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Thursday, November 02, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023

Back Stage with Hālau Hula O Leionālani
Hālau Hula O Leionālani and Kumu Debbie Ryder hosted Bali Hai dancers from Mexico at Aunty Sally's Lu‘au Hale in Hilo to perform for kupuna on Thursday. Dancers from Hawai‘i, Mexico, Japan and the U.S. mainland will perform this Saturday in Nāʻālehu at Ke Ola Pu‘uhonua Cultural Grounds, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Photos by Brenda Iokepa Moses

HAWAI‘I EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY released the 2023 update to the State Hazard Mitigation Plan this week. It is a document that provides a framework for future efforts to reduce the risk
of hazards across Hawai‘i.
   The statement from the agency says, "The plan will be used to guide work in the years ahead to reduce or eliminate the harm caused to Hawai‘i and its communities by wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, and other hazards. The state fully updates the plan every five years, and it must be approved by the Governor and the Federal Emergency Management Agency; additional amendments may be made annually to reflect plan changes by HI-EMA, the counties and other partners.
    HI-EMA began collecting public comments on the new plan in December 2022, including a series of public meetings across the state and virtual meetings via teleconference. Hawai‘i Gov. Josh Green, M.D., formally adopted the plan on September 27, 2023. FEMA requires that states must have an approved hazard mitigation plan to qualify for numerous federal assistance and mitigation grants.
    “This plan is a cornerstone of the work that emergency managers do to reduce the risk and harm from known hazards,” said James Barros, HI-EMA administrator. “The state works with the counties and the counties work with their communities to turn this plan into projects that protect life and property.”
    The 2023 State Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies the major natural hazards that affect our state, assesses the risk that each hazard poses, analyzes the vulnerability of our people, property and infrastructure to the specific hazard, and recommends actions that can be taken to reduce the risk and vulnerability to the hazard.
    The updated plan can be found on the HI-EMA website at https://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/final-2023-hazard-mitigation-plan/.

A KONA JUDGE, ON THURSDAY, RELEASED AN OCEAN VIEW MAN ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTED MURDER AND ROBBERY, who was being held in lieu of $350,000 bail. County Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen issued a statement noting that the defendant is Ocean View man, 44-year-old Dorson Buddy Behrendt. He was arrested and charged in relation to a robbery and firearm shooting incident that occurred on Oct. 15 in the Hawaiian Ocean View subdivision.
    During his initial appearance on Thursday morning in Kona District Court, Behrendt was granted release on his own recognizance by District Court Judge Kimberly Taniyama and ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 29. He is charged with:
    Attempted murder in the Second Degree - shooting another person with a firearm, which carries a penalty of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole; and
Dorson Buddy Behrendt has been charged
with Attempted Murder and Attempted
Robbery. Photo from Prosecuting Attorney
   Attempted Robbery in the First Degree and Carrying or Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Separate Felony, are both class A felony offenses, which carry a penalty of a 20-year prison term.
    Waltjen stated, "The charges are merely allegations and the Defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty."
    The case was initiated by Kaʻū Patrol. The felony investigation was led by Detective Donovan Kohara, Area II Criminal Investigation Section, Hawai‘i Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Chase Murray.
     "The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney remains dedicated to the pursuit of justice with integrity and commitment," said Waltjen.
    According to the report from Hawai‘i Police Department, at 8:50 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15, Ka‘ū patrol officers were dispatched to the area of Aloha Boulevard and Paradise Parkway in the Hawai‘i Ocean View Estates subdivision for a report of a male in need of medical assistance after possibly being assaulted.     
    Arriving on the scene, officers found the victim, believed to be a 53-year-old Ocean View man, with severe facial injuries lying on the ground near a gold Toyota van. Due to the severity of his injuries, police were unable to ask the victim how he had been injured. 
    The victim was transported to the Kona Community Hospital with life-threatening injuries where it was determined that he had sustained a gunshot wound to his facial area. He was subsequently transferred to the Queens Medical Center on O'ahu where he remains hospitalized in stable condition. During the course of the investigation, police identified Behrendt as the suspect and possible responsible person who shot the victim.
    After conferring with the County Prosecutor’s Office, Area II CIS detectives charged Behrendt with: Second-degree attempted murder; First-degree robbery; and Carrying/Use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony.
    Police ask anyone who may have information regarding this incident to contact Detective Donovan Kohara of the Area II Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 960-3118, via email at Donovan.kohara@hawaiicounty.gov, or the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311. Anyone having information to assist local law enforcement can also call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

TROJAN LADIES VOLLEYBALL TEAM WILL TRAVEL TO HONOLULU for the state finals. Coach Kamalani Fujikawa reports that "Kaʻū High will join Big Island Interscholastic Federation title holder Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy and Konawaena to represent the BIIF DII on O‘ahu from November 7- 10. Schedules haven't been finalized as O‘ahu teams are still competing. We will be playing our first game at either 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. at Kalani or Kaimuki High school."

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