to face facts that the EPA wants results. “They were open to consider either working with us to develop timelines or other provisions that we would need to ensure that we can implement them in a reasonable manner,” said Ige.

Catherine Cruz’s – KITV4 Reporter..



Breaking News – Halawa SinkHole

Water main break and sinkhole in Halawa, road closed..

HALAWA (HawaiiNewsNow – 12/28/14)
A water main below Halawa Heights Road broke and caused a massive sink hole. 17 Board of Water Supply (BWS) customers are without water due to the eight-inch break at 99-646 Halawa Heights Road.

To make matters worse, the pipe break has also caused a giant sink hole which caused the shut-down of the Southbound (Makai) lane of Halawa Heights Road. A detour has been set up on Iwaiwa Street. The opening is about eight feet wide. One witness said the hole was “big enough to fit a Volkswagen inside.”

Just before 7:30 p.m. the BWS sent out water wagons to supply an alternate source of water to those affected by the pipe break. Officials saying those who can, should avoid the area. Repair crews are on scene and will work overnight to fix the pipe and restore the road.
Breaking News – Halawa SinkHole..   Copyright 2014 Hawaii News Now.




Hawaiian iwi complicates Construction…

iwiDiscovery of Hawaiian iwi complicates construction of Laie Hotel…

Laie, Hawaii – Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) By Lisa Kubota.

A sacred discovery is complicating the construction of a new hotel on Oahu’s North Shore. Workers found what are believed to be Hawaiian remains, or iwi, at the site of the future Courtyard by Marriott in Laie.

The new hotel is going up next to the Polynesian Cultural Center on the site of the old Laie Inn. The land manager said no bones were found during the archaeological survey for the environmental assessment that was completed before construction started earlier this year. On December 9, a subcontractor came across the bones while digging out the area for the hotel pool. The land manager said the workers notified the project’s archaeologist who then contacted the state.

“Basically immediately covered the bones, I understand, in some muslin cloth and put a lauhala basket cover over them,” explained Eric Beaver, president of Hawaii Reserves, Inc.

Hawaii News Now has learned that the workers found some teeth and part of a human jaw. Beaver said the subcontractor halted all construction around the pool which is in the middle of the hotel property. The State Historic Preservation Division is working with the project’s archaeologist and the Oahu Island Burial Council. There is no timeline for a decision by the state.

“I think they’re trying to determine whether the bones should be left in place or reinterred somewhere on the site or off the site,” said Beaver. Some are concerned that the discovery could be part of a larger burial site.

“I have no idea as to whether there are more bones in the area. I don’t get that sense so far from what we’ve heard, but we’re working with the contractor,” Beaver said. The 144-room hotel is slated to open next summer. Beaver said the project is still on schedule for now.

“With the holidays upon us and Christmas season, it’s probably at this point okay, but I think that my guess is probably in January they would like to have a determination made,” he said. Hawaii Reserves, Inc. prefers that the iwi be relocated to a cemetery in the community that the company also manages. HRI is in charge of the property belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.




Sinkhole by East-West and Dole…

sink uhSinkhole redirects traffic by corner of Dole and East-West

Fadi Youkhana / Ka Leo O Hawai‘i

Sinkhole by East-West and Dole. Traffic is being redirected as a result of a sinkhole by the corner of Dole Street and East-West Road Monday evening.

University of Hawai‘i officials said they first caught sight of the sinkhole around 8:20 p.m. UH officials said the sinkhole appeared to be one foot deep, with a three-foot diameter and was concaving in.

Honolulu Police placed two flares around the sinkhole for passing vehicles and pedestrians. Police said that county officials were alerted of the sinkhole and will repair it sometime this evening.

Copyright Ka Leo O Hawai‘i 2015

 

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